Category Archives: Attractions and Events

Explore The Florida Museum of Natural History

April 28, 2017 by Corey A. Edwards

The Florida Museum of Natural HistoryThere are always a ton of fun and fresh things to do in Northern Florida. One attraction in the Starke area that seems to have something for everyone is The Florida Museum of Natural History.

The Florida Museum of Natural History, located on the University of Florida campus, treats visitors to a variety of permanent and rotating exhibits. The museum contains more than 34 million specimens and artifacts, including one of the world’s largest collections of butterflies and moths.

In a bit of synchronicity, one of the most popular attractions at the museum is the Butterfly Rainforest exhibit.

The Butterfly Rainforest contains upwards of 80 different species of live moths and butterflies. The exhibit contains around 1,000 live moths and butterflies in an enclosed, outdoor space attached to the museum. Plants, landscaping and flowing water cause the exhibit to seamlessly mimic rainforest habitat. The space also contains a variety of other live creatures, including fish and turtles. A variety of Indoor Butterfly Exhibits further bring this fascinating group of insects to life.

The Butterfly Rainforest qualifies as a must-see for anyone visiting the museum or even just the area!

The museum’s internationally acclaimed fossil collection is another big attraction. Florida Fossils: Evolution of Life and Land utilizes this collection to illustrate the last 65 million years of Florida’s natural history.

Other permanent exhibits include:

Northwest Florida: Waterways & Wildlife – This exhibit follows the path taken by Florida’s most precious resource — water – as it flows from northwest Florida down to the Gulf of Mexico.

South Florida People & Environments – Discover South Florida estuaries and the societies they have supported throughout history. Particularly fascinating is the history of the Calusa, who once ruled all of South Florida.

Exploring Our World – This exhibit celebrates the history of the Museum and world-class collections through images, discovery drawers, and video. The exhibit also highlights current studies and research projects at the University of Florida.

The museum always has a number of traveling or rotating exhibits, as well as hosting events throughout the year. The grounds around the museum include a Fossil Plant Garden and a Florida Wildflower & Butterfly Garden.

General Admission to The Florida Museum of Natural History is free. There is a cover charge for admission to featured exhibits and the Butterfly Rainforest. The museum is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.

The Florida Museum of Natural History

University of Florida, 3215 Hull Rd, Gainesville, FL 32611
Open year ’round, 7 days a week. 10 am to 5 pm, Monday through Saturday, 1 pm to 5 pm Sundays.
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.
See what’s happening right now at the museum by visiting The Florida Museum of Natural History website!

Gainesville Area Lodging
Our North Florida B&B is located on the shores of a beautiful, natural cypress lake, yet is just a half-hour’s drive from the University of Florida. Our convenient location puts Gators’ games, the Gainesville Regional Airport, and much more at your fingertips. Hampton Lake Bed & Breakfast offers 180 feet of waterfront and a dock that’s perfect for fishing, swimming, and soaking up spectacular sunsets. Book your stay at Hampton Lake Bed & Breakfast today!

Get Wild At Carson Springs Wildlife Conservation Foundation!

April 14, 2017 by Corey A. Edwards

Carson Springs Wildlife Conservation Foundation in Gainesville, FlCarson Springs Wildlife Conservation Foundation is an exotic animal refuge in Gainesville, Florida. Take a tour of their facility and meet more than 70 different exotic animals all in one amazing place!

Christine and Barry Janks founded the Carson Springs Wildlife Conservation Foundation in 2003. Their mission was a simple one: they wanted to house and rehabilitate abandoned, abused, and/or endangered exotic and native animals. Further, they hoped to help educate their visitors about these wonderful animals and the role they play.

From the looks of things, it would seem they succeeded!

Carson Springs Wildlife Conservation Foundation currently houses over 70 animals representing 25 different species. Unlike many facilities, here they go above and beyond the minimum standards set by the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

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2017 Florida State Sporting Clays Championship Tournament

March 20, 2017 by Corey A. Edwards

2017 Florida State Sporting Clays Championship TournamentThis year’s Florida State Sporting Clays Championship Tournament is being held at Bradford Sportsmen’s Farm, in Graham, FL on April 6th through the 9th, 2017.

