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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Take in the Waters in Florida’s Big Bend

Full of untamed rivers and freshwater springs, Florida’s north country will make you forget the beach.


1. Where to Stay

A cottage at the Steinhatchee.  

Book a cottage at Steinhatchee Landing Resort (from $140 to $500), one of the few luxury accommodations in the largely undeveloped Big Bend area. All 40 colorful clapboard houses come with full kitchens, grills, flat-screen TVs, and porches steps from fly fishing and pontooning on the untamed Steinhatchee River. If the deluxe Jimmy Carter House is booked (he's a regular guest), request Osprey Nest 42 for its screened-in porch and riverfront views.

Enjoy breakfast by the Koi pond at the stately Grady House B&B in High Springs (from $100 per night). For garden views, rent the Green Room—you have a direct shot of the pond and gazebo, the best spot for eating the banana-pecan-stuffed French toast or herb-baked eggs with Gruyère cheese.

Head offshore to the vibrantly colored, gingerbread-trimmed Cedar Key Bed and Breakfast (from $161 per night). Ask innkeepers Bill and Alice Phillips to tell a local ghost story or direct you to the homemade-cookie jar. For space, request Jack’s Room, it has an extra trundle bed and sitting area, plus an oversize bathroom with a claw-foot tub. Take in ocean views from the balcony, then check out the 400-year-old sprawling live oak tree in the backyard.

Published on Feb 14, 2008 as a web exclusive.

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