September already?

September is here, and where the summer went I have no idea. We stayed
very busy throughout July & August and we are now in a position
to announce our big news from the last post. We are expanding south into
Citrus and Sumter counties starting with this edition. This is a
beautiful area of the state and that is growing leaps and bounds! If you
have never been to the area I urge you take a day trip and explore the
surroundings. Homosassa, Crystal River, Inverness, Dunedin, Hernando,
Beverly Hills, Lecanto and The Villages are all located in this area.
With this we are tripling our rack presence throughout the North Florida
area. Although we cover the seven counties of The Hidden Coast we
distribute our magazines well beyond those county lines. In fact, you
can currently find us in 15 counties, from the Gulf to the Atlantic! We
continue to have our rack at the Florida Welcome Center on I-75 and we
also have our partnership with S&S Food Stores along the I-75 and I-10
corridor. These are valuable tools to help spread the word about our

It has been a lot of work, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am
blessed to have a family that pitches in whenever there is a need and I
am truly blessed to be living and working in this part of the country. I
sometimes don’t even notice the incredible scenery I drive by daily
since I have so much on my mind. I am reminded of that when I tell people
what I do for a living and their answer is always the same, “Wow, are you lucky!
What a job.”

We are excited to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Cedar Key
Seafood Festival on our September cover. We took part in this event last
year and plan to be back again this year. The Cedar Key Lions Club puts
on quite a show and they are a super bunch to work with. We teamed up
with the chamber in late spring and summer and worked on a couple side
projects in addition to our magazines. In return they helped us create a
two-page special section promoting strictly Cedar Key businesses.
The feed back was tremendous and both pages sold out quickly! A big
thanks for Sue and Nancy for all their time and effort.

We also have our usual advertisers and article contributors in as well.
Leslie Noel Sturmer and Savanna Barry, both from the University of
Florida IFAS program, contributed an informative article on the
Big Bend Shellfish Trail that spreads throughout the area. Jeff Cary
submitted another great article about his diving expeditions and
some of the treasures, and friends, he finds below the surface.
Toni Collins has the first of a two part series in this edition, detailing the
end of the Civil War and the collapse of the Confederate government.
Interesting piece of history, for sure, that all came to an end just up I-75
in South Georgia.

As mentioned earlier we will be at the Cedar Key Seafood Festival in
October. Please look for our tent and stop by and say hello. We will
have giveaways along with some other goodies! We will also be doing the
the VisitFLA Fall Showcase at the I-75 Welcome Center in November. Like
last year we don’t do a lot of trade shows, but these fall within 10 days of
one another again in 2019.

Finally, our 2nd big announcement. We are now selling “The Last of Old
Florida” apparel on our website! This comes in the form of shirts and
hats with much more on the horizon. We thought that tagline was perfect
when we started our magazine four years ago, and we decided to take it a
step further. Please take a moment and take a peek at what we have – and
keep checking back! The holidays are coming… hint, hint.

Enjoy the fall and the beautiful change of season we have locally. Until the next
time… thank you for reading our little magazine.

Dog Days & Summer Time!

The dog days of summer are officially here, and what a hot summer it has been already. I swear it’s getting hotter but my kids continue to tell me I’m just getting older. We are over half way through 2019 already and time continues to show us no mercy. It will be back to school, halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas before we know it! We hope you have time to revel in the summertime months, and our July/August edition is filled with ideas and information to help you explore and enjoy this beautiful area we call, The Hidden Coast.

The scalloping season kicked off last month for parts of the area, we have already been out to try our luck. My wife’s family from Georgia came down and we spent one weekend in June doing our best to hunt them down. We went way north out of Steinhatchee and finally hit the jackpot near Dekle and Keaton Beach. We had close to 20 people in our group and everybody was able to find at least one from the Georgia crew. It never fails at the end of the day, no matter how many people go out in the boat, they all scatter when it’s time to clean them! My son and I enjoyed taking care of it on the dock of the new Steinhatchee River Club and spoke with several people about their day’s fortune and misfortune.

Seahag Marina is on our current cover along with several other businesses and contributors from the Steinhatchee area. Our charter captains have written some excellent articles about the do’s and dont’s of the season and IFAS gives a great overview of the scalloping experience. Brian Smith gives a first hand encounter of facing a summer storm last July and it’s quite a read! Finally Toni Collins gives us her usual great historical stories with two articles, and we welcome Jason Bryne as one of our new contributors. Jason gives us the story of an unexpected train passenger from the early days of the area. Welcome Jason, and we thank you for being part of our publication!

