Sample Stay & Play Inspiration
Whether by motorcycle or car, enjoy this tour that includes some of our most spectacular scenic byways. This winding journey reveals sights and vistas both familiar and unexpected.
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Experience Florida the way it used to be. Choose a cabin, pitch your tent or park your RV. Cast your line with a cane pole from the seawall, just like it’s always been done. Create new memories with Old Florida charm.
Day 1 – Coastal Roadway Cruise
From Mary’s Fish Camp, turn left and drive west to Bayport Park. This park, with its pier and boat launch is a popular local gathering spot. Here you can enjoy a picnic lunch at one of the pavilions. Be sure to return in the evening for sunset viewing.
Pass the historic Bayport Inn, a great choice for dining, and take a short drive north on Pine Island Drive. This roadway, with salt marshes on both sides, dramatically exposes the sprawling natural wetlands. Terminating at Alfred McKethan Park, locally known as Pine Island Beach, you can either stop for a while and wade into the shallow Gulf or, turn around to continue your west side tour.
Returning from Pine Island, turn right onto Shoal Line Boulevard. Another beautiful route to enjoy, you’ll travel through the Weeki Wachee Preserve and out to the community of Hernando Beach. There is no sand at Hernando Beach, but this waterfront community boasts some excellent dining options. Often provisioned by local fishermen with that day’s catch, the cuisine couldn’t be fresher. Check out Brian’s Place, The Cove, ZigZag Scallops, Hernando Beach Tropical Grille, R-Beach, and Trader Bay Seafood for local flavor.
Follow Shoal Line Boulevard to Osowaw Boulevard and turn right. This brief drive will provide plenty of photo-op views, with open stretches of the Gulf of Mexico. You will pass through the small community of Aripeka, settled in 1873 and named for an early 19th century Seminole chief who is thought to have lived nearby. Historic Norfleet’s Fish Camp is a local haunt open since WWII and supplier of all things needed to create your fish-tale.
At the end of this travel segment, you will be at the intersection of US-19 / Commercial Way.
Turn left and travel north a short distance to County Line Road and turn right. Travel east though Florida’s Adventure Coast to US-41. At Bowman Road, turn right for approximately two miles, arriving at Forge Drive, just before the overpass. Here you will find Strong Tower Vineyard and Winery. Open Wednesday through Saturday, owners Janis and Terry welcome you to walk through the vineyard and enjoy a complimentary glass of wine. Browse the gift shop for unique items and purchase wine processed and bottled on-site.
Day 2 – Countryside and Forest
Awaken to peaceful sights and sounds on the bank of the Mud River, site of Mary’s Fish Camp. Should you make a few casts, maybe land some hungry mullet before setting off? Maybe just for a little while.
When you are ready, head east on Cortez Boulevard to historic downtown Brooksville. Park and walk the few blocks of cobblestone streets lined with turn-of-the-century homes and Spanish moss draped oaks, quaint shops and eateries. Stop by Mountaineer Coffee for an unmatched cuppa joe. Coffee purists, the owners of Mountaineer Coffee take pride in pursuing the art of in-house roasting of single-origin coffees.
While downtown, browse unique shops such as House of Passage, Patricia’s Boutique and Easy Street Home Decor. Visit the second floor of Brooksville City Hall to view art on display in the Uptown Gallery. On the outside of several building walls, throughout downtown, you will notice some interesting murals.
From Brooksville, follow Broad Street north to Croom Road. Turn right on Croom Road and follow to appreciate the hilly terrain of the Brooksville Ridge and Withlacoochee State Forest. Once in the Withlacoochee Forest, you will pass Tucker Hill, a heavily-trailed recreational area for hiking, off-road biking and horseback riding.
While driving through the Forest, free of structures and civilization, follow the left fork at the intersection for Nobleton-Croom Road. The ride then takes you to Nobleton, a tiny town bordered by the Withlacoochee River. After a right turn onto Lake Lindsey Road for 1/10 of a mile you emerge at River Ratz, a local favorite offering good food at reasonable prices, outdoor seating overlooking the river and canoe and kayak rentals. Out on a Sunday afternoon? Drop by for live entertainment.
Continue west on Lake Lindsey Road for a pleasant country drive back to US-41. Cross US-41 and continue west on Lake Lindsey Road to Snow Memorial Highway, where you will turn left. From Snow Memorial Highway, turn right onto Chinsegut Hill Road, cresting the hill to the stately Chinsegut Hill Manor. This historic estate, now a museum, is open daily for tours from 10:00am – 4:00pm. Chinsegut Hill Manor Museum, on the registry of historic places, is poised atop the highest point in Florida’s Adventure Coast, at 269 feet above sea level.
Leave Chinsegut Hill and turn left onto Snow Memorial Highway, heading back to Lake Lindsey Road. Follow Lake Lindsey Road, which becomes Centralia Road west until it terminates at US-19. Turn left on US-19 and, after turning right onto Cortez Boulevard, return to your Mary’s Fish Camp home base.
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