John Denham House Monticello Florida 2013

August 12th, 2013
1872 John Denham House

1872 John Denham House

The 1872 John Denham House in Monticello, Florida is True Southern Hospitality and Luxury as seen on Anderson Cooper and USA Today.   If you want to travel back in time and still benefit from the comfort of modern times you will love the John Denham House.  Nestled in the beautiful surroundings of old trees, Spanish moss and well manicured bushes, the John Denham House looks like a movie set for “Gone With the Wind”.   This authentically restored 1872 National Historic Register house gives the guest a real step back in time. The paint colors have been recreated to duplicate the original. And yes most of the 140 year old door knobs are not perfect but do work. The rooms all have antiques dating back to that period.  Check out the Ghost History on this house.

From the minute Pat Inman welcomes you to her beautiful home until you depart after yet another scrumptious “Old South” breakfast, you’re going to be a glad you came.  King beds with fine linens and all the amenities you could want. It is a great experience. You can spend a restful night in a comfortable bed in a spacious room with tall ceiling, fireplace and a private bathroom.  In the morning Pat serves the most delicious breakfast featuring a mixed fruit salad with tupelo honey, farm-fresh eggs and nutty waffles or wonderful fresh strawberries and bananas with light whipped cream, scrambled eggs, smoked ham, stuffed french toast, to give you an idea  You will wish you had an extra day or two to fully enjoy the calm and the beauty of the place.  One of the bathrooms was created out of one of the original trunk rooms with the hat box area. It has the original hooks and shelf space which makes it very charming.  The fixtures have been added to not take away from the original house.  You will be greeted like an old friend.  Pat can provide a bottle of champagne, a dozen roses and some Belgian chocolates, with lit candles in the fireplace to set yourself up for a romantic evening.   You can even venture up into the cupola to see if you will experience any ghostly encounters – you may even feel a little chill.

 

Black Dolphin Inn New Smyrna Beach Florida 2013

August 5th, 2013

BlackDolphinIf you love the beach, the water, the heat, the sand, the beach bars, the seafood and stellar hospitality you’ll want to visit the Black Dolphin Inn.   I recently stayed at the Black Dolphin Inn in New Smyrna Beach, Florida.   What a fabulous Inn and perfect location on Riverside Drive overlooking the Indian River waterway.  Every aspect of the Black Dolphin Inn speaks luxury and southern grace.  This newly renovated Inn is eye catching in its Spanish-Colonial style architecture with fresh and tastefully designed modern and contemporary interior, speaking elegance in every way.  Brett and Shelia, along with their son, Taylor are gracious hosts who insure you a delightful stay. You can tell the entire family has a solid background in hospitality and they run the inn with passion and warmth exceeding the expectations of their guests.  Third generation hoteliers and identical twin Brothers Brett & Scott Smith, fell in love with this former riverfront estate.  Overlooking the Indian River on Florida’s east central Atlantic coast, Black Dolphin gets its name from the dolphins that playfully swim by its dock. The 14 guest rooms are skillfully appointed with amazing vintage finds, fine art, eclectic accents, and modern amenities.  Gorgeous views, many with French doors opening to a private balcony that seem like tree houses peeking through gnarled oaks to the Indian River.  The Black Dolphin Inn was recently selected as one of the “Top Ten B & B’s” awarded in 2013 by BedandBreakfast.com.  The Black Dolphin Inn is not just a place to stay, it is a reason to go to New Smyrna Beach. The breakfast is beautifully displayed with locally sourced sustainable foods, which is expanded to include additional dishes such as steel-mill grits and southern home-fried potatoes. In nearby New Smyrna, walking distance from the inn, funky seaside restaurants are abundant as well as beach-side galleries, surf shops, and sprawling beaches. Overnight docking is available at the Black Dolphin for guests with boats. Even without a boat, fishing opportunities are plentiful at nearby Canaveral National Seashore Park.   While standing outside I was greeted by the bottle nose dolphins from the dock.  The Black Dolphin provides a retreat for the mind, body, and soul.

The Dog Days of Summer

July 29th, 2013

Bright EyesSome of the best memories I have took place during the Dogs Days of Summer, while playfully running or spraying the hose with all the kids in the neighborhood because it was so hot.  Catching lightning bugs in mason jars to light up the bedroom later that night, or so we thought.  Who can’t remember playing all, you all, in come free, the slogan of the kids running back to base at a huge oak tree without being tagged.  So what do we adults do during the dog days of summer?  Drink a cold beer or cold wine while sitting in the shade on a lake, beach or pool somewhere, or read a book in a hammock under a beautiful oak shade tree.  We even liked to float down a shaded river in a canoe or kayak, jet skiing on a beautiful lake, riding in a speed boat or water skiing behind a fast boat so the water will spray and cool you off.  Water sports are so much fun and a great way to spend time outdoors during the dog days of summer.  Florida Bed and Breakfast Inns have plenty of Inns around the state that are located on the beach, river or lake and many more have beautiful pools for cooling you off.  The Innkeepers would gladly serve a glass of Iced Tea or Cool Lemonade to help keep hydrated during the heat.

