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Brooksville, FL: Exploring the Soul of Florida’s Nature Coast

Welcome to the heart of Florida's Nature Coast – Brooksville, where history, nature, and small-town charm collide in the most delightful way possible. If you're itching to experience the true essence of Florida, you've come to the right place. Let's take a leisurely stroll through this charming city and uncover all the hidden gems it has to offer!

Brooksville’s Backstory: A Southern Tale

Brooksville wears its Southern heritage like a badge of honor. From its name, paying homage to Congressman Preston Brooks's notorious cane-swinging incident, to its rich tapestry of Civil War-era landmarks, this city's history runs deep.

In the mid-1800s, Fort DeSoto laid the groundwork for what would become Brooksville. Over time, this bustling military outpost evolved into a thriving community, merging two neighboring towns – Pierceville and Melendez – to form the Brooksville we know and love today. Brooksville was established in 1856 and incorporated on October 13, 1890.

Where's Brooksville, Anyway?

Nestled about an hour north of Tampa and a hop, skip, and a jump away from Orlando, Brooksville sits pretty in the northern reaches of Hernando County. Surrounded by lush forests and pristine preserves, it's a nature lover's paradise just waiting to be explored. Brooksville is situated in the central part of the state, making it easily accessible from major cities and attractions. The city is also close to other popular destinations, such as Spring Hill, Crystal River, and Homosassa Springs, making it a great base for exploring the Nature Coast.

Downtown Brooksville: A Step Back in Time

Prepare to be charmed by Brooksville's historic downtown district. With its quaint shops, cozy eateries, and architectural marvels, Main Street feels like a journey back in time.

May Stringer House

Be sure to explore the Hernando Heritage Museum housed in the May Stringer House, where you can delve into the city's rich history and uncover fascinating tales. Legend has it that the May Stringer House is haunted by several spirits, adding an intriguing layer to its historical significance. Take a guided tour to learn about its Victorian architecture and eerie folklore. Learn more at Hernando Heritage Museum.

May Stringer House, 601 Museum Ct, Brooksville, FL

Frank Saxon House

The Frank Saxon House holds a rich historical legacy in Brooksville. Constructed in 1864 by Frank Saxon for his bride Tululu Hope, this house stands as a testament to the area's heritage. Frank Saxon, a Civil War hero with the Hernando Wild Cats, later served as a member of the Florida Legislature representing Hernando County. The house boasts a blend of Frame Vernacular architecture and influences from the Queen Anne Revival style. Recognized for its significance, it was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places on November 5, 1998. Learn More

Frank Saxon House, 103 S. Saxon Ave, Brooksville, FL

Chinsegut Hill Manor House

Don't miss out on a visit to the Chinsegut Hill Manor House, a proud member of the National Register of Historic Places. Nestled on 114 acres atop one of the highest elevation points in the state, this iconic estate offers a glimpse into Florida's rich heritage. Explore its sprawling grounds and timeless architecture. Learn more about the Chinsegut Hill Manor House

Chinsegut Hill Manor House, 22495 Chinsegut Hill Rd, Brooksville, FL

Treiman House

Built in 1913, the Treiman House boasts a timeless charm that draws visitors from far and wide. With its majestic shady oaks and sprawling Magnolia Trees, this neoclassical beauty is a sight to behold. Don't miss the chance to experience its grandeur firsthand by taking the Treiman House Tour during your stay in town. Explore more at

The Treiman House, 133 S. Brooksville Ave, Brooksville, FL

Brooksville 1885 Railroad Depot Museum

At the Brooksville 1885 Railroad Depot Museum, you'll find a treasure trove of history waiting to be explored. Step back in time as you wander through exhibits featuring a restored 1800s dining car, a vintage 1925 fire truck, and fascinating displays showcasing the early Florida Cracker life. Learn more about this captivating journey into the past at Brooksville Historical Train Depot.

Brooksville 1885 Railroad Depot Museum, 70 Russell St, Brooksville, FL

Fort Dade Avenue and Lykes Homestead

Fort Dade Avenue holds a special place in my heart and played a big role in our decision to move to Brooksville. It's renowned as one of Florida's most picturesque canopy roads, winding beneath majestic live oaks and towering pine trees, creating a stunning natural spectacle.

