Labor Day has come and gone, and fall is on its way. For most this means cooler temperatures are just around the corner, if not already here, but those in Florida have sunshine and warm days for the foreseeable future. Vacation crowds have begun to dwindle as most people settle into the new academic year, but there is still plenty of fun to be had for those that want to keep the summer rolling. Here are three ways to enjoy September in this tropical state.
Earlier this year, the Martin County Office of Tourism & Marketing launched their award-winning ecotourism program, Explore Natural Martin. Developed in official partnership with the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, the program focuses on promoting environmental stewardship and responsible tourism through free, educational eco-tours and activities. Now, there’s a new way to explore Martin County, Florida’s beautiful natural areas and attractions.
This free, self-guided eco-trail includes beautiful outdoor areas, world-class attractions, and eco-friendly certified hotels. This mobile-exclusive trail is a new, interactive component of the ecotourism program and highlights more than 20 outdoor wonders and points of interest, including state and local parks, beaches, nature preserves, museums, and more. The mobile pass is also GPS-enabled, so participants can “check-in” and earn points at each stop along the trail which can be redeemed for three tiers of unique prizes, including branded bandanas, five-liter dry bags, solar-powered waterproof lanterns, sun protection shirts, and limited edition eco-themed stickers.
Pass-holders will earn the highest allotment of points for attending official Explore Natural Martin programs (advance registration required) and visitors can even earn bonus points for overnight stays at one the Florida Green Lodging Program-certified properties.
“Martin County is an undeniably special place, home to stunning natural areas, incredibly biodiverse ecosystems, and countless wildlife species,” says Ian Centrone, Martin County Tourism Program Manager. “We hope visitors and residents alike use the Explore Natural Martin EcoTrail to discover the incredible sites in our own backyard while also learning how we can all better protect our paradise for generations to come.”
The summer isn’t over (yet) in Fort Lauderdale, which has been running a “101 Days of Summer” campaign featuring 101 ways to experience the area’s best offerings. Map out your summer staycation with the help of this curated list, which is chock-full of local unforgettable experiences.
Visitors and residents can also take advantage of discounts with the South Florida Adventure Pass (good through September 30th) which offers unlimited entry to four major attractions in the area. These passes are $55 for adults and $45 for ages 3-12, and existing Adventure Pass subscribers can renew at a discounted rate of $45 for adults and $35 for children. The passes include access to:
Introduced in 2016, Sing Out Loud Festival is an annual celebration of live music throughout Florida’s Historic Coast. The multi-weekend festival features various artists at locales throughout St. Augustine and St. Johns County, Florida. This year, the festival welcomes headliners The Black Keys, Mumford & Sons, Lord Huron, Maggie Rogers, Yola, War Hippies, Elle King, Amos Lee, S.G. Goodman, Yonder Mountain String Band, Railroad Earth, Keller & Keels, and many other great performances. The festival also features free “Local Showcases” throughout the month featuring performers that are based locally.
On Saturday, September 16, the festival’s newest event, Lincolnville Porch Fest, celebrates the unique history of one of St. Augustine’s most historically and culturally significant neighborhoods. Featuring twenty-five local musical acts performing on five porches against the backdrop of the Lincolnville neighborhood, Porch Fest takes place from noon to 5 pm, culminating with a finale at Colonial Oak Music Park later in the evening.
Tuesday, September 19, artisan shopping and live music take center stage at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre Night Market. This free event takes place from 5 to 9 p.m. and features live music, handmade arts, crafts and goods, and local food trucks.
The Sing Out Loud Festival main event, The Francis Field Showcase, takes place Friday, September 22 and Saturday, September 23 at Francis Field in downtown St. Augustine. Two-day tickets include General Admission for $235 each, General Admission+ for $395 each, and Platinum for $760 each. One-day tickets can be purchased at $125 for Friday and $155 for Saturday. Tickets are available online only.
Following the main event, music lovers can expand their collections at the St. Augustine Record Fair. This free event takes place on Sunday, September 24 at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre and is one of the area’s largest fairs featuring limited-edition vinyl, 90’s tour posters, vintage rock t-shirts, and even cassette tapes and record players.
Finally, on Friday, September 29 through Sunday, October 1, the St. Augustine Songwriters Festival celebrates the craft of songwriting. Top-notch country songwriters will perform their hits throughout the St. Augustine’s historic city, accented with the stories and anecdotes behind the hits. These free concerts occur at the Colonial Oak Music Park, Trade Winds Lounge, Prohibition Kitchen, and the St. Augustine Distillery.