More to us than just our magazines!

Busy Busy Busy as Professor Hinkle would say. So much going on around the region as we hit the midpoint of summer, plus a lot going in our North Florida Media Service office.

Our July edition will be 64 pages of scalloping content! We have local businesses, charter captains, TDC offices and IFAS all promoting the annual season in The Hidden Coast region. Please make sure to pick up a copy throughout the region and support all the local communities and businesses who are advertising with us.

We are also working on our inaugural Business Card Directory for The Hidden Coast region. This publication will be distributed from Perry south to Crystal River, plus we will promote it both on our websites and social media pages. Be on the lookout for it!

Another publication in the works is our 2024 Voters Guide. We have reached out to all the candidates running in five counties we cover. These counties are centrally located in our distribution area and include most of our racks and drop points. Again, be on the lookout for it!

We also have a new addition to our online store – custom patch hats! 8 different styles to chose from. Please click on the link to check out these styles, along other items we have for sale. https://thehiddencoastmag.com/store-2/

Finally, one other bit of good new we have. You can now buy our Last of Old Florida Apparel and novelties at the Rusty Hook Bait Shop on Dock Street in Cedar Key! Several items will be on display just in time for the 4th of July holiday.

Until the next time. Happy summer and stay cool!

June… already?

Summer time is here. When the quiet little towns of The Hidden Coast get invaded by treasure seekers looking for the elusive scallop among the sea-grass beds. A fun time, for the whole family, and if you have never tried it please make plans to do so this year. We did every year when our kids were growing up and have great memories of those summer days. Doesn’t cost a lot and all you need is a mask, snorkel, flippers and a bucket. At the end of the day look forward to sautéing them in butter and wine and serving them over a batch of pasta. Nothing better and nothing fresher!

We are also running all types of specials for the summer. A new business card directory, buy 3 ads get 1 free and leaderboard ads for $99. If you are trying to get your business and name out there this summer give us a try! Look of our magazine throughout the region.

We kick off June with a packed 56-page issue of information on local venues and outdoor activities. Besides scalloping there is much to do and see in this area, so please take time to see “The Last of Old Florida” and all its beauty. And please be patient wherever you go (boat ramps, stores, restaurants…). This area welcomes visitors with open arms so please be respectful and remember they live here year around. Pick up your trash and be courteous on the waterways and roadways. Most of all BE SAFE AND HAVE FUN!

Tooting our Horn.

Who better to lead us into the summer than a trio of queens? Thank you to the Chiefland Watermelon Festival for adorning our May cover again this year. 2024 marks the 70th anniversary of this event which takes place downtown Chiefland on Saturday, June 1st. My wife and I made the trip a couple years ago and it was a fun time indeed, and yes they have plenty of watermelon to sample!

Our May edition is down a little in size due to all the past events coming to an end in April. We appreciate all the local TDC and Chamber offices supporting us with advertising dollars since January. We know times are still tough for many and advertising dollars are at a premium. We thank you for putting your trust with us in getting the message about your events. Which we might toot our horn just a bit, with our leaderboard advertisements performing so well since October. The Cross City 100th Anniversary shattered our records with a 4.0% CTR for less than 30 days on the site. In addition to that, our overall CTR went up 6% in the last 60 days and we are very excited to share those numbers. Our little magazine is being see, in-print and online, and we like to brag a little bit when we get the chance.

We also have two more projects we will be introducing this summer, a business card directory and a voters’ guide. We have done research on both and feel they will be great additions to the market. The directory will be a little more manageable for those on a tight budget (12 month shelf life) and the voters’ guide will be an additional tool for our readers and residents to help make up their mind at the polls. Times and landscapes are changing quickly throughout the area, and we want to help all the candidates get out their message. Look for it throughout the region and please remember to vote this year.

Finally, scallop season is almost here, and we are hoping to give you our best products ever. It will be fall before we know it, so we want to squeeze in as much as we can, in all of our magazines, and let visitors know what a beautiful place they have come to visit.

