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Florida Heritage Travel, February 2010
January 29, 2010

February 2010 News And Events

The Tom Thumb Courts used to stand on the far south end of Jacksonville Beach, just before Ponte Vedra Beach.

The little wood frame cottages were right on the ocean. I guess its name came from P. T. Barnum's famous little dwarf of the same name. Like a lot of other places in Florida, Tom Thumb was torn down long ago and condos are in its place.

This is another of my postcards that reminds me I am pretty old. I lived in this motel for a short time in 1961. There was no air conditioning, but plenty of cool breezes streaming in from the Atlantic. Needless to say there was no wi-fi either, because there was no internet.


Thanks for continuing to subscribe to Florida Heritage monthly e-zine. Florida Backroads Travel continues to grow and is again among the top 1% of all websites in the world in terms of traffic.

This past month I added a couple of new features to the website to help its role as a cultural and heritage resource as much if not more than just a travel site. One of these features is a new page dedicated to Florida Web Links that will connect visitors to useful information on cultural and heritage happenings and venues in Florida on other websites.

Additional features have been added to allow visitors to create their own web page. This is done either through the Your Page tab on the home page or on individual town and attraction pages. Each of these web pages will have a unique URL and will be part of the Florida Backroads Travel website. I continue to use this feature to write about places in and near my featured towns.

I have invited several well known Florida authors to create web pages on their favorite books, and have invited a few travel writers to create pages about their favorite towns and places.

I hope you will create a page on my website about your area of interest. You will then have your own web page you can direct friends and family to. Write as many pages as you want, the more the merrier, subject to my editorial review to eliminate discussion of politics, religion or women.


February comes in after an especially frigid January 2010. Some of that cold weather we just had made many Yankees question why they moved to Florida in the first place. Temperatures got below freezing several times, even in tropical South Florida. Many folks had to use their heaters and filled their houses with that unfamiliar aroma of long unused heating elements. The landscape all over Florida was dotted with plastic bags and sheets tied securely over fragile plants to protect them from the cold.

February brings back the remainder of the snowbirds, and the roads and restaurant parking lots are full of Mercury Marquis sedans with northern license tags. This is always a good time to visit northern Florida places because they are not as crowded in the winter months as the more tropic southern regions of the state.

Here are some interesting events around Florida for February 2010.


FLORIDA WINERIES. Check the Florida winery nearest you. Many of them have wonderful weekend events that include music and wine tastings. Our site has information on 18 wineries scattered across the state.

FLORIDA MUSEUMS. Many Florida art and historical museums have events going on in February. Click on the links to find out what is going on.

FLORIDA THEATER. The winter months in Florida are an active time for plays and musical events in our many Florida theaters.. Check the links to find out what might be interesting to you.

FLORIDA AUTHORS. Some folks don't mind staying home in the colder Florida months and reading a good book by a Florida author next to the warm glow of the fireplace (yes, we have a few in Florida, some electric, some gas, some real wood).


Panama City
St. Andrew Mardi Gras, February 12-13. Hosted by the Krewe of St. Andrews , this mini Mardi Gras has over 14 Krewes with more than 20 brightly colored floats Starting at Oakland Terrace Park, down 11th to Beck and Beck to 15th. The main parade is on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. There will be beads, doubloons, and other unique treasures to catch. This is the Grand Finale parade for Bay County's annual Mardi Gras Season.


Dixieland Music Park Spring Fling, February 25-27. This is a celebration of country and bluegrass music held at the Dixieland Music Park in Waldo, a small town northeast of Gainesville. Featuring: Nothin' Fancy, Bluegrass Brothers, Moron Brothers, Carolina Sonshine, Amanda and Scott Anderson Band.


Fernandina Beach
The Odd Couple, February 12. Amelia Community Theatre, 209 Cedar Street, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034. Felix is an obsessive-compulsive neat freak, and Oscar is a typical slob. This Neil Simon comedy is always funny, always contemporary.


Daytona Beach
Bike Week, February 26-March 7. This is one of the world's largest motorcycle events. If your girlfriend leaves you for another guy, don't be surpised if she heads to Bike Week on the back of his Harley. Go see what its all about, maybe you'll run into her. Motorcycle shows, exhibits, concerts, street festivals and more. Great people watching.


Out Of This World: Extraordinary Costumes From Film And Television, February 6-May 16. Orange County Regional History Center. See the country's entertainment history with this exhibit that has costumes, props and models from some of the most popular and television shows.


Downtown Bradenton Craft Festival, February 13-14. This festival displays unique jewelry, pottery, paintings and a lot of other interesting things.


The 31st Annual Naples National Art Festival, February 20-21. Cambier Park and 8th St. 275 artists from across the country. The Naples National is a premier collecting opportunity for serious art collectors, a great venue for finding unique jewelry and clothing and to have a fun day out in downtown Naples’ premiere shopping and dining district.


ArtiGras Fine Arts Festival, February 13-15. This President's Day weekend show is held at Abacoa Town Center. It attracts more than 150,000 art lovers and collectors. Lots of live entertainment, art auctions and more.

Information on the towns and places hosting these events or near them, including lodging, can be found at Florida Towns.

In our current slow economy, some events are cancelled on very short notice. I do my best to ensure that our information is correct and current, but I recommend you call before leaving for the event to make sure it's still on.


One of my favorite restaurants is in my old stomping grounds of Brevard County where I lived most of the time from 1975 to 2004. Pineda Crossing Bar & Grill, Melbourne

Thanks for subscribing to Florida Heritage Travel. We will see you next month with more updates and event information.

Regards, Mike Miller
Chief Backroads Traveler

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