Where did the phrase Dog Days of Summer come from?  A casual survey will usually find that many people believe the phrase is in reference to the conspicuous laziness of domesticated dogs during the hottest days of the summer. When speaking of “Dog Days” there seems to be a connotation of lying or “dogging” around, or being “dog tired” on hot and humid days.  Why not let someone pamper you with a get-a-way during July and August to escape the heat.  During late July, Sirius is in conjunction with the sun, and the ancients believed that its heat added to the heat of the sun, creating a stretch of hot and sultry weather. They named this period of time, from 20 days before the conjunction to 20 days after, “dog days” after the dog star.

All of the Florida Bed and Breakfast Inn lodgings welcome you to spend a pleasant respite from the heat.

Sea Glass Inn Melbourne FL Summer Fun

July 15th, 2013
Sea Glass Inn

Sea Glass Inn

The summer is in full swing at the Sea Glass Inn Bed and Breakfast in Melbourne Beach, Florida and it has been quite exciting. All of the guests have been venturing down to the beach at night and are being rewarded with a record number of turtles nesting and laying their eggs. Many have joined in with the Preservation Society guides and have been treated to an up close view of this amazing part of nature. A few more weeks of nesting then the hatching begins.  Another marvelous sight, is when over 100 eggs hatch and the babies head for the ocean to begin their new life.

The Sea Glass Inn guest have also enjoyed intimate River tours where they have seen dolphins and manatees right next to their boat. Along with many birds such as Osprey, Great Blue Heron, and Ibis to view, this makes for an incredible day on the water.

The 4th of July weekend was spectacular, with a full house of guest who all seemed to become instant friends.  Spending the afternoon around the pool, walking over to the River to watch fireworks over the water, then ended the evening by the pool and fire pit area. The Innkeepers even decided to do happy hour out at the pool and that was a huge success.

Richard and Jeanne Beaudoin thank all their guest, and hope that you will join them in coming months to enjoy the Sea Glass Inn and all it has to offer.

 

 

River Park Inn Summer Fun in Green Cove Springs

July 8th, 2013

River Park Inn Footbridge Spring RunRiver Park Inn Bed and Breakfast located in Green Cove Springs is a wonderful place to visit this summer, especially if you are boating or want to.  29.59 665 N and 081.40 478. These are the coordinates if you are navigating the St. Johns River and find yourself in need of respite. Moor your boat at the Green Cove Springs City Pier and walk into town for dining at one of several local establishments or picnic in the park where you will find restrooms, a free flowing mineral spring, a state of the art playground for the kids and a chemical-free, spring-fed swimming pool.  Within walking distance of the pier you can explore antique and thrift stores, the vintage Clay Theatre, Hollerith’s art gallery, Wild Ginger pottery shop and River Park Inn Bed and Breakfast for overnight accommodations.  Stay in town for the Saturday night Auction at Side by Side and on Sunday afternoon visit the Railroad collection complete with a climb aboard red caboose at the historic museum.  Take advantage of a public cruise on the Annabelle Lee, an authentic paddle wheel boat, that will be available for public and private cruises beginning in July 2013.  You will find her moored at the pier in Spring Park to accommodate guests from the River Park Inn based on availability.  Private cruises for groups and special occasions can be reserved by calling (904) 396-2333.  Simply check “promotions” at www.riverparkinn.com for information on the public cruises as well as other specials.  So create a warm memory in “Old Florida” and visit Green Cove Springs for a less complicated respite on the west bank of the St. Johns River a little south of Jacksonville.  As one of our guests recently commented… “How could you NOT have something to do when you are this close to that beautiful river”.River Park Riverfront Gazebo

Summer Fun Maitland Florida 2013

July 1st, 2013
Thurston House Bed and Breakfast

Thurston House Bed and Breakfast

A day in Maitland, Florida, located in Orange County, and just east of Orlando.  The best way to start any day in Maitland is to wake up in your comfortable guest room at Thurston House. Get dressed, grab a cup of coffee in the dining room and head to a rocker on the wraparound porch. The birds will entertain you while the sun comes up over Lake Eulalia. Enjoy your fabulous full breakfast, then head out to explore. Arrive right at 10am at the Audubon Birds of Prey Center and you’ll be there to see them bringing the resident birds out for their daily tethering. The guides will fill you in on the history of each of their charges and how they came to live at the center. After that, stroll around the rest of the facility, enjoying the variety of birds of prey in their huge cages.