All of our wonderful advertisers are back in with us for July and we can’t thank them enough for their continued support of our magazine. We have added 12 outside racks to the area now, and we will soon be placing indoor wire racks throughout the area as well. We have two big announcements coming later in the summer, so keep checking back with us!

We thank you for reading our magazine and we are looking towards our next edition for September already. This will be a big deal for Cedar Key as they will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Cedar Key Seafood Festival. We took part in this fun event last year and we are looking forward to attending again this year.

As always, please let us know how we are doing. If you like what we are doing let us know. If there is something we can do better, let us know. If you have an idea for a future story, let us know. In the end, this book is all about promoting this area and making your, the readers, experience a good one while you are here. Thanks and happy summer!

May books are out!

June is almost here and we are half way through 2019 … can you believe it? It has been a very busy year for us and we look forward to all the great summer events coming our way.

Scalloping Season starts June 15th. This is a fun, low cost event that the whole family can enjoy. You can rent a boat at one of the many marina’s in the area or hire a local charter captain to show you one of their favorite “honey holes”. In July we celebrate our nation’s independence on July 4th and Cedar Key has another special event planned. “Shine Cedar Key” will take place on July 5th and they will light the Cedar Key Light Station at 9 pm. In addition to these two events don’t forget about all the wonderful outdoor activities this area has to offer. Fishing, kayaking, canoeing, hiking, shopping, springs, and a lot of good eating!

Our current magazine includes many of our great advertisers who continue to support us. We welcome Cedar Key Pizza and Subs to our magazine and next time you are in Cedar Key stop by and try them out! Located close to dock street they offer delicious pizzas and subs.

We have some informative articles again this month from both Toni Collins and Jeff Cary. If you are looking for history on the area or information/tidbits on the rivers you have come to the right place! Our charter captains and marina’s keep you up to speed on all the fishing in the area as well. The marinas and boat ramps have been packed lately so these are some must-reads for the avid fisherman.

Our sister publication, The Hidden Coast Real Estate Book continues to grow. We are publishing our sixth edition in May and our page count has jumped to 24! If you are looking to relocate to the area permanently or just coming for a short stay during the summer, please check it out!

Finally, listen for us on the local radio waves! We have partnered with Country Legends in Chiefland and Cross City and now you can hear us on their stations (93.1 and 96.3) and you can read about them in our magazines! Plenty of great classic country music – Patsy, Merle, Hank Sr. & Jr, Willie, Waylon, and the Boys plus area news, weather, and sports.

Thanks for reading our little magazine and be on the lookout for our July book. Our goal is to make that edition our biggest one yet!

Spring Time!

“Spring has sprung…” That is how Mike Farmer starts his article in this month’s edition and we couldn’t agree more! Another winter behind us and a beautiful spring season to look forward to. With that comes several festivals throughout the region and we have them all in our March book. We start out with the Cedar Key Arts Festival on the cover, plus articles and ads on The Florida State Bluegrass Festival, Trenton’s Suwannee Valley Quilt Fest, The Dixie County Fly-in & Cruise-In and, The WOW Event happening in Cedar Key. Don’t forget The Spring Art Festival happening in Suwannee at the end of the month as well. So much to do and we urge you to take advantage of the beautiful spring weather and attend one, if not all, of these fun events.

We are excited to jump into spring with 40 pages, our biggest book yet! In addition to all the festivals we just listed we have some great articles and information about the entire region. Articles from Toni Collins include “Putting America to Work” and the WPA impact in the area during the 1930s. She also sends along some fun “Florida Facts” about our great state. Jeff Carey has another informative article about “flying the skies” in the area and includes some dynamite pictures. We were given permission to reprint a very interesting article from the University of Florida’s Explore magazine. “Laser Legacy” talks about how the university is using 3-D visualization of sea level rise in Florida communities, including Cedar Key. We also have our usual charter captains back in, Mike Farmer and Brian Smith, giving us the “ins and outs” for good fishing in the area. Finally our faithful advertisers, old and new, who continue to support our little magazine. Please take the time to visit them while in the area. These folks work hard every day to make this beautiful area welcoming and inviting for all who visit.

Enjoy spring and enjoy our book.

Happy New Year and our January Edition

Happy new year! Although we had a great Christmas season I am very happy it is behind us. The holiday season wreaks havoc on the printing industry and as hard as we tried to get our books out, it wasn’t to be. Lights, presents, parties, family, shopping, sweets, more family and realizing the reason for the season took over. Kudos to a wonderful season and great 2018 and we look forward to the new year with much excitement. We have a second new magazine, new racks, and larger distribution as we move into 2019 and our production schedule went from 6 to 18 overnight. We are a little nervous but we are looking forward to promoting the great region of Florida from the Gulf to the Atlantic!

