Stories from Florida’s Adventure Coast

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Festivals Bring The Sounds Of Sertoma Alive

Florida’s Adventure Coast is a hotspot for outdoor music festivals and the Sertoma Youth Ranch is its center. Gather with new friends under open skies for a stellar lineup of performances. Find your spot to sit, sway and dance in their brand new 8,000 square foot pavilion. Pick your favorites throughout the year among Americana, … Continue reading Festivals Bring The Sounds Of Sertoma Alive

September’s Sensational Songbirds

While there are many species of birds that live in Florida’s Adventure Coast all year around, September is the best month to look for songbirds that are migrating in the fall. These birds have spent the summer nesting and raising their chicks in the northern states and Canada, and are now passing through the county … Continue reading September’s Sensational Songbirds

Environmentally Sensitive Lands: Acres To Love And Learn From

Florida’s Adventure Coast is rich in unspoiled natural spaces. With outdoor recreation on the rise, ensuring environmental protection is key. On Florida’s Adventure Coast, the county Environmentally Sensitive Lands (ESL) program was born in 1988. It is a program for the protection of natural resources and accommodating public use of those natural areas. The ESL … Continue reading Environmentally Sensitive Lands: Acres To Love And Learn From

How Sunsets Soothe Your Soul On Florida’s Adventure Coast

Choose a cruise with Bayport River Safari Has your day been kind of busy? Maybe even a little stressful? Wind down on the water. Feel your cares melt away as you step aboard the roomy Bayport River Safari vessel. You’ll find plenty of front row seating for your panoramic Gulf of Mexico view. Captain Gary … Continue reading How Sunsets Soothe Your Soul On Florida’s Adventure Coast

From Wine To Shine: Try Florida’s Adventure Coast Locally Crafted Spirits

Raise your glass to more reasons to raise your glass! The variety of appealing artisan beverages is growing around Florida’s Adventure Coast. From frothy beer flights to swirling wine goblets, satisfy your adventurous palate with hand-crafted beer, wine and distilled liquors. Take a seat, a taste and maybe a tour. Marker 48 12147 Cortez Boulevard … Continue reading From Wine To Shine: Try Florida’s Adventure Coast Locally Crafted Spirits

Expand Your Experience With These Add-On Adventures

When you find something that delights you, you want more, right? If you believe more is always better, then double down with these add-on ideas. From your virtual Adventure Coast buffet, pick your favorites and then go back for seconds. If you loved the authentic Florida roadside attraction feel of Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, plan … Continue reading Expand Your Experience With These Add-On Adventures

Discover Hernando Beach

Do you love exploring Florida’s coastal communities? Is it a favorite pastime when visiting or revisiting parts of this peninsular state? If so, then Hernando Beach will be a revelation. Poised on the calm, relatively shallow Gulf of Mexico, Hernando Beach is a sun-baked, thriving community laced with canals. It’s where boats live and launch … Continue reading Discover Hernando Beach

Dive in to Summer Scalloping

Click below to check out this interactive guide to all things Adventure Coast scalloping. Links, maps instructions and more; it’s all here!

The Spin Starts Here: How to Love Adventure Coast Cycling

Terrain variety, natural surroundings and a shady small downtown welcome bicyclists to Florida’s Adventure Coast. Home to the Brooksville Ridge, it boasts challenging elevation changes amid miles of level terrain. Winding through forests, preserves and scenic countryside, your perfect ride awaits! New to Adventure Coast cycling? Here is what you need to know: Anything goes … Continue reading The Spin Starts Here: How to Love Adventure Coast Cycling

Man-cation Inspiration

Who says only girls can have a getaway? We’ve cooked up a two-day Adventure Coast Itinerary filled with adrenaline-pumping, stereotypically manly activities! Your adventure begins with fishing on the Gulf Coast, followed by an afternoon at the Sportsman’s Club and touring a local brewery. On the following day, test your skills at World Woods Golf Course … Continue reading Man-cation Inspiration

The Scoop on Florida’s Adventure Coast Sweet Spots

What better way to celebrate summertime (or anytime!) than with a sweet scoop, dish or shake? Soft-serve, frozen yogurt, custard or hand-crafted and dipped, indulge your sweet tooth at these frosty local favorites. Tour Florida’s Adventure Coast from east to west and north to south creating your own ice cream tasting trail. HERE IS A … Continue reading The Scoop on Florida’s Adventure Coast Sweet Spots

View the Spectacular Secret World Beneath Weeki Wachee Springs

Far beneath the Mermaids, Buccaneer Bay slides and visitors bustling about enjoying Weeki Wachee Springs State Park lies a vast and mysterious realm few have entered. Glide silently through sprawling caverns and narrow passageways as if strolling room-to-room in an otherworldly castle. Emerge from narrow cracks to spaces so immense that a parked jetliner would have … Continue reading View the Spectacular Secret World Beneath Weeki Wachee Springs

Artificial Reefs: Thriving Underwater Habitats on Florida’s Adventure Coast

The Florida’s Adventure Coast coastline is more than a wonderful place to watch Gulf of Mexico sunsets or boat, fish and scallop dive. It also boasts a dynamic underwater ecosystem. Scroll through our artificial reef update for a cool, refreshing view of life beneath the surface. Scroll through the presentation  

Find Tranquility In Bloom At The Botanical Gardens

One of Florida’s Adventure Coast’s best-kept secrets is the Nature Coast Botanical Gardens. A lush, shady 3.5-acre property, this special place is tucked off Commercial Way and easily accessible from Spring Hill Drive. Visit seven days a week from dawn to dusk; the Gardens are free and open to the public. Founded in 1994 by members … Continue reading Find Tranquility In Bloom At The Botanical Gardens