Bradford Sportsmen’s Farm had to compete with all the other sporting clay ranges in the state for the honor of hosting this year’s tournament. No doubt their two, fully automated, 14-station, sporting clays courses played a major role in the choice.

Sporting clays, also known as shooting skeet, began in England, but quickly moved to the United States. The pastime is one of the fastest-growing shooting sports in the country. The small, fragile sporting clays, or clay pigeons, are designed to mimic gamebirds. Some have likened the sport to golf because of the golf carts often used between stations. Golf … with shotguns.

Bradford Sportsmen’s Farm offers a variety of both tower and ground level presentations. These help to make their sporting clay course challenging and fun whether you’re shooting for recreation or in a tournament. The range even has two covered and lighted 5-stands with remote controls.

This year’s Florida State Sporting Clays Championship Tournament contains a number of different events. Along with the standard 200 Target Main Event, the tournament will also feature a 5-Stand Event, a Preliminary 100 Target event, a Sub-Gauge event, and a FITASC event. The Sub-Gauge event allows for .410’s, 28 gauge, 20 gauge, and 12 gauge shotguns.

2017 Florida State Sporting Clays Championship Tournament Schedule

Thursday, April 6th
8am to 4:30pm – Registration
8am to 4:30pm – Warm-Ups
9am to 4:30pm – Preliminary Event (North)
9am to 3:30pm – Sub Gauge & 12 Ga Event
8:30am to 4:30pm – Games

Friday, April 7th
7:30am to 5pm – Registration
7am to 10am – Breakfast
8am to 5pm – Warm-Ups
9am to 4:30pm – Preliminary Event (West)
9am to 5pm – FITASC (100 targets)
9am to 4:30pm – 5-Stand Event
8:30am to 5pm – Games
9am to 3:30pm – Sub Gauge & 12 Ga. Event
11am to 2pm – Lunch

Saturday, April 8th
7:30am to 2pm – Registration
7am to 10am – Breakfast
8am to 5pm – Warm-Ups
8:30am to 5pm – Games
9am to 4:30pm – Main Event
8:30am to 5pm – FITASC (50 targets)
9am to 4:30pm – 5-Stand Event
9am to 3:30pm – Sub Gauge & 12 Ga Event
11am to 2pm – Lunch
4:30pm to 5:30pm – Shoot-offs for Prelim & Sub-gauge
6pm – Dinner and Awards
Prelim Shoot-off after dinner

Sunday, April 9th, 2017
7am to 10am – Breakfast
8am to 2:30pm – Warm-Ups
9am to 4pm – Main Event (2nd 100 targets)
8:30am to 4pm – FITASC Event (50 targets)
9am to 3pm – 5-Stand Event
9am to 3:30pm – Super Sporting East Course 9:00AM – 3:30PM
8am to 4pm – Games 8:30AM – 4:00PM
11am to 2pm – Lunch
4:30pm – Refreshments and Awards

Florida State Sporting Clays Championship Tournament

April 6, 7, 8, & 9, 2017
Bradford Sportsmen’s Farm
11394 SW 106th Ave, Graham, FL 32042
View this pdf from Bradford Sportsmen’s Farm for registration and more details.

Florida State Sporting Clays Lodging
Are you planning to attend the 2017 Florida State Sporting Clays Championship? Hampton Lake Bed & Breakfast is just 10 easy minutes away from Bradford Sportsmen’s Farm! We’re only 14 miles from Gainesville Regional Airport, too! Now that’s convenience. Once you experience the beauty, peace, and unbeatable Southern hospitality of our lakefront Florida B&B, you’ll never stay anywhere else. Book your room, now!

Sink Your Teeth Into The Bradford County Strawberry Festival 2017

March 10, 2017 by Corey A. Edwards

Bradford County Strawberry Festival 2017Come celebrate the flavors and colors of spring at the Bradford County Strawberry Festival! April 8th and 9th, 2017 in downtown Starke, FL.