Until the next time, enjoy The Hidden Coast.

Good News and Blessings

We come into April with good news and blessing for our family. Our son’s wedding in March went about as perfect as we could have asked for. The weather, the food, the company and the event was outstanding! We are very proud of him, and his new wife, and we know they will do just fine in life. They both come from strong families, have the Lord in their life, and love and appreciate all around them. What else can we ask for?

Another bit of good news comes from our daughter who just finished her toughest semester in nursing school (She called it her toughest week of school ever, lol). It was a grueling 12 weeks that was both emotional and stressful. In the end she passed with flying colors and we are so very proud of her efforts. She gets her tender and kind heart from her mother and her stubbornness from me. It has a been a long road for her and she is down to her last semester (fingers and toes crossed). 

Our magazines continue to flouring both in print and online. We are getting 1-2 new customers each month and our online numbers keep growing. Summer is approaching so the last piece of the puzzle will be our apparel line and see how that goes through the scallop and warmer months. We look forward to promoting the beautiful area of Florida this summer and hope that we can exceed our goals as we move into the fall (can you believe it?).

This month also marks the end for Brian Bowen, Southern Edges Studios, as one of our monthly contributors. Brian is an incredibly talented photographer and we feel very lucky to have had him for a short time with us. Remember his name, because we have a feeling you will be seeing it again in the near future. Good luck my friend and thank you for everything. 

Another one of your long time contributors, Jeff Cary, Cary On Destinations, will be taking a step back for a few months. Jeff too stays very busy and we feel fortunate to have crossed paths with him early on with our business. Jeff is a jack of all trades; writer, photographer, diver, explorer, adventurer. He has opened up many doors for us over the years and for that we are eternally grateful. Good luck to you as well Jeff, and we hope to see you back real soon. 

Until the next time, thanks for reading and enjoy The Hidden Coast.

  

Not a loss, but a gain

A somewhat unique blog this month as I sit on the east coast of Florida (Crescent Beach) preparing for the marriage of our son tomorrow morning beachside, at sunrise. Yes sunrise, as I’ve had to repeat that many times over the last few months, not 6:30 PM, but 6:30 AM. Our family has been arriving since Wednesday and we officially kick of the festivities tonight at the rehearsal dinner.

It’s been a little tough this week as I think it finally hit home. As I drove around town it seemed every place I went reminded me of when he was so much younger (which seems like just yesterday). His old elementary school and high school, the parks, the soccer fields… all jarred such good memories. But in the end, we aren’t really losing a son, we’re gaining a beautiful, smart and kind daughter-in-law who is the perfect fit for our Nick.

Our March editions are at the printer, all early this month so we could concentrate on this weekend. Our customers and contributors were all understanding and had their material to us early, which we appreciate so much!

The theme of this issue? Festivals and more festivals. The BrewFest in Perry, The Lower Suwannee Art and Nature Fest in Suwannee and the Old Florida Celebration of the Arts in Cedar Key. All great events so please plan to attend one, if not all of them!

Our Fishing Lowdown publication will be out as well, with the second edition since we started back. Feedback and comments are all positive and we are very excited to have it back on the streets.

Finally, we hit a big milestone this week. We topped 3 million views on our website! A big number which we are so excited to share. Of course, we couldn’t do it without our advertisers, contributors and readers. Thank you, thank you for your continued support. We are proud of our magazines and look forward to promoting this area for a long time to come.

Until the next time, Happy Spring!

Where did the month go?

February is here, but where did January go?!? Time continues to be my worse enemy – I need more of it!

On a positive note, we are one month closer to warmer weather and that 7-10 day stretch in the spring that gives us that “perfect” Florida weather. Not too hot, not too cool and the colors of the trees, bushes, plants and sky all brilliant. With that being said, what better time to start planning to attend some of the local festivals we are promoting in this month’s issue. The Fiddler Crab Festival in Steinhatchee (February), the Lower Art & Nature Festival in Suwannee (March) and the Old Florida Celebration of the Arts in Cedar Key (April). All fun family events put on by some great volunteers in these communities. So put it on your calendar to attend one, if not all this year. You can enjoy the beautiful weather, help support these local venues and have a great time.

