June 11, 2014

Sunshine + Palm Trees | The Mixtape Edition

Sunshine + Palm Trees - Music Playlist
Cassette tape design from Positive Spin 3x4 Journal Cards by
One Little Bird Designs. Sunshine design from Project Mouse:
Rides and Attractions Journal Cards
 by Britt-ish Designs &
Sahlin Studio.

When you hear a Jimmy Buffett song, chances are you will think of a tropical beach, flip flops, parrots, and a good time in Florida. Likewise, when you hear The Beach Boys or any song about surfing and California, you will probably think of, well...California. As I went through my mental musical catalog and a few playlists I found online, I wanted to keep the songs relevant for someone who might be traveling to one of these two states for their vacation. They will be expecting plenty of sun and will see lots of palm trees. Here's my musical interpretation of this vacation backdrop. Included below are a few notes regarding some of the songs selected.

vacation - the go-go's
In my mind, I always picture Belinda Carlisle and her band mates water skiing in tutus when I hear this song, mimicking such performances at the now-defunct Cypress Gardens in Florida. And I have a hazy memory of seeing a show like this on a visit to Sea World when I was around 11 years old. For kicks, you can still watch the music video from 1982.

Vacation by The Go-Go's - Sunshine + Palm Trees Playlist | Any Happy Little Thoughts
album cover found on the Music Stack website, see here

california sun - his and her versions
This was a fun discovery as I was perusing the California themed music. I already had the Ramones version in my personal collection, but I was excited to find a recording by none other than Disney darling Annette Funicello. If you listen to the lyrics as she sings them, there are plenty of tweaks to keep the song squeaky clean while allowing her to sing of the cute California surfer boys. We'll leave the Ramones to sing about the pretty little chicks.

album cover found on Heartbreak Hotelblog, see here

orange blossom special - with and without lyrics
I really love this song. I have for many years, thanks to hearing it played live by an extremely talented fiddle player. One of its most popular recordings is by the Man in Black himself, Johnny Cash. Listen closely to the words - it scored high for this playlist thanks to the references for both Florida and "Californy." And sand getting in your shoes. And the recollection of sweet smelling orange blossoms via the name of the locomotive.

postcard image found on Wikipedia, source linked here

strawberry fields forever - the beatles
You can't go wrong with a Beatles song. Unfortunately, Spotify cannot carry their catalog, so instead the streaming service has essentially a listing of hit songs recorded by a really good cover band. I included this particular song - and I admit it is a stretch - because growing up living in and out of Florida, you become aware of the Florida Strawberry Festival that takes place each winter in Plant City. And Plant City is not far from Orlando. California also puts on a big strawberry festival in SoCal. So you can add strawberries to your food checklist (along with the citrus) for your next vacation.

map taken from the Florida Strawberry Festival website, click here

soarin' - attraction music 
This is a fan favorite. The attraction experience has it all - amazing views, a great soundtrack, fragrant smells. So happy that I could include this via Spotify. (I would have added more of the attraction music if possible.) Kick back and close your eyes...it's almost like you are there, soaring over California....

photo by Tom Bricker, Disney Tourist Blog - image on Facebook, linked here

listen to the playlist
Click directly on the playlist below to begin listening (it will play from this post if you have Spotify Desktop Player or Web Player on your computer), or click on this link to take you to Spotify's site: Sunshine + Palm Trees | California + Florida - The Mixtape Edition.

sunshine + palm trees - music playlist
  1. "Vacation" - The Go-Go's
  2. "California Sun" - Ramones
  3. "In the Sun" - Blondie
  4. "Santa Monica" - Everclear
  5. "Surf City" - Jan & Dean
  6. "California Girls" - The Beach Boys
  7. "California Dreamin'" - The Mamas & The Papas
  8. "It Never Rains in Southern California" - Albert Hammond
  9. "Orange Blossom Special" - Johnny Cash
  10. "Margaritaville" - Jimmy Buffett
  11. "Strawberry Fields Forever" - The Ultimate Beatles Cover Band
  12. "Hot Fun in the Summertime" - Sly & The Family Stone
  13. "Cruise Remix" - Florida Georgia Line with Nelly
  14. "Queen of California" - John Mayer
  15. "Hotel California" - The Eagles
  16. "Going Back to Cali" - LL Cool J
  17. "California Gurls" - Katy Perry with Snoop Dogg
  18. "Sunny in California" - Aberdeen
  19. "California Sun" - Annette Funicello
  20. "Soarin'" from Soarin' Over California - Jerry Goldsmith
  21. "Orange Blossom Special" - Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

I had a hard time finding more Florida inspired music. Do you have any suggestions? I didn't include it because I am trying to keep the playlists "family friendly," but Zac Brown Band's "Toes" would fit perfectly, too. Leave your fvaorite vacation songs in the comments below. Thanks for stopping by!

Edited 6/19/2014 - added Blondie's "In the Sun" - a perfect fit!


  1. I'm so thrilled I visited today. I needed some music for my Friday afternoon. :)

    1. Yay! Estelle....so glad you stopped by. I just wish we could jump on a plane and quickly get to these destinations, although living in Northern Cali I can't complain, I see palm trees and sunshine every day. :) Hope you have a great, sun-shiny weekend.