Spring! Who can deny the season’s warm and friendly embrace? It is contagious! What better way to express your happiness at the end of winter than with a lively street fair? The annual Bradford County Strawberry Festival fits the bill with its celebration of one of everyone’s favorite sweet, juicy berries – the strawberry!

Bradford County is known for its strawberry harvest: the “sweetest strawberries this side of heaven.” Strawberries are so popular, it is estimated that your average American eats three-and-a-half pounds of them a year! Bradford county’s annual strawberry festival is one way of saying thanks for the harvest and deliciousness of this amazing and beautiful little fruit.

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Discover Florida’s Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park!

February 27, 2017 by Corey A. Edwards

Devil's Millhopper Geological State ParkDevil’s Millhopper Geological State Park is a 120 feet deep, prehistoric, limestone sinkhole containing a miniature rain forest and fossils of extinct animals.

There’s a gigantic, funnel-shaped hole in the ground just two miles northwest of Gainesville, Florida. This natural wonder measures an astonishing 500 feet across, 120 feet deep, and a circumference of almost a half-mile! This is the Devil’s Millhopper, a limestone sinkhole that has yielded fossilized shark teeth, seashells, and extinct land animals.

The Devil’s Millhopper is one of only two geological state parks in Florida. Prior to that lofty designation, it was described in a number of colorful ways. As the name suggests, there are many weird, old stories about this sinkhole. Native Americans, explorers, and settlers have all held their own, unsettling beliefs about the hole.

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Come On Out For The 2017 NHRA Gatornationals!

February 10, 2017 by Corey A. Edwards

2017 NHRA GatornationalsIf you’re a fan of drag racing, you already know that you don’t want to miss the NHRA Gatornationals. The 48th annual return is scheduled for March 16th to the 19th, 2017 at Gainesville Raceway in Gainesville, Fl.

The Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, the traditional East Coast opener, has entertained fans for decades. The world’s best drag racers come to launch their fire-breathing metal machines down the strip at Gainesville Raceway.

It’s NHRA professional level competition in the 10,000-horsepower, nitro-fueled Top Fuel Dragster and Funny Car classes, and the 200-mph Pro Stock category. Gatornationals is also the season opener for the NHRA Mello Yello Series Pro Stock Motorcycle category and the J&A Service Pro Mod category.

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It’s All About Elephants at North Florida’s Two Tails Ranch!

January 23, 2017 by Corey A. Edwards

It's All About Elephants - Two Tails RanchAll About Elephants Two Tails Ranch near Gainesville, FL is an elephant care facility offering privatey guided tours. The privately owned ranch boards elephants – and other exotic creatures – in need of temporary or permanent housing.

You don’t expect to see elephants in Florida and yet the coast’s climate is just about perfect for them, being nearly identical to their native homelands.

Two Tails Ranch was founded in 1984 as both temporary boarding and a permanent home for elephants in need. Some have come here in retirement, many are only here while their exhibits are being prepared. Others still, come for training, medical, or even behavioral reasons.

Over the years more than 250 elephants have been boarded at the ranch. Two Tails Ranch has even seen the successful birth of two elephant babies: Romeo and Juliette in 1990 and 1991!

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Stay On Target At Bradford Sportsmen’s Farm!

January 9, 2017 by Corey A. Edwards

Bradford Sportsmen’s FarmLooking for a good place to get some shooting in during your North Florida getaway? Look no further than Bradford Sportsmen’s Farm!

Bradford Sportsmen’s Farm is located in Graham, FL and offers some of the most diverse shooting facilities around. They offer classes, tournaments, a pro shop, and a club house with refreshments.

The family owned facility offer NSCA registered sporting clays tournaments each month. Rifle and pistol matches are also sometimes on the schedule.

When it comes to ranges, you just about can’t beat the diversity of Bradford Sportsmen’s Farm.

They have a 25-yard pistol range with five, AR-500 steel targets where you can shoot any pistol or .22 rimfire rifle. There also two rifle ranges, one of which is the longest rifle range open to the public in North Florida! This larger range offers concrete benches and a covered platform to shoot from. The smaller rifle range has a covered shooting area with several firing stations available.