The new year kicks off with several great festivals planned for the area. We have the Fiddler Crab Festival, The Quilt Festival, the Spring Art Festival and the Brew Fest all happening within the first three months of this year! Lots to do and lots to see and you can read all about them in our magazine. Please make plans to attend at least one of these fun events!

We have some new advertisers in this edition; The Island Hotel and Restaurant, Cedar Inn and Cheek Drugs. We also have some old favorites back in with us; Good Times Marina, Ken’s Kettle Corn, Piddler’s Pointe, and Old Florida Celebration of the Arts. We also say goodbye to one of the biggest supporters, The Salty Needle in Cedar Key. Owner Beth Davis has decided to retire and spend more time with her family. We wish Beth all the best and thank her for all the loyalty and support she has shown us over the years.

Finally, we have some great reading for this issue. Salt Addiction Charters discusses “Steinhatchee Fishing”, Toni Collins brings us “The Caboose” and “Florida Pioneer Spirit”, Bev Ringenberg brings us a preview of the “Old Florida Celebration of the Arts” festival, Dr. Stefanie Gazda brings us an update on “Cedar Key Dolphin Project” and very unique fundraiser they are having, and finally Jeff Carey gives us another in-depth article on one of the many waterways in the area, “Manatee Springs, a Different Perspective.” History, entertainment, outdoors and wildlife. We have a little bit of everything for this edition and we hope you enjoy it.

Finally, we start our third year of The Hidden Coast Magazine in 2019 and we are very proud of how our little magazine continues to grow. We enjoyed meeting several of our readers at two events in the fall and look forward to seeing more of you this year. Happy New Year!

November and the end of the year!

Wow, where did 2018 go? I can’t believe we are staring at November/December and the end of the year already. It has been a great year for us. Our little magazine maintained it’s steady growth throughout the year, and we were able to promote this special region of the state and all the wonderful events and activities it has to offer. We have met many people over the life of this book (advertisers, readers, travelers…) and we look forward to serving everyone in the future. We had the opportunity to have a booth at the Cedar Key Seafood Festival and the Fall Winter Fair at the Florida Welcome Center in October. It was a nice way to close out 2019 and show off all our hard work from the past year.

Our December book has a listing of all the fun holiday events going on throughout the area. Anything from Christmas festivals and bazaars to boat parades and Santa Claus. If you have never seen a Christmas boat parade please take the time to check it out. It is a truly unique way to see the holiday lights and you will be amazed at all the different ways you can decorate a boat (of all sizes!).

Our usual advertisers are in with us for this edition, plus a couple new ones. Jeff Cary has an informative article about the Icketucknee Springs and UF Wildlife Ecology and Conservation has an update on the Lone Cabbage Reef restoration project and the Cedar Key Dolphin Project has contributed an article on the ongoing progress in the area.

Finally, we have included a page from the American Red Cross in our current edition. We had a couple sleepless nights tracking Hurricane Michael as it came up the Gulf and thank goodness we were spared. Unfortunately, our neighbors to the northwest were not and our hearts were broken as we saw the damage and misery left by this terrible natural disaster. Contributions of any size will help and along with your thoughts and prayers. They have a long road back to recovery and we wish them all the best.

We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and happy and healthy new year. Thanks for reading our book, thanks for a great year and we look forward to 2019!

Summer is over and our September edition is out!

September is here and we made it through another Florida summer! I told my son that the summers seem to be getting hotter and hotter lately and his response was, “no dad, you’re just getting older.” Even I had to laugh when he said that. Who says teenagers aren’t smart? My wife and I were blessed to be able to take some great trips over the summer. A couple of weekend trips and a week’s vacation in St. Augustine, Jekyll Island for our anniversary and wonderful trip out west that included San Fransisco, Napa Valley, Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. Fun times and great memories made, but it’s always nice to be home sweet home.