Go left out of the center and wind along Lake Sybelia for a few minutes to arrive at your next stop, The Maitland Art Center founded as an art colony in 1937 by Andre Smith. It is one of 5 museums located within a mile of each other. Enjoy the small art gallery, shop the museum store for one of a kind gifts, stroll around the gardens and grounds, peek in at the artists in residence honing their crafts, and be amazed at the beautiful outdoor chapel with its Mayan courtyard area.

Your next stop is just next door, the Maitland Historical Museum. It houses permanent and changing exhibits related to Maitland’s history from its founding to the present day. Don’t miss the Telephone Museum, housed in back of the history museum. Their exhibits detail telephone technology through the years.

The last stop would be at Lake Lily Park, the Waterhouse Residence Museum (circa 1884) along with the Carpentry Shop (circa 1883) Museum. The Waterhouse Residence was the home of pioneer settler and builder William H. Waterhouse and his family. It has been beautifully restored to reflect the way of life enjoyed by a middle class family during the late Victorian period. The carpentry shop was the site of Mr. Waterhouse’s woodworking and construction business.

This route you can easily walk, as well as, drive, depending on your abilities. If you get hungry, enjoy food at several local establishments along the way, including Athena Chicken, Antonio’s Café, or So Napa Grille.

And this is just a small amount of what there is to do within 10 minutes from Thurston House Bed & Breakfast in Maitland!  Carole M. Ballard, innkeeper of  Thurston House in beautiful Maitland invites you to come visit.

Celebrating 20 years of innkeeping – WOW!

Summer Fun Gainesville Florida 2013

June 24th, 2013
Magnolia Plantation Bed and Breakfast

Magnolia Plantation Bed and Breakfast

Why not visit Gainesville, Florida  this summer!  A simple phrase that produces a world of possibilities. There’s something here for everyone and it would take days to experience all of the treasures that this city offers. If you only have one day though, here are some of the things that attract people from all walks of life.

Summer in Florida doesn’t play around, so cool off (literally) at the natural springs, Poe, Ginnie and Blue Springs. Just a short drive from Gainesville near the historic town of High Springs, you will find a place tucked into a world away, where children, parents, and those of all ages can cool off, relax and refresh. The Poe Springs Park is more than just water exploratory though. It boasts a playground, picnicking, volleyball courts, softball/kickball/soccer field, and nature trails. The park also allows fishing, canoeing, kayaking, tubing, and swimming.

Head just a couple miles south of the city center and you will find a vast expanse of land that has enchanted visitors to Florida since Ponce de Leon. The Paynes Prairie Preserve is home to hundreds of species of birds alone. In addition, there are bison, horses that descend from the original companions of the Spanish Conquistadors and perhaps most interestingly, alligators in their natural habitat. One walk along the Alachua Trail thru the preserve can yield all of these and more.

If you prefer to stay within the city limits, the choices are endless. Downtown alone offers an artistic vibe that brings something new around every corner. The plaza sets the tone for the area, with a stage that sees free concerts and movies, and extends into the art studios and restaurants that are fun both day and night. The Hippodrome Theatre is located in the heart of downtown, exhibiting all of the history and charm of the area. With two shows each day, there’s surely a playbill that fits your taste. Walk a few blocks more and you will find yourself beneath the Spanish Moss entrance of the University of Florida campus. The sports fan will enjoy the open access of the venues that is allowed to fans. Strike the Heisman post in front of the schools 3 winners, take a walk around “The Swamp” and hear the echo inside the O-Dome, all home to the National Championship winning Gators.

The Magnolia Plantation Bed and Breakfast is the perfect place to begin and end your day of exploring Gainesville.  You’ll find friendly innkeepers, relaxing surroundings and a great atmosphere. The Magnolia Plantation Bed and Breakfast Inn is a completely restored 1885 French Second Empire Victorian Mansion,  located 3 blocks from Gainesville’s Downtown Historic Entertainment District.

Summer Fun West Palm Beach FL 2013

June 17th, 2013

Royal Park Bridge at SunsetOne of the best kept secrets of Florida is the Palm Beach Breeze in the Summer months. Palm Beach is the Eastern most point on the Florida peninsula jetting out into the Atlantic Gulf Stream and enjoys a cooling, soft ocean breeze which keeps summer temperatures relatively moderate. Everything that locals and visitors do for fun in the Summer is on or near the ocean, such as boating, golfing or just relaxing at the beach. Another great advantage to visiting Palm Beach in the Summer is that all of the Bed and Breakfast Inns  are offering big discounts, so visitors can experience the area’s famous luxurious lifestyle at an affordable price.  Special Bed and Breakfast packages can be found at Florida-Inns.com for Florida Bed and Breakfast Inns.  Although the Summer months are generally less hectic than the high season of Winter and Spring, there are plenty of family oriented and cultural events taking place that make the Palm Beach area one of the best inside tips for visitors to Florida in the Summer.

