As many of you probably know, last year for Ryan and I’s one year anniversary we traveled down to South Florida to Marco Island. We stayed in a beautiful beach resort and spent three days relaxing, soaking in the sun, and swimming in the pool.
This year, we wanted to something a little different. While you can never have too much beach, we just wanted to try a change of pace. Therefore, we looked into other options and thought about staying in a bed and breakfast or a traditional inn. We didn’t know where, though. There were so many options! We thought about doing St. Augustine, or maybe Española Way, but then I heard from Inn On the Lakes in Sebring, FL.
The second I saw the property I knew it was perfect. It was GORGEOUS, and in such a small little town, which is so different for us. Since I had never heard of Sebring, I asked the hotel’s PR rep I was working with for recommendations of things to do while we’re there. Once I received that list, I was sold. I showed Ryan photos of the hotel and explained all the fun things we could do, and he was on board. I couldn’t wait!
We spent the next few weeks counting down the minutes until our little getaway. Since I spent half my summer interning in LA, Ryan and I couldn’t WAIT for some serious quality time together. Friday morning we woke up early and hit the road around 8:30am. It was exactly a two hour drive from Orlando to the hotel. (Actually, maps said 1 hour 59 minutes.) However, we stopped for coffee (duh) and then we also stopped to check out the famous “Spook Hill.”
Arriving at Inn On the Lakes
After we left Spook Hill, we made a straight beeline for the hotel, talking about our plan for the rest of the day, and the weekend. We knew we hit the small town of Sebring the second we saw a huge lake. It’s truly stunning. The sun reflects light on it so the water looks like it sparkles. We pulled into the hotel and walked in without bags, expecting to not be able to check in, as it was 11:30am. However, we were able to!! It was a great surprise and we were so excited to see our room. The front desk staff was polite and helpful, as the woman who helped us grabbed a map and circled our room on it so we could find our way around. She asked if we needed one or two keys, and Ryan and I said one, as we usually do.
What we didn’t realize is the keys were ACTUAL keys. It was so refreshing and cool to have a real key to open our door with. It was actually kind of comical, since we are SO used to automatic keys these days. Not even just at hotels, my apartment has an electronic lock as well. It was a perfect little charming touch to welcome us, and the second we unlocked the door and stepped inside, we knew the weekend was going to be even better than we imagined.
The room was a corner SUITE and it was STUNNING. Ryan and I were so in over our heads, we were not expecting this at all. It was seriously perfect. The living room was spacious, beautifully decorated, and extremely functional (with a wet bar and a dining nook.) We then raced to the bedroom and bathroom, and the room got better, even though we didn’t think it could. The bedroom was huge, comfortable and homey. The bathroom was GORGEOUS, with tons of marble and a unique, modern walk in shower. I was in Heaven. As we took in the room more, Ryan told me it was exactly how he would want his apartment to be. With all the white, unique decor, and plant vibes, I think we both were taking notes for our future place someday.
Ryan and I did a quick video and room tour on my Instagram stories and then we headed out fo lunch at a restaurant I had found online during my research.
Our First Day in Sebring
Let me tell you. If you ever go to Sebring, the first place you want to go (besides Inn On The Lakes of course) is Faded Bistro and Beer Garden. If you can, ask for Maria to be your server. She is AMAZING!!! Before we even sat down, I knew it was going to be an amazing lunch. She was so welcoming and kind and I was so happy I had found the restaurant. Faded is all outside, though some parts are under a cover, with fans. But for the most part, it’s all outdoor with a very cool beer garden-y vibe, and even though it’s Florida, we weren’t ~dying of heat.
We were seated, and I immediately ordered their homemade cava sangria while Ryan ordered a craft beer on tap. Ry and I split a sandwich since we weren’t starving and we chose plantains as our side! The sandwich we ordered was “The Havana” and it was roasted pork, ham, provolone cheese, dill pickle, mayonnaise and mustard on naan bread. It was SO good. Maria came back over to refill our waters and started asking us how we found them. I explained that we were staying at Inn On The Lakes to celebrate our two year anniversary. She then gave us multiple fabulous recommendations of other restaurants and places to check out while we were there. She was truly a wealth of knowledge about all things Sebring and we couldn’t have been more grateful to have a better grasp on what else we wanted to do over the weekend! She also told us about their dessert options. “I have this incredible belgian waffle topped with cinnamon ice cream and chocolate syrup.” We split lunch so we both were definitely hungry enough to split a waffle. It. Was. AMAZING.
