UNCOVERING FLORIDA’S QUIRKY ACCOMMODATIONS
Many vacationers travel for the experience to “live like the locals,” and in many Florida destinations, for an out of the box experience, you can experience the quirky side through your choice of lodgings. Here are just a few examples…
BETTER THAN A MAGIC KINGDOM IN CENTRAL FLORIDA
Have you ever considered reserving a room at an Inn with it’s own airplane hangar, man cave, yurt, treehouse and classic car hangar? In Orlando North, Seminole County, FL there’s a small but very unusual property that features all this and more. The rural Danville B&B, 5-star AirBnB-rated, is self-contained in an airplane hangar that looks like a country porch upon arrival, then magically transforms into a mini-town with the flick of a switch. It features a cozy inn with two guest rooms, an Irish Pub, theater, photo booth and wedding pavilion. Guests can enjoy a stay in the master suite, with access via a private residential elevator or the dramatic oak staircase. Additional hangars house planes, a man cave, and classic cars. There are also yurt and treehouse accommodations too. The owner/pilot will fly guests for an aerial view of the area in his private plane and guests can tool around in vintage vehicles from the classic car hangar or roam the property on Segways. 232 N. Jungle Road, Geneva, FL 32732. (407) 349-5724. www.danvillebnb.com. PHOTO GALLERY: http://www.
Sanford’s Floating Cottage is a combination houseboat and tiny cabin. This quaint property on the St. John’s River -- just outside of Orlando in Sanford -- lulls guests to sleep with the lapping sounds of the calming waters. Amenities include a queen loft bed beneath a cathedral ceiling and a full side sofa bed in the first floor entertaining quarters. The kitchen features a gas stove, full size refrigerator and ice dispenser. Recreational amenities include kayaks for exploring the waterfront, and you can walk just a few blocks from the marina to enjoy the galleries, shops, eateries, bars, brew pubs and entertainment venues of historic downtown Sanford. Floating Cottage, St. Johns River, Sanford, airbnb.com/rooms/18295922.
LIVING LODGE IN THE FLORIDA PANHANDLE
Folks after a more earthy lodging experience should choose Navarre Beach/Santa Rosa County. Vacation rentals and affordable hotels are plentiful, but so are some genuinely quirky accommodations that will stick in the memory longer than another four-wall hotel room, no matter how nice the view. Noted are a few places to stay that provide an altogether different, old-Florida experience without roughing it.
The Modern Treehouse at Coldwater Gardens is a stately piece of modern architecture set among a dense magnolia canopy. It’s made of rich woods, inside and out. A covered alcove, ideal for lounging, separates the two compact rooms, which are equipped with heat and AC. Plus, you’ll have easy access to the agricultural marvel that is Coldwater Gardens, where you can take relaxing strolls or in-depth guided tours.
Tiny houses in urban areas are a big thing, but how about one that’s situated amid a canopy of green and nearby charming Coldwater Creek, with three beaches that offer direct access? The Tiny House Cabana at Coldwater Gardens, which comfortably accommodates two, has a climate-controlled bedroom, full bathroom and a covered outdoor kitchen and dining space. Just outside the porch there’s a fire pit and charcoal grill with chairs and benches.
Adventures Unlimited, just six miles from Coldwater Gardens, has an array of secluded cabins, some that they call “primitive.” Others are darn near cushy — like the Lorax Loft, which offers a cozy treehouse stay. Sleep well in a king-size bed; relax in a champagne soaker tub, fire up the fireplace; and make good use of the equipped mini-kitchen. Lorax Loft is just a quick stroll from Stumpy Alley Beach on Coldwater Creek, as well as the myriad outdoor activities — i.e. ziplining — Adventures Unlimited is famous for.
Katie’s Kaboose, a one-of-a-kind accommodation at Adventures Unlimited, is a renovated train caboose equipped with a full-sized bed and single trundle bed. Relax by the campfire after a day of zip-lining and tubing.
For a trip out of this world, book the Spaceship House in Navarre Beach. This newly remodeled abode includes rooms inspired by the most popular intergalactic movies: Star Wars, Star Trek and more. Sci-Fi fans can live out their childhood fantasies or make their kids’ wildest dreams come true when vacationing in the Spaceship House that is also conveniently located a short walk to the beach.
OVERNIGHT IN AN HISTORIC TREASURE ON FLORIDA’S TREASURE COAST
The Historic Driftwood Resort — For a true taste of old-Florida beachfront living, replete with a façade made from weathered wood, you can’t go wrong with this property, whose origins date back to the early 1900s. The two-story hotel sits right on the Atlantic Ocean on Vero Beach’s barrier island, and includes the legendary Waldo’s Restaurant. A private boardwalk will take you to the beach. Here's the history on the owner and the property that earned them their “quirky” designation… Owner Waldo Sexton built his sprawling Driftwood Inn of cypress logs and pecky-cypress paneling from the swamps around Blue Cypress Lake, some 26 miles away. Lacking architectural plans, the result is a two-story hotel with balconies everywhere surrounded by pole railings with peeled-log supports. Nothing seems square or level. Inside, the Inn was filled with quirky objects Waldo found on gathering forays domestically and abroad, including ships’ wheels, cannons, old chests and a menagerie of old bells which guests are invited to ring today.
For more information on the locales housing the unique venues, visit DoOrlandoNorth.com for Seminole County. For information on Santa Rosa County Tourism visit GetRelaxing.com and for information on Vero Beach check out VisitIndianRiverCounty.com