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Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Discover the Hidden Gem of North Central Florida: Cedar Lakes Woods and Gardens in Williston


Cedar Lakes Woods and Gardens is what I would call the "New kid on the block" in the world of Florida tourist attractions. It has only been opened to the public recently (2014), so not very many people know about it.



It is a botanical garden located in a 100-year-old abandoned lime rock quarry. Dr. Raymond Webber’s love of plants and desire to create a unique garden has led to one of the most interesting gardens in Florida.          




Enjoy an over view from the rim and then descend down steps into the garden for a closer look at unique waterfalls, ponds, plants, and islands. The islands are connected by a maze of wood and concrete bridges.




Need to know:

This jewel is hidden at the end of a rough dirt road, so keep going!

Be sure to wear mosquito spray in the summer months!


If you are into snorkeling or diving, be sure and visit Devil's Den about 1/2 mile down the road.  



Hours:

Open: Monday - Tuesday and Thursday - Sunday

Closed: Wednesday 

 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM




Admission:

Adult: $12

Children (6-13 ): $7

Free for children under 6 




Address:

4990 NE 180th Ave
 Williston, FL, 32696


Happy Travels! 



Friday, December 8, 2017

Exploring the Otherworldly Beauty of Devil's Den in Florida


Florida is so full of amazing places, but this one is in the top few for me! It kind of feels like you are in a place you are not supposed to be, if that makes sense. It is so beautiful, yet a little eerie.



The water is clear, turquoise, and illuminated with light pouring through a hole in the top of the cave. Once in the water, you are surrounded by ancient rock formations with stalactites dating back 33 million years.



The water remains 72 degrees year-round. On cold mornings, steam can be seen rising through the small opening in the cave top. This is why early settlers named it Devil’s Den.



Access to the spring is limited to those who are snorkeling or scuba diving. You must have scuba or snorkel gear to enter the spring area. It can be rented at the visitor center if you don’t have your own.



Hours:

Monday – Thursday   9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Friday – Sunday   8 a.m. to 5 p.m.



Admission Fee:

Monday - Friday: $15.00/person
Saturday, Sunday, & Holidays: $20.00/person
*Admission fee does not include mask, snorkel, and fins which are required!
Check here for information on equipment rentals.

Location:

Devil’s Den is less than a 2 hour drive from Walt Disney World in Orlando or Tampa, Florida.


Address:

Devil's Den Spring
5390 NE 180th Ave
 Williston, FL 32696


Happy Travels! 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Exploring the Vibrant World of Leoma Lovegrove Gallery & Gardens


Leoma Lovegrove Gallery & Gardens isn't just a place to visit, it's also a hub of activity in the local art community. Lovegrove hosts a variety of events throughout the year, from art shows and gallery openings to garden parties and holiday events. Visitors can check the gallery's website or social media pages for the latest events and workshops.


Leoma Lovegrove Gallery & Gardens is a hidden gem located on Matlacha Island, Florida. This colorful oasis showcases the creative talent of Leoma Lovegrove, a renowned artist who has become a beloved figure in the local art scene. The gallery and gardens offer visitors an opportunity to immerse themselves in Lovegrove's vibrant world of art and nature.




The Gallery

 

The gallery is a visual feast for the eyes. Upon entering, visitors are greeted by walls adorned with Lovegrove's colorful paintings, each one capturing the essence of Florida's natural beauty. Her art style is whimsical and energetic, with bold brush strokes and bright colors that bring the flora and fauna of Florida to life. From vibrant sunsets and sea creatures to tropical flowers and palm trees, Lovegrove's artwork is a celebration of the natural world.

 

Beyond paintings, the gallery also features a collection of hand-painted clothing, purses, and home d├ęcor. Lovegrove's distinctive style is evident in every piece, making for a unique and memorable shopping experience. Whether you're in the market for a one-of-a-kind souvenir or a special gift for a loved one, the gallery has something for everyone.


The Gardens

 

The gallery is just the beginning of the experience at Leoma Lovegrove Gallery & Gardens. Behind the building lies a lush, tropical garden filled with exotic plants and whimsical sculptures. The garden is a haven for birds and butterflies, making it a paradise for nature lovers. The garden also features a gazebo and outdoor seating area, creating a tranquil space to relax and enjoy the beauty of the surroundings.

 

Events and Workshops

 

Leoma Lovegrove Gallery & Gardens isn't just a place to visit, it's also a hub of activity in the local art community. Lovegrove hosts a variety of events throughout the year, from art shows and gallery openings to garden parties and holiday events. Visitors can check the gallery's website or social media pages for the latest events and workshops.

 

Lovegrove also hosts a variety of art workshops, where participants can learn her techniques and create their own masterpieces. These workshops are a fun and interactive way to learn from a master artist and take home a unique piece of art.




Leoma Lovegrove Gallery & Gardens is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to the Fort Myers area. Lovegrove's artwork and gardens are a celebration of Florida's natural beauty, and her gallery and gardens offer visitors an immersive experience into her vibrant world. Whether you're a nature lover, an art enthusiast, or just looking for a unique and memorable experience, Leoma Lovegrove Gallery & Gardens is not to be missed.