After lunch we headed to Sugar Sand Distillery in Lake Placid, where we had a private tour set up. (THANK YOU, Jessica!) Neither Ryan or I had any idea of how liquor is made, so we were excited for the opportunity to learn from a distillery! Not to mention such a cool one! Sugar Sand is the state’s only distillery that grows its own sugarcane. How cool is that? So, not only did we get to tour the facility (while enjoying one of Jessica’s delicious cocktails!) but we also got to go out into the field area and see how they grow the sugarcane. After the tour, we got to do a tasting, where we tried their own rum, vodka, and moonshine. It was so much fun to talk about how it’s made and then try the final product that the process we witnessed makes! The moonshine was my favorite, because it was SO smooth, and flavorful, but didn’t “burn.” Our tickets for the tour also doubled as a $5 coupons so Ryan and I ended up each buying a bottle. I purchased the Moonshine (which is really 12 Hour Shine Corn Whiskey), and Ry bought the rum! (He makes a mean mojito!)
We left the distillery and had plenty of time before our 8:30 dinner reservations at Chicane’s (the #1 restaurant in all of Sebring, which is located in the lobby level of Inn On The Lakes!) We were H-O-T from the distillery tour so we decided to head back to the hotel and enjoy the hotel pool!! We went upstairs, changed in swimsuits, and headed back downstairs, making a quick stop at the Chicane’s bar. We ordered two cocktails and asked if they could be put into plastic cups so we could take them to the pool. Even just from the cocktail menu, I knew Chicane’s was going to be amazing. Their drinks were unique, as was the restaurant’s decor. This made me even more excited for our dinner reservations that night! We took our drinks (I ordered a Peach Jalapeño Margarita and Ryan got a mojito) and stepped outside to the GORGEOUS POOL.
The pool is probably my favorite area of the hotel. (Well, after our suite of course.) It’s just so European feeling to me. Ryan said he got more of a Caribbean vibe, which I can understand because the pool is RIGHT on the water. The pool temperature was also perfect. It was refreshing from the heat not even the slightest bit chilly where it was hard to get in. We spent probably a little over an hour hanging in the pool, sipping our drinks, and soaking in the views of the lake/the building.
Then we had to go up stairs, shower, and change for dinner. I wore a dress and Ry wore a super handsome orange shirt. We loved that we didn’t have to drive anywhere, just walk downstairs to THE BEST RESTAURANT in all of Sebring!! We were sat immediately at a cute little table next to a window, where the sun was almost done setting over the lake, and the sky was a beautiful orange. It was the perfect setting for an anniversary dinner. We started with an appetizer, Asian Shrimp. They were fried in a sweet chili sauce, and served in a glass box that looked like take out, with chopsticks, on top of dried rice cellophane noodles. It. Was. So. Good. I could have eaten four orders of them. Then for dinner, Ry and I were really feeling comfort food, so I ordered the Chicane’s Linguine, which was described as “Our own fresh tomato and basil marinara sauce on top of steaming linguine and topped with shaved parmesan.” It was SO good. The homemade sauce was fantastic. The pasta also came with a salad which hit the spot! (It also came with bread, but Ry and I didn’t need it bc we had the shrimp.)
After dinner we were EXHAUSTED so we went upstairs to be sleepy and enjoy TV in our big comfy bed before falling asleep.
Our Second Day in Sebring
We woke up a little early and got dressed for the day, so we could be downstairs for breakfast around 9:15. This is an AMAZING benefit offered to guests at Inn On The Lakes. Your room rate includes FREE breakfast at CHICANE’S for each morning of your stay!! How incredible is that? We were seated at a cozy booth this time, and enjoyed coffee, orange juice, french toast, eggs, bacon, toast, and potatoes. It was delicious, and perfect for fueling up for our long day ahead!