20 Affordable Adventure Ideas

Spend your vacation in Nature’s Place to Play and have plenty of fun without breaking the bank.Plan memorable days and evenings with this round up of 20 Affordable Adventure Ideas.   Touring: Self-Guided or Guided Historic Downtown Brooksville. Realize how life once was by touring this small Florida city. Established in 1840, Brooksville is anchored … Continue reading 20 Affordable Adventure Ideas

Florida Scalloping Hacks: Insider Tips From Adventure Coast Captains

July 1 means it’s time to dive in to the Gulf of Mexico for Florida bay scallops, a classic summertime thrill that lasts through September 24. Here on Florida’s Adventure Coast, our pro guides know great scalloping spots and welcome you aboard for a carefree day on the water. Contact them directly to book a … Continue reading Florida Scalloping Hacks: Insider Tips From Adventure Coast Captains

Your Florida’s Adventure Coast Scallop Season Primer

Scalloping is fun, easy and requires little in the way of gear or expertise. That’s part of the reason why it’s such a popular summertime water adventure. The irresistible urge to reach out and grab the little guys is another! Florida’s Adventure Coast, on the southern part of the Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission’s official recreational … Continue reading Your Florida’s Adventure Coast Scallop Season Primer

How To Plan Your Day At Buccaneer Bay

Buccaneer Bay at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park is a Florida summertime family favorite. To make your day at Florida’s only spring-fed waterpark hassle-free and fun for all, keep these tips in mind: Arrive early. Summer time is prime time at Buc Bay. The Park opens at 9:00am and, upon reaching capacity, no additional admission tickets … Continue reading How To Plan Your Day At Buccaneer Bay

Amanda’s First Scalloping Adventure

Gazing at the smooth Gulf of Mexico, Amanda and her sisters couldn’t wait to head out. They heard from friends how fun scalloping was but had never done it themselves. Can you swim around in shallow water and just grab them? Do they really have bright blue eyes? The girls each clutched a towel and … Continue reading Amanda’s First Scalloping Adventure

Boating On Florida’s Adventure Coast: How The U.S. Coast Guard Helps You Stay Safe

Our spectacular region of the Gulf of Mexico is inviting for many boaters. Its shallow clarity is ideal for fishing, scalloping, snorkeling or just exploring. Whatever type of craft you use on the water, from kayak to sail or powered vessel, here are four key elements to boat smart and stay safe. On the water, … Continue reading Boating On Florida’s Adventure Coast: How The U.S. Coast Guard Helps You Stay Safe

Florida’s Adventure Coast Evening Cool Downs

The sun. Those puffy tropical clouds that open with occasional dramatic drenching bursts. The free-form family hours of swimming, scalloping, boating or just keeping cool. All are late summertime scenes. Here are some ways to wrap the day and enjoy pretty cloud-painted evenings. Wind down from your summer days with a spectacular Gulf of Mexico water … Continue reading Florida’s Adventure Coast Evening Cool Downs

Why Paddling Florida’s Adventure Coast Is Pure Pleasure

Is kayaking your favorite outdoor adventure? If so, you’re in good company and in a great place. Millions of Americans have discovered the thrill of kayaking, canoeing and stand-up paddleboarding. According to the Outdoor Foundation, each year shows a surge in paddlesport popularity. Top reported motivations are: to get exercise, be with family and friends, observe … Continue reading Why Paddling Florida’s Adventure Coast Is Pure Pleasure

Photo Scavenger Hunt Adventure

What do a canopied roadway, box turtle, dinosaur, dolphins and mermaids have in common? They are just a few of the unique finds you can snap on this Adventure Coast Photo Scavenger Hunt. Don’t forget to post your pics with us on social media. We’d love to see them!   Snap your adventure! Whether you … Continue reading Photo Scavenger Hunt Adventure

How Mermaid Tail Mail Began

by John Athanason Every year, Florida State Parks celebrate National Literacy Month, an important subject in this day and age of smartphones, tablets, and emails. In 2012, the agency asked each park to come up with an idea to promote the importance of reading and writing. Weeki Wachee aspired to do something unique to our … Continue reading How Mermaid Tail Mail Began

Great Summer Family Vacation Plans By Mom

“Dude, school’s out in a few weeks. What do you have planned this summer?” “We’re going to Florida’s Adventure Coast for a week in July. My mom says I can bring a friend. Want to come?” “Cool; I’d love to! What’s that area of Florida like?” “Well, there’s fishing and scalloping in the Gulf and a place … Continue reading Great Summer Family Vacation Plans By Mom

7 Must See Highlights of Florida’s Adventure Coast History

Calling all history buffs! From magnificent manors to timeless roadside attractions, Florida’s Adventure Coast is brimming with local legends and lore. Dispersed throughout the area are ten Historical Markers and eight sites on the National Register of Historic Places. Make plans to see them all. For a jump start, we’ve assembled these seven must-see highlights.   1.  Chinsegut … Continue reading 7 Must See Highlights of Florida’s Adventure Coast History

A Scenic Saltmarsh Adventure

Unleash your inner nature lover Slip into a front row seat to Nature’s Place to Play on the new Bayport – Linda Pedersen Paddling Trail. Launch your kayak, canoe or paddleboard and follow signs marking the 1.7 mile trip through this thriving coastal ecosystem. Have some more time? Make it a round-trip or take the … Continue reading A Scenic Saltmarsh Adventure

