Florida Girls Getaway

Clearwater Beach lifeguard stand kellyelko.com

Two moms and five teenage girls in Florida for spring break – and I lived to tell the tale!

We stayed in a condo in Clearwater Beach on the water with a pool and jacuzzi. I loved being able to walk to all the action but be away from the crowds.

There was a lot of relaxing mixed with great food, amazing sunsets and fun activities plus the sand in Clearwater is incredible! I can see why it was voted best beach in Florida in 2013.

The girls rented bikes for our stay and pedaled to beaches, shops and restaurants.

My favorite part of the trip was a morning spent paddle boarding where dolphins swam within a few feet of us! We also spotted a small shark that I wish was farther away! We paddled by a small island brimming with birds during mating season where we saw spoonbills (they are pink like flamingos) and pelicans bobbing their heads and strutting their stuff trying to attract the ladies. I did not think I was going to be able to stand but after one near spill into the water, I managed to stay upright and from there it was a piece of cake.

Paddle boarding in Florida kellyelko.com

Five of the seven of us are Harry Potter geeks so I was thrilled when Universal Studios gave me tickets to see both parks – Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure (where more of the thrill rides reside).

Universal Studios Orlando Florida - fun girls getaway kellyelko.com

Our main goal was to spend as much time in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (a ride on the Hogwarts express takes you between both parks – make sure to get Park to Park tickets if you want to see both parks and ride the train). I could have done without the spring break crowds but it was worth it to see the Harry Potter books come to life.

Hogwarts Castle Universal Orlando kellyelko.com

We stopped for Butterbeer where we compared frozen vs regular then we headed into Ollivander’s Wand Shop for a cute interactive show where someone is picked from the crowd and matched with the perfect wand. Next, we headed into the wand shop but it was so crowded that I sadly left empty handed.

I would have loved to get an interactive wand and “perform magic” just by waving the wand at areas marked by gold medallions. Lots of people were doing it and it was fun to watch.

Butter Beer at Universal Studios Orlando kellyelko.com

Butter Beer at Universal Studios Orlando kellyelko.com

Surprisingly, we all really loved Seuss Landing – a whimsical, colorful land where the Dr. Suess characters come to life. It was fun to see this group of teen girls (and moms) acting like little kids who were even excited to ride the merry go round!

Suess Landing merry go round kellyelko.com

We returned to Harry Potter world later in the day to go on the Gringotts ride. The wait was over two hours which made us all a bit cranky but the ride was worth it!

Gringotts Bank Dragon Universal Orlando kellyelko.com

After a fun but exhausting day, we headed to CityWalk which is right outside of the parks and is a 30 acre area filled with restaurants, entertainment and shopping. I give two thumbs way up to Vivo Italian Kitchen which had one of the best risotto dishes I’ve ever had (my girls raved about it too).

There were a few rides we wished we had more time for but overall it was a jam packed day.

We headed back to Clearwater blaring the tunes and chattering about our favorite parts of the day.

I really had such an amazing time on this girls trip. It was a great bonding experience and I got to know my daughters friends so much better. Best part – I did not look at my computer once! It was so great to disconnect from technology and enjoy living in the moment.

Have you ever taken a girls only trip? Where did you go?



Disclosure – I was provided tickets to Universal Studios but all opinions are my own.

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  1. So glad to see your girls’ Florida getaway was perfect. I’m a little jealous. My two daughters and I planned one for May 6th and in January I was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer . After going thru a battery of tests and surgery and am currently in treatment my oncologist said no to the trip because treatment will not be finished. So hopefully this fall. I loved all your photos and don’t you just love universal studios?

  2. If you’d recommend it, would you be willing to share info about the condo you stayed at. My husband and I want to do an anniversary trip to Clearwater but don’t know the area to look for a place to stay. Thanks!!

    1. Hi Andrea – we stayed at Island Key condos in Clearwater Beach. It was walkable to everything and had a pool and jacuzzi and huge balcony overlooking the bay with boat slips right below us. There are also tons of beautiful hotels! Hope that helps!

  3. Sounds like everyone had a great time,and your girls are growing up too fast,so make memories.

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