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Visit Mill Creek Farm – Florida’s Retirement Home For Horses!

December 19, 2016 by Corey A. Edwards

Mill Creek Farm - Florida's Retirement Home For HorsesMany people head to Florida when they retire – but horses? Yep! Horses like to retire here, too. Well, they do if they’re lucky enough to wind up at Mill Creek Farm, North Florida’s Retirement Home For Horses!

Mill Creek Farm is a nonprofit equine sanctuary that was founded in 1983 by Peter and Mary Gregory. The couple got the idea from a trip to England where they discovered a “vacation” farm for London’s cart and carriage horses. Once a year, the animals were given a two-week break from their jobs on the city streets. Those two weeks were the only time these animals saw a pasture.

The experience was very affecting.

When the Gregory’s retired, some years later, they decided to open a horse retirement farm of their own – and Mill Creek Farm was born.

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Soar To New Heights At The Wings of Dreams Aviation Museum

December 9, 2016 by Corey A. Edwards

Soar to new heights at the Wings of Dreams Aviation Museum in Starke, Florida!Aviation and history fans alike will delight in the Wings of Dreams Aviation Museum at Keystone Heights Airport in Starke, FL.

Keystone Heights Airport, formerly Keystone Army Airfield, has a rich military history. It was an Army Air Corps air base training reconnaissance pilots during World War II. It also played home field for a squadron of fighter pilots preparing for the Normandy Invasion.

Consequently, a good part of the museum’s mission is to preserve this otherwise obscure corner of wartime history. The museum collection contains more than just airport history, however. A LOT more!

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Get Your Vroom On At Florida International Rally & Motorsport Park

November 28, 2016 by Corey A. Edwards

Florida International Rally & Motorsport ParkThe Florida International Rally & Motorsport Park is Florida’s premier action sports facility with a variety of driver training programs, a full-service outdoor event facility, and tons more.

Looking to get out on the track? Florida International Rally & Motorsport Park (FIRM) is your one stop action sports facility. FIRM offers 14 miles of gravel, dirt, sand, and tarmac rally tracks, trails, and road courses. Six expert-designed, European-style rally stages await you as well in this North Florida motor-sports heaven.

FIRM’S stable of professional driving instructors are ready to get you out on the track with both rally and road racing driver training. The center also offers security and military tactical driver training. There are even ATV training courses!

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2016 Morningside Nature Center Cane Boil and FiddleFest

November 14, 2016 by Corey A. Edwards

Morningside Nature Center Cane Boil and FiddleFest 2016The annual Morningside Nature Center Cane Boil and FiddleFest is a Thanksgiving weekend tradition! This year’s event is scheduled for Saturday, November 26, 2016.

Step back in time to a simpler era when friends and neighbors gathered together to tackle a big job and make a festival of it! The annual Morningside Nature Center Cane Boil and FiddleFest is just that: a trip back to the 1870’s.

In those days, everyone who could grew sugar cane. Come fall, they’d harvest the stalks, squeeze out the juice, then boil the juice down into a sweet syrup. Grinding and boiling the cane down was a long and hard task but the resulting syrup was often the only source of sugar they had.

Cane boils were more than just a lot of hard work, however. Sharing the labor meant less work for everyone. Consequently, cane boils were also a time to come together. Folks would gather to exchange news, gossip, and celebrate community as they worked.

The annual Morningside Nature Center Cane Boil and FiddleFest is a chance to experience these otherwise forgotten traditions.

Cane is fed into a mule-powered press to extract the juice, which is then boiled for up to six hours during the event. Watch as 60 gallons of juice are boiled down to a mere six gallons of syrup. Then it’s your chance to taste it!

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Attend the 2016 Gainesville Downtown Festival and Art Show!

October 21, 2016 by Corey A. Edwards

Gainesville Downtown Festival and Art Show 2016Planning on attending the 35th annual Gainesville Downtown Festival and Art Show, November 5th and 6th, 2016? Great idea! The festival is a great place to discover new art and artists, as well as enjoy live music and mouthwatering eats!

