Florida’s Most Romantic Bed and Breakfast Spots

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.

floridatraveler WIlliams House b&b

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.

floridatraveler ST FRANCIS INN st augustine

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.

floridatraveler HARRINGTON HOUSE holmes beach

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.

floridatraveler BLACK DOLPHIN INN new smyrna inn

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.

Farnsworth House Bed & Breakfast (2014)

 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.

floridatraveler JOHN DENHAM HOUSE monticello

 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.

Floridatraveler GIBSON INN

 

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BOCA GRANDE – Fishing Village Turned Resort

I have returned to my Tampa house on the Interbay area and everything is fine.  The electricity did not turn off.  However, my home office was without Internet, telephone, or TV so I had to wait until the people at Spectrum got their show on the road.  I don’t know many people in the Florid Keys which took the biggest hit but in prayer to them I am featuring Boca Grande, my favorite little West Coast island.

BOCA GRANDE, on the dual county island at the mouth of Charlotte Harbor, is best known as America’s tarpon fishing center. Other than a small phosphate export port, Gasparilla Island was famous for its fishing plutocrats until the construction of a private toll bridge by Robert Baynard in 1955 and the discovery of the isolated island’s charms by successful Tampa Bay area professionals who could build expensive beach villas a few hours from metropolis.

floridatraveler BOCA GRANDE

WHERE TO START: Start in front of the island’s pride, at the corner of Fifth Street and Palm Avenue, the: (1) GASPARILLA INN (1912), a large pale yellow frame Victorian hotel with a Classical portico and a colony of cottages and rooms built around the golf course. An Arcadia phosphate executive Peter Bradley allied with James F. Gifford, President of the Charlotte Harbor and Northern Railroad, to build the luxury winter resort. It’s hotel registrar may read like a “Who’s Who”, but you won’t get to read it for low key privacy is the rule here.

floridatraveler BOCA GRANDE INN

DRIVE EAST ON FIFTH AVENUE along the golf course toward Boca Grande Bayou.

TURN RIGHT ON BAYOU AVENUE toward HARBOR DRIVE and the yacht basins. There’s charter boat centers and places to stop for lunch. In tarpon season there will be fishermen from around the world. In the peak of the winter Katherine Hepburn could be seen eating with some retired school teachers.

I once went into the Railroad Depot for a snack and Barbara Bush was devouring an ice cream cone.

CROSS WEST AVENUE past the  (3) COMMUNITY HOUSE and the (4) COMMUNITY CENTER. PASS PARK AVENUE and TURN RIGHT ON GILCHRIST. THEN, if your car fits, TURN RIGHT ONTO (5) BANYAN STREET, an amazing gnarl of shady banyan trees planted on both sides by Peter Bradley.

floridatraveler BOCA GRANDE STORES

Millionaire dollar beach houses and simple stores is Boca Grande.

TURN LEFT ON PARK AVENUE. On your right is the interesting: (6) OUR LADY OF MERCY MISSION CHAPEL,  a replica of a Spanish style mission with brick floors, but featuring a circular entrance way. You should stop to go inside to admire the fine woodsmanship and the real Madonna Icon of Russian design.

GO TO THIRD STREET. On the corner to your right is the (7) BOCA GRANDE THEATER (1924), now used as a restaurant and sometimes showplace. If you enter you’ll see an unusual open atrium, an odd theatrical design.

A few doors down is the (8) CHAMBER OF COMMERCE. At the end of the block on your right is the POST OFFICE. On your left is (9) FUGUTES(1916), the town’s mini-everything store founded by Jerome Fugate Sr., and visited by everyone sooner or later.

Across Fourth on the right is the famous (10) BOCA GRANDE RAILROAD DEPOT (1910), an impressive two story structure which now houses antique and gift stores and an ice cream parlor/restaurant. The brick structure with the arcaded loggia was the last depot for the Charlotte Harbor & Northern Railway.

floridatraveler Boca_Grande_depot

TURN LEFT ON FOURTH AND LEFT ON GILCHRIST AVENUE, the route to the southern tip of Gasparilla Island. On your left is the (11) ST. ANDREWS EPISCOPAL CHURCH, a country-style church. Go inside to view the round stained glass window over the alter and notice the communion rail kneelers in needlepoint.