Our Little Rock Cannery: A Cherished Community Institution

By Kathi Comandi The Little Rock Cannery is living history and a modern community asset. Farm-to-Table momentum is building and Florida’s Adventure Coast affords a time-honored way to celebrate our enormous local bounty. With loads of year round and seasonal produce, the Little Rock Cannery – one of just two remaining in Florida and a … Continue reading Our Little Rock Cannery: A Cherished Community Institution

Pick Your Own Fresh Florida Strawberries

Strawberries are ripe and ready to pick. At JG Ranch and UPicktopia, they are so plump and juicy the air is even fragrant with their sweetness. Though U-Picking treks may remind you of summertime, you’re in Florida and strawberries love cool weather. Available for picking on Florida’s Adventure Coast December through April – with March the peak – … Continue reading Pick Your Own Fresh Florida Strawberries

Kite Flying – Florida’s Adventure Coast Style

Have you noticed these large birds gliding, soaring and swooping above Florida’s Adventure Coast? With their four-foot wingspan, bold black and white plumage and long, deeply forked tail, these beautiful raptors are a joy to watch. These migratory birds are spring and summer sights in Florida, typically arriving in early March to breed. Contrary to … Continue reading Kite Flying – Florida’s Adventure Coast Style

Watch Salsa Making At The Little Rock Cannery

Sustainable Adventuring: Nature With a Side of Nice

Sustainable Tourism is a growing trend that is here to stay. Using the three pillars of sustainable tourism: economic, social and environmental, we can celebrate by supporting the local communities we visit and retaining those natural habitats in a manner equal to, or better than, we found them. Florida’s Adventure Coast is a destination full of … Continue reading Sustainable Adventuring: Nature With a Side of Nice

A Treasure to Cherish: Weeki Wachee Springs

With shimmering clarity, the Weeki Wachee is as precious as the aquamarine gem the Springs’ color resembles. Named by the Seminole Indians, the moniker is said to mean “Little Spring” or “Winding River.” Best known as home to Mermaids who have entertained audiences for generations, the entire waterway is itself a treasure on many levels, … Continue reading A Treasure to Cherish: Weeki Wachee Springs

May Flowers: Some Like It Hot

by Lilly Browning The first full week in May each year is National Wildflower Week and the Florida’s Adventure Coast landscape boasts an exuberant outdoor color spectrum. Look around for these stars of nature’s gardens. Late spring and early summer bring a host of blooming beauties throughout Florida’s Adventure Coast. View plenty of flowering plants … Continue reading May Flowers: Some Like It Hot

Natural Wonders: Red Shouldered Hawk

Red shouldered hawks are year-round Florida residents that can often be heard before they are seen. When hiking around Florida’s Adventure Coast, particularly in and around deciduous, marshy forest, listen for their unique whistle. These large raptors are among the most distinctively marked – barred reddish beneath with a strongly banded tail. In flight, translucent … Continue reading Natural Wonders: Red Shouldered Hawk

Sweet, Blue And Good For You

Why blueberries? Why here? Florida’s Adventure Coast is the sweet spot for growing the beloved blueberry. Thanks to our cold-but-short winter and some agricultural ingenuity, blueberries ripen and reach the national market from Florida earlier each year than those grown elsewhere. Custom bred Florida blueberries are fresh, juicy and first to your spring shopping basket. … Continue reading Sweet, Blue And Good For You

Bonnie’s Blueberry Adventure

Bonnie is a true Blueberry lover. She just can’t get enough of those oxidant-rich, health packed blueberries! Follow Bonnie on her quest to find the perfect Blueberry in this two-day itinerary. She knows that every farm is different so each blueberry crop may vary slightly. Which farm has the sweetest and juiciest? On Day One … Continue reading Bonnie’s Blueberry Adventure

Meet The Makers: Barbara’s Stained Glass

Meet Barbara Timm, a stained glass artist. She operates Barbara’s Stained Glass Workshop in Hernando Beach. Talented and creative, she enjoys helping others discover their own hidden talents and love of this art form.          

Take Your Pick of Blueberry U-Picks

The lush countryside of Florida’s Adventure Coast is dotted with farms just bursting with blueberries. Grab your favorite shade hat and basket to gather your own sweet April harvest. You have some comfortable, close-toed, good-for-walking-in-fields shoes, right? Good! Here are some more tips for a fruitful blueberry picking adventure. Start early Get in the mood … Continue reading Take Your Pick of Blueberry U-Picks

Celebrating Florida Blueberries

Florida welcomes a bumper crop of plump, juicy blueberries this year and Brooksville is its sweet spot. Fans of the tiny super food can indulge their every whim throughout Florida’s Adventure Coast in April. From picking in the fields to sampling at our Florida Blueberry Festival, the place for the nation’s first fresh blueberries of … Continue reading Celebrating Florida Blueberries

Sample Spring’s Harvests On Florida’s Adventure Coast

April is a popular time to cruise the blooming countryside and taste what only fresh-picked and locally-crafted can offer. Plan a blueberry and beverage tour of Florida’s Adventure Coast. Download a handy U-Pick and Farm Tours brochure and make your plans. Check out the map to see which of the eight blueberry farms best fits your route … Continue reading Sample Spring’s Harvests On Florida’s Adventure Coast

No Need For Trail Envy; There Are Plenty To Go Around

Whatever mood you’re in, there’s a trail for you here in Nature’s Place to Play. Choose wet or dry, paved or not, long or short. Florida’s Adventure Coast is laced with scenic trails, some of which are nationally recognized.   Try them all. Explore by foot, bicycle, horseback, ATV or kayak. Let a beautiful day sweep you … Continue reading No Need For Trail Envy; There Are Plenty To Go Around

