As we do each year, it’s time to highlight the top stories that were posted on the Atlanta Outdoor Travel Examiner page in 2014. How do we pick the top five? We don’t pick them: our readers do. The top five are the ones that have gotten the most visits from our readers in the past 12 months.
You’ll note that the lead photo is from our all-time most popular article with our viewers. Georgia’s top 5 trout rivers appeared on March 6, 2013. The rest of the photos are in order from the five most viewed stories for the past year. Links to these stories are at the bottom of the page.
Thanks for following us in 2014, and we wish you a very happy and prosperous New Year!
Pine Lodge Bed & Breakfast – Inglis, Florida
January 8, 2014
Looking for a real piece of “Old Florida?” Then head for Inglis, about 90 miles north of Tampa on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.
The Pine Lodge Bed & Breakfast is located in Inglis, Florida.
The Pine Lodge Bed & Breakfast can offer you the flavor of past times in the Sunshine State, but with all the modern convenience. The main building was erected in the 1940s and has been a hostel since 1959. Prior to that it was reportedly operated as a brothel by three local sisters!
Back in the 1960s the lodge was discovered by the crew filming the Elvis Presley movie, Follow that Dream. Though the “King” didn’t stay there, he did drop in to visit at the lodge from time to time. In fact, the building is located on Follow That Dream Parkway that stretches from Inglis to Yankeetown.
Levy County Florida Winter Bass Fishing Odyssey – Part 2: Lake Rousseau
February 3, 2014
With virtually the entire nation tightly in the grip of a polar express, the only escape for a bass fisherman in metro Atlanta was to pack up and head south. And, Levy County, Florida seemed the perfect destination.
Roughly 90 miles north of Tampa on the west coast of the Sunshine State peninsula, it offered three great angling destinations. But, it is far enough off the beaten path to avoid running into hoards of other anglers.
Levy County Florida Winter Bass Fishing Odyssey – Part 3: Suwannee River
February 13, 2014
The last day of our Levy County winter bass-fishing trek found us launching Capt. Jim Keith’s boat at Clay Landing on the Suwannee River. This flow that was made famous in Stephen Foster’s 1851 minstrel tune, Old Folks at Home (or more familiarly Suwannee River) rises in South Georgia’s Okefenokee Swamp. From there it crosses the Florida peninsula to empty into the Gulf of Mexico on the northern edge of Levy County.
By the time the stream reaches Levy, it is a large, wide expanse of water. And, it also offers quite good bass fishing. Largemouth bass of 12 to 14 inches are abundant, with some running up to the 2- to 3-pound mark. This is a fishery for numbers, rather than trophy bass.
Also adding to the angling interest is the presence of Suwannee bass in the river. This cousin of the largemouth is native only to the Sunshine State and southern Georgia. These fish are noted for hanging out in rocky areas of the river.
Great coffee in Door County – Carlsville, Wisconsin
February 25, 2014
The Door County Coffee & Tea Company is more than just a coffee shop. A better description would be a “coffee university.” Taking a tour of the establishment could earn you an advanced degree regarding America’s favorite hot drink! You’ll walk away with a finer understanding and appreciation of what goes into a cup of their brew.
Door County is on a peninsula in a rather rural setting in northeast Wisconsin. Flanked by Green Bay to the west and Lake Michigan to the east, the abundance of year-round outdoor activities has made it a vacation destination for many decades. It is that tourist trade that created the niche founder Vicki Wilson set out to claim.
Established in Forestville, Wisconsin (population 412) with 3,000 square feet, the business opened its doors to the public in 1993. Vicki Wilson’s love of Door County and good coffee translated perfectly into the operation. After a few years, the company had outgrown its birth place and moved about 20 miles north as the crow flies to the town of Carlsville and a 10,000-square-foot facility.
An overlooked gem – Crystal River, Florida
October 25, 2014
The Crystal River on north central Florida’s Gulf Coast is fairly well known to travelers for a couple of reasons. First, there are the manatees that gather in the river during the winter to bask in the 72-degree water gushing from more than 50 springs in Kings Bay. Then it is the good sport fishing for tarpon in the summer, along with redfish action throughout the year.
But, there’s more to the region than just what’s found in the water. Unfortunately for visitors, the actual town of Crystal River gets overlooked. The situation means that most travelers passing through the area miss out on some Old Florida history.
The area was first settle after the Second Seminole War in 1842. At first the forest and turpentine industries supported the region’s economy, later bolstered by the discovery of phosphate deposits in the area in the 1880s. Once the railroad reached the site in 1889, the settlement continued to thrive. The town of Crystal River was incorporated in 1903.