At the end of the block is the (12) UNITED METHODIST CHURCH with a plaque to Mary Frances Thompson. A HALF MILE DOWN Gilchrist you’ll see the (13) COAST GUARD LIGHTHOUSE (1927), a narrow electric beacon designed to replace the notable antique. at the island tip. Across the street was the site of the BOCA GRANDE HOTEL (1930), a three story, 200 room resort by Italian immigrant Joseph Spadara. Hurricane Donna destroyed it in 1960.

floridatraveler BOCA GRANDE LIGHTHOUSE

CONTINUE DOWN TO THE SOUTHERN BEACH to the 13 acre Gasparilla Island State Park. You’ll have to walk down the beach to the beautiful (14) GASPARILLA ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE (1890) and its matching keeper’s house. By the parking lot is a little seaman’s CHAPEL popular for waterside weddings.  This is my favorite lighthouse in Florida, not just because it was near where I lived in Englewood, but because there is a museum inside and it has two neat structures. A 145-mph hurricane went across the island ten years ago and sucked goods out of the gift shop, but did not hurt the structures.

floridatraveler BOCA GRANDE CHAPEL

A Chapel For Sailors

SHELL COLLECTORS SPECIAL: STOP BY THE JOHANN FUST LIBRARY (1949) on Gasparilla on 9th Street to see the shell collection donated by winter resident Henry Francis DuPont. Another interesting spot is JOURNEY’S END (1914), on the Gulf at 18th Street, a complex of four two story cottages built of virgin pine from Arcadia.

 

Posted in attractions, florida history, Florida parks, florida vacations, Historic Buildings, Historic Hotels & Inns, Historic Lighthouses, Hurricanes, mcbobleonard, museums, railroads, small towns, travel | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Not Your Typical Florida Restaurant

While I’m busy preparing for the coming hurricane here in Florida, I thought I would cover a little less violent topic – food.

Once in a while, you want something different when you go to a restaurant.  A gander at one of those television shows where the prime mouth takes on a challenge to eat enormous burgers and whole turkeys and ice cream sundaes so large they look like they are in a toilet bowl reminded me of some of the unusual restaurants I have seen in my Florida travels.

The Meatball Shoppe in Orlando is the stepchild of the popular New York chain, but the Florida place on Lake Underhill Road has gained high ratings from all the food spots and even a 10Best status on that travel website.   The fact there is a Guy Fieri Veggie Meatball tells you the famous TV chef visited here on his Diners and Dives food show.

floridatraveler MEATBALL SHOPPE sausage meatballs

Meatballs every way you can imagine.

I went with the Mediterranean Lamb Balls topped in Tzatziki sauce, but other table favorites was Jeff’s Crab Balls in Roumalaude and the Chicken Buffalo Blau balls just covered with a sea of blue cheese crumbles.  I guess they serve a few other dishes, but I just didn’t even look.

Floridatraveler pork, chicken and vegetarian meatballs on one plate

This plate as pork, chicken, and veggie meatballs!

There are loads of places serving alligator in Florida and the old reptile tastes a lot like chicken to me.  But Florida also has over one million feral wild pigs roaming about, sometimes causing harm to Florida’s winter vegetable crop.  It is not shocking that wild boar pops up in many hunting lodge places, but I had wild boar in a Disney restaurant that ranks in the top five dining establishments in Central Florida – Jiko: The Cooking Place at Animal Kingdom Lodge.

floridatraveler JIKO wild boar

Jiko’s Wild Boar is just the warm-up on their unusual menu.

Their wild boar tenderloin appetizer is the first thing half the diners order at Jiko.  The dark meat has a sweet pork taste.   Down the road at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge’s Artist Point, they often serve wild boar agnolotti, which is pasta with braised boar.

