September 22, 2016
discovery weekend // helium takes a tour de Florida

This past weekend the helium team did a tour de central/west Florida. We recently started working on a new lifestyle real estate project and wanted to discover the outdoor world central to the development’s offering. The client is planning multiple locations, each providing a specific branded experience tailored to the outdoor lifestyle of the particular area. We wanted to educate and immerse ourselves in the outdoor adventure/conservation world to get our creative juices flowing so we took a little field trip.
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We flew into Tampa bright and early Saturday morning and hit the road toward Tarpon Springs.
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A super cute, historic waterfront town dotted with antique shops.
Meandering down the street we came upon the visitor’s center. A few friendly staff members greeted us and eagerly shared the town’s history. We learned Tarpon Springs was the epicenter of the marine sponge industry during the first half of the 20th century and is home to the largest Greek population in the US per capita.
A large Greek population must mean delicious Greek food. We were in luck. Across the street was a quaint Greek restaurant on the water. Perfect timing for a quick lunch.
Our client plans to develop land at the mouth of the Anclote River Park, a low-lying area perfect for paddle boarding, kayaking, fishing and boating. An idyllic locale, with a small town America feel, the perfect destination for adventurous families who love the salt life.
After lunch we headed south to Cortez, another small waterfront town. A historic fishing village about equidistant from Sarasota and St. Pete Beach. We stopped to check out the lunch destination that was on our itinerary that we just couldn’t wait for. A Florida Keys style restaurant full of character with outdoor picnic tables, fishing nets and hand painted signs among other nautical found objects.
The development planned for Cortez sits on the river just around the corner from direct access to the Gulf of Mexico, making for the perfect fishing grounds and ultimate watersport destination.
We spent the evening at an oceanside resort with our toes in the white sands and warm water of St. Pete Beach.
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After a delicious breakfast we jumped in the car headed east for a two-hour drive across the Florida countryside. A flat landscape scattered with huge, low-to-the-ground trees with large twisted canopies draped in Spanish moss, citrus groves, cattle ranches, horses and many, many signs for fried-chicken.
We arrived at the edge of Lake Okeechobee, the 7th largest lake in the country, about half the size of Rhode Island. Investigating the proposed lakeside site we recognized its potential for an amazing outdoor waterfront lifestyle, but with a bit more rural influence.
We then headed towards the Quail Creek Plantation, the final stop of our adventure about 30 minutes away. A hunting + sport clay shooting resort where the natural Florida habitat reigns supreme. Quail Creek offers another aspect of the outdoor lifestyle for adventurists. Our contact, Maria, was kind enough to give us a full property tour complete with a buggy ride of the swamp leading to the hunting area. Open fields of tall grass lead to a dense, lush swamp lined with twisted trees hosting ferns and air plants intermingled with saw palms. An ethereal landscape where the everyday is just a faded memory.
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Our weekend tour de Florida was truly an education in the variety of lifestyles across the central/western part of the state. An unbelievably diverse place with many options for the modern outdoor adventurist.
We’re excited to develop this brand and can’t wait to share the experience with you!
Be sure to follow @heliumcreative on Instagram for all the details.