We were finally able to get a hotel booking on the beach within walking distance of the bandshell, and after seeing some of the "seedier" locations I am glad I sought some tripadvisor help and did the research. Thanks everyone! We were able to book the Holiday Inn and Suites on the Ocean, and I am so glad we did! The hotel was about a 15 minute walk to the bandshell area, which was perfect to be near but far enough to get away from all the crowds. We booked an ocean front King room which was very large and had a small kitchenette area with fridge and micro. We stopped at the supermarket and picked up a snacks, cheese crackers, etc. There was a living area near the balcony with a couch, tv and table and chairs. It was very comfortable and the view was beautiful. We spent a few days poolside but most of the time we were busy with Cheerleading. We made notes on potential hotels for next year but found out next year the Nationals will be held in Orlando--hello Mickey.
The whole town had Cheerfever and Cheerleaders were everywhere. It was pretty crowded. The Prelims were at the Ocean Center and the Finals at the Bandshell. It was amazing to watch the teams compete on the beach. The weather cooperated and we were able to enjoy the Florida weather.
We had one lunch and one dinner at Joes Crab shack...because it was convenient with great crab dishes. We had wings and appetizers at the Wing House--great 10pm Happy Hour. The bandshell area had typical Bubba Gumps, and Johnny Rockets. Sloppy Joes and Mai Tai were another spot we spent late night for drinks and appetizers.
We took a ride to Congo Minature golf and played mini golf and fed the gators. We shopped for t-shirts and had ice cream at the Boardwalk, and walked the beach.We wanted to drive the beach but never got around to it.
Our last day we had planned to watch the sunrise on the East Coast and set on the West Coast on a gulf beach for a bucket list checkmark. So we set the alarm and sat on our balcony and watched the sunrise over Daytona. It was beautiful. We then packed up and headed West for our last leg of this Florida trip to Sanibel Island.