10 Spirits To Sample On Florida’s Adventure Coast

Do you consider yourself in the know when it comes to craft beverages? Does it make you happy to support the creativity of local establishments by lifting a glass or mug? If so, make plans to visit these ten places around Florida’s Adventure Coast to toast your local spirit creators, from craft beer to wine … Continue reading 10 Spirits To Sample On Florida’s Adventure Coast

How To Be A Friend To Nature

“Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” – Gustave Flaubert The United Nations’ approach to Sustainable Tourism for Development revolves around “Travel. Enjoy. Respect.”  and promotes responsible travel. When visiting natural spaces, we can all leave them unharmed or better with some simple measures. Recycling, using your own water … Continue reading How To Be A Friend To Nature

You Are A Family Reunion Hero

More than ever, family generations vacation together and Florida’s Adventure Coast is just the place to do it. Not only is it an affordable lodging base in the geographic center of the state, you need only travel a short distance for a variety of fun things to do. Share experiences and make new memories with … Continue reading You Are A Family Reunion Hero

Plant Native For Beauty, Simplicity and Butterflies

Welcome to the Sunshine State, where everything grows! Here in Nature’s Place to Play, our subtropical climate means varied – sometimes exotic – plant life. And, with a little planting planning, they can easily beautify your world with color and life. Some newcomers proud of photo-worthy yards up north face unexpected challenges with Florida lawns. … Continue reading Plant Native For Beauty, Simplicity and Butterflies

Have You Seen A Bald Eagle Today?

Look Up for the American Bald Eagle Have you caught the flash of a white tail or feathered head as you look around Florida’s Adventure Coast? As stunning as they are, for those looking, American bald eagle sightings are not rare around here. Florida has the largest bald eagle population in the lower 48 states. … Continue reading Have You Seen A Bald Eagle Today?

3 Ways To Explore Florida’s Adventure Coast’s Heritage

Fill your senses with the pageantry of cultural celebrations and historic sites. Florida’s Adventure Coast is home to festivals and attractions that showcase the charm of yesteryear. Soak in pleasant winter weather and experience our historic diversity. Sunny sweater weather is perfect for strolling the annual Brooksville Native American Festival and Brooksville’s Heritage Day Festival. Dance your moccasins off … Continue reading 3 Ways To Explore Florida’s Adventure Coast’s Heritage

What Will Spring In The Forest Bring?

by Joshua McAdams Rain, key to life on our planet, is one of the most prominent features of spring’s arrival, leading to growth of three of the six living kingdoms. Fungi, Plant and Animal all exist in simple yet complex genuses that make up families. Florida’s Adventure Coast offers many locations to discover other life … Continue reading What Will Spring In The Forest Bring?

Adventure Coast Pedaling Pleasure

Sparkling warm days are perfect for cycling on Florida’s Adventure Coast. Celebrate with a bicycle tour. Here is all you need to know to plan two amazing days cycling award-winning paved trails in Nature’s Place to Play. Day 1: The Withlacoochee State Trail (Round Trip 33.6 miles) Download Trail Map With 46 miles of cycling pleasure, … Continue reading Adventure Coast Pedaling Pleasure

Sunny Adventures, Simple Times

“I remember coming to Weeki Wachee Springs as a child but that was – my goodness – fifty years ago!” Mary exclaimed. “The Mermaids, this beautiful river; I can’t believe it’s all still here.” “It was my first time visiting Florida,” she recalled. “My two sisters and I were so excited after our long drive … Continue reading Sunny Adventures, Simple Times

Walk Among the Tall Pines

Welcome to one of the largest contiguous tracts of old growth longleaf pines in Florida. Once the dominant tree of the South, our Big Pine Tract of the Chinsegut Wildlife and Environmental Area serves as a window to this now less-common ecosystem. Fire and harsh weather-tolerant, some of the tallest may be more than 300 hundred years old. Distinctive for … Continue reading Walk Among the Tall Pines

Girlfriends Getaway

Any time is the perfect time for the ladies to take a well-deserved vacation! Discover culture, shopping, a winery and more on this Girlfriends Getaway Adventure. Day 1   Chinsegut Hill Manor 22495 Chinsegut Hill Road, Brooksville FL 34601   Start your girlfriend’s getaway with a scenic tour of Chinsegut Hill Museum and the surrounding … Continue reading Girlfriends Getaway

Why The Center of The State is Your Florida Vacation Sweet Spot

How brilliant are you to base your Florida vacation right here in the middle of the state? You win with affordability, access and outdoor adventure. Nature’s Place to Play, on the west coast, sits in the geographic center of Florida’s 832-mile length (as measured from the tip of the panhandle to tip of the keys). … Continue reading Why The Center of The State is Your Florida Vacation Sweet Spot

Spanish Moss: A Natural Wonder

Gracefully draping trees throughout Nature’s Place to Play and much of the southeast U.S., Spanish moss is not actually moss at all; it’s a bromeliad, a perennial in the pineapple family. Here are six fun facts about our distinctive outdoor décor.Without roots and capable of absorbing moisture and nutrients from the air, Spanish moss is non-parasitic; only using … Continue reading Spanish Moss: A Natural Wonder

Old Florida Charm Welcomes You Back

Welcome back! Even for those who’ve never visited before, the allure of time untouched welcomes you throughout much of Florida’s Adventure Coast. Nostalgia is celebrated at such places as Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, Boyett’s Citrus Attraction and Mary’s Fish Camp. Stay waterside at Hernando Beach Motel and dine at Papa Joe’s Italian Restaurant, all of which have long called this area … Continue reading Old Florida Charm Welcomes You Back

