A New Way to Explore the Sunshine State in Style – A 1970s VW Camper

Vivian Cai with 1970s VW Camper

Beaches, luxurious resorts, exquisite ladies, and nightclubs are the components of one of the most vibrant and fun states in the US.

Florida has always been the best vacay option when you are trying to have fun while staying in style. I always do tons of homework to make sure my vacation is filled with beautiful clothes, stylish hotels, cute restaurants, and unforgettable scenery. Florida is a challenge since I have been there many times, I guess most of you have been too. What more can I discover? How can I find new surprises?

Luckily, after some research, I finally found a different side of  Florida that I would love to explore. AND with something REALLY cool. Let’s see, you will be surprised!

Transportation/Accommodation/Photogenic background all at once — A 1970s VW Camper!

Vivian Cai with 1970s VW Camper

As a huge fan of vintage style, traveling with a VW Camper has always been on my bucket list. But they are so hard to find these days in the US. Luckily for me, a camper company in Florida has four cute campers that are fully functional. And we managed to reserve one for our trip in Florida. Jasmine is a 1978 sage green mini RV. With her retro style and modern function, we had a great time with her in Florida. (To reserve yours for the upcoming trip, visit http://floridavwrentals.com/home.html)

Jasmine is not suitable for a long-distance road trip. So most of the places we visited are near Saint Petersburg. Don’t worry, there are many interesting spots to explore in this part of Florida.

Vivian Cai with 1970s VW Camper

Vivian Cai with 1970s VW Camper

Nature of Florida

Fort De Soto Park

It was the Fourth of July Weekend, the campsite in Fort De Soto Park was packed. Everyone was busy decorating their site. However, we still managed to stand out with Jasmine. She is so photogenic, and perfectly blends into the breathtaking nature view.

Vivian Cai with 1970s VW Camper

Fort De Soto Park campground is one of the most beautiful camping sites in Florida. The sunset over the water was so harmonious and delightful. It is where you can truly embrace nature.

Vivian Cai with 1970s VW Camper

Crystal River

This is something you HAVE to do! Swimming with the cutest and most gentle animal on earth – the manatee! Crystal River is home to the world’s largest population of endangered manatees during the winter season. Although we visited Crystal River in the summer, there was still a small population of these curious, loving giants enjoying lives in their natural habitat. Just picture it, on a hot and humid day in Florida, you can’t wait to jump into some clear and cool river, while some giants slowly swim toward you, and gently touch you with their noses and eager but tender strokes. Isn’t it the sweetest thing on earth?!

Soldier’s Hole

SUP is my favorite activity of all time. Enjoy a relaxing day spotting marine life (manatees again!) and taking in the beautiful scenery from on top of the stand-up paddleboard is something you don’t want to miss. You will have the river to yourself on the Soldier’s Hole in Fort De Soto Park.

The Don CeSar

Always dreaming of finding The Grand Budapest Hotel in real-life? Well, The Don CeSar is close enough. Built in 1928, The Don CeSar perfectly epitomises the glamour and elegance of the Great Gatsby era. This pink palace perched on St. Pete Beach is an amazing spot for some photoshoot. Don’t forget to rent a jet ski for winding on the Gulf of Mexico and catch a glimpse of something you will never see from land.

Vivian Cai with 1970s VW Camper

Eat and Drink

Bodega on Central

Amazing local spot for Cuban sandwich in St.Pete. The decoration of the space is cute and has a chilling tropical vibe. The sandwich is juicy, crispy and huge! And I also love their drinks, which is blended with many ingredients to cool off from the summer heat.

Homemade (or should I call it Manmade) Dinner

Since we traveled with a stove this time, we had most of our meals on the campsite. The food might be simple, but nothing can beat the amazing sunset view and the happiness it brought to us.

Night Out 

 How about campsite visiting?

Making the perfect crispy marshmallows?


Or just a deep and inspiring conversation with your loved ones.

Vivian Cai with 1970s VW Camper

Discovering the natural side of Florida was a wonderful surprise. I hope you enjoy reading my journey as much as I enjoyed this special trip! XOXO.

Vivian Cai with 1970s VW Camper


Vivian Cai

Vivian Cai is a NYC-based globetrotter. Graduating with a MA in Design Studies from Parsons School of Design with the experiences living in different places these years has led her to develop an enlightened perspective of understanding the universe and a refined aesthetic sensibility. With the passion for finding the beauty of the world and new cultures, Vivian discovered many hidden gems on this planet and the new way to experience it. Vivian is currently in advertising industry and occasionally works as an exhibition curator and space visual designer. Follow her Instagram and website Stayvivian.com for the ultimate guide for travel, lifestyle and culture experiencing in U.S. and more.

1 Comment

  1. lauren
    16/04/2018 / 1:23 pm

    which camp site did you stay at in fort Desoto ?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *