Hello Spring!

Turn off the TVs and computers. Put down the cell phones and newspapers and just unplug for the day or the weekend. Give yourself a chance to see that world is not as bad as it seems. This a beautiful area to recharge and clear your head and your lungs. Like the rest of the world around us, this area is made up of hard working, friendly people who welcome you to discover this beautiful and indeed “Hidden” part of our state. Come see it and come experience if for yourself. You won’t be disappointed.

Spring is here and with it comes several outdoor events and festivals in the area. These are the 18th Annual Florida State Bluegrass Festival and Chili Cook-off (on our current cover), The Big Bend Brew Fest, the Old Florida Celebration of the Arts, The Trenton Quilt Fest, The Lower Suwannee Art & Nature Festival, The Horseshoe Beach Spring Festival, the Cedar Lakes Woods and Gardens 6th Annual Garden Show and Spring Festival, The Taking the Crown Kingfish Tournament, The Cross City Airport Fly-In Cruise-In and Business Expo and The Cedar Key Pirate Invasion. Each event has it’s own unique identity and you can find information on all of them in our current edition.

The Levy County Historical Society has a new home and Toni Collins has an informative article about where it is and how it all came to be. We congratulate this group and wish them well. Toni has been a big supporter of ours since day one, and if you are familiar with our magazine I know you have read some of her wonderful articles about the rich history of this area. Jeff Cary brings us an in-depth article on the Cross City Fly-In later this month and Jason Bryne gives us another interesting look at history in Central Florida.

We welcome some new advertisers to this edition. Smokin’ Jay’s BBQ Shack in Steinhatchee and Chiefland Billards Sports Bar off U.S. 19 in Chiefland. We also have two Cedar Key pages promoting local businesses in conjunction with the Arts Festival happening in April. We thank all of them for their support of our little magazine, and please let them know you saw them in our magazine!

2020 has been extremely busy for us, and we proud to bring you another edition of our magazine. Stick around and see how we do this year. We are growing leaps and bounds into new areas of this state, and with that comes new businesses, new stories and new friends to meet. We currently have 40+ racks throughout the region and we just reached an agreement with six restaurants that will have our rack on location! These are located up and down U.S. 19 and of course we still have our rack at the official welcome center on I-75. This along with racks at the Sun Stop Food Store locations on the I-10 & I-75 and a strong online presence gives you plenty of options to find us.

Finally, don’t forget our Hidden Coast apparel! Summer is coming and we have a wide selection of shirts and hats.

Thank you again for reading our magazine and we will see you in May!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! We closed out 2019 with several new additions to both magazines. Additional racks, online advertising, a new apparel line and new territory. It was a very good, and a very busy, year. We succeeded in printing 18 magazines in 2019, with the addition of our real estate magazine, and I am very proud of the products we produced. We met several new friends along the way and we look forward to working with everyone in the new year and new decade!

The new year always kicks off with the several events going on in the area. They are the Steinhatchee Fiddler Crab Festival, the Trenton Quilt Festival and the Cedar Key Arts Festival. These are all wonderful events for both young and old! The organizations that put these events on are quite impressive and we tip our hat to all the hard working volunteers involved. Make plans to attend one, if not all of them, this year.

We have several new advertisers in this edition thanks in part to the Fiddler Crab Festival. We offered a festival page, similar to the one we did for the Seafood Festival in October, and the response was overwhelming. We sold out the two pages in one day! A big thanks to all of these businesses for supporting our little magazine.

Our regular article contributors bring us some great reading for this edition as well. All types of outdoors reads plus a couple of interesting articles on “The Great Hot Springs of Sebring” and the “155th anniversary of the Civil War skirmish at Station No. 4 in Cedar Key.” The reenactment takes place next month. The weather in warming up and they give you some excellent ideas for getting out and enjoying the beautiful North Florida Winter!

A final thank you to my family for all the help in 2019. As mentioned earlier we produced 18 magazines last year, and I could not have done it without their support and help. We are going on our fourth year and it has been not only a fun journey, but an easy one thanks in part to my wife and my kids. Look for our next edition in March and in the meantime be on the lookout for our sister publication, The Hidden Coast Real Estate Magazine.

End of a year. End of a decade.

Our last issue for 2019. The end of the year. The end of the decade.

There is so much going on during the holidays in this area, that I felt it wouldn’t be fair to single out one particular town for the cover. I contacted Rory Brennan and asked him if he had a photo that would express the holiday message for the entire area. Boy, did he deliver! Our cover shot was exactly what I was looking for and I can’t thank him enough for sending it over. He does great work and you can find some of his photos online through the Cedar Key Chamber and the Cedar Key Lions Club.

Speaking of Cedar Key, the Historical Museum has a schedule of events through the first of the year in the edition. Our special two pages promoting Cedar Key businesses is in again as well. We enjoyed ourselves again at the Seafood Festival in October. So glad the weather passed quickly and they were able to celebrate the 50th anniversary of this great event. Total sales of “The Last of Old Florida” apparel showed that we had sold over $300 worth of hats and shirts! Thanks to all who stopped by our tent to say hello.

We have two new customers in this issue, Twice the Ice | Cedar Key and Yellow Jacket RV Resort in Old Town. Denise McMeekin and her husband have the perfect site for Twice the ice in Cedar Key and Bibi oversees the beautiful Yellow Jacket RV Resort on the banks of the Suwannee River. Welcome and thank you being part of our magazine!

Two festivals are getting the word out early in the edition. The Lower Suwannee Art & Nature Festival and the Old Florida Celebration of the Arts both will be taking place in early 2020. See dates and information for both in this month’s issue. UF | IFAS nature Coast Biological Station also has an ad with us for this round. An amazing facility in Cedar Key. They are open every Friday 1-4pm and house a number of local species.

We have our usual article submissions in the edition highlighting rich history and loads of outdoor entertainment to keep you busy. This includes A Victorian Christmas in Thomasville, Georgia and The Kayak Experience in Horseshoe Beach. Jeff Cary also details another great adventure in his article, Day Tripping the Hidden Coast.

As the holidays approach don’t forget some of the great shopping available in the area. You will find the perfect gifts in your hunt throughout the region! Some of our advertisers are promoting holiday deals and gift ideas, and I am sure you will have success finding something for that “hard to buy” person on your list.

We celebrate our fourth anniversary this month. Amazing that it’s been that long already. We have produced over 20 magazines in that timeframe and learned much along the way. Tips and tricks that I brought with me in my years of publishing, but most I had to learn by “on the job training.” Design comes easy to me – Sales not so much. At least in the beginning. I now feel more relaxed in the role and proud to go and sell the product we have created. Many thanks to ALL our advertisers over the years. Many have been with us since the beginning and we are very grateful. We appreciate their trust and support in our magazine and look forward to serving them for a long time to come. We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy new year (and new decade). See you in January…

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.