Look Around The Coast For Snowbirds Of The Feathered Variety

Snowbirds for Snowbirds Pleasant winter weather also attracts northerners of the feathered sort throughout Nature’s Place to Play. Thanks to our coastline, wetlands, parks and sprawling forests, migratory and resident birds find places to gather that are also enjoyable for human snowbird viewing. Many birdwatching enthusiasts prepare by browsing the Hernando Audubon Society website, attending a meeting … Continue reading Look Around The Coast For Snowbirds Of The Feathered Variety

Chinsegut Conservation Center and WEA

Chinsegut Conservation Center is funded and operated by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Chinsegut is unlike any other property managed by the commission as its primary role is to provide environmental and conservation education in addition to outdoor skills training. May’s Prairie, a seasonal wetland, is the central focal point of the property with … Continue reading Chinsegut Conservation Center and WEA

Natural Wonders – Sandhill Cranes

You’ve seen them around. At around four feet tall with a five foot wingspan, Sandhill Cranes are hard to miss. These large birds with their long legs, distinctive gray plumage, red crest and long beak like to vocally announce their presence with loud, rattling calls – often in unison. They are seen and heard widely … Continue reading Natural Wonders – Sandhill Cranes

Brooksville News to Smile About: Expanding Small Town Charm

With Spring comes the promise of new beginnings. Recent additions bring fresh reasons to explore this historic downtown. As new markets and events bloom throughout downtown Brooksville, discover why now is a great time to cruise in, shop and play. Shopping Find the antidote to Plain Jane chain shopping at the expanded House of Passage and other … Continue reading Brooksville News to Smile About: Expanding Small Town Charm

Meet The Amazing Anhinga

You’ve no doubt seen their unmistakable silhouette; those outstretched wings and long, graceful neck belong to the Anhinga. Learn why this sleek American darter is also referred to as a Snake Bird. Great swimmers and adept hunters, Anhingas spend a lot of time underwater. Seen in waterways, with only their beak pointed skyward and body … Continue reading Meet The Amazing Anhinga

Marked By History

Stay & Play Inspiration Itinerary Florida’s Adventure Coast is brimming with history. Our many historic sites include eight locations listed on the National Register of Historic Places, among others. This itinerary is sure to excite both the curious journeyer and the history buff. Explore this two-day itinerary and learn about the many cultures that took … Continue reading Marked By History

All Together Now

How to Unplug and Reconnect with Guests of all Ages People love having family in Florida, especially in winter!  And no time is more perfect than the holiday season for multi-generational gatherings.   Arrival means excited hugs mixed with airport or highway travel stories and surprise at how much everyone has grown and changed. After … Continue reading All Together Now

Native American Place Names on Florida’s Adventure Coast

Long before today’s culturally blended society, Florida’s Adventure Coast was populated by Native Americans. It doesn’t take long to notice the lasting evidence of those original populations in the names of locations still in use today. Many of the names trace back to the Seminole Indians, reflecting the Muskogean language family, originating as either Creek … Continue reading Native American Place Names on Florida’s Adventure Coast

Gopher Tortoise Fun Facts

Find these ancient, gentle munchers-of-foliage throughout Nature’s Place to Play. A keystone species, their burrows can be shared with more than 350 other types of wildlife.  Here are some fun facts about Florida’s Gopher tortoise. Gopher tortoises and their burrows are listed as Threatened and are protected under state law. Appearance Gopher tortoises are reptiles … Continue reading Gopher Tortoise Fun Facts

Great Glorious Gobblers

Wildlife Watch  Strutting casually across open fields near wooded areas throughout Nature’s Place to Play are some big beautiful birds. Some might even associate them with a certain holiday meal. They are the Osceola wild turkey. Discovered in 1890, they were named after a famous Seminole Indian chief. Also known as the Florida wild turkey, they are … Continue reading Great Glorious Gobblers

2018: A Look Forward

From novel new content to outdoor recreation news, here’s your sneak peek at what’s in store for 2018. The coming year promises a rich array of experiences and floridasadventurecoast.com is your one-stop shop for discovery and planning. Check out our blog posts for inspiration and stay tuned for new interactive planning and expanded event features premiering next month.   … Continue reading 2018: A Look Forward

The Brooksville Raid: Explosive Living History

by Jan Knowles 2018 marks Hernando County’s 38th annual Brooksville Raid.  This living history event presents the story of a battle fought here in late June 1864 during the Civil War. You can view the dramatic Raid reenactment on January 20 and 21 at Sand Hill Scout Reservation, located at 11210 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville, Florida 34613. … Continue reading The Brooksville Raid: Explosive Living History

Downtown Brooksville: History And Southern Charm

Brooksville Main Street Hosts Special Holiday Events for All to Enjoy by Barbara Manuel Come see for yourself what makes Brooksville Main Street so special; walk our tree-lined streets and browse our delightful shops, dine at our charming restaurants, and enjoy our many special holiday events…there is something for everyone to enjoy as we kick … Continue reading Downtown Brooksville: History And Southern Charm

Florida’s Adventure Coast 2017 Coastal Initiatives

by Brittany Hall-Scharf Florida Sea Grant, joined by community and scientific organizations, businesses, middle school students and committed individuals took special care of our coast in 2017. From marine life research and protection to coastal clean-up and shoreline enhancement, these key projects propel and protect Florida’s Adventure Coast into the future. Charter Fishermen along Florida’s … Continue reading Florida’s Adventure Coast 2017 Coastal Initiatives

