Lodging

Best Florida B&Bs: Lodging as an experience

Best Florida B&Bs: Lodging as an experience

Our favorite B&Bs will help you have an authentic and memorable Florida experience — not a night in Anywhere USA.

The Don CeSar Hotel entrance in St. Pete Beach.

Florida’s grand hotels: Celebrate a special occasion with a historic stay

Huge and opulent, Florida’s grand hotels were built from the Gilded Age through the Jazz Age, but they continue to delight visitors with their elegance and history. Here’s a guide to 10 of the most special ones.

The Everglades Rod and Gun Club on the Barron River. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Everglades City Rod and Gun Club: Visit the past

Remarkably unchanged, this century-old hotel is on the market for $12 million. It’s a jewel in a remote town surrounded by untamed Everglades. We recently stayed in the atmospheric lodge. He loved it; she didn’t. But we agree on this: It’s an exceptional place to visit.

An antique train trestle on the Little Manatee River is a good place for a lunch break. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Little Manatee River near Tampa: Great for kayakers, hikers & campers

Just 45 minute from Tampa/St. Pete, the beautiful river, state park and region is a natural haven that can keep you busy exploring for days. There’s an outfitter to make trip-planning easy, plus it offers cabins and camping.

Ivey House Bed and Breakfast in Everglades City is designed for outdoors-oriented visitors. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Ivey House in Everglades City: B&B for outdoors folks

If you’re visiting the western entrance to Everglades National Park and the Ten Thousand Islands, there is a bed and breakfast that caters specifically to kayakers, hikers and outdoor enthusiasts – the Ivey House Bed and Breakfast in Everglades City.

Cabins at Bahia Honda State Park

Cabins in Florida state parks: ‘Comfort’ camping

One of the best places to enjoy nature is in a cabin in a Florida state park. But the cabins book up fast, so now is the time to book reservations for the lovely weather ahead.

The beach at Jetty Park in Cape Canaveral is hard-packed and offers great recreational opportunities. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Jetty Park: Beachfront cabins & camping in Cape Canaveral

Jetty Park, with a terrific beach, fishing jetty and a view of passing ships, has a campground and small cabins. It’s an appealing getaway, with a few catches.

Rustic cabins at Hontoon State Park provide a more camping-like experience

A little cabin in the Florida woods: Photos of state park cabin rentals

Florida’s state parks offer not only a natural setting and ambiance, but also a good value in its state park cabins. Ranging in price from $30 to $160 a night, there are cabins in 21 state park, all sharing one essential asset: You can’t beat their location. Here is a collection of photos of cabins available around Florida parks.

Clear turquoise water along Silver River. (Photo: Bonnie Gross)

Silver Springs State Park: Famous spring plus cabins, hiking, history

If you haven’t experienced Florida’s most famous spring, you’re missing one of the most beautiful spots in Florida. This weekend, Ocali Country Days, a special living-history festival, will re-create the Ocala of the 1800s. Year-round, this park has it all: kayaking, hiking, glass-bottom boat rides, horseback riding and terrific cabins.

This is Old Florida: The Herlong Mansion was built in Micanopy, Florida, in 1845. Today it is a B&B.

Micanopy and the Herlong Mansion: Slow down for Old Florida

Micanopy is right off I-75 near Gainesville, but it feels far away — like a small town in a Florida long gone. Its jewel is the 1845 Herlong Mansion B&B.

I do not think it is a coincidence that the Stephen Foster Museum at Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park looks like a class Southern plantation.

Stephen Foster State Park: Glorious river; great cabins, odd old museum

This state park has superior cabins and is a great base for kayaking the Suwanee and hiking. It’s also home to an oddly dated museum on Stephen Foster. (We considered it a funky Florida find.)

Jonathan Dickinson State Park cabins make it easy to explore a great park

Jonathan Dickinson State Park cabins make it easy to explore a great park

New cabins bring the “comfort camping” experience to this big, varied state park where you can kayak on a wild river, bicycle, hike for miles and explore an interesting area.

The main street on Cedar Key

Cedar Key: Charming, historic, off the beaten track

It’s a long way from just about anywhere — and that’s part of its appeal. But it’s also a great place to bicycle, kayak, hike, watch sunsets and spot birds. The 1859 hotel, now a charming B&B, is reason enough to go.

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