Sugar mill at Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic State Park in Flagler County. (Photos: Bonnie Gross)

Bulow Plantation Ruins: 5 minutes off I-95 for romantic ruins, picnic & walk

By Bonnie Gross,, Special to, May 15, 2015 – Flagler County in northeastern Florida is full of great places to hike, kayak and discover. You could spend a week there and not run out of spots to explore. But if you’re driving on I-95 and you just want a short break from the tedium, it also offers the perfect stop: Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic State Park. On a road trip north, I was looking for a good stop a […]

Dunes at St. George Island State Park

Beach camping in Florida’s Panhandle

By Bob Rountree,, Special to, May 11, 2015 – The white sugar-sand beaches of Florida’s Panhandle are something to behold with their majestic, rolling dunes, sweeping views of the emerald-green Gulf waters, sailboats sliding past, and far out to sea, and those blips on the horizon are fishing trawlers reeling in the day’s catch to be served at a restaurant near you. Roughly 200 miles of mostly unspoiled beaches on the Gulf of Mexico run non-stop from St. George […]

Key West Songwriters Fest (Video)

Key West Songwriters Fest (Video)

By FloridaKeysNewsBureau For, May 8, 2015 – KEY WEST, Fla. — Scores of America’s top performing songwriters are taking the stage in casual island settings this week during the 20th Key West Songwriters Festival. An annual tradition for many leading country and pop music hitmakers, the festival began early Wednesday evening and continues through Sunday, May 10. “We have over 225 performers here for the next five days, putting 50 shows on around Key West,” said festival president and founder […]

Scenic drive along the Indian River Lagoon.

Backroads & scenic drives in Florida: More than views of beaches

By Bonnie Gross,, Special to, May 5, 2015 – We don’t have mountains and most of our roads have no excuse to curve, but Florida still has scenery that is worthy of viewing through your windshield. The trick to finding scenic drives in Florida is to find the undeveloped backroads and to appreciate scenery that is often subtle rather than dramatic. Some of these scenic backroads can be used as alternatives to interstate highways. Others are good for folks […]

Happy hour eats at Alonzo’s

Eight Key West restaurants for authentic local flavor

By Bonnie Gross,, Special to, May 1, 2015 – Key West has so many restaurants that it’s hard to make a decision where to eat.  Next time I go, though, I have an intriguing list of restaurants filled with local color and character– and I’m sharing it with you. My list comes via a terrific blog — – produced by Titus Ruscitti (aka KingT), a Chicago foodie who loves to explore in a style Florida Rambler approves. Ruscitti […]

The beach at Peanut Island overlooks the port. The nearby rocks provide excellent snorkeling.

Peanut Island: Snorkeling, historic Kennedy Bunker, even camping

By Bonnie Gross,, Special to, April 30, 2015 – There are three good and distinctly different reasons to visit Peanut Island: It has terrific snorkeling. It offers a fascinating historic site — the bomb shelter used by President John F. Kennedy. It has 20 campsites for tents. As a bonus, if you’re a kayaker, it makes a fun destination while you avoid the expense of the water taxi. Peanut Island is a man-made island in the middle of the Port […]

“Cabins”at Jonathan Dickinson State Park are small modular houses in a beautiful wooded setting.

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

By Bonnie Gross,, Special to, April 24, 2015 – Jonathan Dickinson State Park is such a big, varied park with so many natural wonders nearby that you could spend days there and not run out of things to do. Now, it’s easier than ever to do that. Even if you’re not a camper, you now can stay overnight in the park, thanks to the re-opening of its cabins. Ten new cabins began accepting reservations in Jonathan Dickinson in 2012. […]

Fountain in a courtyard off Worth Avenue in Palm Beach. (Photos: Bonnie Gross)

Palm Beach: Full of history & manicured beauty

By Bonnie Gross,, Special to, April 23, 2015 – The island of Palm Beach is the exclusive winter home of billionaires and their poorer colleagues, the multi-millionaires. For the rest of us, it’s a fun place to gawk at mansions, ficus hedges sculpted into works of art and learn a little history. In the summer, you can snag luxury accommodations at discounted prices and fill your weekend with exploring, snorkeling, biking and visiting museums. The opulence of Palm Beach […]

A brown pelican with one wing takes a splash.

Florida Keys Wild Bird Center is worth a quick stop

By Bonnie Gross,, Special to, April 22, 2015 – Next time you head south on the Overseas Highway for an outing in the Keys, take a few minutes to stop at MM 93.6 in Tavernier. Wander along a boardwalk through a mangrove forest and visit the Florida Keys Wild Bird Center, a volunteer-run facility with an informal, backyard sort of feel. The center is free, though after seeing the work being done, we wanted to stuff some dollars into […]

by · April 22, 2015 · Animals, Consumer, Environmental, Featured, Travel
Chicken in Key West cemetery: See why I like them? Lots of personality.

Key West chickens: Noisy, colorful, just like Key West

By Bonnie Gross,, Special to, April 20, 2015 – Key West has a lot of off-beat charms, but one of my favorites has always been the chickens. The feral fowl that frequent the streets and alleys of Key West seem like the perfect metaphor for Key West -– historic, colorful, sort of wild, a little noisy and occasionally annoying. You don’t have to work hard to spot Key West chickens  —  you hear them crowing and see them strutting […]

JetBlue launches flights from FLL to Baltimore; discounted fares

JetBlue launches flights from FLL to Baltimore; discounted fares

By Terri Lynn, Reporter, Mar 17, 2015 – JetBlue Airways, the largest airline at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL), today announced that tickets for its new, twice-daily service to Baltimore/Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport (BWI) are now available for sale on JetBlue is offering an introductory fare of only $49 one way between Baltimore/ Washington and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood between November 12 and December 16, 2015. All introductory fare tickets must be purchased by March 18, 2015. Baltimore/Washington is one of several new destinations JetBlue will launch […]

by · March 17, 2015 · Broward County, Consumer, Events, Travel
At the very start of the Chassahowitzka, you find one of the prettiest spots, the Seven Sisters Spring.

The Chaz: Springs & wildlife make this river a special kayak trail

By Bonnie Gross,, Special to, Mar 12, 2015 – We would have loved kayaking the Chassahowitzka River, better known as the Chaz, if only one of these things were true: Within the first 10 minutes, we paddled over magical springs that sparkled like swimming pools (and, indeed, you can swim there.) On one of the Chaz’s tributaries, we spent 15 minutes watching a family of five or six otters scampering, swimming, fishing, diving and delighting us. We paddled up […]