New To Florida’s Adventure Coast In 2017

In 2017, Florida’s Adventure Coast proudly embraced history and nature. We welcome a major new attraction and cheered the 70th birthday of another. On top of popular sights, events, dining and adventures, enjoy this review of what was new in 2017 around Florida’s Adventure Coast. Unleashing Artificial Reefs The Gulf of Mexico off Florida’s Adventure Coast … Continue reading New To Florida’s Adventure Coast In 2017

Explore Forest Trails On A Dune Buggy Tour

For a thrilling one-of-a-kind adventure, plan a dune buggy tour with Croom ATV Rentals. Choose a two or a three-hour romp through the Croom Tract of the Withlacoochee State Forest for a high-octane close-up of nature. Going guided scores high marks for originality. Get an outdoorsy insider perspective with your guide’s expertise and knowledge of the … Continue reading Explore Forest Trails On A Dune Buggy Tour

Main Street Brooksville, Florida: Destination Christmas

Stroll festive streets of downtown Brooksville for an old-fashioned holiday sensation. See for yourself why Brooksville Main Street is your “Destination Christmas.”   Not only will downtown streets sparkle with holiday décor, they will also shine through snowfall. That’s right, the weather forecasts a 100% chance of snow, starting during Thursday’s tree lighting ceremony and … Continue reading Main Street Brooksville, Florida: Destination Christmas

How To Pedal Through Nightfall in the Forest With Friends

A mountain bike ride on forest trails is a great way to intensely enjoy nature and fitness. Grab the handlebars. Pump the pedals. Get away from it all for a social adrenaline boost. Go guided by joining rides through the Croom Tract of Withlacoochee State Forest. The group mountain bike rides lead by Crank Works Bicycle … Continue reading How To Pedal Through Nightfall in the Forest With Friends

Find Vintage Variety In These Florida’s Adventure Coast Shops

Do you love unique shopping? Do you get excited browsing one-of-a-kind items? Sure, you can go to the mall to buy something new. But maybe you – like many – relish upcycling and repurposing special pieces. Shop for the charming and unexpected within these resale establishments around Florida’s Adventure Coast.   Airport Farmers & Flea … Continue reading Find Vintage Variety In These Florida’s Adventure Coast Shops

Wild Buck Rye Whiskey: Worth It

With the result an exquisitely packaged bottle of Rye whiskey with sipping flavor to savor, Kevin and Natalie Goff, owners of NJoy Spirits, LLC, brook no compromises in the pursuit of perfection. Part science, part art, the hand crafting begins with a secret family recipe. Pristinely maintained equipment, a highly controlled process, a touch of … Continue reading Wild Buck Rye Whiskey: Worth It

Step Outdoors and Take A Stroll In Nature’s Place To Play

Get inspired to explore our wide variety of beautiful places to walk on Florida’s Adventure Coast. From shady trails to open water, the views are unforgettable. Get inspired to explore our wide variety of beautiful places to walk on Florida’s Adventure Coast. From shady trails to open water, the views are unforgettable.

You Can Help Protect Manatees Along Florida’s Adventure Coast

by Brittany Hall-Scharf It is that time of year again! Manatee slow speed zones are in effect. It is important to abide by these speed restrictions between October 1 and April 30 each year. Florida manatees are slow-moving marine mammals found in shallow, coastal waters and rivers. They spend large portions of their day munching … Continue reading You Can Help Protect Manatees Along Florida’s Adventure Coast

Forests, Fire and Fall Wildflowers

Most wildflower species produce flowers during a certain season, with some species blooming in the spring, others in the summer and a few blooming year round. In central Florida, we usually have a dry spring followed by a rainy summer. Ample summer rainfall coupled with Florida’s long growing season provides suitable conditions for a fall … Continue reading Forests, Fire and Fall Wildflowers

7 Manatee Fun Facts

Florida Manatee, sometimes referred to as “Sea Cows” are frequent sights around the Adventure Coast, particularly in the 74 degree Weeki Wachee River. You already know that these gentle marine mammals are large – generally about 10 feet long, 800 to 1200 pounds – and gray in color like their distant elephant cousins. But did … Continue reading 7 Manatee Fun Facts

A-Maze-ing Farm Festivals

Fresh blue days herald Autumn on Florida’s Adventure Coast. And what better place to enjoy the season of harvest than on a farm? Four area establishments welcome you with special mazes and more. From pumpkin patch picking to charting a course through challenging corn mazes, dig into the October outdoors with new energy. Farms open … Continue reading A-Maze-ing Farm Festivals

Natural Wonders: Red Cockaded Woodpeckers

Red is a preferred color among Florida’s Adventure Coast woodpeckers. Some, like the Pileated, Red Headed, Red Bellied, Hairy and Downy species are fairly common. Thanks mainly to loss of Longleaf pine forest habitat, sightings of the once commoned cockaded woodpecker are rare. One of the first birds to be protected under the Endangered Species Act … Continue reading Natural Wonders: Red Cockaded Woodpeckers

Go For Golf Swing Glory With These Pro Tips

Relax on your porch swing or join others on Florida’s Adventure Coast courses and dazzle with your golf swing. Use these professional tips, written exclusively for you, the Adventure Coast golfer, by World Woods PGA Professional, Scott Wyckoff, to improve your fairway swing. Reflect on your supremely awesome golf game on the back porch swing … Continue reading Go For Golf Swing Glory With These Pro Tips

Step Into Hardwood Hammock Habitats In Nature’s Place To Play

Part of Florida’s Adventure Coast is defined as a Temperate Hardwood Forest or “Hammock.” This shady habitat contains a rich diversity of trees, shrubs and wildlife. In Florida, the largest temperate hardwood communities occur near Brooksville, Gainesville and Ocala. What is a hammock anyway? Hammock refers to stands of trees that form an ecological island … Continue reading Step Into Hardwood Hammock Habitats In Nature’s Place To Play

Cypress Lakes Preserve: A Shady Sanctuary

by Jim King Explore Unique Landscapes Cypress Lakes Preserve, in eastern Hernando County, covers 331 acres, but seems larger on foot going around the wetlands. The preserve’s value as a nature park is largely due to its unusual variety of vegetation communities and the mixture of wetlands and uplands.