Location:

Drive through Matlacha to get on to Pine Island. It is about a 40 minute drive from the Fort Myers/Sanibel Island area and a 3 hour drive from Miami International Airport.


Address:

4637 Pine Island Road NW
Matlacha Island, Florida 33993

Gallery Hours:

Monday-Saturday
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sunday
11:00 pm - 5:00 pm


Happy Travels! 



Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Discovering Florida's Hidden Treasures: The Best Beaches to Find Shells in the Sunshine State

Florida is known for its stunning beaches and crystal clear waters, but did you know that it is also a great place for shell hunting? With over 1,350 miles of coastline, Florida has some of the most diverse and abundant collections of shells in the world. Whether you're a serious collector or just enjoy strolling along the beach, here are some of the best beaches in Florida to find shells

1. Fort De Soto Park


Located in Pinellas County, Fort De Soto Park has over seven miles of beaches with plenty of opportunities for shelling. This park is also known for its historic fort, fishing piers, and camping facilities. Get there early in the morning to find the best shells.




Address:

Fort De Soto Park
3500 Pinellas Bayway S.
Tierra Verde, FL 33715


2. Sand Key Park


Just a few miles south of Clearwater Beach, Sand Key Park has a wide beach and plenty of shells to discover. It also has a nature trail and playgrounds for families to enjoy.




Address:

Sand Key Park
1060 Gulf Blvd
 Clearwater, FL


3. Boca Grande 



Boca Grande is a small town on Gasparilla Island, located on the Gulf Coast of Florida. This quiet beach is a great spot to find rare shells, especially during low tide.



Address:

Port Boca Grande Lighthouse
880 Belcher Rd
 Boca Grande FL 33921


4. Tigertail Beach 


Located on Marco Island, Tigertail Beach is a popular spot for shelling. It also has a lagoon for swimming and kayaking, as well as a playground and picnic area.



 Address:

Tigertail Beach
430 Hernando Dr
 Marco Island, FL 34145


5. Sanibel Island


Sanibel Island is considered by many to be the "shelling capital" of the world. This Gulf Coast Island has over 15 miles of beaches and is home to the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum.



Address:

Sanibel Island
Periwinkle Way
Sanibel, FL 33957


6. St. Andrews State Park


Located in Panama City Beach, St. Andrews State Park has a beautiful beach with plenty of shells to collect. It also has a nature trail and fishing opportunities.



Address:

St. Andrews State Park
4607 State Park Ln
 Panama City Beach, FL 32408


7. St. George Island


St. George Island is a barrier island located in the Florida Panhandle. This quiet beach is a great spot for shelling, and you can also explore the nearby state park and lighthouse.



Address:

St George Island State Park
1900 E Gulf Beach Dr
 St George Island, FL 32328


8. T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park




Located on the Gulf Coast of Florida, this state park has miles of white sandy beaches and is a popular spot for shelling. It also has camping facilities and hiking trails.




Address:

T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park
8899 Cape San Blas Rd
 Port St Joe, FL 32456


9. Mexico Beach


Mexico Beach is a small town located on the Gulf Coast of Florida. This quiet beach is a great spot for shelling, especially after a storm.




Address:

Driftwood Inn
2105 US-98
 Mexico Beach, FL 32456


10. Cayo Costa Island


Cayo Costa Island is a barrier island located off the coast of southwest Florida. This secluded beach is a great spot to find rare shells, and you can also camp and hike on the island.


Physical Address:

4 Nautical Miles West of Pine Island (26.685789, -82.245381)
Cayo Costa, FL 33922


11. Honeymoon Island


Located near Dunedin, Honeymoon Island has a wide beach with plenty of shells to discover. It also has a nature trail and picnic areas for you to enjoy.




Address:

Honeymoon Island
1 Causeway Blvd
Dunedin, FL 3469


12. St Augustine


St. Augustine is the oldest city in the United States and has a beautiful beach with plenty of shells to collect. You can also explore the historic downtown area and nearby attractions.



Address:

Ocean Sands Beach Inn
3465 Coastal Hwy
 St. Augustine, FL 32084


13. John D. MacArthur Beach State Park


Located in Palm Beach County, John D. MacArthur Beach State Park has a beautiful beach and plenty of shells to discover. It also has hiking trails and a nature center.



Address:

John D. MacArthur Beach State Park
10900 Jack Nicklaus Dr
 North Palm Beach, FL 33408


14. Little Talbot Island State Park


Located near Jacksonville, Little Talbot Island State Park has a wide beach and plenty of shells to collect. You can also explore the nearby nature trails and marshes.


Address:

Little Talbot Island State Park
12157 Heckscher Dr
 Jacksonville, FL 32226


15. Stump Pass Beach State Park


Located in Charlotte County, Stump Pass Beach State Park has a secluded beach and plenty of shells to discover. It also has hiking trails and fishing opportunities.



Address:

Stump Pass Beach State Park
900 Gulf Blvd
 Englewood, FL 34223



Happy Shelling!

       Sherri