Archive for the ‘Central West Florida’ Category

Country Wedding at Solomon’s Castle 2013

Monday, March 11th, 2013

Brides Room and Bride, Julie Poucher

When you think of a setting for a perfect country wedding, Solomon’s Castle is a must see.  There are many spots to host a wedding at the Castle, but I wanted to showcase a true country wedding under the oaks.  These photos show what happens when 200 guests participate in the Wedding under the Oaks and Reception in the Chocolate House. When Alane Solomon was planning this wedding for Julie Poucher and Clay Taylor, she agreed to build a special cupcake tree just for them.  Like famous Artist father Howard Solomon, Alane Solomon has the skills and talent to pull off the impossible.  Many little girls have fantasies of getting married at a Castle and Solomon’s Castle is the place for getting married in front of various setting at the Castle or in the woods under the oaks.  Also on the property is a “light house” that is a perfect location for the Rehearsal Dinner.  The beautiful Bride, in the Brides Room, in the Chocolate House can see out into this enchanting setting.  The perfect wedding day being a Queen for the day.

Pioneer Park Days Zolfo Springs, Florida, February 27 – March 3, 2013

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

Pioneer Park Days

Take a stroll down memory lane at the 43rd Annual Pioneer Park Days being held from February 27 through March 3, 2013 in Zolfo Springs, Florida.  This grand event is one of the largest and the oldest antique tractor, steam engine and farm equipment show in the southeast with over 400 exhibitors.

The Florida Frontiersmen will be conducting daily demonstrations on pioneer living.  You will see basket weaving, pioneer toys, pioneer cooking methods, how to make and play, a native American flute and other 1800’s activities.   The flea market alone offers over 491 booths that sell items from old tools, new tools, quilts, arts, crafts, glassware and much, much more.  I’ve attended Pioneer Park Days for over 22 years and have always been amazed at what you can find.  Each year I look forward to getting corn ground into cornmeal at the consistency I like to bake with.  Every day at 2:00 pm there is an antique tractor parade around the perimeter of the park and is so much fun to watch.  The entertainment in the Nickerson/Ullrich building includes clogging, bluegrass music, country music and family fun entertainment.  This is one of those events that take more than one day to see it all.  Especially delightful is all the food.  Experiment with eating alligator, strawberry shortcake, swamp cabbage and other delicious foods prepared at the event.  While at Pioneer Park you could also visit the Zoo or the Cracker Trail Museum.  You’ll know you have found Pioneer Park when you see the 1914 Baldwin Locomotive Engine #3 (also known as the Loping Gopher) located at the intersection of SR 64 and Highway 17 in Zolfo Springs, Florida right on the Florida Cracker Trail between Bradenton and Sebring, Florida.

The Quilter’s Inn Bed and Breakfast, Wauchula, Florida

The City of Wauchula is very nearby Zolfo Springs and is the ideal location to find accommodations at The Quilter’s Inn Bed and Breakfast, perfectly located at the corner of E. Main Street and Highway 17 North.  Staying at The Quilter’s Inn affords you the perfect location on Main Street for walking to restaurants and enjoying the feel of a 1923 Craftsman Style House with a wonderful veranda where you can relax in the hammock after a long day at Pioneer Park.




St. Petersburg, Fl

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

La Veranda Bed and Breakfast

The Florida Bed and Breakfast Inns of St. Petersburg, FL are in the perfect location to enjoy all St. Petersburg has to offer.  St. Petersburg, Florida  is known for its warm breezes that blow off of Tampa Bay, along with its beautiful beaches.  Visitors will enjoy visiting the Salvador Dali Museum with the art of Dali and Chihuly.  Fort De Sota Park is absolutely the best place to spend the day on the water.  St. Petersburg boasts an art walk that features approximately 25 galleries.  You can explore history, science and lots of culture in this museum mecca of Florida.  If you are into biking, the Pinellas Trail is 34 paved miles of biking fun.  There are many different kinds of water sports available from jet skiing, snorkeling, stand up paddling, fishing and more.  For you music lovers, you will love Vinoy Park where the Sunshine Blues Festival will be held on January 20, 2013.   I’d love to hear about what adventure captured your attention in St. Petersburg, FL.

Best BnB’s to stay are Dickens House BnB and La Veranda BnB in Downtown St. Petersburg,  Park Circle BnB across from the Gulf Beaches and in nearby Gulf Port, Sea Breeze Manor and The Peninsula Inn & Spa.