After breakfast we headed out to downtown Lake Placid, where the annual Caladium festival was happening. Lake Placid is the caladium capital of the WORLD. Their super cute downtown area was covered in tents full of plants, art, jewelry, and so much more! There were so many cool, unique things to buy or explore and we had so much fun walking around. However, it was H-O-T!! And I mean hot. We could barely take it, but we still had to visit the car show area, so we walked across the street to their Gabezo area. We looked at so many antique cars, which Ryan loves. It was perfect for him, and so much fun! On our way back to the main street, we passed the “Lake Placid Depot Society Museum” so we decided to pop in! We saw so many cool artifacts and read a lot of info on how Lake Placid came to be. It was a great little way to step back in time, and I’m glad we did it.
By now we were starving, so we went back to the main “Journal Plaza” which is the CUTEST little spot. We had heard from my point of contact at the hotel that Good News Cafe was a great spot, so we were excited to eat lunch there! The recommendation did NOT disappoint. It was phenomenal! I ordered the chipotle rice bowl, which was romaine lettuce, black beans, brown basmati rice, organic corn, chopped tomatoes, colby jack cheese, sour cream salsa, and a chipotle maple dressing. WOWOW I am still thinking about it. It was SO good. Ryan got a veggie wrap, and we both got flavored bottle sodas! (Coconut and key lime, yum!)
There is also a farmer’s market on Saturdays at Journal Plaza, but there wasn’t a lot set up on that Saturday, because of the festival. However, there were a few tents set up outside of the Good News Cafe and one of them had bottle art, so I bought one for my parents! It was the perfect gift for them!
After we left Lake Placid, we went to check out one more restaurant I had found during my research before the trip. We had also heard it was great from Maria, our waitress at Faded Bistro & Beer Garden. It was called Don Jose, and it was a Mexican restaurant on the water. We sat outside on the patio and enjoyed some flavored Sangrias, while we let the breeze cool us off from the day.
Then we headed back to the hotel (Don Jose was only about 3 minute away) and cooled off in the A/C while we watched Friends in our suite and popped some champagne. (An anniversary trip tradition!) We had some time to kill before our massage, so we watched about three episodes (so glad cable was playing Friends – Inn On The Lakes only had cable!) and then we took quick rinse-off showers so we didn’t show up to the spa all sweaty. The spa was less than 10 minutes away, and we while we knew a couple’s massage would be relaxing, we didn’t know it would be THIS good. The Spa at Hammock Falls gave us each a glass of wine, as well as a cheese, fruit & cracker plate. We enjoyed our snacks in big fluffy robes and then we had the greatest massage ever. We were soooo relaxed after, it was great. We went back to our room, watched more TV, and then changed for dinner.
We had previously made reservations for dinner at Faded Bistro and Beer Garden. I’m telling you, if there’s any restaurant you should go to twice in one weekend, it’s this one. We started with an Ahi Tuna Poke appetizer, and a DELICIOUS pork taco plate. (We also [of course] ordered more cava sangria and craft beers. Then for dinner, we split the filet and lobster mac n cheese, which we did not know came with TRUFFLE FRIES, my absolute favorite. It. Was. Amazing. Dinner was over two hours long, and we had such a great time together! It was a lot of food, but we somehow still had room for another one of those amazing waffles. After dinner we went home and immediately fell asleep. A long day in the heat and a nice relaxing massage combine to make you reallllllly tired.
Our Third Day in Sebring
Though we could have had free breakfast at Chicane’s again, Ry and I were feeling extremely Sunday morning-y so we decided to order room service! Also, it was our last day, why give up any time in our beautiful suite if we don’t have to? Plus, the Chicane’s In-Room Dining menu is bigger than the dining in breakfast menu too, so we had more options. We both ordered the Laguna Sea Omelet which had ham, cheddar cheese, green peppers, and onions, and it was topped with salsa! They were both served with potatoes and toast! It was amazing and delicious and perfectly hit the spot. Cable was also playing How I Met Your Mother (Ry and I’s show) and The Office! It was a PERFECT last morning. We finished breakfast, tidied up the room, and checked out. We put our bags in the car, however we stayed and swam in the pool again for probably another hour.
Ryan I truly had an amazing trip and we can’t imagine anywhere else we’d want to spend our two year anniversary. Thank you SO MUCH to Inn On The Lakes, Tracy at Get Fishslapped Marketing, and the Chicane’s staff for such an amazing stay. I can’t wait for an opportunity to return to Sebring, and to stay at Inn On the Lakes again.
Inn On The Lakes gifted us with a free stay, but as always, all opinions are 100% my own.