As you know from our previous posts, we love to travel for events – concerts, golf, festivals, and more. It gives us a reason to explore somewhere new. One weekend, Mike decided to buy some Dead & Company tickets for a show in Sunrise, Florida. Neither one of us is very familiar with the area… Mike enjoyed his fair share of Panama City Beach spring breaks during his college days, and I had only been to Fort Lauderdale for cruise departures. So, we decided to just book a hotel close to the venue. It was an ok price and refundable, so we figured good enough…
I love the ocean… I grew up in it since I was born in California (as was Mike). About two weeks before the concert, I started searching for nearby beaches that we could visit for a day since we were only there for a short time. I crowdsourced some knowledge via Girls Love Travel to see what is going on in Sunrise. And thank goodness I did… because the answer was not much! I immediately told Mike that we should rent a car so that we can visit the beach. I needed to get my ocean fill!
A couple days went by with more and more research… I looked at everything from gator excursions to events at the local mall (not our sort of scene). As I was sitting in the office, I got an email for a hotel confirmation. It turned out Mike had surprised me by changing our hotel from the mall front in Sunrise to beachfront in Hollywood Beach! The surprise kept on giving because our beachfront hotel, St. Maurice Inn, was also $100/night CHEAPER than the Sunrise hotel and this meant that we would just Uber to and from the concert rather than renting a car to visit the beach.
Once we arrived on Sunday late afternoon, we hopped in a Lyft ($20) and headed straight to the hotel. We had no idea that Hollywood Beach was its own boardwalk area! We quickly checked into the hotel and dumped our stuff in the hotel room before heading out to the beach, which was a short 30-second walk from our room! We caught the beach sunset right as we sat down on the ocean shore.
After watching the sunset on the beach, we headed down the boardwalk for dinner. People were dancing in the streets, singing, and having an awesome time… and keep in mind this was a Sunday night! It was one of the most energizing scenes to walk into right after a 6-hour travel day. Of course, we decided to join the party by having some drinks with an ocean view.
As luck would have it, there was a free concert going on right outside our hotel. We didn’t even notice the stage when we checked in. We were blown away by this awesome rock band we stumbled upon. They kept us dancing until they closed down.
The next morning, we walked along the beach boardwalk to see where we should eat breakfast. Most of the restaurants had breakfast specials posted outside that were very reasonable. We walked until we found a full breakfast platter for $4 each that had an ocean view.
On the way back, we stopped at a convenience store for some snacks, lunch food, and alcohol. One of the biggest money saving tips we have is to eat in for at least half of your meals and make your own drinks! This will cut down a lot on your expenses.
Now that we had our snacks and drinks, we grabbed some of the complimentary beach chairs and towels from the hotel and headed to the beach.
After a full day on the beach, we realized we still had the Dead & Company concert to prepare for! Luckily, our room had a microwave and fridge, so we heated up some leftovers, threw on some clothes, and called another Lyft to head out to Sunrise ($27).
To save money, we ate some grilled cheese sandwiches and got some drinks on Shakedown Street in the parking lot of the venue. Make sure to bring cash if you head to a Dead & Company concert so you can check out the famous Shakedown Street, a vendor/tailgate experience like nothing you’ll see anywhere else. The concert itself was amazing as usual! We had a great time, met some new people, and danced the night away with pit passes.
After the concert, we hit our only hiccup of the whole trip… getting a ride back to Hollywood Beach. Remember how I said we decided not to stay in Sunrise because there wasn’t much going on there? Well, that was too true! We walked a while away from the venue before ordering an Uber/Lyft. This is something we almost always do for events… we walk outside of the event area to reduce the surge pricing on longer rides. I pulled up Uber and saw the estimated cost was $100 to get back home. I couldn’t justify $100, so I suggested we just hang out a while and talk about the concert… that ended up being a poor decision on my part… I pulled up Uber and Lyft again to check prices, Lyft was now $125 and Uber was $77 (another tip... make sure to check both apps each time to get the lowest prices – there is also the lesser-known zTrip app for cabs (yes, they still exist…)).
Obviously, I quickly ordered the Uber to save money without even looking at the estimated arrival time. You know the saying time is money? In this case, I should’ve stuck with the $100 because the Uber’s estimated arrival to us was over an hour. Apparently, there was nobody around because I chose to wait so long to order it!
In the end, it was still way cheaper than renting a car and staying in Sunrise, so all was good… especially after our driver took us through some fast food 🙂
I woke up early the next morning because I was excited to get as much beach and boardwalk time in before checkout. St. Maurice Inn is located right next door to Margaritaville, so I decided to check out their breakfast options. I grabbed two not-so-cheap fresh OJs and a scone while I walked around. It was such a good walk that we ended up having lunch in Margaritaville (one of our splurge meals). We loved the views and beach vibes.
After one more quick walk along the boardwalk, we packed up our things (didn’t take long since we pack light now) and headed back to Arizona.
Overall, the inn was less than $100/night, the flights were free with points (Sunday-Tuesday flights made that possible), we only ate out at restaurants for 3 meals, and we had an amazing time on a budget (we actually saved $230 by switching hotels) – the true Rich Living, Less Spending way!
St. Maurice Inn is a very basic inn with everything you need and nothing that you don’t. This isn’t the place you’d stay if you’re looking for a 5-star experience (check out Margaritaville for that). This is the place you stay to get that local beach feel for ridiculously good pricing. The staff was so amazing and provided us with anything that we needed. You can book your stay by clicking here.
If you have a couple more days in Florida, you should definitely take a trip down to Miami for even more fun times. Check out this Miami Travel Guide for ideas on what to do and where to stay!
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