Myth Busters

Friday, December 7th, 2012

Myth Buster about Bed and Breakfast Inns
B&Bs are expensive. FALSE.
As with any other lodging category, there is a range among Bed and Breakfast rates. Many innkeepers pride themselves on offering personal service and a good value for the price. When comparison shopping, don’t forget to factor in that breakfast is always included. There’s an entire section of our web site devoted to specials and packages to sweeten the deal.

Holiday Shopping in Sarasota

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

With Christmas just around the corner, it’s time to get shopping! Why not get started a little early this year and make it fun? Take a mother-daughter trip and stay in one of our lovely bed and breakfasts in Central Florida for a couple days of shopping! It will be an experience you and she can remember fondly.

Women’s Style Clinic – Designing Women Boutique (1226 N. Tamiami Trail at 13th St., Sarasota) Nov. 27-29, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Pearls, silks, accessories, & holiday gifts from the Far East.

Book Signing & Reception for Charles Rowan Beye – Book Store 1 (1359 Main St., Sarasota) Nov. 27, 7 p.m.
The book, My Husband and My Wives: A Gay Man’s Odyssey, is Beye’s circuitous story of finding himself. Despite his attraction to men, Beye married women, twice –and found himself a father of 4 and a grandfather of 6. Now married to the man who had been his long-term companion, he writes of his journey from pariah to patriarch with eloquence.

Designing Daughters Evening Runway Show – Designing Women Boutique (1226 N. Tamiami Trail at 13th St., Sarasota) Nov. 29, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. $35 in advance.central-florida-holiday-events is partnering with Designing Daughters to put on a vibrant fashion show, exhibiting international trends. will bring fashions to central Florida this year direct from international runways.
The Liquor Locker and State Street Eating House will underwrite the cocktail party that immediately precedes the show, so expect the best in cocktails, inspired hors d’oeuvres, and company.

20th Annual Sarasota Craft Show – Robarts Arena. November 30-December 2
The event features outstanding works in ceramics, decorative fiber, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, mixed-media, paper, wearable art, wood, painting, photography and sculpture by more than 125 of the nation’s top craft artists. All parking is free. For information about the venue, please call 941-355-9161.

We hope that some of these events appeal to you – take your holiday shopping out of the box stores and malls; find something unique, hand-crafted or original. It will mean more.

Central Florida Attractions: The Heartland Maze

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Located on Highway 17 near Bowling Green, the Heartland Maze is a great way for families and the young at heart to celebrate fall!

Open from October 12 through November 17 on Fridays (5 p.m. – 10 p.m.), Saturdays (10 a.m. – 10 p.m.) and Sundays (1:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.). Open during the week for groups and field trips by appointment only.

The 5-acre maze, carved out of towering sorghum stalks, is a unique experience that harkens back to mazes on the great estates and gardens of the European aristocracy. It is sure to please and provide and afternoon of healthy and safe fun.

The Heartland Maze Attractions

  • 5 acre maze
  • Cow train
  • Hayride
  • Air Cannon
  • Play Area (free!)
  • Pumpkins
  • Pony rides
  • Midnight Maze – bring a flashlight!
  • Live music (in Nov.)
  • Food vendors


    The design of the 2012 Heartland maze, which is actually is a field of sorghum, not corn.

Heartland Maze Admission Prices

There are a variety of options when it comes to purchasing tickets at the Heartland Maze. The most affordable is “Visitin'” which simply gets you into the event, at $5. This is probably what most parents buy so they can sit and relax while the kids explore the maze and other attractions. The most expensive is “Lovin’ and Screamin’” at $25, which allows the attendee unlimited access to the attractions, including one pony ride.

Event Schedule

The Heartland Maze has several different bonus activities planned for their 2012 season. Here are some of the highlights:

Haunted House! On October 19, 20, 26 & 27 only, the Heartland Maze will host a spooky haunted house for Halloween! Tickets are $6 and must be purchased separately.

4H Discount Day! Saturday, Oct. 20

Costume Parade and Trick-or-Treat! Saturday October 27

A-Maze-ing Grace Gospel Fest! Saturday Nov. 3, all day. Fundraiser for Send Me Missions and the Hardee Homeless Coalition.

Planning a Trip to Central Florida?

If so, we hope you will take a moment to look at our central Florida bed and breakfasts. They represent some of the best Florida bed and breakfasts in the region!



October 18-21, 2012 Clearwater Jazz Holiday Festival near Tampa, FL

Sunday, September 16th, 2012
Sax and guitar

Come to the 2012 Clearwater Jazz Holiday Festival to hear some of the greatest jazz musician alive today!