I love gelato and whenever I see a small shop or a food truck, I have to take a look.  Dolci Pecatti Food Truck in Miami serves 47 incredible flavor combinations and 12 sorbets.  At night the truck is a blazing violet which is appropriate since they have a “hot gelato” made of strawberry mixed with jalapeno.  I decided to have a milk shake although the gelato sandwiches made with whoopee pie or brioche was real interesting.  They also make for parties – shotpops – with alcohol of course.

floridatraveler dolci pecatti miami

Even the food truck is cool in Miami.

Over  on  South Kirkman Road in Orlando is Mrs. Potato, a place that takes the Brazilian rosti potatoes to a new level.  This place specializes in jamming everything you could cook on a menu into roasted hot potatoes – hash-browns, pizza, beef stroganoff, Philly cheese steak, even creamy shrimp.  And it all tastes so good (but sometimes not so pretty looking).

floridatraveler Mrs Potato has many friends

Do you believe that potato is the star in this kitchen?

floridatraveler Mrs Potato chicken catipury rosti potato

This is the chicken catipury rosti potato

I have to get back to my hurricane preparations here in Tampa so see you soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Florida Hurricane Myths Are Many

Contrary to the image of many Northerners and visitors to Florida the summer months are the not the greatest time for Florida hurricanes.  September is often viewed as a great time to come to Florida and enjoy warm weather, amusement parks minus most school children, and lower prices.  It is also, unfortunately, the time of Florida’s greatest and most hurricanes in history.

In reality the hurricane season in the tropics runs to December although September and October have been the most serious months in Florida’s hurricane history.

floridatraveler sunk boats-Hurricane-Hermine

Here are some of the most serious myths and dumbest behaviors that people, Florida residents or not, have about living with a hurricane.

Myth: I bought a tenth floor condo apartment on the Gulf so I am more are safe in a storm.

Reality: Wind speed increases the higher you go (skyscrapers can feel like they’re swaying on a really windy day). Higher wind speed could blow out windows. Also, if the area floods around you, it makes rescue very tough. If you need to evacuate, get out, not up.

floridatraveler jacksonville mess hurricane

This Is Jacksonville area – not South Florida

Myth: Storm windows are expensive and take time to put up and I hate nailing ugly plywood to my beautiful house.  I tape your windows with duct tape or masking tape to prevent them from breaking in a storm.

Reality: It doesn’t. Period. If something hits a window during a hurricane, it likely will hit it with such force that no amount of tape can save the window. In fact, it may make it worse, because the windows may break into bigger shards of glass, which can cause serious injuries.

Myth: Whenever a hurricane nears my town, I fill my bathtub so my family has drinking water during and after a storm.

Reality:  My wife and I live in Tampa and buy Zephryhills Spring Water to drink.  Gads!  Do you have a water purification system attached to your bath water?  You can use bath water for washing clothes, bathing or helping in flushing toilets but please buy bottled water instead. Bottled water, stored in a cool, dry place can last for years.

floridatraveler ALLIGATOR PT road and hurricane

Even a Road At Alligator Point Can’t Beat Ocean Waves

Myth: I only consider leaving my beach cottage when it is a category 2 storm for tropical storms and category 1 and 2 hurricanes are no big deal.

Reality: Every storm has unique characteristics so even if your house was OK with a category 1 or 2 storm, there might have been factors.  In which direction was the wind?  Was it low or high tide?

  1. The common belief that the worst thing about a hurricane or tropical storm is the wind speeds is false. That’s really not the worst part of a storm. The most dangerous part of a storm is water, from storm surge and from flooding.
  2. Some of the worst flooding and most deaths have taken place during category 1 and 2 storms that flooded rivers and collapsed sea walls.

floridatraveler florida 2004 hurricanes

Myth: If you crack open a window on the opposite side of a storm you equalize pressure in the home and neutralize the winds.

