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Around North Florida
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Chestnuts may be big business for local growers

If you knew Steve Nottingham you wouldn't be surprised to see him open a beer on a weekday morning and take a quick sip of his homemade concoction for quality control.

He poured two varieties of his experimental beverage and asked his colleagues to drink from the plastic cup that contained the summer ale.

"This is much better than the last one we had," said Jenny Franklin, after tasting Nottingham's latest brew, made from chestnuts.

Chestnut beer? Yup.

North Florida Regional Medical Center

The North Florida Regional Medical Center has provided the community with high quality, cost-effective health care since it was founded by a group of physicians and HCA in 1972. North Florida Regional is a 325 bed, full service medical and surgical acute care center offering comprehensive cancer care, heart care, women’s health, senior care and orthopedic/neurosurgery and spine services.

Chiefland and Fanning Springs

Its scenic beauty, wildlife and outdoor recreational opportunities make Levy County the perfect destination. With nearly one-fifth of the county set aside for state and national wildlife areas, Levy is blessed with numerous parks, preserves, springs and wildlife refuges where visitors can discover rest and recreation in abundance. In fact, there are over 25 nature-based recreational sites in Levy.

Lovely Lafayette County

Lafayette (local pronounciation la-fay'-et, not la-fay-et'.) County in North Central Florida is mainly agriculture based with lots of dairy farms. Its main city and county seat is Mayo, about 1000 population) at the intersection of Highways 27 and 51. There are lots of recreation activities available in Lafayette County mostly revolving around the Suwannee River and its boating opportunities and the many fresh water springs feeding the river. Mallory Swamp also attracts a great deal of seasonal hunters and naturalists looking for a slice of the original Florida.

Regional Community Institute

In December 2005, the Regional Community Institute of Northeast Florida, Inc. (RCINEF) was formed in response to a growing realization that Northeast Florida needed a broad-based organization that would initially have as its purpose to advance and promote the vision of regionalism, as it relates to the quality of Northeast Florida’s natural, man-made, economic and social environments.

Las Vegas Execs visit Tallahassee

Multibillion-dollar hotel resorts with casino gambling, celebrity chefs and luxury shopping.

It could all come to Florida — if the state wants to cash in on its image as a sun-soaked haven for tourists and authorize sprawling, Las Vegas casino resorts, gambling executives told lawmakers Thursday.

Executives from Las Vegas Sands, which operates the Venetian and Palazzo on the Vegas strip, flew to Tallahassee to pitch lawmakers on their vision: Four to six gambling destinations, each costing $2 billion or more to build, that would beckon gamblers from several continents.

Fort Clinch State Park Trails

Found in Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island, this park offers outstanding mountain bike trails, both paved and off-road. With its namesake fort and peninsular location, it also offers historic and natural features. Initial development of the park was started in the 1930s, making it one of Florida’s first state parks. The trail system includes a six-mile off-road loop trail for hikers and off-road bicyclists. The park’s paved road and several miles of beaches along Cumberland Sound with hard packed sand provide great riding during low tides.

Amelia Island Plantation

Amelia Island Plantation Pool

While spring isn’t quite officially here I think it's time for spring break. For those of you in colder climates perhaps a nice warm, welcoming beach with enough diversions for visitors of almost any age. Today, we'll consider the Amelia Island Plantation where kids young and old can enjoy a truly Floridian vacation with numerous amenities at one single destination.

St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail

St. Marks historic Railroad Trail begins at Florida's capital city, runs through the Apalachicola National Forest and ends in the coastal community of St. Marks. The twenty-mile line began operating in 1837 to provide a connection between the territorial Capital and the gulf coast. In the 1850s, the railroad was modernized and used to transport cotton, which it did through the early 1900s. Thus, the line played an important role in the cotton trade providing this valuable raw material for shipment to textile mills in the north of the United States and in Europe. St.

Pebble Hill Plantation

Listed on the National Register of Historic Homes, Pebble Hill Plantation is a historical home and sporting plantation. The original house was built in 1827; Pebble Hill served as a cotton plantation and was later used as a winter home and hunting lodge. Pebble Hill houses an extensive art collection of wildlife and environmental themes. Its guests have included sports painters Ogden Pleissner and Richard Bishop, presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Jimmy Carter, several ambassadors, and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. The extensive grounds are lined with pines, magnolias, and elaborate gardens.

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