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Welcome to The Hidden Coast!
This magazine is produced six times a year to help you find your way. Many thanks to the local chambers and Tourist Development Councils for their input and feedback on the magazine. A lot of time and effort has been put into this publication and we are proud to show it off. We offer information on local shopping, restaurants, businesses and activities in the area.
With our first edition back in November 2016, we wanted to let everyone know “We are open for business!” Hurricane Hermine did indeed leave a path of destruction in these communities, but they have worked hard to get right back on their feet. They have picked up and cleaned up all Mother Nature threw at them, and now they are ready for you. Spectacular sunsets, friendly people, neat shops, cozy hotels, amazing restaurants and loads of outdoor activities year around. Plan your next trip here and see what you’ve been missing!
In our portion of the world we saw businesses close and cancel advertising immediately in March, 2020. We were in Cedar Key the day the Arts Festival was cancelled and that was just the beginning. One after another festivals and events cancelled throughout the region. A ripple that turned into a wave. No visitors, no money – simple as that. A majority of the area we cover is consisted of small towns and communities. These events, scheduled once or twice a year, are relied on by many businesses and individuals. To lose one is hard, to lose all of them is devastating. But I have faith.
This is a tough part of Florida and these residents work hard. They shake off adversity and keep going. We know that because we started our magazine back in 2016 (see above comments). Although it was barely a tropical storm the area was hit hard by flooding. What transpired afterwards was that the region banded together to help each other out by cleaning, feeding and rebuilding. It was an amazing sight. That spirit is out there, not only on The Hidden Coast, but in our great country. Its been a long year, but I know we will all come together, like we have done countless times before, and help each other to the finish line.
Hurricane Idalia unleashed her fury upon The Hidden Coast region on August 30, 2023. Something a hurricane had not done since 1896. The results were devastating and this time somewhat personal to us. The storm affected several of our customers, putting some of them out of business literally overnight. Towns that had rebuilt from Tropical Storm Hermine, back in 2016, had to do it all over again. This time facing floodwaters that had reached 9’ in some areas. The pictures we saw immediately after the storm were heartbreaking. In some instances we had just been to certain locations 5 days earlier and now they looked like a war zone.
We hit the road on Labor Day weekend with supplies, the first of several trips back and forth. We started at our most northern distribution point and worked our way south. Nothing compared to what we saw on the first trip over. Miles and miles of power lines and trees down as we made our way into Perry. The same as we moved into Keaton Beach. But when we made it into Steinatchee we saw the first of many great sites. People out cleaning up, supplies being dropped off and debris being picked up. Organized chaos! It was like this at each location we hit that day, and it was the same results on each trip we made down over the following two weeks. And to top everything off, we started seeing some of our racks that had made it through the storm!
It has now been over 3 weeks and several businesses have reopened or are in the process of doing so. An incredible feat if you stop and think about what this region has been through… but not surprising. As we’ve said it before, and will probably say many more times as we move forward, this is a tough and kind-hearted part of the state. They welcome visitors with open arms and they take good care of, and watch out for, each other. We have been blessed to have created over 100 magazines the past 7 years and we look forward to moving forward with printing a new one for October. Things will be a little different for us as well, as our business took a big hit. But, like the rest of The Hidden Coast, we are resilient and will pick back up right where we left off.
We are open for business!
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