B & B in Florida – Beaches and Books!

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As we made our way toward the east coast of Florida, we kicked off this part of our book-hunting journey with a stop at one of our favorite fun places, The Nav-A-Gator at 9700 SW Riverview Circle, Arcadia, Florida.   20150427_105955_resized

We love this place, with it's friendly, casual atmosphere, good food, and GREAT bloody marys!

Lexi, providing us with our go-go juice. We love this place, with it’s friendly, casual atmosphere, good food, and GREAT Bloody Marys!

Located at Old DeSoto Marina, with access to the beautiful Peace River, it has an extensive boat docking area, a nice indoor restaurant and a fun outdoor dining area with games and even a small museum.  The Peace River valley is famous for million year old fossils featuring mammoths and sharks, as well as Indian artifacts such as arrowheads, beads, and pottery.

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They were having a staff meeting.  If only all staff meetings looked like this!!

They were having a staff meeting. If only all staff meetings looked like this!!

River cruises are available on a large 40-passenger boat, or you can take an air boat ride.  We chose the air boat ride.

20150427_122342_resized_1It was a fun, 40-minute tour, and we caught some wonderful close-up views of wildlife…

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20150427_124240_resized_2The birds and alligators were definitely not

camera-shy!

After a little food and drink and a boat ride,

we were ready to commence book scouting.

Unfortunately, the first book store we came upon, Crackerhouse Books, was closed.  This happens, as used & rare book stores are often one man or woman operations, and open hours can be irregular.  Owners have to pop out once in awhile for a variety of reasons — often it’s to buy books to replenish stock.

Crackerhouse Books, 236 N. Brevard Ave., Arcadia, Florida

Crackerhouse Books, 236 N. Brevard Ave., Arcadia, Florida

We drove eastward, and reached Daytona Beach late in the day.

20150427_193416_resizedFrom here we motored north up the coast, stopping for the night at a delightful ocean-side hotel called Coral Sands.  We really just stumbled across this place, but it was a pleasant surprise, situated on a gorgeous stretch of coastline.

Coral Sands Hotel, Ormond Beach, Florida

Coral Sands Hotel, Ormond Beach, Florida

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The rates were extremely reasonable (we paid $109 for a clean and spacious ocean-view room –with a kitchen! ),  and there was a large ocean-view swimming pool.  We both took a refreshing dip in it that evening, in spite of a little rain that was starting to sprinkle down…

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We found a nice sand castle on the beach someone had worked really hard on — and claimed it…

Can you see our names in the sand?

Can you see our names in the sand?

Coral Sands on Ormond Beach – what a find!  I wish we could have stayed here for a week.  But after a walk on the beach in the morning, we drove up the coast to Flagler Beach, where we discovered Change Jar Books.

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Change Jar Books, 319 Moody Blvd. Flagler Beach, FL

Change Jar had a huge selection of books, both hardcover and paperbacks, reading quality and some collectible, as well as books by local authors.  Here is a collectible corner I liked, which was stocked by Steve Bolter of Sleuth Books in Palm Coast, Florida:

20150428_115938_resizedAnd there was more…

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After browsing in the

Change Jar, we hopped

back in the car and

drove on to St. Augustine

to stop in at Anastasia

Books…

Anastasia Books, 81 King St # C, St Augustine, FL

Anastasia Books, 81 King St # C, St Augustine, FL

only to find a note on the inside door that the store was unexpectedly closed all of Tuesday )-:

We have visited this book store in the past, and it is a lovely, well organized store with a good selection of books.  Sorry we missed it this trip!

All was not lost in St. Augustine.  While walking around, we struck up a conversation with a local gentleman, who asked us to come to his house to look at some books he wanted to sell.  Of course, we followed him (21 miles!).

Here is one of the books we purchased from him:

Godey's Lady's Book and Magazine, - Vol. LXXXII - from January to June, 1871

Godey’s Lady’s Book and Magazine, – Vol. LXXXII – from January to June, 1871

Godey's Lady's Books are beautifully illustrated and a great resource for fashion, architecture, music,  recipes, and more detailing life in the 19th Century.

Godey’s Lady’s Books are beautifully illustrated and a great resource for details on fashion, architecture, music, recipes, and more on  life in the 19th Century.

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Join us on our next stop:  Savannah, Georgia and Tybee Island!

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Only thing worse than book stores closing is finding one that is still open but closed! J

    • Hey John,
      I’m using an improved form of WordPress, I think you will have better luck clicking on the photos now! Try clicking on the small panoramic shot at the very top of my last blog (B & B – Beaches and Books) — you can pan the whole scene. Mucho better!!
      Catahy


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