We have maintained our 56 page count again for this round, and I am so thankful to all of our wonderful advertisers and contributors. They make this happen (I just put it all together) so you can have a monthly magazine filled with stories, history, shopping, real estate, restaurants and information. All focused on The Hidden Coast!

While we are happy to announce our continued pages in The Hidden Coast, we are even more excited to announce the return of The Fishing Lowdown. This is our monthly tab we started last year, but it was put on hiatus after the hurricane. After much contemplating, and feedback from readers and contributors, we decided to bring it back this month. Look for it where you pick up your copy of our other magazines and check out our website as well. We have webcams, weather information and the entire issue for you to read, each month. Also don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

One a side note, we are happy to be a sponsor of the North Florida Gulf Fishing Club again for 2024. They put on monthly tournaments throughout The Hidden Coast region and give away some hefty prices of both cash and goodies. Check them out on their Facebook page and look for the 2024 schedule in this month’s edition of The Fishing Lowdown.

Until the next time. Enjoy, explore and discover this beautiful area we call “The Hidden Coast.”

Happy New Year.

Happy New Year, and like every year, the holidays came and went in a blur. Family, food, decorations, presents and everything else, in and out of our lives in a minute. We see, hear and think Christmas for almost five months (as of this year), and then BOOM it’s over. I think we all should get a week’s vacation to celebrate the holiday and remember the real reason for the season amongst all the other chaos thrown at us.

Our first edition for January is out and right off the bat we are promoting a local festival, the annual Fiddler Crab Festival in Steinhatchee. I call January-April “Festival Season” on The Hidden Coast since there are so many events planned. If you have never attended one of these festivals or events please plan to do so this year. The locals depend on them quite a bit and most, if not all, are put on completely by volunteers. Stay connected with us for dates and times and we move forward into 2024.

We bring you another 56 pages full of great content for January. This includes new advertisers, great stories and of course good eats from around the region. Look for a copy throughout the area and you can always read the entire edition on our website, www.thehiddencoastmag.com

We are also happy to announce The Fishing Lowdown will be back starting in February. We had planned to start it back in January, but read my first paragraph for an explanation. Many of you know this publication was started a year ago to give our local charter captains (many who already write for us) a platform to get their work out there. They offer their tips and tricks, as well as knowledge, about the local waterways. We also have marinas, bait shops, tournaments and other retails to help you have a successful outing on the water, or in the woods. Look for it and in the meantime check out our website at, www.thefishinglowdown.com

Until February, enjoy this beautiful area of Florida we call home and buckle up for another fast year ahead!

Wishing all a very Merry Christmas!

Our December issue has been printed and we finished distributing them this past weekend. Our last edition of 2023. Wow, time continues to pass at warp speed and we slide into January in just a couple of weeks. A new year and our 9th year in print for The Hidden Coast Magazine. Five years in print for The Real Estate Magazine. We started doing the math in July and came to the conclusion that the July edition of the Real Estate Magazine was our 100th magazine we have produced. And we’re not done.

We are very thankful to have made it through Hurricane Idalia. She made her presence known for sure, but like everyone in the area we navigated our way through the damage, the aftermath and then getting back up and running again. It’s been a long couple of months, but we finished 2023 very strong and we look forward to carrying it over into the new year.

Our goal for the new year is to continue to grow in all aspects of our business. Print, digital and retail. We have been working on ambitious plans and we’re now ready to put them into action. It’s going to take time, money and a lot of work but I feel very confident we can succeed.

A big thank you to all of our advertisers and writers for another great edition for December. Without them we would not have a product to offer you each month and we are deeply grateful for their continued support and trust of us. We also thank our readers, wherever you might be! One additional thing we saw this fall was an increase in our subscriptions. New York, Illinois, Georgia… Thank you, thank you!