Two Trails To Try For Happy Hiking

Explore an amazing variety of trails throughout Nature’s Place to Play! Here are two examples of hardwood hammock ecosystems that we recommend. Watch for wildlife and unique native plants along this pair of lush and pleasant trails, each about two miles long. Florida is unique in that our climate provides blooms in both spring and … Continue reading Two Trails To Try For Happy Hiking

Florida Hikes: Paths Crossed and Shared

About Sandra and John Sandra Friend and John Keatley love natural Florida and each other. Hailing from different directions, the lifelong hikers, bikers, writers and photographers joined forces and together produce Florida Hikes! Believing “A day in the woods always beats a day in the office,” the pair have personally explored hundreds of miles of … Continue reading Florida Hikes: Paths Crossed and Shared

This Land Is All Your Land

Visit the great outdoors as an alternative to Florida’s theme parks, beaches and cities. Here in Nature’s Place to Play, a vibrant array of spaces await your discovery. Step outdoors and into landscapes you’ll want to explore again and again. Excluded from commercial development, public lands are for human recreation and often nature’s protection. From habitats … Continue reading This Land Is All Your Land

You Are The Star; The Outdoors Is Your Stage

June is all about celebrating outdoor recreation and nature. Not only is it National Great Outdoors Month, it also includes National Trails Day, National Fishing & Boating Week and Free Fishing Days. Discover something new or revisit your outdoor fun favorites. With 107,000 acres of park and conservation lands, waterways and spectacular Gulf of Mexico coastline, Nature’s Place to Play delivers … Continue reading You Are The Star; The Outdoors Is Your Stage

Flying Under The Radar: Brazilian Free-Tailed Bats

Brazilian free-tailed bats are not just agile evening aviators, they’re astonishingly fast too, clocked at speeds up to 100 miles per hour! Free-tailed bats average 3.5 inches long and weigh in at about 0.43 ounces. Average wingspan is 11-inches. At almost half its total length, the bat’s tail stretches beyond the uropatagium (the membrane between their … Continue reading Flying Under The Radar: Brazilian Free-Tailed Bats

A Unique Craft Brewery: Marker 48

Some might call it fun – and it was – but for Tina and Maurice Ryman, visiting over 200 craft breweries around the country was also valuable research. They took careful note of what worked at each establishment, like the inset metal “chill plate” along the bar at a place in Montana, and what didn’t. … Continue reading A Unique Craft Brewery: Marker 48

Tiny Raptor: Southeastern American Kestrel

A raptor, the Southeastern American Kestrel is the smallest of the falcons. Colorful males flaunt plumage of blue-grey wings, russet accents on the back and with black spots and white undersides with black barring. The female, slightly larger than the male, displays muted shades of brown with noticeable barring on the back and tail; the underside is creamy … Continue reading Tiny Raptor: Southeastern American Kestrel

Artificial Reefs and Future Plans

by Keith Kolasa Community Collaboration Florida’s Adventure Coast has had a long history of artificial reef construction thanks to the support of its residents, fishing clubs, dive shops, members of the Hernando County Port Authority and the Board of County Commissioners. Through continued community support there has been a concerted effort to create viable and … Continue reading Artificial Reefs and Future Plans

Seagrass Meadows: Natural Wonders

Sunlight and Clear Water The Gulf of Mexico waters along Florida’s Adventure Coast boast an estimated 250,000 acres of seagrass beds. Among the most abundant in continental North America, second in area only to the Florida Keys, these underwater meadows host thriving ecosystems. Thanks in part to the relatively shallow depth of our area of the … Continue reading Seagrass Meadows: Natural Wonders

All About Bay Scallops

by Brittany Hall-Scharf Where are all the scallops? During scalloping season, this is one of the most popular questions that arise. About Bay Scallop Counts Abundance surveys of Florida’s bay scallop are conducted along the state’s west coast every summer by scientists at the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute. During these surveys, two divers measure the … Continue reading All About Bay Scallops

Summer Scalloping on Florida’s Adventure Coast: So Fun!

Summertime on Florida’s Adventure Coast means scalloping. Slipping into bathwater-warm Gulf of Mexico waters at the first sight of those shells shimmering beneath brings a surge of joy unlike any other. The eagerness of discovery and success at grabbing them as they zig zag through the clear water is enough to bring giggles, whatever your … Continue reading Summer Scalloping on Florida’s Adventure Coast: So Fun!