Reality: People in Tornado Alley often believe this until a 150 mile per hour tornado levels their house.   An open window will not affect your house’s ability to stop flying debris and crashing trees.   You will not balance air pressure by your actions.

Myth: I’ll be vacationing in the Orlando area not the coast so I will be safe.

Reality: Ever point in Florida is less than eighty miles from the coast and Florida is so flat that huge hurricanes lose very little power going across the state.  One storm in 2004 went across Florida from Atlantic to Gulf and liked Florida so much it came back Gulf to Atlantic.

floridatraveler hurricane means empty epcot

Hurricanes Can Close Epcot Down

Myth:  I’m staying in a motel not a house so I am safer.

Reality: Not to be a party spoiler, but when your area is to evacuate they mean everyone must flee or go to the nearest shelter.  I remember Charley that went up Charlotte Harbor and hit Punta Gorda.  Amazingly the well-built Victorian waterfront houses of the historic district survived with minor damage, but two large motels and the high school were torn to bits.   I am not so confident in motel and hotel construction unless it is a replacement for places destroyed in earlier hurricanes.

floridatraveler Charlie and Charlotte High

Charley Closed School at Charlotte High (Punta Gorda)

Myth: I spent a lot of money on this vacation so I’ll evacuate when the weather starts to get bad.

Reality: If you wait until the weather gets bad, the roads will be crowded, the shelters will be filled with screaming babies, and the safest hotels will have no vacancies.  It may be too late. People who ignore evacuation orders, are often people who don’t have the slightest notion where to go if a storm hits.  Storm warnings are not just for people living in mobile homes or who are aged.

 

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Panama City Is Not A Beach

Compared to its glamorous beach-side little sister Panama City Beach, the town of Panama City is a large bayside residential community serving Tyndall Air Force Base to the east and the booming beach and bay suburbs to the west side. Panama City is the largest town between Pensacola and Tallahassee and, if you are staying in the area, worth a drive into the downtown area.Large buildings and fancy condos are not part of downtown Panama City which has a small town laid-back appearance and an almost empty-looking waterfront except for the large marinas.

TOURING PANAMA CITY by automobile is usually easy for there are lots of parking spaces along the main drag of Harrison Avenue and at key public buildings. To reach downtown from the hotel strip of Panama City, drive east over Hathaway Bridge, continue east on US 98 (W 15th Street) and turn right (south) on Harrison. Use the map once you get to the marina at the end of Harrison to decide what to do – you’ve already driven past the downtown shops.

floridatraveler PANAMA CITY map

The town obtained its name when developer George West discovered his bayside site was about halfway between his native Chicago and Panama City, Panama.

PANAMA CITY HALL at 9 Harrison has parking if there is lunch time traffic in the downtown area. Across the way is the large PANAMA CITY CIVIC CENTER which hosts most of the big attraction events in the region.

floridatraveler PANAMA CITY THE RITZ in heyday

The Ritz in its heyday was the only show in the County.

JOSEPH DYER BUILDING at 13 Harrison next to Harrison House Furniture is a non-descript 1910 white building brought to the site from Sandy Creek by boat to become the first brick structure in the town. At 39 Harrison is the ELLIS & COLEMAN BUILDING, redesigned in 1933 to become the Bay Theater.

floridatraveler PANAMA CITY MARINA

Boating Is The Top Sport in Panama City

Across the street in the next block at 100 Harrison is the two-story 1911 WILKERSON BUILDING, used as the first town bank, a post office and the town telephone company. Opposite it at 101 Harrison is 1915 terra cotta FIRST NATIONAL BANK with its famous 1926 street clock, a symbol for downtown. A few doors down is the 1933 ROY VAN KLEECK BUILDING (131 Harrison) with its original pine flooring.