We kick off fall with the annual Cedar Key Seafood Festival on the cover of our September edition. This was our most popular edition last year, reaching 17k+ on Facebook. The Lions Club of Cedar Key put on a great show and I highly recommend you make plans to attend (October 20-21). Cedar Key is also one of only five Florida towns to host the Smithsonian “Crossroads” traveling exhibit. This event will kick off on September 8th and run through October 20. The Cedar Key Welcome Center urges everyone to stop by and visit this interactive exhibit and also plan to attend one of the many community events planned around the exhibit.  One of these is the Railroad and Riverboats show taking place September 28-30 in Cedar Key. The Ocala Model Railroaders’ will be present, fresh off their National Competition win in Kansas City. Another event will be the first annual open house at the Nature Coast Biological Station. UF/IFAS has done some great things over the past 12 months. Come see what they have accomplished and what they plan to do in the years to come!

Our local charter captains have contributed articles getting you ready for fall fishing and looking back on a busy scalloping season, and Toni Collins gives us sneak peek on the Railroads and Riverboats exhibit with two great articles devoted to both. Our usual advertisers are all in too plus some new ones! Cedar Key Pizza and Ken’s Kettle Corn join us with some tasty ideas if you are out and about in the area.

We can never say “thank you” enough to all of our contributors, advertisers, and readers. Our little magazine has grown leaps and bounds in two years and we owe it all to you. Thank you for all the comments, notes and emails.

We have been working on another project for the past couple months and hopefully, we will be able to introduce it in September. Stay tuned and in the meantime enjoy the fall season and The Hidden Coast.

Scalloping season and our July edition!

The scalloping season is here and so is our July edition! We are promoting the season all through this issue starting with Steinhatchee’s, very popular, Sea Hag Marina on the cover. This is the best time to visit The Hidden Coast and, if you have never done so, try your hand at scalloping. We went out twice in the month of June and had great success. This month’s magazine has everything you will need to get out and have some fun. This includes articles, maps tide charts and FWC information.

This month’s edition also includes our regular advertisers (who we are so grateful for) along with quite a few new ones. We also have our “Local Flavors” page back in that highlights some “tasty treats” around the area. Finally, we have an abundance of articles on scalloping from our local charter captains and IFAS gives you some tips and tricks on how to protects the beautiful waters around us. Toni Collins continues to give us detailed history lessons on the area and Jeff Carey has another informative article on kayaking out of Horseshoe.

We continue to be very thankful for all of the above-mentioned contributors (advertisers and writers). They have been very supportive of this magazine from the very beginning and we do our best to promote the area and “show off” these great individuals. Support these businesses if you can and send our writers a quick note to let them know you enjoyed their articles.

The local communities are planning some fun-filled 4th of July celebrations and we have the times and schedules for Steinhatchee, Cedar Key, and Perry. Enjoy, have fun and be safe.

Until the next time, we thank you for reading our little magazine and we look forward to some cooler weather for our September edition.

Look for our May book!

We have completed our May edition and again we are at 32 pages. Words cannot express the gratitude we have for our readers, advertisers and contributors. This will be our 10th edition and we have grown quicker than we ever could have expected. Thank you to everyone for being part of our little magazine, and we hope to be around for a long time to come.

Our May edition is promoting the annual Chiefland Watermelon Festival happening in June. This is a fun event that includes food, vendors, entertainment the annual parade. Another festival we are promoting in this book is the Florida Folk Festival in White Springs. Stretching the boundaries a little bit on this one for The Hidden Coast, but this is unique festival that everyone should attend at least once. Growing up close to White Springs I have many childhood memories of attending the festival and taking in all the food, music and story telling. The third event mentioned in this edition is the 4th annual Garden Show and Spring Festival happening at Cedar Lakes Woods and Gardens in Williston. This is a hidden gem in the North Florida area and if you have never visited here you should put it on your bucket list now.

We also have our usual contributors giving our informative articles on history and recreation in the area. The Suwannee Hotel, Dolphins of the Nature Coast, Little know Gulf Coast Hurricanes and The Bay Scallop. All great reading as we head into the summer months. A new addition for the May book is the Florida Humanities Council. Their website slogan states, “Bringing Floridians Together”. A great organization and I urge you to check out their website for some informative tidbits on our wonderful state. And don’t  forget to download the app!

Finally, make sure you check out our Local Flavors page. We some new additions for this round and some of your old favorites are back. Tasty treats you will only find on the hidden coast. Try one, or all of them, and let them know you saw them in our magazine!

Enjoy the book and enjoy the beautiful weather that our state has to offer this time of the year. Please send us an email if you have an idea for a story, a photo you would like to share or tell us how we can improve. Thanks for reading our little magazine. vvv

Our March book is out!

Our March book is hitting the streets this week! Look for it at local chamber and TDC offices in the region as well as participating advertisers. Can’t find one? Let us know and we will steer you in the right direction! Thanks and enjoy our biggest book yet!