Florida

Melbourne Beach: A Space Coast Gem

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.

Kicking Back on Anna Maria Island

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.

St. Petersburg’s Chihuly Collection Sparkles

One of the most spectacular arts destinations in St. Petersburg, Florida, is the Chihuly Collection presented by the Morean Arts Center. Located on vibrant Beach Drive, the Collection is a stunning permanent exhibit of the works of iconic glass artist […]

St. Petersburg’s Renaissance

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 […]

Bedazzled by Bern’s

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 […]

Laid-back Luxury at Don CeSar

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 […]

Crystal River: Home to Manatee Swimming Hole

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.

Festive Ft. Lauderdale

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.

Marvelous Marco Island

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 […]

Stepping Back in Time at the Rod & Gun Club-Everglades City, FL

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 […]

Port St. Joe: Small Town Gulf Charm

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 […]

Taking a Dive in Tarpon Springs

They searched the sea for treasure. But the treasure wasn’t gold or jewels. When divers from the Aegean Sea turned up in Tarpon Springs, Florida in the 1890s they came to harvest the rich sponge beds in the Gulf of […]

Book Review: The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World Planner

Okay, I have to admit, I was a little skeptical when I received a copy of this book to review.  I mean, how many books can possibly be written about the Mouse’s Kingdom?  A quick search on BarnesandNoble.com shows 989 […]

Sandestin’s Wine Festival Uncorks Spring

Northwest Florida’s  Emerald Coast, home to Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, is also home to a five-star spring wine event which has become known as the Kentucky Derby of wine festivals. They don’t have horses. However, the Sandestin Wine Festival […]

A Florida Beach Town with Character, Rosemary Beach, Florida

Nestled between Panama City Beach and Destin, Rosemary Beach has its own character and flair that sets it apart from other Panhandle beach cities.  Established in 1995 as a new urbanism town, it was designed to offer a sense of […]

Grayton Beach-Natural Florida

At the very end of County Road 283 lies a slice of the Florida Panhandle where time seems to have stood still since the 1950s. This is Grayton Beach, where streets are made of crushed shell, locals drive on the […]

Deer Lake State Park Near Rosemary Beach, Florida

The Northwest coast of Florida is best known for its white sand beaches and Spring Break party destinations. But just off of Highway 30A lies a rare coastal dune lake. Coastal sand dunes themselves are somewhat of a rarity but […]

Dining in Rosemary Beach, Florida

For such a small community, Rosemary Beach, Florida has some of the best restaurants in the area. From casual to four star restaurants there’s something for everyone. Sure, the beach condo rental has a kitchen and someone could cook, but […]

Shopping in Rosemary Beach, Florida

Nestled between Panama City Beach and Destin, this Florida beach town has its own character and flair. There are no big box or chain retailers in this Florida seaside community. Cute and quaint and locally owned, these shops offer something […]

Daytona Beach, Florida… Without the Beach

Daytona, Beach—This spring break mecca and birthplace of car racing has more going for it than its 23 miles of sandy white beaches.  From the tried and true activities like fine dining, museums and deluxe spas to the distinctly Florida […]