Heading west on Fort Dade Avenue, you'll stumble upon the historic antebellum homestead of the Lykes family, the original Spring Hill. Dr. Lykes, the patriarch, bestowed the name upon the hill where their residence sits. Positioned on the northwest side of the intersection of Fort Dade Avenue and Citrus Way, this homestead holds a significant place in Brooksville's history. Interestingly, the Lykes family's generosity extended beyond their homestead, as they donated land that would later become a substantial part of the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge.

Historic Fort Dade Avenue, Brooksville, FL
Lykes Family Homestead, Ft. Dade, and Citrus Way, Brooksville, FL.

Brooksville Eats and Treats

A visit to Brooksville isn't truly fulfilled without indulging in its local culinary delights. With a range of options from Southern comfort food to freshly caught seafood, there's something to tantalize every taste bud.

Florida Cracker Kitchen

Make sure to swing by the Florida Cracker Kitchen for an authentic taste of down-home cooking. Keep an eye out for their iconic boot logo adorning vehicles in the area, a sure sign that delicious Southern Soul Food awaits nearby. I vividly recall my first encounter with their chicken and waffles after moving to Brooksville; it was love at first bite, and I've been a devoted fan ever since. Florida Cracker Kitchen.

Florida Cracker Kitchen, Brooksville, FL

Florida Cracker Cook Shack

You can't pass up the chance to experience Florida Cracker's newest addition, the Florida Cracker Cook Shack, where they're dedicated to serving up authentic Florida Southern Soul Food with top-notch quality at reasonable prices. Plus, they're known for their incredible barbecue offerings, featuring a wide array of mouthwatering sauces to satisfy every taste bud. Keep an eye out for their signature boot logo and dive into deliciousness at

Florida Cracker Cook Shack, 511 S. Broad Street Brooksville, FL

The Bistro

If you're craving a Mediterranean experience, look no further than The Bistro. This charming eatery occupies a building dating back to 1915, originally a grocery store. Stepping inside, you're greeted by a warm and inviting atmosphere, with rustic-chic decor that sets the perfect mood. Their menu boasts an array of tantalizing entrees, but what sets them apart is their wood-fired pizza oven. Each day, they craft their dough by hand on-site, ensuring a fresh and authentic taste that keeps guests coming back for more. Visit their website at to learn more.

The Bistro, Brooksville, FL

Prime 88

Looking for a luxurious dining experience? Look no further than Prime 88 Steakhouse. Renowned for its exquisite steaks and curated wine selection, this upscale restaurant is a gem in Brooksville's culinary scene. Whether you prefer to dine al fresco on their inviting outdoor patio or savor the ambiance of their intimate dining room, Prime 88 promises an unforgettable meal. Discover more about this culinary hotspot at

Prime 88 Steakhouse, Brooksville, FL

Coney Island Drive-Inn

Craving some laid-back dining? Look no further than Coney Island Drive-Inn, famous for its "world-famous footlongs." This hotspot has been a local favorite since 1960, and rumor has it that even Elvis himself dined here back in the day. How cool is that? As a Brooklyn native, I couldn't resist checking out this "Coney Island in Brooksville," and I was pleasantly surprised. With a menu packed full of classic drive-in fare, it's a fantastic spot for a fun and tasty meal. Check out their menu and plan your visit at

Coney Island Drive-Inn, Brooksville, FL

Taste of New Orleanz

Looking for a relaxed dining experience with a taste of the Crescent City? Look no further than Taste of New Orleanz. This charming eatery, run by a passionate husband and wife team, is dedicated to delighting their customers. Keep an ear out for Frankie, who occasionally serenades diners with his saxophone skills. Their Cajun Creole cuisine is some of the best you'll find in Florida, right here in Brooksville. And if you need further convincing, my Louisiana-born wife gives them a hearty 5-star rating! Check out their offerings and plan your visit at

Taste of New Orleanz

Red Mule Pub

Looking for a laid-back spot with a touch of charm? Look no further than the Red Mule Pub and Sandwich Emporium. Since 1977, this one-of-a-kind joint has been serving up some of the finest pub grub in Brooksville. Trust me, their Reuben sandwich is unbeatable! Get a taste of their offerings and learn more at

