Disney’s Fort Wilderness and Campgrounds Resort

The campground resorts at Disney’s Fort Wilderness is just one more reason to love Orlando! If you love the outdoors - whether it’s ‘roughing it” in a traditional tent, setting up in your RV or “glamping” in a cabin all the while having the magic and comforts of Disney, then Fort Wilderness should be on…

Florida Local-Owned Butcher Shops & Meat Markets

Did you know that there is a National Barbecue month (it's in May)? I admit that I did not, but that's because the weather most of the year in Florida is fantastic for cookouts  — but we can’t always be the belle of the ball. So, for the sake of American tradition, let’s say barbecue…

Go for the Glow

Experience the wonder of bioluminescence on Florida's Space Coast. When to see it. Seeing bioluminescence up close has been on my bucket list for a long time, and I’m hoping to make it happen before the end of the season this year. Florida’s peak “glowing” season is June through early October when parts of Florida’s…

Ybor City: A Kaleidoscope of Culture, History and Entertainment

Within a few miles of docked cruise ships, a beautiful aquarium and downtown Tampa is a well-known, historic neighborhood named Ybor City (pronounced ‘e-bor’). Perhaps best known for its nightlife and cigar heritage, Ybor is a veritable kaleidoscope of culture, history and entertainment. On any given day, a walk through the neighborhood reveals street cars, roosters, monuments, fascinating…

State27Homes Spotlight: Nokomis part 2

The State27Homes blogging team recently spent a day exploring Nokomis in southwest Florida, and we’re excited to share some highlights from our trip. You can read part 1 here where we covered Nokomis beach, drum circles and more! Art in Nokomis If you’re looking to support the local art scene in Nokomis, a visit to…

State27Homes Spotlight: Nokomis

The State27Homes blogging team recently spent a day exploring Nokomis in southwest Florida, and we’re excited to share some highlights from our trip. Nokomis Part 1: Organic cafes, drum circles, citrus and more. To get your bearings, Nokomis is 20 miles south of Sarasota and is home to about 3000 residents, with exclusive Casey Key…

It’s Time for Florida Blueberries

Florida's berries are harvested before other locations around the country. The season gives Florida farmers an advantage by limiting their competition. – Florida Blueberry Growers Association This past weekend I spotted a sign announcing my local blueberry U-Pick farm, Tom West Blueberries, is now open for picking. What’s really cool about the U-picking at Tom…

Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive

Weekend plans: how about a Sunday drive through Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive? The 11-mile wildlife drive opened in May 2015 and winds through the Lake Apopka North Shore property. This lush place offers ample wildlife viewing and quiet spots perfect for watching storms roll in or simply catching your breath for a while. Too hot…

Gourmet Ice Cream Tour from Siesta Key to DeLand

We Floridians are lucky we don’t have to contend with the snow, icy temperatures, and freezing conditions that befall much of the country in wintertime. Here, it’s always warm enough to sit outdoors, and it’s (almost) always beach weather. That means one thing: It’s never too cold to eat ice cream! Whether you are on…

Low-key Florida Beaches to Visit During Spring Break

State27Homes bloggers, Natashia and Laura, serve up a list of low-key Florida beaches for spring break. Trip Advisor's Top 25 best beaches in the U.S. for 2016, included popular Florida beaches  — Siesta Key, St. Pete Beach and good ole' Clearwater Beach coasting into the number one spot. With spring break upon us our well…

State27Homes Spotlight: Bradenton

Bradenton offers big-city amenities without big-city stress. I’ve driven through Bradenton many times on my way to Anna Maria Island without stopping. And I always think, I’m going to plan a day to explore Bradenton, too. So finally I did. And I was blown away with the amount of things to do there for a…

14 Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day in Central Florida

Skip the drugstore chocolates, aim for awesome this Valentine’s holiday. Check out 14 ways to celebrate Valentine's Day that will make you love living in Central Florida even more. Feb. 10-20 Festivals and Fairs Why do fairs and festivals feel so date-ish? I don’t know — maybe it’s the lights and the laughter … and…

Amazing Museums in Central and Southwest Florida

It can’t be warm and sunny all the time. So when we experience the inevitable rainy day here in Florida, or when we’re just in the mood to take in some fine art or high culture, we know there’s plenty to choose from! From contemporary art exhibitions to a roaring ‘20s mansion, here are some…

Cortez: A Traditional Fishing Village on the Gulf Coast

For those of us who like to explore off-the-beaten-track treasures and small authentic outposts of “old Florida,” a visit to Cortez, on Sarasota Bay in Manatee County, is a step back in time. It’s only an hour from Sarasota and a quick jaunt from Bradenton, and it’s definitely worth the trip! Founded in 1880, Cortez…

Where to get your Laugh on: Improv Troupes from St. Pete to Orlando

They say laughter is the best medicine. In fact science bears out that laughing actually does relieve stress and boost your mood. And what’s a better way to tickle your funny bone than spending a night at a comedy club? Here in Florida we have some of the most talented improv troupes around. Can you…

St. Petersburg Classic Regatta and St. Pete to Habana

There are moments when you just want to relax on the water, with the wind in your sails. Or listen to the gentle lapping of waves against your boat. Or even simply get from here to there. And then there are the times when you feel the need for speed. When winning is the only…

Warm Mineral Springs in North Port

Europeans, Russians, Ukrainians, Scandinavians, and Israelis are all well acquainted with the mental and physical health benefits of soaking in mineral springs. But the habit is not as common for us Americans. And it turns out that we Central Floridians live next door to the largest mineral spring in the world. Welcome to Warm Mineral…

Bringing Back Main Street

It’s happening all over Florida: residents are rediscovering Main Street, preserving historic architecture, returning to walkable neighborhoods, and engaging with their neighbors. Some of our historic cities, like Mount Dora and Bradenton, have managed to preserve this small town feeling on their own, but many others are taking advantage of the concerted efforts of the…

Manatee Viewing Spots from The Gulf Coast to Merritt Island

One of the best things about life in Florida is our unparalleled opportunity to view rare species in the wild. If you haven’t yet seen the docile manatee, it’s time to go—while they still inhabit the warm waters off our ample coastline. Now that the weather has gotten cooler, our native populations of Florida manatees…

4 Central Florida Attractions that Locals Love

One of the greatest advantages of living in Florida is that our state is a treasure trove of quirky oddities and unique attractions in out-of-the-way places. As residents, we can explore the back roads and take our time discovering the more uncommon places that tourists rarely frequent. Sarasota plays home to Circus Museum at the…

Raymond James Stadium

Tampa Bay Hosts 2017 National Collegiate Playoff This is a killer sports year for Tampa Bay! We are playing host, for the first time in history, to the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship game, which will be played on January 9 in our very own Raymond James Stadium. As zealous college football fans know…

Florida Wine Country

When my wife and I decided to visit Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards in Clermont, Florida, we weren’t expecting much in the way of a typical winery experience. Not that we have much experience, but we have been in wine country in other states. When I think of wine country, I think of gently rolling hills…

Staycation in Venice FL

My family and I enjoyed a quick staycation in Venice (Southwest Florida), and I’m excited to share a bit of our adventures with you. It was our first visit to the city, and I’m already looking forward to another visit soon! Day 1 - Venice Beach If you’ve never been to this area, you may…