Florida is the second most visited state in the United States, right after California, of course, and most tourists only engage in the “big attractions.” But when you get a chance to have a childless weekend getaway, you go wherever the wind, locals, and Trip Advisor takes you.
Hubby and I had an AMAZING 4 day, 3-night weekend getaway/business trip in Florida last month, without any kids (thank God for in-laws!). We flew in for a leadership conference where we both became certified coaches, speakers, and trainers. Being honest, we weren’t in a good space before leaving Cleveland, so this trip was an unwanted necessity for me. It’s funny how life’s timing works because we’ve been struggling to find the time to sit down and talk about getting our marriage and family in alignment. So after a long conversation, we decided to turn the whole weekend into an intentional date night. Our plans led us to 2 of the best restaurants (one of which is my must-do anytime we’re in Florida) and the perfect place to have a fun date night.
After 10 years of booking flights, finding hotels (that sometimes challenge my growth mindset), keeping 4 kids, and a semi-hard to please wife entertained and our stomachs full of the best food without breaking the bank, hubby is hands down the best person to book and plan a trip. As much as he would like for me to be more involved with the planning part of things, the truth is he’s so much better at than me! He’s so good at sticking to our motto of “keep the budget as close to $0 as possible” without sacrificing fun that anytime family and friends are looking to book a trip, they call him. It’s that serious! Hubby is great about allowing room for our family to both tourists and travelers. Before meeting him, I didn’t know there was a difference. (At 20 years old, I don’t think he knew there was a difference either. He just did what his parents did). We always visit the “best places” in town, but we also make it a priority to visit all the local hangouts too. Hubby’s secret weapon for allowing that to happen is Trip Advisor. First up was
Once we landed in Orlando and got settled into our hotel, of course, I wanted to eat, and hubby already had the “perfect spot” picked out. We drove 20 minutes from our hotel and ended up on West Colonial Drive. I have to admit, when we pulled up, I was slightly disappointed. It was a Friday night (which meant intentional date night), so I thought we were going to a “fancier” restaurant. This place wasn’t what I or my flowy maxi dress had in mind.
The parking lot was a tight fit, and the building looked like it could only seat about 30 people. So naturally, I assumed that meant either a long wait or uncomfortable seating arrangements. Either way, I wanted no parts of it and was getting hangry just thinking about it. But with a 4.5 out of 5 stars in the review category, hubby had to try Flyers Grill & Wings.
As we walked into the dimly lit and narrow entryway, 3 ladies were waiting on a bench to our right and a line that held 4 others. We were greeted by a friendly hostess and asked if we would like a table. As hubby requested a booth, I glanced to my right and was pleasantly surprised. The well-lit room was packed but spacious, with a welcoming family feel. Booths outlined the perimeter of the space, with tables enclosed in the middle and a small wall partition that separated the large room into 2.
We sat down and looked over the menu, which was filled with all the classics. Wings, cheesesteaks, chicken fingers, and of course, the classic hamburger and hotdog. I was ecstatic! Not only was I not going to leave this place hungry, but the prices were also more than affordable. We ordered the potato skins as an appetizer because honestly, there were so many things that we wanted to try, we just had to get something on the table. We eventually made up our minds and ordered hot, bbq and hot garlic parmesan wings, 2 sides of curly fries, the best darn garlic bread I’ve ever had, and a chicken Philly that would put the ones I tried in Philadelphia to shame.
From the quality of the food to the amazing hospitality and free to-go refill on our soft drinks, Flyers definitely did not disappoint. Hubby loved them a little bit more than I did, and went back 2 more times just for their wings. It was definitely the date night I didn’t know I needed.
Our second night in Florida, hubby found the perfect date night venue that was the most fun we’ve had in a while. The venue was only 20 minutes away from our hotel, and we were both excited to go because there’s one coming to Cleveland later this year. When we pulled up, the bright neon lights illuminated into the parking lot, making it easy to assume that this place was ridiculously crowded.
My assumption was confirmed when we walked up the stairs, past a crowd of people, and entered the front lobby. To our right were about 10 people in line waiting to pay at the guest services desk and a sports bar that was standing room only. There were at least 15 large screen T.V.’s in the bar area, and the food smelled amazing.
