Sweets, Treats and a View in Jacksonville with Allegiant Air
I love the idea of a vacation and taking a break from the day to day. But traveling with kids doesn’t always equal vacation to me. The packing, leaving early in the morning, hoping your kids behave amongst strangers and adjusting to sleeping away from home – all of it drains me. I’d assume to go no further than the beach along the Gulf Coast (I might be scarred because both my boys hysterically cried for every car ride until they faced forward). However, my youngest always did well on a plane, flying for the first time at 5 months. Yet when our partner Allegiant Air offered to fly my family to Jacksonville and put us up for a few days, I still hesitated. Then I realized, I won’t know if I don’t try. Plus, Jude (my 5 year old) LOVES planes and hotels. He just adores the idea of going somewhere new. And guess what happened? The kids loved it and were well behaved! Hallelujah!
If you haven’t heard of Allegiant, they make leisure travel affordable and convenient. With low-low fares, nonstop, all-jet service and premier travel partners, Allegiant provides a complete travel experience with great value and without all the hassle. Check in at the airport was super easy :: Allegiant has an app for your boarding passes and gets you through security in no time. We were booked in two seats in two rows back to back, so that one parent could sit with one child. This was great thinking on their part and worked out well. The flight attendants could not have been more friendly and even gave the boys free snack packs and wings for the flight.
When we landed in Jacksonville, we claimed our rental car and car seats (I highly recommend this because it really cuts down on the amount of things you have to travel with). Our arrival at the Doubletree hotel downtown was even better. Did you know they serve complimentary warm chocolate chip cookies upon arrival? I’ve heard, but this was our first stay at one and it was nice! Jude even scored a few extra throughout our stay. The Doubletree and the Jacksonville CVB were generous enough to book us two adjoining rooms, so the boys had their own space. Sharing a room with my kids is a big part of why I don’t like to do hotels with them and this completely eliminated that. While its not always feasible, it was SO nice for this trip. Plus, we had a gorgeous view of downtown.
Hey Sugar, Sugar
Before our trip, I wasn’t really sure what Jacksonville had to offer. Luckily, the CVB put together a great itinerary for us. Our most visited stop was Sweet Pete’s and the Candy Apple Cafe. I can’t say enough about how cute and delicious this place is. It’s like a modern day Wonka factory inside a historic Victorian home. The kids made their own flavor cotton candy, had ice cream, giant gummy alligators-bascially their sugar intake for weeks in a few days but they adored it. The Candy Apple Cafe is a attached to the candy shop with craft cocktails and gourmet food. We didn’t know how busy it gets for dinner though and were looking at an hour wait. No bueno with two littles. However, my husband asked if we could order the food to go and sit upstairs in their board game area. No problem! It was actually better than trying a traditional sit down dinner because the kids could move around
A few other stops we really enjoyed were The Museum of Science and History, a ride on the SkyWay (Jude called it the monorail), Jacksonville Beach, Jaxson’s Night Market (yay for food trucks and craft beer!) and lunch at Taco Lu (great atmosphere and delicious Mexican).
If you’re interested in a trip to Jacksonville, I would definitely recommend Allegiant and the Doubletree Riverfront. It was such a nice break for all of us and the kids had a blast. Allegiant also flies direct to 10 other cities from NOLA, round trip can be less than $100!