Red Mule Pub

The Office at the Crossroads

If you're craving delicious food and a laid-back atmosphere, look no further than The Office at the Crossroads. Nestled in the heart of Brooksville, this spot is more than just a watering hole—it's a local gem. It’s known to be the oldest bar in Hernando County, making it steeped in Brooksville's history! With its cozy pub vibe, live entertainment, great food and frosty brews, it's the ultimate spot for a genuine Brooksville experience. Experience the charm for yourself at

The Office at the Crossroads, Brooksville, FL

Outdoor Adventures: Nature's Playground

Ready to get your adventure on? Brooksville's outdoor offerings are second to none. Dive into the crystal-clear waters, explore the winding trails, or soak up the sunshine – the choice is yours!

Weeki Wachee Springs State Park

Don't miss out on the magic of Weeki Wachee Springs State Park! Dive into its crystal-clear waters and catch a mesmerizing mermaid show. If you're up for more adventure, kayak or tube down the scenic Weeki Wachee River, or hit the trails for hiking and biking in the breathtaking Withlacoochee State Forest. Explore the wonders at and Withlacoochee-State-Forest.

Weeki Wachee Springs State Park

Chinsegut Conservation Center

Experience something truly special by visiting the Chinsegut Conservation Center, where you can dive into the fascinating world of local wildlife and ecosystems. Unravel the secrets of the area's natural wonders and discover the rich biodiversity that calls it home. Don't miss out on this opportunity to connect with nature in a meaningful way. Explore more at Chinsegut Conservation Center.

Chinsegut Conservation Center,

Tom Varn Park

Tom Varn Park, nestled in the heart of Brooksville, beckons outdoor enthusiasts with its myriad of activities and amenities. From picnicking to horseshoes, hiking to baseball, this park has something for everyone. Let the kids run wild on the playground while you picnic under the Florida sun. It's the ultimate destination for a family day out in the sunshine state. Learn more about Tom Varn Park.

Tom Varn Park, 301 Darby Ln, Brooksville, FL

Hernando Park

Right in the heart of downtown, you'll find Hernando Park, a vibrant hub of activity boasting an amphitheater, playground, and ample picnic areas. But the real highlight? The Friday Night Live Concert Series, held right here in this lively park. For more information and upcoming events, be sure to check with Brooksville Main Street. Explore more about Hernando Park and the Friday Night Live Concert Series.

Hernando Park, 205 E Fort Dade Ave, Brooksville, FL

Croom Motorcycle Area

If you're craving adventure, look no further than the Croom Motorcycle Area. Spanning 2,600 acres, this off-road park is a haven for thrill-seekers, offering an extensive network of trails for dirt bikes, ATVs, and other off-road vehicles. Get ready to rev your engines and immerse yourself in Brooksville's breathtaking natural scenery. Learn more about the Croom Motorcycle Area.

Croom Motorcycle Area, 6420 La Rose Rd, Brooksville, FL

Planning Your Brooksville Getaway

Now that you've caught a glimpse of Brooksville's charm, it's time to plan your visit. Whether you're cozying up in a historic bed and breakfast, unwinding in a modern hotel, or enjoying the outdoors at one of the city's RV resorts, there's no shortage of accommodations to choose from.

Bed and Breakfasts:

The Mirador

Nestled in the heart of historic Brooksville, The Mirador is a beautifully restored Victorian Bed & Breakfast. With its elegant architecture and rich history, this charming retreat offers guests a glimpse into the past while providing modern comforts. Experience the warmth and hospitality of yesteryears as you relax in the comfort of The Mirador's carefully preserved rooms. Plan your stay today and immerse yourself in the timeless beauty of this historic gem. Visit the The Mirador website for more information.

The Mirador Bed and Breakfast, 302 S Brooksville Ave.

The Dolan House

Step into history at The Dolan House, a charming family-run Bed & Breakfast nestled in a building dating back to the 1890s. With its cozy ambiance, The Dolan House offers guests a unique opportunity to experience the warmth of a bygone era. Whether you're lounging in one of their quaint rooms or exploring the surrounding historic district, you'll feel right at home. Book your stay today and discover the timeless charm of The Dolan House. For more information, visit The Dolan House website.

