Pier 22 in Bradenton, Florida

Dining Outside the Home: Pier 22 in Bradenton, Florida! Perched on the edge of the Manatee River since the 1920’s, with a panoramic view of the marina and beyond, Pier 22 is a road trip destination to Historic Bradenton that culminates in a fabulous meal on the riverside deck. From casual occasions on the patio to formal celebrations in the ballroom, time spent here becomes a memorable experience. The building itself resembles a charming Mediterranean villa with bobbing bateaux against the distant skyline. Meals are made from scratch, creating art-on-a-plate presentation worthy of the crown. Take your time by enjoying the seafood bounty, the gussied up entrées, the summery cocktails, and the fabulous desserts. No matter the hour or weather, Pier 22 transforms the entire scene into one of life’s perfect moments.

Celebration Park in Naples, Florida

Dining Outside the Home: Celebration Park in Naples, Florida! Food trucks are all the buzz. Think about it. Resident chefs tend to zero in on specialized foods, are typically fresh, and often prepared on the spot when you place the order. They offer unique combinations for trying something new as well. In the mood for seafood? Try the lobster roll. Care for a cocktail? Permission granted. At Celebration Park an added bonus is a waterside table, a seat at the open-air tiki bar, or picnic table-style dining. With over half a dozen stationery food trucks, order a bite to eat or a complete meal. Happy Hour is often highlighted with live music. Green space encourages lawn games for friendly competition. An atmosphere filled with memories that encourage hanging out for relaxation turns an ordinary outing into a contagious destination.

Three60 Market in Naples, Florida

Dining Outside the Home: Three60 Market in Naples, Florida! Ever wonder how a business chooses its name? Word is, Three60 Market is the talk-of-the-town for “offering world class wine for sale by only marking up each bottle $3.60”. Their website confirms it. As if that isn’t enough of a reason to drop by, imagine this. As you pull into the parking lot, you are greeted by swaying palm fronds bordering a charming plantation-style cafe with a backdrop of Haldeman Creek. Freshly prepared meals can be enjoyed under shaded umbrellas on the open-air decks. Because who doesn’t love waterside dining? Might I suggest a pecan sticky bun to accompany your morning cuppa joe? The buttery cinnamon and brown sugar sweetness is perfect with the nutty crunch. Dress is casual in this cozy pet-friendly environment. Before you head out, better pick up some wine and cheese for later on. Island getaways are hard to find.

Dolphin Tiki Bar & Grill on Marco Island, Florida

Dining Outside the Home: Dolphin Tiki Bar & Grill on Marco Island, Florida! People are drawn to lobstah like fish to water. That’s a good thing because the word is out that Dolphin Tiki Bar & Grill has fresh lobster tails flown in weekly. Perhaps that is why you can get a twin lobster tail dinner, complete with garden potatoes, grilled corn, and drawn butter, while dining outdoors. Go early for Happy Hour to grab a seat at the Tiki Bar, located dockside with a waterfront view. Pelicans paddle by, boats bob atop the Marco River, the drinks quench thirsty patrons, and the conversation remains light. Don’t blink, else you may have to pinch yourself to keep paradise living a reality that everyone seeks.

Laishley Crab House in Punta Gorda, Florida

Dining Outside the Home: Laishley Crab House in Punta Gorda, Florida. For a jaw-dropping view of the waterfront from the open air upper deck, either grab a seat at the wraparound bar or reserve a table instead. Laishley Crab House has a menu that offers everything from incredible seafood and sushi bowls to unique sandwiches, garden salads, roasted chicken, and grilled steak. But way more than that. The freshly baked bread is so warm, butter spreads across it like liquid gold. Try not to gorge yourself because dinner is worth the wait. Sip on a crafted cocktail; notice the way vehicles crisscross on the parallel bridges in the distance as motorboats cut through the flowing waters of the Peace River below. Make dining a total experience worth remembering. Life is good at Laishley Crab House, especially if you save room for dessert.

Dining Outside the Home: Poseidon Coastal Cuisine & Rooftop Bar on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Dining Outside the Home: Poseidon Coastal Cuisine & Rooftop Bar on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Bask in the vibrant hues of a glorious sunset over dinner and drinks at this local hotspot on the waterfront. Whether you choose musical entertainment at the Rooftop Bar, casual cocktails during NautiBar’s Happy Hour, or a flavorful dinner of surf ‘n turf, you’ll be happy as a clam. Peruse the extensive menu offering raw, steamed, broiled, baked, grilled, and fried selections. They’ve got it all. Do you know where you’re eating tonight? I do. Poseidon Coastal Cuisine.

Dining Outside the Home: Skull Creek Boathouse on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina 

Dining Outside the Home: Skull Creek Boathouse on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina!  Nestled along the waterfront, on the banks of Skull Creek bordering the Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge, sits a landmark restaurant known for its ultimate Seafood Extravaganza! You name it, it’s there: snow crab legs, shrimp, mussels, clams, and shellfish. But that’s not all. Fresh seafood is featured daily. Don’t take my word for it. You may have already recognized Skull Creek Boathouse from its exposure on the Food Network, the Travel Channel, or National Geographic’s televised programming. Magnificent oak trees dripping in Spanish moss along the marina create a charming backdrop for casual outdoor dining and live music. Whether it’s a sunset dinner or midday meal, one visit and you’ll understand this “Boathouse State of Mind.”