Last Chance To See Crime Scene Insects!

The Florida Museum of Natural History’s creepy/fun exhibit “Crime Scene Insects” is closing January 17. Don’t miss a trip to the Gainesville museum to see this ghoulishly fascinating look into how insects tell the story of a crime’s where, when and how to help investigators catch the guilty party. Warning: this exhibit is seriously gross, …

Tastes of Natural North Florida: Part 1

This post begins a series on the one-of-a-kind tastes of Natural North Florida: From restaurants to homegrown produce to sweet treats and delicacies you’ll find in the area. Our first featured delicacy is the unbelievably rich shiitake mushroom pate’ from Gainesville’s Abundant Edible Landscapes. Whether you partake in the carnivorous version of pate’ or not, …

Manatee Springs State Park: Perfect in Winter

A trip to the springs is a no-brainer in hot weather, when the 72-degree water provides a welcome retreat from the heat. But camping at the springs is a lot more pleasant in winter and spring, even if swimming isn’t part of the attraction. So what do you do at Manatee Springs State Park in …

Gulf Seafood is the Perfect Choice For Big Bend Visitors!

Fresh Gulf seafood has had some bad press recently.  However, since the April 2010 Gulf oil spill, inspection routines have been perfected to such a point that Gulf seafood is probably better inspected than ever before.  If you’re headed out to our Gulf coast, particularly to St. Marks, Panacea, Steinhatchee, Horseshoe Beach, Suwannee or Cedar …

Horses Welcome at Bronson’s Black Prong

It’s not just any resort that offers a private barn adjacent to your room. At Black Prong Equestrian Center, located in Bronson, horses are just as welcome as people. Equestrian enthusiasts flock here for its nine dressage arenas, cross-country and marathon courses, on-site trainers and the 150 miles of trails in the adjacent Goethe State …

Step into Serenity at Gainesville’s Laurel Oak Inn

Almost as much its beauty, the scents of the gracious 1885 house strike you upon walking in. The smell of breakfast baking and coffee perking in the kitchen, the warm undertone of polish and wax that keeps the place gleaming, and, upstairs, the bath salts and soaps awaiting you after a day spent exploring the …

Holiday Lights in Natural North Florida

Two Natural North Florida holiday events grace the list of the best Christmas lights I compiled for the St. Pete Times’ Sunday travel section. Don’t miss  A Cedar Key Christmas, where Santa arrives by clam boat on Dec. 11, and Stephen Foster State Park’s Festival of Lights, which transforms the White Springs park into a …

Cedar Key, Florida–AKA ‘Clamalot’

Cedar Key’s reputation as a Gulf fishing destination is unparalleled.  This archipelago of small islands juts into the Gulf of Mexico about 60 miles west of Gainesville and provides fishermen excellent access to both inshore and offshore waters. In addition, Cedar Key has become one of the largest producers of clams in the U.S.  Clam …

Suwannee’s a Great Place for Fishing–and Eating!

Not only is Suwannee a great place to fish, but it’s also a great place to eat.  For breakfast, try Sarah’s and for lunch or dinner, go to Salt Creek Shellfish Company (352) 542-7072.  On a recent trip to Salt Creek, I had the soft-shell crab sandwich for lunch and a wonderful stuffed (with crab, …