Posts Tagged ‘St. Johns River’

Florida’s Northeast

Friday, November 29th, 2013

Florida’s Northeast Region

St Augustine Lighthouse Florida Postcard Style PhotoNortheast Florida, known as “Florida’s First Coast,” combines America’s oldest European settlement with one of the nation’s leading modern seaports, with a collection of small up-and-coming towns adding to the local color and natural beauty. Encompassing Atlantic beaches as far south as Flagler County and inland rural communities west to Palatka, the region offers travelers timeless adventures through mysterious 17th-century forts, vast prairie lands and wide beaches lined with sand dunes.

Off the state’s northeastern-most corner, Amelia Island provides a refreshing change of pace. On this small island, families will find blocks of old mansions, miles of beaches and lots of seafood. Fernandina Beach, the island’s only town, showcases more than 50 blocks of restored Victorian neighborhoods, including a collection of grand, sherbet-hued mansions, called the “Silk Stocking District.”

One of the nation’s fastest growing and most modern cities, Jacksonville is situated along the banks of the state’s longest river, the St. Johns River.

To the south lies the oldest, continuously occupied European settlement in the continental United States — St. Augustine. Founded in 1565, 42 years before the English colonized Jamestown, St. Augustine has diligently preserved much of its rich heritage along a 144-block downtown historic district that offers a history lesson with proven kid appeal. Regardless of their age, visitors are bound to feel young again as they stroll narrow brick streets to discover the Oldest House, Oldest Jail, Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse and Oldest Store Museum.

Southwest of St. Augustine, along the banks of the St. Johns River, Putnam County offers quiet, unassuming historic sites which tell the story of Putnam County, including the impact of the Civil War, the advent of steamboat travel along the St. Johns River and the gilded age of the Flagler Railroad.

When traveling to the northeast you will find a Florida Bed and Breakfast Inn nearby.

Orange City Florida

Monday, August 19th, 2013

AllingHouseAllingHouse2

 

“When visiting Orange City, the place for your lodging is the Alling House Bed and Breakfast. This folk-Victorian home has a traditional Bed and Breakfast feel, with three rooms on the second floor decorated in a Victorian style, with private spacious bathrooms. There are also five separate cottages on the property, each decorated in a different theme. Each cottage is equipped with a full kitchen, washer/dryer, cable TV, Internet computer and WIFI. The cottages come in several floor plans, providing a variety of bed sizes and amenities, such as jet tubs, electric fireplaces, canopy beds, aquarium, running model trains, antique tools, and enough to equip you as a regular cowboy. The goal is to provide a full themed experience, not just a place to lay your head.

In addition to being a romantic getaway destination, the property is a great place for families. With plenty of room for kids to run and games to play, it is a place where moms and dads can relax and not worry about the safety of their children. With fire pits for roasting marshmallows, gas grill, and the availability of outside tables and chairs, it is a wonderful family reunion location. There are several city and county parks in the area, as well as miniature golf, arcade and go-cart track just a few blocks away.

When in Orange City, you must drive 2 1/2 miles down French Ave. to Blue Spring State Park, well known for its many manatees during the cooler months and its swimming during the warmer months. Use our bicycles to ride the local paved biking/jogging trails or our kayaks to explore the river or paddle up into Blue Spring. There are also eco-river tours in the area that do a fantastic job of showing you the flora, fauna and wildlife of the St. Johns River. Other parks in the area are Gemini Springs County Park, Hontoon Island State Park and then Deleon Spring State Park, where you can cook your own pancakes at your table within the Old Spanish Sugar Mill. The Orange City/Deland area also boasts of its other river-based activities, such as fishing and boating, as well as its skydiving complex at the Deland Airport.

There are two mansions in the area that are available to tour. One is Debary Hall, the winter home of Frederick Debary, founder of the city of Debary. This interesting home is just 5 miles south of the Alling House and has a regular schedule of tours each day. The other is Stetson Mansion, the exquisite winter mansion of John B. Stetson, the famous hat maker. This mansion is Deland, about 4 miles north of the Alling House and gives private tours by prior arrangement.

For cultured activities, guests can attend plays and concerts at the Athens Theater in Deland, the Shoe String Theater in Lake Helen, and the Peabody Auditorium in Daytona Beach.

If you believe in ghosts, the spiritualist camp of Cassadaga is only about 5 miles away, where guests often go to have readings done, fortunes told, participate in séances, take pictures of strange auras, and investigate the spiritualist movement/philosophy.

The Central Florida Zoo is in Sanford, about a 20 minute drive from Alling House and features a zip line tour and a train ride around the park.

The various beaches in the area are a 30-50 minute drive from Alling House, starting with the popular New Smyrna Beach, 30 minutes, Daytona Beach, 45 minutes, Ponce Inlet Beach, 50 minutes. While in that area you’ll want to visit the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse with its very informative museum buildings and a trip up to the top of the lighthouse where the view is spectacular.

Those interested in antiques and historic housewares will find that there are a number of antique stores, antique malls, used furniture stores, and thrift stores in Orange City and Deland. The Alling House has guests that periodically come from Kissimmee to stay with them while they visit the interesting stores in the area.

The Deland merchants association organizes several festivals in downtown Deland during the year, be it a music festival, art festival, chili cook-off or dog parade. These activities are great fun while exploring the historic small town atmosphere and architecture of this beautiful county seat.

There is a good variety in restaurants to chose from in the area, with a good number of national chain restaurants in Orange City and quite a variety of local restaurants in the Deland area providing their own deliciously, unique cuisine. The owners of Alling House do a good job of providing guidance and information for finding the dining experience you’re looking for.

Whether your looking for a quite, relaxing getaway or days full of activities, you will be sure to find it at Alling House Bed and Breakfast in Orange city.”  Innkeepers, Gerald and Nan Hill will welcome you.

Gerald Hill

Alling House B&B

386-775-7648

River Park Inn Summer Fun in Green Cove Springs

Monday, 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

Annabelle Lee River Cruise New Home at Green Cove Springs City Pier, Janaury 19, 2013

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Annabelle Lee River Board Cruise Paddle Boat

If you love river cruises on an authentic paddle wheeler, come see the Annabelle Lee’s new home at Green Cove Springs City Pier.  Spend the evening on the Annabelle Lee for a sunset cruise on the St. John’s River, a perfect opportunity to enjoy nature and wildlife on the shoreline.  On board is a fully stocked bar, professional Disc Jockey and hors d’oeuvres. There is a special introductory pricing to celebrate her arrival on Saturday January 19th & 26, 2013.   www.jaxrivercruises.com.

River Park Inn Bed and Breakfast

Pat and Dale Garlinghouse invite you to enjoy a stay at the River Park Inn Bed and Breakfast while in Green Cove Springs. With a view of the St. Johns River, you can relax on the porch swing.  From the second story verandah there is a perfect view of small town America while enjoying the gentle river breezes.   This restored 1880’s accommodation is a contributing site on the National Register of Historic Places, tastefully decorated  with collectables and antiques from that era.  Each guest room is uniquely themed enhanced with high ceilings, fireplaces, transoms, original heart pine floors and cypress trim.  Through the arbor covered in jasmine you will find a secret courtyard-garden for your relaxation in any season.  Complimentary refreshments and a full hot breakfast served family style each morning will complete your bed and breakfast experience.

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