We made our way into the line to get date night started, only to be told that the wait would be about 2 hours. 2 HOURS! The staff at the front desk told us since each bay can accommodate up to 6 people, they reserve certain bays for smaller parties during peak times. And of course, Saturday night at 9:15pm is at a peak time. They told us we could partner up with another smaller group and get a bay quicker. We really didn’t want to do that, and since I’m the type of person who prays over parking spots, I said a silent prayer in my head for this situation. As we were about to get a pager and wait for 2 hours in the sports bar, a lower level bay opened up for 2 people! Apparently, the people ahead of us were all groups of 4+, so we were right on time.
It was a humid night but the air from the climate-controlled bays coupled with the night breeze made it the perfect night to play Topgolf. We walked to the lower level, past a game room/dining area with pool tables, arcade games, video games, and a shuffleboard table. My kids would love this place! And considering guests under the age of 18 aren’t permitted without an adult 21+ after 9pm, I would have to say this is a very family-friendly environment.
Pictures courtesy of Topgolf
A server met us at our bay, explained the ins and outs of the game and all the tech stuff that goes into it. He took our drink orders, and we got started. I really wish we would’ve ordered some food, but I had to save my appetite for the third-place listed in this post. With 9 games to choose from, we decided to play 1 hour of their signature game, which we were able to turn into 2 rounds. Although hubby has had a lot more practice than I have, we’ve not experienced golfers at all. But with Topgolf, it’s easy to improve your golfing skills. With the microchip technology inside each golf ball, you’re able to track the speed, distance, and accuracy of your shot, and one of the 3 screens in your bay, displays it all. It’s a fun way to go from novice to expert (obviously not in one night, especially when drinks are involved lol).
Go with a group of 4 or more people
The bays were a little pricey for 2 people. Plus couples date nights are always fun
Try to go on a promotional day
From half price days to college nights save some money
Reserve your bay ahead of time if possible
Save yourself the headache of a long wait, especially if you’re traveling with kids
Order something off the menu
Everything looked and smelled amazing
Wear comfortable shoes
I almost wore heels trying to be cute for hubby…that would’ve been a bad idea
I can’t wait until the Cleveland venue opens! We’ll definitely be putting our lifetime memberships to good use and purchasing one for the kids too.
Although they’re known for their wings (which I’m now addicted to), I come for their fried shrimp basket. OMG!! The ten jumbo shrimp are seasoned to perfection, then fried right across the golden street of heaven where Chick-fil-a resides. Served with thick-cut fries and your choice of coleslaw or cilantro lime rice, Hurricane Grill & Wings is hands down my must-go-to restaurant. (I’m really kicking myself because I don’t have ANY pictures of our food! I guess that proves to you how delicious it actually is because we couldn’t wait to eat it…twice!) So here’s a peak at what some of their mouth watering food looks like. Run to a Hurricane’s today! Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.
This beach-themed restaurant gives you all the tropical island vibes that you need for a quick “getaway.” With pops of bright yellow, green, and teal, Hurricane’s is a great family-friendly, gluten-friendly, and adult-friendly atmosphere. With over 30 wing sauces and rubs, this place just gets better and better with each visit. Thanks to Hurricane’s, I’m now hooked on hot garlic parmesan wings after detesting them for years. Between the smell and the overpowering flavor of garlic, I hated it when hubby ordered them. But now… let’s just say, when we went back on our last night in town (yes we went twice in 2 days), I ordered my own hot garlic parmesan wings, along with my must-have shrimp basket. I definitely slept like a baby that night.
UPDATE: I just found out that there are 3 different types of Hurricane Grill & Wings, and they’re not just in Florida!!! There’s Hurricane Sports Grill, Dockside & BTW (Burgers, Tacos & Wings). I just put it on my list to try all of these!
Our childless weekend getaway was one for the books, and I can’t wait for the next one! What are your favorite places to visit when you’re in Florida? Have you been to any of the 3 that I mentioned? What was your experience? I want to hear from you!
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