Florida

See Red at Seaside!

November 7—10 brings the 29th annual Seeing Red Wine Festival to Seaside, Florida—the thriving beachfront village familiar as the setting of The Truman Show. This year the emphasis is on a boutique-style festival planned to allow plenty of interaction between visitors and winemakers. Events Director Kevin Boyle says “we wanted to bring the focus back […]

Port D’Hiver, a local treasure of Melbourne Beach

With the help of local Melbourne Beach artisans and tradesmen, the couple spent the next few years returning the residence as closely as possible to Walter Brown’s 1920’s home. Port d’Hiver (Port of Winter) officially opened in 2007.

A retreat that is both comfortable and elegant, the B&B offers ten bright, spacious accommodations each uniquely decorated with a tropical Key West/British Colonial flair. The Sunrise room in the north cabana offers fabulous ocean views and a mahogany four poster bed along with a private balcony for cocktails or just relaxing with a good book. Handcrafted Peter Reed British linens made from the finest Egyptian cotton percale add to the luxurious experience.

Pensacola’s Lighthouse—View from the Top

Looming over the historic city of Pensacola, Florida, the 150-foot Pensacola Lighthouse and its adjacent Museum offers a view into Pensacola’s past which has been known to turn spooky.

Cape Canaveral Offers Strange Mix of Space Exploration and Natural Beauty

Elon Musk brings new meaning to the word irrepressible. In early February the CEO and founder of SpaceX traveled from his Hawthorne, Cailf. headquarters to Cape Canaveral, Fla. to wittness the debut of his three-core Falcon Heavy rocket.  The most powerful rocket ever to leave earth was launched into bright blue skies, the biggest, brightest launch from the Kennedy […]

Spotting the Rarest Whale on Earth

Each year from December through March a remarkable event takes place. North Atlantic right whales migrate to the warm, calm coastal waters of the southeast Atlantic coast to give birth and nurse their calves. Then in the spring they head back north to feeding grounds in the Bay of Fundy between Maine, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.

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 Dale Chihuly. Just outside the building, a 21-foot-tall tower of transparent rose-colored crystals hints at […]

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 powered by its gorgeous waterfront, the stunning Dali Museum, and a stream of trendy dining […]

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 rooms that serve up a gastronomic adventure that stamps Bern’s not as a meal but […]

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 and a ballroom for 1,000 dancers– just steps from the turquoise waters of Gulf of […]

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 and exotic flowers flourish. The Ten Thousand Islands is the coastal area in the Everglades […]

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 guides pick up guests for a day of fishing the flats and backwaters of the […]

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 heyday. It boasted one of the first newspapers in print in the nation, one of […]

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 Mexico.  A bottom-dwelling creature, the sponge attaches itself to something solid in a place where […]

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 results-that’s a lot.  But right away I could see that this book was a little […]

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 has everything else: white tents, live music, fabulous food, ladies in big hats strolling around […]

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 community and neighborhood conveniences.  A lot of planning went into the pedestrian lanes, boardwalks and […]

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 beach to launch their boats, and the unofficial motto is “nice dogs, strange people.” 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 coastal dune lakes are extremely rare. There are only five places in the world where […]

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 no beach vacation is complete without visiting some of the local restaurants. Here is some […]

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 for everyone. Bombora Sun and Surf Shop More boutique than surf shop, this shop tries […]

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 experience of kayaking with manatees, sampling chocolates from Angell and Phelps and attending a drive […]