Note from the Richardson Tribe:
Welcome to PB&J
Adventures. We are an extremely curious family of
six that enjoys exploring, playing, and learning. We
have always made an effort to go somewhere and do
something as often as possible, leaving the house,
chores, and everyday worries behind.
Initially our adventures lasted only a day, so we
would pack a lunch, often PB&J sandwiches (which
inspired the name of our adventures). Sometimes the
adventures were framed by an event like a fair or
festival, however, most adventures were based on
local places, their unique history or features, and
any available activities at that location or in the
immediate area (we do, after all, have children).
Eventually the adventures became a major part of our
lives, sometimes lasting several days at a time. In
2007, we began documenting our adventures on a
Much to our surprise, many friends and family
members wanted to experience their own adventures or
join us for ours. Such was the inspiration for this
mission is to make the planning of your adventures
easy and predictable. We have done the research and
have personally visited and reviewed all listed
sites. The PB&J Adventures website features detailed
information about places to go and things to do.
Destination reviews include lots of pictures,
campground or lodging details, fun and educational
things to do in the vicinity, dates of local events,
maps for directions, links to official websites and
reservations, and most importantly, a personal
account of a local adventure by a real family.
you enjoy the website, and we sincerely hope your
family experiences the same benefits we have. If you
have questions about any of the sites or events we
Thanks for visiting PB&J Adventures.
Featured Winter Destinations
Crystal River, Florida - Swimming with the Manatee
Crystal River is a small community
located on Florida's Gulf Coast about 80 miles north
of Tampa. It has a lot to offer, but it is widely
known as THE place to see manatee. The near constant
temperatures of the spring-fed river makes it a
winter haven for these warm-blooded gentle giants.
There are multiple companies that offer up-close
encounters with the manatee, so it's usually easy to
find someone to accommodate.
Being near the coast with deep water
access, Crystal river is also a fisherman's
paradise. There are numerous places to put a boat in
the water, and from what I understand, the fishing
is great. Both fresh water and salt water fish can
be caught here.
Of course seafood is abundant here.
There are several restaurants that can serve up the
catch of the day, and do a very good job of it.
While visiting Crystal River, we
stayed at Rock
Crusher Canyon RV Park.
Most of the sites here are privately owned, but
there are still quite a few available for rent. This
place is quite different than many other RV parks of
this type. It's very homey and non-commercial
feeling. And even though many of the sites host
full-timers, it doesn't have that "trailer park"
feel. In fact, this is one of those places I could
see retiring to myself, at least part of the year.
Getting this close to the manatee
The face only a mother could love.
Disney's Fort Wilderness
Fort Wilderness, a Disney
resort, is located just across the lake from Disney's
Magic Kingdom. A short boat ride delivers you to the
park's gate. In fact, from here, you can get to every
Disney attraction either by boat or bus. Once you're a
guest of the Disney campus, everything gets a lot
First and foremost, Fort
Wilderness is truly an RV resort at its finest. The full
hookup (incl. cable) campsites are large with lots of
tropical vegetation providing considerable privacy.
While the quality of the campsites is consistent, their
"quietness" can vary considerably. I must say it's
difficult to find a site you to really complain about.
On the other hand, until I stay in those sites, I'll
never really know. On another note: There seems to be a
real "Disney/Mickey Mouse" theme with many of the
campers. It's entertaining to ride through the
campground looking at the many colorful and flashy
decorations, lights, stuffed animals, and so much more.
It's borderline magic and tacky, perfect for this north
The amenities at Fort Wilderness are awesome. Virtually
every activity in the park has a component for the kids.
For instance, the massive pool (featuring a water slide)
is the site of many afternoon games designed to keep the
kids active and entertained. Other features include bike
riding on nice paved roads, off road Segway tours,
horseback trail riding, sandy beach, pontoon and speed
boat rental, golf carts, bike rental, horse farm, volley
ball, tennis, basketball, canoes, golf, and I almost
forgot, THE MAGIC KINGDOM!
And that brings me to the
local attractions. Well, that's pretty easy. Obviously,
the park is made for the Magic Kingdom. Simply hop on
the shuttle, golf cart, or bike (no cars and no parking)
and head down to the dock for a free ferryboat ride to
the park. All the Disney properties (Animal Kingdom,
Epcot, etc.) are easily accessible from here. Within
half an hour of Fort Wilderness are many of Orlando's
other offerings. Universal Studios' parks, including the
new Harry Potter portion of Universal's Islands of
Adventure are all just a short drive away. Don't forget
Sea World, not to mention, all the dozens of other
family attractions in the family fun corridor. There is
no arguing. You would be hard-pressed to get bored here.
In summary, I'll admit we
loved this park. It was great for the kids and grown-ups
alike. It was convenient and easy. If you plan to go,
I'd suggest taking bikes (with lights), or renting a
golf cart (reserve in advance). The buses are very
convenient, but frustrating to wait for late at night
after watching the fireworks across the lake.
No driving in the park. You can walk, ride a bike,
or ride a golf cart or take the free shuttle!
February in the pool! There's a
Sure it's Disney, but the
still have that "state park" feel.
Salt Springs Recreation Area
Salt Springs is a small
community located in the Ocala National Forest near Lake
George. It's about 30 minutes Northeast of Silver Springs,
and a little over an hour West of St Augustine, so it's a
good home base if you want to explore. For local fun there
is boating, fishing, canoeing and kayaking, diving (if you
dare), off-roading, ATV riding, horseback riding, hiking,
biking, and more.
Salt Springs Run" marina
provides boat ramp access to the spring for the
general public. If you are camping in the Salt
Springs Recreation Area campground, you can use
their boat ramp. The water is crystal clear with the
exception of the silt occasionally churned-up by the
manatee tails. The water remains at 72 degrees year
round, so the large gentle mammals love small lake
formed by the springs. Be aware that the same warm
water appeals to other wildlife too, such as
The campground at Salt
Springs Recreation Area is very nice.
Surprisingly, some of the sites are full hookup
including sewer. They are mostly level and spacious,
and include a fire ring, grill, and picnic table.
The ground is thickly blanketed by long pine
needles, and Spanish Moss hangs from the limbs.
option is the Salt
Springs RV Resort (Elite Resorts). The sites are
much smaller as can be expected in an RV resort. The
sites are privately owned, but many can be rented by
Resorts. Some owners rent directly, and there
are plenty of sites for sale. The lake access, two
pools, cable, and club house with pool tables, ping
pong, and a big-screen TV are major bonuses if you have kids.
Even in the dead of winter
it's perfect for exploring in a canoe or boat.
The manatee love the constant 72