Some of the greatest living jazz musicians have performed at this major international jazz festival held every fall just west of Tampa. Jazz legends such as Buddy Rich, Dizzy Gillespie, Dave Brubeck and the Count Basie Orchestra are just a few of the renown acts that have come to the Jazz Holiday in Clearwater, FL. This annual celebration of jazz continues with the 33rd annual Clearwater Jazz Holiday. Jazz lovers from all over flock to Coachman Park, 301 Drew Street in Clearwater, Florida. There, they set up their lawn chairs, picnic baskets and blankets on the lawn around Charles Wharton Johnson Pavilion to experience great music along blue coastal waters. Gorgeous sunsets and the best in jazz make an unbeatable combination!

Highlights of the Jazz Holiday Festival 2012 include Bonnie Raitt and Maia Sharp on Thursday, October 18. Common Ground will have a reunion and Mindi Abair & Friends will perform on Friday. Justin Bieber and Grammy-winning bassist Esperanza Spalding will play Saturday and the Avett Brothers will be on Sunday. These are just a few of the musicians featured over the course of the Clearwater jazz festival. To see the full schedule of performers and to purchase tickets online, visit

Children 12 and under are free if accompanied by an adult. Four-day, weekend and daily tickets are available. The 2012 Jazz Holiday also offers a great “VIP Experience.” VIPs enjoy reserved seating on specific days and access to the VIP Experience area with complimentary buffet, refreshments and cash bar.

Book your Central West Florida B&B in time to have the best Florida accommodations for the 2012 Jazz Holiday Fest near Tampa! Click here to find your Florida inn near Clearwater.

Sarasota After Dark

Thursday, May 10th, 2012
Sarasota Florida

Discover all there is to do in Sarasota after dark

No matter how you spend the daylight hours in Sarasota–kayaking around Sarasota Bay, stretched out on one of the white sandy beaches, or perusing the numerous shops and art galleries–you’ll want to stay up to discover Sarasota after dark.

The Banyan Theater Company is a delightful summer theater. This summer, guests of Sarasota Bed and Breakfasts can watch A Lesson from Aloes, by Athol Fugard, The Piano Teacher, by Julia Cho, and Crimes of the Heart, by Beth Henley.

The Players Theatre puts on a Summer Sizzler Series that is sure to pique your interest. In 2012, the series includes Taffetas, Terra Nova, Lettice and Loveage, and Stay.

The Jazz Club of Sarasota sponsors events throughout the year. Their Jazz on the Water series with LeBarge Tropical Cruises is particularly fun.

Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall brings amazing performers from all over the world to Sarasota. See the Philadelphia Orchestra on June 1 or a fantastical performance by Momix on June 30.

Spend some time at a Sarasota Bed and Breakfast this summer, and discover all the city has to offer after dark.

Florida Botanical Gardens and Heritage Village

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Spend a day at the Florida Botanical Gardens and Heritage Village during your next Central West Florida Bed and Breakfast vacation.

Dusk at the Florida Botanical Gardens

Spend a day at the Florida Botanical Gardens.

Both the Botanical Gardens and Heritage Village are free and open daily. The gardens include 30 acres of cultivated gardens and 90 acres of natural areas. Visitors relax in a beautiful setting, admire wildlife, and learn about native flora and fauna.

The Heritage Village brings the history of Pinellas County to life. Some 30 historic structures, including a school, church, and sponge warehouse, are located on the 21-acre living history museum. People of all ages find the Heritage Village informative and fun.

The Florida Botanical Gardens and Heritage Village are located in Largo, about 30 minutes north of St Petersburg, Florida. Additional information may be found at the Florida Botanical Gardens.

Interesting, Eclectic, Gulfport

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012
Keep Gulfport Weird

One of many quirky shops in Gulfport.

Quirky Gulfport is just ten minutes from the heart of St. Petersburg, Florida. It’s a small, eclectic community with a big personality. If you like discovering small towns as well as big cities, consider spending some time in a Gulfport, Florida Bed and Breakfast.

Gulfport is a suburb of St. Petersburg, and as such, it is close to such attractions as the Salvador Dali Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts. Yet it is possible to see fantastic art without leaving Gulfport. Art Walks, showcasing the works of local and regional artists, take place the first Friday and third Saturday of each month, from 6 to 10 p.m. During these events, the Art District of Beach and Shore Boulevards is transformed into a vast outdoor market with stalls, art demonstrations, and live music. (more…)

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