For the 4th of July, the West Palm Beach Waterfront will be hosting the annual 4th of Flagler Festival, complete with live entertainment, food offerings and a fantastic fireworks show over the Lake Worth Lagoon.  For classical music lovers, the annual Palm Beach Chamber Music Festival takes place over 4 weekends in July at multiple locations around the county.    For foodies, September is a great time to visit during Flavor Palm Beach.  In this month long restaurant festival, participants experience extraordinary 3 course menus at extremely reduced prices in many of Palm Beach’s best restaurants. Three-course lunches are $20 and dinners for $30 to $35 per person!

Inside Tip for Summer:  Spend a day at Riverbend Park on the Loxahatchee River – the first nationally recognized Wild and Scenic River in Florida.  Paddle your own canoe or kayak down a cypress lined waterway, past herons, egrets, turtles, alligators, deer and exotic birds with jungle and swamp on both sides. Without a doubt, one of the most thrilling, natural adventures in Florida!  www.canoeoutfittersofflorida.com .

The best places to stay include Grandview Gardens, Casa Grandview, Palm Beach Hibiscus and Palm Beach Historic.

Windemere Inn by the Sea Melbourne Beach Florida

June 6th, 2013

Another lost turtleSummer is here, the kids are out of school and there are exciting offers at the Windemere Inn by the Sea, located in beautiful Indialantic, Florida on the Atlantic Ocean.  Situated on a private beach, enjoy, relax and let the sound of the ocean make your stress vanish!  Discounts include Eco Trek Tours, golf packages and 3 discounted rooms from Sunday through Thursday with a 2 night or more minimum.

30% OFF YOUR CHOICE OF 3 ROOMS!  For June and July, the South Beach, Forever Spring or the Enchantment at 30% off with a 2 night or more minimum stay, double occupancy, Sunday – Thursday.

SPECIALS!  Turtle nests in the dunes! – Sea turtle nesting is VERY active! Guests have enjoyed naturalist guided turtle walks (reservations required) and have simply sat on the Beach-side Pergola enjoying the moon light and watching the turtles nesting on the beach and dunes! http://www.seaturtlespacecoast.org/activities/turtle-walks.html

The Arnold Palmer designed Spessard Holland Golf Course is offering our guests a 15% discount for 18 holes of golf with a cart when we make your tee time.  Sunday – Thursday, The Windemere Inn by the Sea, is combining this with 15% off of our regular room rates. Enjoy The Windemere Inn by the Sea’s private beach and a beautifully designed golf course

3 FLORIDA ECO TOURS AT A 20% DISCOUNT
These 3 adventures, ranging from 2 ½ – 4 ½ hrs, take young and old through trails, small creeks, the St. John’s River, marshes, forests, lakes, lagoons and more. Everything is provided for adventurers to Hike, Bike and Kayak in a very large Canoe to explore treks that range from the easy, to the long and physically demanding. The tours end at Ichabod’s Dockside Bar and Grill with a 10% discount off your food/drink bill by showing them the Windemere Inn by the sea business card. The maximum amount the tour guide can take is 6 people with 48 hours notice and a full non refundable deposit taken at the time of booking. Come explore Indialantic and Melbourne Beach – we have it all.

Florida Bed and Breakfast Inns are the perfect way to spend your summer time.

Father’s Day Fun 2013

May 29th, 2013

Father and son surf lesson in Morro Bay, CA 12 of 12Father’s Day is fast approaching, so now is the time to think about what Dad would like to do on Father’s Day.  I would say number one would be hang around the family.  Some mom’s would say that everyday is Father’s Day, but we know that is said in jest.  Why not take your Dad on a short get a way weekend were you can hang out at the beach or fish along the shoreline.  Some Dads just love to relax, enjoy the pleasure of being outdoors and watch the kids play.  Boating is always popular in Florida with water skiing, jet skiing or a canoe ride down the river. There are so many Florida Bed and Breakfast Inns to make your choice whether you want to experience the beach, the country atmosphere, a quaint downtown or a large city.  The Florida Bed and Breakfast Inns Association offers you all of the above to choose from.  Why not purchase a Florida Bed and Breakfast Inn Gift Certificate that can be used anytime throughout the year as a special gift to Dad.  Don’t forget, Dad needs to be pampered too!

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