The 35th annual Gainesville Downtown Festival and Art Show promises to once again transform downtown Gainesville into a celebration of art and creativity.

This beloved festival is bringing 240 artists from around the country to Northern Florida for an opportunity to display and sell their original works. Painting, sculpture, wood, glass, jewelry, ceramics, photography, fiber art, and more will be on display for the over 100,000 art lovers expected to attend.

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It’s UF Homecoming and Gator Growl Week!

October 11, 2016 by Corey A. Edwards

UF Homecoming & Gator Growl Week 2016Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know UF Homecoming is scheduled for this Saturday: October 15th, 2016. That means it’s Gator Growl Week!

The Gators are getting ready for their contest against the Mizzou Tigers on October 15th – and so should you! Come out and show your spirit for the University of Florida during UF Homecoming and Gator Growl Week!

Gator Growl, the largest student-run pep rally in the nation, is the highlight of UF Homecoming. The celebration consists of many events held throughout the week, including a pageant, two-mile run, parade, and more!

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Let Us Be Your Florida Gators Home Game Lodging

September 23, 2016 by Corey A. Edwards

Florida Gators Home Game LodgingLooking for home game accommodations for the remaining 2016 UF football season? Hampton Lake Bed & Breakfast in Starke, FL is your answer to all your Florida Gators home game lodging needs.

Coming to watch the upcoming Southeastern Conference games at University of Florida’s Ben Hill Griffin Stadium? Great idea! The remaining schedule has 3 such games scheduled and they should be well worth seeing! The Swamp will be rocking when these teams face off against each other on Steve Spurrier-Florida Field. You know you are going to want to be there!

Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, also affectionately referred to as “The Swamp,” is the largest stadium in the state of Florida. The state-of-the-art facility is also considered one of the toughest, if not THE toughest, college football environment for a visiting team. There’s not a bad seat in the house, making it one of the best places to catch the Gators in action.

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Explore Camp Blanding Museum and Memorial Park

September 9, 2016 by Corey A. Edwards

 You can click on each element in the preview to jump to the Snippet Editor. SEO title preview: Explore Camp Blanding Museum and Memorial Park Camp Blanding: what was a major U.S. Army training facility during WWII is now a fascinating military museum and memorial park in Starke, FL.

Camp Blanding originally opened in 1939 as a state-owned training facility for the Florida National Guard. The world had other ideas, however. Camp Blanding was enlarged and converted to a federal reserve as the U.S. Army expanded for WWII.

Hundreds of thousands of troops trained at Camp Blanding. Infantry, Cavalry, Tank Destroyer, Field Artillery, Engineer, Medical, and other specialist troops trained here. Nine full Infantry Divisions trained here, as well, including the 1st ID (aka the Big Red One), the 29th ID, the 30th ID, the 31st ID, the 36th ID, the 43rd ID, the 63rd ID, the 66th ID, and the 79th ID.

The camp also served as an Infantry Replacement Center for most of 1944 and 1945. A large percentage of U.S. soldiers sent to replenish WWII combat infantry ranks trained here. The Camp also held a 2800-bed hospital and a German POW Compound. Near the war’s end, it also served as a Separation Center.

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Old School Fun at the 10th Annual Starke Florida Bikefest!

August 1, 2016 by Corey A. Edwards

Starke Florida Bikefest 2016 The 10th annual Starke Florida Bikefest is only days away: August 12th through the 14th, 2016! This free rally is run by bikers, making a it an even bigger hit than ever.

The Starke Florida Bikefest promises old school biker fun city-wide with live entertainment, good food, vendors, bike show, games and much much more! Considered the best little bike fest in Florida, this free event is fully supported by the city, who has welcomed all bikes to their town since 2005.

Starke Florida Bikefest Event Schedule
Friday, August 12th
Noon on – G-Mann’s Swap Meet
9pm to 1am – Night Out – Trey Tucker Band
10pm to 2am – Whiskey River – Frazzled
TBD – Dixieland Music Park – Clay Brooker
TBD – Oasis – Brett Russell

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