Back to Back Issues Page
Florida Heritage Travel, July 2010
June 29, 2010

July 2010 News And Events


William C. Temple moved to Winter Park in 1898 and purchased an estate and a large orange grove on the south side of Lake Maitland. He named the place "Alabama", not after the state but after an Indian word meaning "clearing in the woods".

A generation later, Joseph Kronenberger bought the land to develop it. He built the 80 room Hotel Alabama in 1923 as a resort hotel to attract northern visitors and sell them lots that he had developed in the neighborhood.

The hotel had good times and bad times over the next 60 years. In the good times, some of its famous guests included authors Margaret Mitchell ("Gone With The Wind") and Thornton Wilder ("Our Town" & "The Bridge of San Luis Rey") and symphony orchestra conductor Leopold Stokowski.

The Hotel Alabama in Winter Park no longer rents rooms, but you can live there if you buy a condominium. The hotel was finally converted into 19 luxury condominiums in the 1980's. It was a beautiful conversion. The Hotel Alabama is in one of the nicest areas of Winter Park, an easy walk to Park Avenue and great shopping and dining.


Thanks for continuing to subscribe to Florida Heritage monthly e-zine. Florida Backroads Travel continues to grow, and we hope you enjoy these updates. Our site remains among the top 1% of all websites in the world in terms of traffic.

This past month I took a trip from Naples to Cross Creek and back. This takes you through some of the most unspoiled country in Florida. My trip was inspired by watching "The Yearling" on Turner Classic Movies. I hadn't seen it in more than 50 years. It was just as good the second time around. Some beautiful scenes of old Florida, but Gregory Peck was just too well groomed and handsome for me to believe him as a sunburned mosquito bitten Florida cracker.

Also this month I automated Florida Backroads Travel so that any updates I make are posted automatically to my Mike Miller Facebook page and are tweeted on my Twitter page.

I am receiving good input from site visitors who have created their own web page through the Your Page tab on the home page or on individual town and attraction pages. Each of these web pages has a unique URL and is a permanent part of the Florida Backroads Travel website. I also use this feature to write about places in and near my featured towns and other attractions. In invite you to add your own page about anything Florida themed that you'd like.


July is very hot and humid, and our electric bills climb as the air conditioning is on all day and night long. It is hard to believe that some of us old timers actually lived in Florida without it. Those were not the good old days!

Here are some interesting events around Florida for July 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 FESTIVALS. July is so hot and humid there are almost no outdoor art festivals during the month. There are quite a few folk and bluegrass music festivals , however, many held in the cooler evenings.

FLORIDA MUSEUMS. Many Florida art and historical museums have scheduled events. Many of these events are in the cool air conditioned interior of the museum. Click on the links to find out what is going on.

FLORIDA THEATER. This is still 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. July is a good time to relax inside in air conditioned comfort and read a book by a Florida author while the air conditoner hums quietly in your favorite reading room or book store.


Volunteer To Help Clean Up The Oil Spill. Who knows how many millions of barrels of crude oil has washed up in the Gulf coast marshes and beaches? Fox10TV has a list of contacts and volunteer training resources if you feel like pitching in.


Fruit Tree and Plant Sale, July 7 (Wednesday) 400pm-700pm, Bo Diddley Community Plaza. The Edible Plant Project's spring sale. An eclectic selection of edible plants, fruit trees and seeds will be available.


Garden Jazz Concert, July 4, 700pm-1000pm. Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens. The St. Johns River City band will perform jazz, swing and patriotic music on the banks of the river. Guests may bring blankets, chairs, food and beverages. Fireworks after dark.


Friday Fest Family Street Party, July 9, 600pm-1000pm, Historic Downtown Melbourne. Live entertainment, food, craft and business vendors, new and classic cars, rock climbing wall and more.


Lake Wales
Tammerlin, Live at the Gardens., July 24, 730pm-900pm. Bok Tower Gardens. Folk musicians Lee Hunter and Arvid Smith blend folk tunes with electric guitars and sound-effects to create a style they call “folklectic.” Open to members and the general public. Dinner available for extra charge.


Painting Churches, June 23-July 11. Lemon Bay Theater. In a townhouse in the Boston's Beacon Hill, an elderly couple, Fanny and Gardner Church, are packing to move to a beach home on Cape Cod. Gardner is a poet and Fanny is from a "fine old family." Their daughter, a New York artist, comes to help them pack and paint their portrait. Over the course of several days, she sees her role in the parent-child relationship changing.


Feelin' Groovy, July 10, 800pm. Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts, 5833 Pelican Bay Boulevard, Naples, FL. The music of Simon and Garfunkel comes alive in this remarkable tribute that will take you back to the days of flower power, peace signs, VW buses and Mrs. Robinson. Jim Witter, who wowed Naples audiences with his Elton John/Billy Joel show The Piano Men, pays musical tribute to two other incredible singer/songwriters in Feelin’ Groovy, performing hit after hit from the Simon and Garfunkel songbook.


Old Fashioned 4th Of July Picnic, July 4, 1100am. The Barnacle Historic State Park, Coconut Grove. Enjoy a traditional Fourth of July picnic on the grounds of this 19th century pioneer homesite. Hosted by The Barnacle Society, this family-oriented event features lawn games, knot tying lessons, house tours, live music by Matthew Sabatella and the Rambling String Band, and more! Hot dogs, hamburgers, popcorn, soda and water will be available for purchase, or bring your own picnic. Coolers, blankets and chairs welcome. Please, no pets or alcohol. .

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.


Gypsy Cab Company, St. Augustine

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

Regards, Mike Miller
Chief Backroads Traveler

Back to Back Issues Page