A National Register building is the lovely 1934 W. C. SHERMAN ARCADE at 228 Harrison Avenue with a nice two-story atrium. Opposite it is the 1926 COMMERCIAL BANK, built with buff brick and Indiana limestone in an unusual Georgian Colonial Revival style. At 318 Harrison is the 1926 two-story brick FLEMING FOLKES BUILDING, with a facade almost original to the Land Boom days.

floridatraveler PANAMA CITY ARCADE

The Panama City Arcade Building

You could go East of 4th Street (see map options), but we’ll finish Harrison since the 400 block has two main structures.The RITZ or MARTIN THEATER at 409 Harrison was built in the Art Deco style and today houses an art and performance center. The J. S. WILSON FURNITURE and HARDWARE BUILDING (1926) is a three-story brick building that houses the City Information Bureau.

floridatraveler SAPP HOUSE Panama City

The Sapp House

If you drive down 4th you won’t miss the OLD CITY HALL, a 1926 Mediterranean Revival beauty which is headquarters for the Visual Arts Center. The J. ED STOKES BUILDING at 18 East 4th Street was the law office of the long time State Senator. The 400 block is the 1915 BAY COUNTY COURTHOUSE, probably remembered by many as the site of the Gideon case, which required all arrested to have access to a lawyer.

 Third Street starts more residential homes and the JUDGE J. MERCER SAPP HOUSE (1916), with its first elevator and hot water, is the most impressive home in Bay County.At 17 East 3rd Street is the 1909 ROBERT McKENZIE HOUSE, a two story-clapboard frame. Both of these homes are on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

 

 

 

Posted in attractions, florida education, florida history, florida vacations, Historic Buildings, mcbobleonard, panama city, small towns, travel | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Looking At “Florida Foods” In The Good Ol’ Summertime

When its hot and humid in Florida and I am preparing to teach a few classes – my 50th year teaching in the Sunshine State – it is hard to write a serious column.

For some reason I always identified the summer with food.  Spending my childhood summers in a Massachusetts beach resort, some of my best memories was of eating out: fried clams, lobster rolls, frappes (milk shakes), and salt water taffy.   It got be to wonder what foods people should identify with Florida.

Cuisine in Florida obviously is shaped by the people who came to Florida from the native Indians to recent migrants from Latin America and Asia, the climate and terrain which shape what can be found or produced, and the lifestyle of Floridians.  But mostly I think of living in a state where saltwater is on three sides.

FLORIDATRAVELER Frenchys-Rockaway-Grill-on-the-Beach

Grouper sandwich on a Florida beach

A favorite Florida beach meal is a large grouper sandwich.   My favorite place to have it is at Frenchy’s Rockaway Café for its porch sits on North Clearwater Beach with a view of sea gulls, waves, and beach volleyball games.  I will confess that the original Frenchy’s started in 1981 and gained the reputation to build additional restaurants. But it lacks a beach location.

floridatraveler GROUPER SANDWICH at frenchys

It isn’t a good beach restaurant or even a decent beach bar if it does not make a grouper sandwich.  It is OK to have salmon and mahi mahi (dolphin – the fish), but a restaurant will be judged from Pensacola Beach to Key West for its grouper sandwich.

floridatraveler FUN POSTCARD fishing 1912COMEDY

You don’t eat smoked mullet in New England.  You don’t fish for mullet; you net mullet at night.   You don’t bite into a mullet unless you want your mouth full of tiny bones; you scrape the meat out with a fork and it takes a little practice.  Mullet is not for lazy diners.

floridatraveler TED PETERS SMOKEHOUSE mullet

The Smokehouse Filled With Mullet

For 65 years and five generations Ted Peters Famous Smoked Fish in South Pasadena has been smoking mullet over red oak for six hours at an open-sided, rather dumpy place that doesn’t have a view of any water or beach and doesn’t take credit cards.  The customers wouldn’t want it any other way.

floridatraveler TED PETERS SMOKED MULLET

Sure, Ted Peters cooks other seafood and serves drinks.