Markers & Milestones: How To Trace Family Genealogy

Sample Stay & Play Inspiration Do you have an interest in history as well as a bit of craftiness? Consider creating a collection of gravestone rubbings from our historic cemeteries. Whether for personal genealogy purposes or to respectfully capture markers of historical significance or visual interest, it’s a popular and rewarding pastime. Florida’s Adventure Coast … Continue reading Markers & Milestones: How To Trace Family Genealogy

Mermaids: Myth, Magic And The Man Behind The Method

Legendary and Mystical Mermaids are ethereal. Like sparkling apparitions, they shimmer through the mists of time. The subject of folklore, fairytale and mystery, early mermaid visions surfaced around 1000 B.C. Sweeping back history’s veils reveals possible origins in Greek mythology. Portrayed in ancient artwork, they were legendary creatures with the tails of fish and upper bodies of humans. Usually … Continue reading Mermaids: Myth, Magic And The Man Behind The Method

Florida State Tree Is Not A Tree

The Sabal Palm is Florida’s official state tree, as designated in 1953. Widely distributed throughout coastal Florida and the southeast U.S., it is sometimes referred to as a palmetto, cabbage palmetto and swamp cabbage. It grows in almost any soil and has many uses, including food, medicine and hardy landscaping. What it is NOT is an actual … Continue reading Florida State Tree Is Not A Tree

5 Top Mom-Approved Summer Adventures

Do you see that glow on the horizon that seems to be getting brighter? That’s not an oncoming train, it’s the approach of summertime. Those special weeks of premium family togetherness are nearly here. Are you ready to make this the best summer ever? These five mom-approved adventures are sure to deliver happy memories. Scallop … Continue reading 5 Top Mom-Approved Summer Adventures

Epic Florida’s Adventure Coast Angling

What’s tugging at the end of your line? Is it a red, snapper, cobia, grouper, tarpon or snook? Maybe it’s a trout or mackerel. Could it be a bass, bluegill or perch? Around Florida’s Adventure Coast, it could be those or many others. Are you daydreaming right now about being out on the water or … Continue reading Epic Florida’s Adventure Coast Angling

White Wings Against A Blue Sky: Look Up For American White Pelicans

Florida’s Adventure Coast is home to colonies of American White Pelicans. You can often spot them soaring above and gathering around area lakes and wetlands. One of the largest birds in North America with a nine-foot wingspan, they are second in size only to the California condor. With its distinctive beak, which comprises a quarter … Continue reading White Wings Against A Blue Sky: Look Up For American White Pelicans

The Backstory: The Bistro

By Tina Marie Polson When I tell you that there are places you need to go in Brooksville, this one ranks near the top. I can’t explain the feeling you get when you walk through the doors of this building. Built in the early 1900’s, it is full of historic charm with original ceiling, walls … Continue reading The Backstory: The Bistro

Markers & Family Heritage Itinerary

Sample Stay & Play Inspiration Do you have an interest in history as well as a bit of craftiness? Consider creating a collection of gravestone rubbings from our historic cemeteries. Whether for personal genealogy purposes or to respectfully capture markers of historical significance or visual interest, it’s a popular and rewarding pastime.Florida’s Adventure Coast boasts … Continue reading Markers & Family Heritage Itinerary

Bayport: 4 Facts

Hernando County Seat In December 1854 the state legislature made Bayport the county seat of Hernando County, effective June 1, 1855. It is believed that during the brief period that Bayport was the county seat, court was held in the home of Isaac Garrason. Civil War Port and Battle Site During the Civil War, larger … Continue reading Bayport: 4 Facts

Do Something New With These 17 Amazing Adventures

Learn something new. Browse this list of 17 new-to-you adventures sure to thrill. Will this be the year you learn something new, go guided or gain exclusive behind-the-scenes access? Check out this list of 17 unique adventures to try on for size. LEARN SOMETHING NEW 1.  Learn to Fly an Airplane or Take an Aerial Tour … Continue reading Do Something New With These 17 Amazing Adventures

Natural Wonders – Butterflies

Many elements blend together in Nature’s Place to Play to deliver a spectacular array of butterflies. From the plants to be pollinated to the birds who who delight in tasty caterpillar meals, butterflies play a role in our thriving ecosystem. What butterflies are native to Florida’s Adventure Coast? Click on this long list from “A … Continue reading Natural Wonders – Butterflies

Double Down with 5 Dad-Approved Adventures

Energy is running high with the school year’s end and your family – like many – is probably eager to dig into those long, fun days of summertime. What will make you rush through your morning coffee and load up the cooler? Apply that sunscreen. Put on those sunglasses and embrace the outdoors with this … Continue reading Double Down with 5 Dad-Approved Adventures

Make this the Best Summer Ever with these 5 Mom-Approved Adventures

Do you see that glow on the horizon that seems to be getting brighter? That’s not an oncoming train, it’s the approach of summertime. Those special weeks of premium family togetherness are nearly here. Are you ready to make this the best summer ever? These five mom-approved adventures are sure to deliver happy memories. Scallop … Continue reading Make this the Best Summer Ever with these 5 Mom-Approved Adventures

Adventure Coast Destination Map

Get the big picture of Nature’s Place to Play. Easily locate lodging, parks, trails and golf courses with listings on the back of our downloadable map of Hernando County. Download Map

Adventure Coast Fishing Report

by Capt. Josh Fritz Trout The fishing here along the Adventure Coast is great. We have a very good trout bite right now in one to four feet of water. As that cold front passes next week look for the trout to move further back into the muddy bays, rocky shore lines and around springs. … Continue reading Adventure Coast Fishing Report

Zoom at Croom ATV Area

For a leap away from Florida’s abundant beaches and theme parks, go off-road and conquer trails within the Croom Motorcycle Area. Part of the Withlacoochee State Forest, the 2600 acre Croom Motorcycle Area is the only state-run property devoted exclusively to off highway vehicles (OHVs). This popular attraction features miles of trails that include hardwood … Continue reading Zoom at Croom ATV Area

 

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