Florida Friday Vol. 3, Issue 12 | August 31st, 2018

Autumn in the Sunshine State

With the kids soon back at school, it's time for the grown-ups to have some fun in the Florida sun. Here are some of the ways couples can spend some quality time in the Sunshine State.

Panama City Beach
Soak up Floridian beach views while helping to choose the winner of the Best Bloody Mary in the Grand Lagoon. It's a tough job but somebody's got to do it! Panama City Beach welcomes the 3rd annual Bloody Mary and Music Festival Fest on 20 October when over 20 local restaurants and bars fiercely compete for the coveted ‘Big Tomato' trophy. Traditional country music artist Kyle Mitchell and Southern Sunday will also be performing throughout the festival, capping off a fun day on the beach.

New Smyrna Beach
Enjoy great jazz, delicious food and a laidback vibe at the New Smyrna Beach Jazz Festival on 20-23 September. One of central Florida's premier music events, jazz musicians will perform at many of New Smyrna Beach's bars and restaurants, so you can hop from one to another to see top musicians. Meanwhile, the Craft Beer Walk On Canal Street takes place in New Smyrna Beach on the first Saturday of every month. Just $20 will give participants a 6 fl oz souvenir glass and 12 sampling tickets that can be redeemed at 10 locations in the district.

St. Pete/Clearwater
Browse great art, listen to live music and check out top street performers along Beach Boulevard at this year's GeckoFest on 1 September, a celebration of superheroes, villains, and cult characters. Later in the month (28 September) more than 130,000 people will come together to watch one of Florida's top boat races at Clearwater Super Boat Races. The fun continues into October with the Clearwater Jazz Holiday (18 October), with some of the region's best Jazz performers, and the very next day it's the start of the Oldsmar Oktoberfest, a three-day party with German food, drinks, dancing and competitions. There's something for everyone!

Greater Fort Lauderdale
It's time to unwind and enjoy a pampering during Greater Fort Lauderdale's Spatember, when its top resorts and day spas offer treatments for just $99, less than half the usual price. How about a head to toe massage at the Conrad Beach, an anti-aging facial at the Ritz Carlton, a scalp and eye treatment at the Diplomat Beach Resort, or a Tuscan pedicure and manicure at the Spa at Lago Mar? These are just some of the pampering treatments available. Lie back and enjoy.

West Volusia County
Go back in time at the Barberville Pioneer Settlement's 42nd Fall Country Jamboree on 3-4 November. This old-fashioned festival, in the 30-acre oak hammock historical park, includes a sugar cane boil, blacksmithing and a host of living history demonstrations. There are six stages of acoustic folk music, jams and music workshops, old-time barn dancing, handmade arts and crafts vendors, food vendors and much more.

Paradise Coast
Join the locals at the Summer Jazz on the Gulf event at The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club, a highlight of the social calendar on Paradise Coast. September 15 is your last chance in 2018 to enjoy free musical entertainment while admiring stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico. This time it's the turn of Pocket Change, a talented six-piece, high-energy show band performing a mix of Motown, funk, R&B variety, soul, and dance party music. Get on down.

Fort Myers and Sanibel
Sample some of Florida's finest beers on a Fort Myers brewery trail this autumn. The Fort Myers brewery trail takes you to 12 of the best breweries and distilleries in this tranquil region of South West Florida, including Scotty's Bierwerks in Cape Coral, the award-winning Wicked Dolphin Rum Distillery, and the oldest brewery in Fort Myers city of Bury Me Brewing.

Daytona International Speedway
Motorcycle enthusiasts should head to the Daytona International Speedway on October 18-21 for Fall Cycle Scene. Watch the action on the Speedway's 3.51-mile road course Friday through Sunday, and enjoy live music, contests, great food and the area's largest demo ride marketplace from Thursday, as well as bike shows on Friday and Saturday.

Stay connected when navigating around the Sunshine State with the recently-launched Hertz Connect. This complimentary, portable and secure wi-fi device is available to Hertz Gold Plus Rewards customers, with a minimum prepaid booking total of £350, or $500 if paying at location. Providing unlimited data and 4G hotspot, plus many other roaming benefits, this service is available when collecting from major locations including: Orlando, Tampa, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Fort Myers. For more road trip inspiration in Florida, the Full On Florida route on Hertz Road Trip Planner includes 14 iconic and off-the-beaten track stops in the Sunshine State, with downloadable maps and insider guides.

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