The Dolan House, 701 Museum Court Brooksville, FL


Right in the heart of Brooksville, Ardendales invites you to step into a piece of history. This charming Bed & Breakfast occupies a historic home constructed over a century ago, exuding timeless elegance and old-world charm. Conveniently situated within walking distance of shops, restaurants, parks, and more, Ardendales offers guests a perfect blend of comfort and convenience. For more information, visit Ardendales website.

Ardendales Bed and Breakfast, 202 E Liberty St, Brooksville, FL

Brooksville Hotels:

Fairfield Inn & Suites

Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott offers modern accommodations conveniently located along State Highway 50 near Suncoast Parkway. Just 5 miles from Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, this hotel provides easy access to both natural attractions and city amenities. For more details, visit the Fairfield Inn & Suites website.

Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Brooksville Suncoast Parkway

Holiday Inn Express & Suites

Check out Holiday Inn Express & Suites! Conveniently located along State Highway 50 near Suncoast Parkway, this hotel offers straightforward accommodations. Just a 9-minute walk from Mariner Square and an 8.8-mile drive from Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport, it's the perfect base for your Brooksville adventures. Learn more at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites website.

Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Brooksville West

Brooksville RV Resorts:

Clover Leaf Forest RV Resort

Discover Clover Leaf Forest RV Resort, tucked away in a serene country setting with a welcoming ambiance. Offering a range of activities and amenities, it's the perfect retreat for RV enthusiasts. Explore more at:

Clover Leaf Forest RV Resort, 910 N Broad St, Brooksville, FL

Belle Parc RV Resort

If you're seeking an extraordinary camping experience beyond the ordinary, immerse yourself in the tranquil country charm of Belle Parc RV Resort. With its serene ambiance, this beautiful park is sure to captivate. Explore more at:

Belle Parc RV Resort, 11050 Elliots Wy, Brooksville, FL

Farm of Dreams Resort

Farm of Dreams Resort offers a rustic camping experience amidst Florida's Adventure Coast, spread across 120 acres of natural beauty. Perfect for outdoor enthusiasts, this thoughtfully crafted campground is a haven for those who cherish the great outdoors. Discover more at:

Brooksville's Events and Festivals

Keep your eyes peeled for Brooksville's bustling events calendar, packed with festivals, concerts, and community gatherings galore. There's always something exciting happening in this neck of the woods, here are but a few.

Art in the Park

Art in the Park is a cherished annual tradition celebrating fine art, craftsmanship, and community spirit. This vibrant event brings together talented artists and artisans, offering visitors a chance to immerse themselves in creativity and local culture. Explore more about this engaging affair at:

Art In The Park, Brooksville, FL

Blues Bash at the Ranch

Blues Bash at the Ranch is a thrilling three-day musical extravaganza showcasing some of the most electrifying blues artists around. Held at the picturesque Florida Sand Music Ranch, this event is not just about music; it's a celebration of soulful tunes, lively workshops, and unforgettable moments. Dive into the rhythm and blues at:

Blues Bash at the Ranch

Brooksville Blueberry Festival

The Brooksville Blueberry Festival is a yearly celebration of diversity, art, music, and, of course, plenty of blueberries! Join in the festivities and experience the unique small-town charm of Brooksville while indulging in delicious treats and enjoying a vibrant atmosphere. Learn more at:

Rock & Roll Revival Music Festival

Don't miss out on the Rock & Roll Revival Music Festival, where you can immerse yourself in the iconic sounds of the 1960s through the 1970s. It's an unforgettable experience filled with live performances and nostalgic vibes that will transport you back in time. Get ready to rock at:

Rock & Roll Revival Music Festival

In Conclusion

With its rich history, natural beauty, and small-town charm, Brooksville, Florida is a true hidden gem just waiting to be discovered. Whether you're planning a weekend getaway, considering a move, or looking to start a business, this charming city has something for everyone. So pack your bags, hit the road, and prepare to fall head over heels for the soul of Florida's Nature Coast – Brooksville awaits!

About the author:

Nick France has been designing everything from ads to websites for over thirty-five years and it’s obviously engrained in his DNA at this point. When he’s not designing or writing he’s usually found loving on his family or strapped to a guitar, singing his heart out.

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