Thirty miles east of Cinderella Castle, Winter Park, Florida, promises magic of a different kind.
The oysters are vanishing from Apalachicola. No one knows if they’ll come back. You won’t find them on most menus anymore, and oyster boats have all but abandoned the bay. There’s plenty of blame to go around, but that won’t help this charming village on the shores of the Florida Panhandle. As its claim to fame disappears, Apalachicola vows it won’t share the same fate.
For decades, recreational boaters referred to west central Florida as the “lonesome leg.” Today, the area is known as Florida’s Nature Coast, and it attracts adventurers eager to explore its renowned wildlife parks and nature preserves, crystal-clear springs and blackwater rivers.
You don't think inside the box. Why sleep in one? The South is full of unexpected accommodations, from a nineteenth-century castle to a Hobbit hut to the tree house of your dreams. Let us introduce you to sixteen offerings that are anything but ordinary.
If you visited Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort and Spa during its first twenty-nine years in business, you likely went for the golf. Before the sixty-five-acre resort turned thirty last year, it served as a sprawling love letter to the sport.
"Five years ago, none of this was here,” artist Derek Donnelly says as we wander through the brick-paved alleyway that runs behind the 600 block of Central Avenue in downtown St. Petersburg. He’s not referring to the buildings, some of which date to the early 1900s, but to the arresting murals splashed across their backsides.
When you live in landlocked Tennessee, taking small children to the beach is kind of like childbirth: long and painful at times, but ultimately worth it. Eventually, you wind up forgetting the hard parts and want to do it all over again. After eight-plus hours in a car bound for Amelia Island, Florida, I wasn’t so sure that was going to happen this time.