As the largest barrier island in the Golden Isles, St. Simons Island lies across from the immortalized Marshes of Glynn, made famous by Sidney Lanier’s poem of the same name. Punctuated by small islands known as hammocks, the pristine stretches of marshland create the appearance of a continuous stretch of land reaching out to the barrier islands. Eugenia Price, one of the South’s most popular authors of antebellum romantic fiction, often spoke of the “special light” on St. Simons. Turning a beautiful golden color in the fall, the expansive marsh grasses are especially dramatic when lit by the setting sun.
It is one of America’s magical roadways. A north/south route, Highway A1A sprawls out in sections along Florida’s entire Atlantic coast. Cruising along A1A in Central Florida we pulled into the towns of Melbourne Beach and Indiatlantic located on the barrier island between the Indian River and the Atlantic Ocean. Relaxed and unhurried, the twin sister towns offer unspoiled beaches with sparkling blue-green waters and large dunes blanketed with sea oats and native wildflowers.
Tucked along the teal-colored Gulf of Mexico, Anna Maria Island sits on a tiny spindle of land at the mouth of Tampa Bay. There is no grand dame hotel, no sprawling wildlife preserve, no historic waterfront. The island is dominated by palm trees and low-slung Crayola-colored beach cottages and scores of renovated old-timey motels.
Talk about an extreme makeover. Once taunted for its green benches, bingo nights and sluggish snowbirds, today St. Petersburg, Fla. is a textbook case for urban reinvention. Sitting midway up the west coast of the Sunshine State, St. Pete is […]
It’s a rococo temple of red meat and red wine. Come hungry. Located in the So-Ho section of Tampa, Bern’s has been an iconic dining destination since 1956. A second generation family-run steakhouse, it’s celebrated for its eight ornate dining […]
When Thomas Rowe unveiled plans for his masterpiece in 1926, it was considered an architectural marvel. A flamingo-pink grand hotel with Moorish bell towers and turrets, it boasted Mediterranean styled arches, red clay tiled roofs, balconies, private baths, penthouse suites […]
They are gentle giants. Known for whiskery faces and large, seal-like bodies that taper down to powerful flat tails, Florida’s largest herd of endangered manatees makes their annual migration to the Crystal River in November. The good-natured mammals can survive comfortably during the winter months in the natural warm springs that originate here and flow into the Gulf of Mexico.
With 300 miles of navigable sparkling waterways that snake through the town, Fort Lauderdale is celebrated as the “Venice of America.” The stunning destination has more registered mega yachts (42,000) than any place on earth. It also boasts more than 100 marinas and boatyards as well as 165 miles of those scenic canals.
Paddling through a maze of tiny islands and mangrove-lined estuaries, kayakers might spy bottle nosed dolphins, manatees, sea otters, brown and white pelicans. Herons, ospreys, bald eagles, egrets and roseate spoonbills roost in a sub-tropic paradise where spiky air plants […]
Royal palms and tin rooftops vie for the town’s tallest point. Fishing rods poke from open windows of cottages and dusty pickups, an outward reminder of the area’s livelihood. At dockside, skiffs and canoes head out while charter captains and […]
It was the site of the drafting of the first Florida constitution in 1839. Located on the shores of St. Joseph Bay in the Florida panhandle, St. Joseph’s was the most populated city in the territory of Florida in its […]
They ain’t whistling Dixie so much anymore. Long revered as the heart of the Old Confederacy, Richmond stubbornly has earned its reputation as being mired in the past. No more. Today, it’s a robust destination, one of the cultural pillars […]
George Washington may be the father of our country, but surely Thomas Jefferson was the smartest guy in the room. Travel to Charlottesville, Virginia and you will see why. Tucked into the foothills of Blue Ridge Mountains, Charlottesville is best […]
On the Outer Banks, things are wont to disappear. Ships go down, whether due to nature or human design. People often go poof! Around 1590, Sir Walter Raleigh’s entire colony on Roanoke Island– 120 men, women and children– all went […]
It is the winter home of the only natural colony of the endangered whooping cranes in the world. A most elegant creature, they land among wind-bent trees that dot the sand-dune covered beaches of Rockport and Fulton, Texas. The largest […]