When I think of Florida and summer, I think of the Florida Keys and fried cracked conch. The native people down there are known as conchs and you shouldn’t question that.  Even when you discover the conch or queen conch is a large snail that lives in a large, high spire glamorous shell.  The people of the Caribbean brought this dish, breaded in light flour and deep fried into a golden delight.

floridatravler cracked conch cafe

The Florida Keys are lined with quaint little seafood places serving cracked conch.  I like the Cracked Conch Café in Marathon for they put it on a nice bun.  The atmosphere is typically family business with dogs on leases and a “snail-like pace.

floridatraveler CRACKED CONCH from marathon

Since I went to the Keys, I better journey down to Key West and pick a place for Key lime pies.  Most commercial key lime pies outside Florida are made with Persian limes for the tiny key limes were almost destroyed in the 1930’s by a disease.  Enough trees survived in people’s backyards and local cooks treat the fruit that makes the Official State Pie (2006) as royalty.

floridatraveler PEPES CAFE

Real key lime pies use only condensed milk for their pies, key lime juice, and egg yolks.  Most meringue toppings use egg whites.  Pepe’s Café on Caroline Street is the oldest restaurant in Key West and have been making key lime pies there since 1909.  Like many good restaurants in the Florida Keys, people don’t judge a place by its exterior but by the food inside.

 

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Cassadega – Still America’s Spiritualist Town

The Travel Channel rated CASSADEGA one of the ten weirdest places in America, but considering the fact it was the only complete town that made the list, it is a fitting rating for an entire village. Cassadega is a real community of people with common although unusual beliefs.

FLORIDATRAVELER CASSADEGA map

But Cassadega, located between Orlando and Daytona Beach via the Lake Helen exit of I-4, is a real functioning community with real economic, religious, and social institutions. What makes the place so unusual, is that its main economy is spiritualism talking to the deceased via some of the town’s two dozen mediums or during a church meeting.   This is no medicine man show and people who come for a lark will be turned away.

Floridatraveler The Store

While the local residents (some 100) accept the steady flow of curious tourists, smiling skeptics, and entertainment seekers, they are very serious and professional in responding to the honest questions by visitors seeking information. Most of the residents are licensed psychics and certified spiritualists.

When Spiritualist leader GEORGE COLBY arrived in the rural farm area in 1894, few of the nearby farmers realized how a SOUTHERN SPIRITUALIST CAMP MEETING site on 57 acres of land would put the location on the map. The National Register of Historic Places site has no campgrounds for the name camp refers to a gathering place for believers of spiritualism.

FLORIDATRAVELER Cassadega George Colby

Colby had good reason for seeking a winter refuge for spiritualism since he had TB. Incredibly bathing in the waters of Spirit Lake cured him. The best way to feel Cassadega is to walk around the rural streets. I must say that you will experience more on foot than driving in your automobile.

The buildings have been restored in recent years and today’s Sunday healing is held Sunday mornings in the COLBY MEMORIAL TEMPLE (1923) with other Sunday lectures at the ANDREW JACKSON DAVIS BUILDING.

Floridatraveler Cassadega the Lake

HARMONY HALL is a place with a gift shop, a library on Spiritualism, and what might best be described as a Chamber of Commerce for the mediums. BRIGHAM HALL is another meeting spot for speakers and guests.

floridatraveler CASSADEGA HARMONY HALL

Certified mediums are listed online at Cassadega’s main website and many of them have websites and email addresses besides telephone numbers. Since most people don’t know what to expect from a visit to a medium, the Spiritualist community is very deliberate in giving step by step instructions to potential visitors.

FLORIDATRAVELER cassadega hotel

The CASSADEGA HOTEL (1928) replaced a Victorian structure that burnt in a fire. Although it is convenient to Daytona Beach, I would NOT book some race car pals into this hotel as a lark. The place is said to be haunted, but that won’t compare to the cold shoulder you will get from all the serious believers if a bunch of ghost hunters with equipment showed up.

The hotel is the home for many of the town’s New Age spiritualists who use a tarot deck and practice a holistic form of spiritualism.  Most of the in home resident offices are more traditionalists.

The Cassadega populace takes their spot in the Florida sun with pride and respect.

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