Sometimes the monotony of life can be overwhelming. Yes, there are fun things to do in Jacksonville, but that doesn’t change the fact you’re not doing them. Maybe next week you’ll check out the new exhibit at MOCA or make it to a Suns game for Thirsty Thursdays. When the grass in your yard starts to look brown, it’s time for a spontaneous, last-minute weekend trip. Here are four places to take a road trip to this weekend on a budget.

Cedar Key Pirate Festival:


Cedar Key is the epicenter of a weekend-long pirate party from September 18 to 20.

Some highlights include:

  • A parade for marching around in your Tricorn hat
  • Venders selling sought-after puffed poet shirts and silk sashes
  • Historical reenactments for the connoisseur of pirate cosplay accuracy
  • Pirate song vocalists and a world-acclaimed bagpiper named Brandon
  • Alcohol to get you through it all

Even if, say, the pirate life just isn’t for you, I’d recommend not shooting it down too quickly. There is a ton of booty to be had here. Also, everyone knows there ain’t no party like a pirate party.

Devil’s Den:

d den

Located in Williston, Florida, the Devil’s Den is a 10,000 year old subterranean spring that is accessible due to a roof collapse. Many people go scuba diving in the spring, but it also attracts snorkelers and swimmers alike. The park offers cabins and ground camping around the spring, so you can make a weekend trip of it. This spring is really one of Florida’s must-see spots (which is why it’s been featured previously), and let’s face it … if the Devil really uses this spring as his living room, then the dude has quality taste.

Wild Georgia Shrimp and Grits Festival:


This three-day festival starts on Friday in Jekyll Island and includes both SHRIMP and GRITS. Probably combined. Or separate. Who knows. You’ll have to go to find out. What we do know, however, is that this event will include a cooking competition, craft beer, live music and entertainment. Oh, and probably a size up in pants.

The Hostel in the Forest:


Also known as the “Treehouse Hostel,” the Hostel in the Forest is located about 10 miles south of New Brunswick, Georgia. It is a non-profit, environmentally sustainable facility that prides itself on “complementing the process of nature.” So, while the term “scary hippie commune” may be at the tip of your tongue, don’t brush the Forest Hostel off so quickly. It’s surrounded by lakes, you can sleep in a tree house and there is an outdoor bathtub with wild fluffy chickens everywhere. This place is truly one-of-a-kind … just shut up and drink the Kool-Aid already.