We hope that Key West can rebuild by the last winter tourist season for the island city challenges Fernandina Beach and Saint Augustine for the most romantic vacation spots with outstanding bed and breakfast houses.
Here are some of our favorite Florida bed and breakfast spots for sheer romance and relaxation. Visit the links for added information!
The Williams House Bed and Breakfast, Amelia Island – Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island in Northeast Florida is a Victorian wonderland of forty city blocks of Victorian mansions and rustic cottages, carriage rides, a neat downtown, and even a beach with a fort. The award-winning Williams House B&B has eleven rooms located in the main house and a historic carriage house.
There are several dozen nice b&bs within walking distance of downtown, including the oldest functioning hotel, but the Williams House rates highest, and is famous for its wedding packages. The gourmet breakfast is famous amonbg Florida visitors who select b&b locations.
The St. Francis Inn, Saint Augustine – I could have chosen a half dozen of the delightful b&b’s that dot the real estate south of the Cathedral and Square. Unlike the historic district which is 70% reproductions, this is a trip into Victorian tourism when Northerners came by steamboat and railroad to winter in the Oldest City.
The St. Francis is just down the street from the Oldest House and is my choice of “the most literary b&b” in Florida. Van Wyck Brooke finished his Pulitizer Prize winning The Flowering of New England in the cottage by the pool and a few years later Edith Pope almost got a Pulitzer for her novel Colcorton written in the cottage.
If you don’t like ghosts, don’t stay on the third floor which was an attic where the nephew of Confederate Major General William Joseph Hardee hung himself after his love affair with Lilly one of the slave girls at St. Francis was revealed. It’s Lilly looking for her lover that visits the b&b.
The Harrington House, Holmes Beach – If you want beach front property on one of Florida’s most laid back islands, Anna Maria Island north of Sarasota, Harrington House has been the place for years. There are three houses and some beach bungalows now that make this neat b&b and once people visit this island, they tend to be too lazy to leave the island which has nice beach-side restaurants and recreational facilities.
The Black Dolphin Inn, New Smyrna Beach – Not on the beach but the Indian River, the Black Dolphin is a four diamond AAA b&b that ranks every year in the top ten most romantic b&bs in the nation. It’s 14 rooms are unbelievable, the service divine, and it has pet lodging.
The Farnsworth House, Mount Dora – For people who like Florida’s Lake District, there is no better romantic village than Mount Dora with its great shops and restaurants, old fashioned railroad trips, and antique auctions. The 1887 Farnsworth House captures the early charm of the Old South as it started to become a winter vacation spot.
The 1872 John Denham House, Monticello – If you want to visit the Old South than five miles off I-10 is the classic town of Monticello, complete with opera house. The Denham House, built by a Scotch cotton trader, embodies the traditions of Southern hospitality. This National Register building is surrounded by an acre of history.
The Gibson Inn, Apalachicola – In a historic port town famous for its oyster houses and history stands this 30-room inn complete with bar and restaurant and full tourist facilities. The 1907 inn even stages a Mystery night with the location to fit the crime.