We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and all the best for a happy and healthy 2024. Enjoy your time with family and friends and maybe spread some cheer to those who might be alone or in need of some help this holiday season.

Blessed.

Our November magazine is hitting the streets this week. The second edition of our new size and format. The response to our October issue was overwhelming with almost 100% of our customers and readers liking the new look. We appreciate everybody’s input and feedback and will continue to tweak it as we get closer to 2024.

Two things we noticed last month were request for getting a hard copy of our magazine mailed out and everyone’s hope that The Fishing Lowdown will continue. We have good news on both. A link has been placed on our home page to get readers added to our mailing list via a subscription. We enjoy mailing our magazine out across the country and all we ask is that you pay the mail cost – that’s it! Regarding The Fishing Lowdown, we are definitely going to continue this publication. We are working on how we can keep its own identity in our current format, along with some other ideas, so bear with us. It’s not going anywhere.

With the holidays officially upon us, there is a lot going on throughout the region. We have several festivals and events highlighted in our November edition. These along with our local contributors and advertisers, many who are new, give us another 64 pages of local content! Also, please remember to shop locally, now more than ever. You can find some unique gifts throughout the region, and these folks could use a shot in the arm after the last few months.

2023 has definitely been one for the books. My mother passed in February, our son became engaged in April, We finally did our “Bucket List” cross country trip in May, faced a devastating hurricane in September, dealt with some health issues in October, and now come to the finish line of 2023 stronger and better than before! We are truly blessed with both our families and business. Hurricane Idalea dealt a crushing blow to the region and the repercussions are still being felt. Although many towns, communities and businesses have reopened, we continue to see many businesses deciding not to reopen or rebuild. This is very sad to see, for after seven years they were more than just customers, they were friends. We wish them all the best in their future plans and goals and thank them for their patronage and trust with us since 2016. We are also very grateful to the local Tourist Development Councils and individuals who have stepped up and paid for several ads over the past two editions. Helping those in need and letting the rest of the world know The Hidden Coast is “open for business.” It continues to show what a special part of the state this is and why we are so lucky to be a part of it.

We wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving this year and thank you for the blessing you have bestowed upon us.

Unwelcome Visitor

October, 2023. This was our goal to print our next magazine and I am very proud to say and show that “we did it.” The week Hurricane Idalia hit The Hidden Coast was probably one of the longest of my life. It was agonizing to see the pictures and videos coming from the area we know so well. We decided immediately to shut down production and help out in other ways. My wife and I hit the road on Labor Day weekend and started dropping off needed supplies throughout the region. The first sites we saw were unbelievable. As we traveled towards Perry, we passed miles and miles of downed trees and power lines. Some splintered, twisted and even blown apart. Structures damaged one right after the other. As we headed south into Keaton Beach, more of the same.

But when we got into Steinhatchee, it was quite the site. Cleanup was well underway. Machinery, trucks and individuals making their way through the debris. When we reached the drop off point, there were stacks and stacks of supplies. It was like this for the rest of the day and it was an amazing sight to see. I was told that 1K+ volunteers showed up the first week in Cedar Key. The state of Florida had a make-shift office park setup in Horseshoe Beach, offering aid and support for those who desperately needed it. At the end of the day, my faith in humanity had been restored and I felt like this on each additional trip we made down to the area.

Now, just over a month later, many businesses have already opened, with several more in the process of doing so. Clean up still goes on but the roads are cleared, the restaurants and stores are open and these communities only need one thing… you.

That is why we though it was important to print a magazine as quickly as we could and let everyone know, THE HIDDEN COAST IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS! These small towns and communities took a big hit over the last month. And they could sure use some visitors. Festivals and events are back on schedule and the weather will be cooling down a bit here in North Florida. What better way to enjoy a weekend than by getting outdoors and supporting those in need. Please pick up a copy of our latest edition and see all the events planned or simply click on the link to read  the entire October issue online.

www.thehiddencoastmag.com