Archive for the ‘Central West Florida’ Category

Tampa Bay Blues Festival Apirl 2013

Monday, April 1st, 2013

this rhythm them blues tattooThe Tampa Bay Blues Festival is one of the best blues festivals happening at Vinoy Waterfront Park on the shores of Tampa Bay in St. Petersburg, Florida on April 12, 13, & 14, 2013.  The Blues Festival is an ideal setting to enjoy Florida’s sunshine and warm spring weather.  With mild temperatures and nice weather year-round, St. Petersburg, Florida is one of the best areas for festivals of all types.  The Tampa Bay Blues Festival prides itself on providing the very best in blues entertainment, in an ideal tropical setting. Proceeds from the event benefit our charity partner, Pinellas Association for Retarded Children.

Since 1995, the Tampa Bay Blues Festival has been staged at scenic Vinoy Waterfront Park , with acres of plush grass and palm trees. Vinoy Park is the perfect tropical setting for one of the world’s greatest blues music festivals.

The line up for Friday, April 12, 2013 is Dave Fields, Lucky Peterson, JANIVA MAGNESS, ROD PIAZZA & THE MIGHTY FLYERS, DICKEY BETTS & GREAT SOUTHERN.  On Saturday, April 13, 2013 you can see Marquise Knox, Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater, SUGAR RAY & THE BLUETONES, CURTIS SALGADO, JONNY LANG and celebrate “New Orleans”  on Sunday, April 14, 2013 is A Fabulous Day of New Orleans’ Blues  Rosie Ledet & the Zydeco Playboys, Walter “Wolfman” Washington, ROYAL SOUTHERN BROTHERHOOD FEATURING:

The Tampa Bay Blues Festival has established itself as one of the world’s preeminent blues music events, having presented over 250 of the world’s greatest blues performers. The festival has truly become a destination event, with friends from all over to enjoy Florida’s beautiful weather and this magnificent celebration of music.

Throughout the festival grounds, you can enjoy good food, including seafood, barbeque, Cuban cuisine, and other culinary treats. Festival vendors also include arts & crafts. Premium beer and wine are also available.

In addition to great music and warm weather, you can also enjoy visiting downtown St. Petersburg, with its many restaurants, clubs, and art museums, including the world famous Dali Museum. From St. Petersburg you may also wish to travel 20 minutes to the beaches of St. Petersburg Beach, Treasure Island, and Pass-a-Grille. The area’s Ft. DeSoto Beach offers a large, public park and was recently named one of the world’s finest beaches.

There are several Bed and Breakfast Inns in downtown St. Petersburg to relax and rest your head after a fabulous day of listening to great blues music.  You can choose from the Dickens House Bed and Breakfast or LaVeranda Bed and Breakfast in downtown St. Petersburg, or Sea Breeze Manor in Gulfport, a few minutes away, or The Peninsula Inn & Spa or Park Circle in St. Petersburg.

Bensen Days Annual Fly In 2013

Monday, March 25th, 2013


One of my favorite events to attend in Wauchula, Florida is the Bensen Days Fly In at the Wauchula Municipal Airport. This year it’s Wednesday April 3rd – Saturday April 6th, 2013.  I have come to this Fly In for the past 13 years and have always enjoyed watching the Gyrocopters taking off and landing, as well as, the fun of the competition of turning off the engine and trying to land in a particular spot.  It’s always exciting.  This is a celebration of an aircraft called a gyroplane, sometimes known by the brand name “Gyrocopter.” The gathering is named after a pioneer in home-built gyroplanes, Igor Bensen. Each spring, enthusiasts gather in Florida to fly and reconnect with other pilots from around the country and world in one of the largest gatherings of its kind in the US.

A gyroplane is a propeller driven aircraft, which uses a non-powered rotor for lift instead of a wing. It does not spin or stall like fixed wing aircraft. It stays fully controllable even if the engine quits. It is the most agile and maneuverable of aircraft and lands with little or no roll out.

Bensen Days is one of the oldest and largest gyroplane fly-ins in the world. Each Spring  enthusiasts gather in Wauchula to rekindle their bond with each other and drill holes in the sky in a celebration of aviation unlike any other.

Most participants camp right at the airport, but there is a fine and Bed and Breakfast a short drive away. Food is available at the airport and there is also a variety of restaurants within easy driving distance.

The event officially starts on Wednesday April 3rd and wraps up Saturday the 6th. Visitors are welcome and a day pass is available at the registration tent.

The nearby Quilter’s Inn Bed and Breakfast is the perfect place to relax and enjoy your down time.  The hospitality is wonderful and the beds comfortable.

Wauchula Municipal Airport (CHN)
1202 Maurice Sonny Clavel Road
Wauchula, Florida 33873

Venice Shark Tooth Festival 2013

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Shark Tooth

From April 12 – 14, 2013, fossil collectors from all over come to Venice Florida to celebrate the overabundance of prehistoric sharks teeth found in the “Shark Tooth Capital of the World”, located at the Venice Municipal Airport Festival Grounds on Airport Avenue.  Sharks Teeth are on display as well as other prehistoric fossils.  Millions of black and white sharks teeth fossils wash up on Venice Beach every year.  Not only sharks teeth are on display, but you will find over 100 arts and craft displays, delicious food, and live entertainment.  Bring the entire family to the Venice Shark Tooth Festival so the children can participate in the Sharks Tooth Scramble or be amazed at the Mote Marine hands on exhibit.  This carnival like atmosphere is the perfect way to spend a beautiful spring weekend.  There is also a 10K Run on April 13th that benefits Athletes of Special Olympics of Sarasota County.  The Sharks Tooth Festival is a project of Special Athlete Boosters, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency.  All proceeds of the festival benefit Special Olympics of Sarasota County.


Horse and Chaise Bed and Breakfast Inn
Venice, Florida

Consider the Horse and Chaise Bed and Breakfast in Venice as a base for exploring the Sharks Tooth and Seafood Festival.  With plenty to keep you busy in the surrounding area, such as specialty shops and antique shops only minutes away, staying in one of nine historically themed rooms will provide you with true comfort and relaxation.  You can shake off the stress of your hectic life, enjoy a full course breakfast and walk along the beach to experience Venice as it was meant to be seen.

While in town, you may also want to visit Historic Spanish Point, an archeological, historical, and environmental museum on 30-acres in neighboring Osprey, Florida. The only exhibition enclosed within a prehistoric shell mound in the world is found there.

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.

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