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The Adora Inn, in Mount Dora, stands as proof that B&Bs are not froufrou lodgings covered in doilies. Clutter is nowhere to be found in this comfortable Arts and Crafts bungalow.

Rarely will you find an inn with as much to offer as the Sweetwater, in Gainesville, with two historic homes, a half-dozen cottages, an apartment, and a restaurant.

Although I have lived within an hour’s drive for most of my life, I had never visited Gulfport until I spent the night at the Historic Peninsula Inn. I was missing out. Gulfport is a charming, little waterfront city with two historic inns.

My experience at the Anchor Inn was not without hiccups, but the inn is clean and comfortable and the downtown location is perfect for shopping and sightseeing.

Seven Sisters is a wonderfully exotic surprise in the midst of Central Florida horse country. (The inn has closed, but I am counting on it reopening soon.)

If a small, stylish B&B with friendly innkeepers is your cup of tea, I guarantee you will feel at home at the Hibiscus House, in Fort Myers.

For beach lovers, the location of Harrington House, directly on the sand on the seven-mile-long Anna Maria Island, can’t be beat.

The three-story, red-brick Historic Edgewater Hotel looms large in the center of downtown Winter Garden, west of Orlando, appearing much the same as when it opened in 1927.

Thurston House offers Orlando visitors a country home just outside the city, a Victorian farmhouse on eight lakefront acres.

My favorite historic bed-and-breakfast, the one I have returned to again and again, and the setting for some of my happiest memories, is found in – of all places – the land of Mickey Mouse.

St. Augustine’s annual Bed and Breakfast Holiday Tour, held each December, is true nirvana for the B&B lover, a chance to roam in and out of two dozen historic inns in America’s most historic city.

The Black Dolphin Inn stands out even on a street of fine old waterfront homes in New Smyrna Beach. With its burnt-orange barrel-tiled roof and balconies on almost every room, the Spanish-style inn bears little resemblance to a traditional B&B.

For a visit to St. Petersburg’s bustling downtown waterfront, you can’t beat the location of the Beach Drive Inn Bed & Breakfast, which faces Tampa Bay across from the Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club.

My second stay at the Grandview Bed & Breakfast confirmed: It’s not just the windmill spinning above the 1906 William Watt House that makes it special. After winding your way through the charming small town of Mount Dora, about 25 miles northwest of Orlando, you will have no trouble spying the two-story Grandview, on a corner lot of more than an acre only a few blocks from the downtown shopping district.

The Kenwood Inn was as amazing as I’d remembered. I visited 25 years earlier – half a lifetime ago – with my mother and grandmother, so I had few distinct memories, but I did remember that we loved our time there. 00001So, when I decided to revisit America’s oldest city, I took a chance that the Kenwood had stood the test of time. It has. The bed-and-breakfast is well maintained by the current owners, Pat and Ted Dobosz, who were hospitality executives in a former life.


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