When Joe and Cindy Montalto purchased the Magnolia Plantation in 1990, it's no stretch to say it was in a state of disarray. The husband-and-wife innkeepers described it "more like Animal House than a Victorian mansion," as it was filled with mattresses, couches, and other debris left over from the hundreds of hippies and college students who had inhabited the estate for the past 30 years.
The Montaltos aimed to restore the inn to its former splendor. They retained the original floor plan and 10 fireplaces throughout the house, which date back to the house's construction in 1885. With its original red-and-green mansard roof still intact and its interiors revamped, the Magnolia Plantation B&B is a shining example of French Second Empire architecture, a subset of Victorian architecture.
On the first and second floors, five unique guest rooms are decorated in period furnishings, and each is equipped with a gas fireplace and private bath with claw-foot tub. Outside, freestanding cottages are spread out across nearly 2 acres of land. Guests can stroll down the brick pathways that connect the cottages to see the property's tropical gardens, picnic by the waterfalls, or listen for lawnmowers harmonizing with weed wackers.
Each morning, there's a full complimentary breakfast spread served in the formal dining room or garden gazebo. Throughout the day, guests can enjoy free snacks and beverages, and the inn's nightly social hour includes wine and hors d'oeuvres. Magnolia Plantation Bed and Breakfast Inn sits just minutes from historic downtown Gainesville and less than 2 miles from the University of Florida campus.
Each year, the Cinema Verde festival celebrates environmentally conscious films and art. Visitors flock to the four-day event to watch more than 30 films on issues such as water access, waste disposal, and sustainable practices. The festival also features live music, art exhibits, and eco-tours that highlight the lush, natural environment of north central Florida.
A shuttle bus pulls up to the curb, and a Dogs Rule staff member leads another drowsy charge to its front porch. This pooch is knackered, having spent all day carousing at Dogs Rule, a leash-free dog-care facility whose wall-mounted “BEWARE OF THE DOG” sign belies the canine camaraderie within. As pooches enter the facility, the staff separates them into groups according to age, temperament, and size, and watches over the pups as they wrestle in the outdoor play lot’s dirt, chase soap bubbles, splash in the pool, or strategize table-side manners in the play house. Overnight guests—whether feline or canine—bunk down in crates at night. Dogs Rule's groomer Diane Lyons, herself an owner of four dogs, backs up her passion for canine coiffures with 29 years of grooming experience.
During their pets’ time at Dogs Rule, owners can opt for grooming sessions or vaccinations at an additional charge. All proceeds from the facility benefit the nonprofit AHHHHA, which finds homes for abandoned animals and offers low-cost spay and neuter services to pet owners.
I am a custom wedding, maternity and promotional photographer in north-central Florida that shoots on-location. It is an absolute pleasure to freeze the moments in time when a bride shows off her ring, when a groom is getting ready for the big day and when the couple says "I do."
The Gainesville Rock Gym staff cultivates years of international climbing experience as they shepherd visitors up the sheer faces and overhangs of their spacious gym. The facility's array of classes instruct single or small groups on all aspects of cliff facing, from anchor setting to lead climbing to yodeling SOS distress calls. Instructors help trainees hone teamwork and technique on special retreats or boost range of motion and flexibility during challenging workout sessions. To lift the sport to even greater heights, Gainesville Rock Gym also sponsors the UF Climbing Team, which placed second in the nation two years in a row.
The "Press" in Radical Press Coffee might have two meanings, seeing as how the shop is located within the Civic Media Center's radical lending library. If you want to read more about the fair economic practices behind the shop's vegan coffee drinks, you can probably find a relevant book in the stacks that line the walls. As for the coffee itself, it's all locally roasted and served hot or iced, french-pressed or aero-pressed. The baked goods are all gluten-free, vegan, and nutritious, so you won't have to eat the napkin to get your daily fiber.