Lovely Small Town Florida: Dunnellon & Rainbow Springs

Today's virtual vacation takes us to the charming small Florida towns of Dunnellon and Rainbow Springs, just a short drive from Ocala or the gulf coast. As usual, you get a bunch of pictures because you know that I have trouble editing. We extended our wedding trip a day, and as a broke newly-married, outdoor-loving couple, we chose this area for its natural beauty and close proximity to Cedar Key, but we found that this area has more than just pretty rivers. We stayed at the Two Rivers Inn, a modest but charming 1950's motel. We knew we had made the right choice as soon as we drove up and saw the old bikes used as signs.
The inn is pink and has little screened lanais along the front of some of the rooms.
A few shots of the interior of our room. Each room has a different theme, we chose the "Maui" room because it appeared to be the most 50's style. It was decorated with mid-century lamps, side tables, wall hangings. Tough to see in the pics, but subtle architectural details included walls curving into the doorways and and an exposed beam ceiling. We were giddy over the tiny bathroom, all original except for the john.
The owner of the motel was so sweet, and her Boxer was even sweeter. We played with the pup when we checked in. I never learned her name, but here she is in the back yard of the lobby building. Having a dog around to pet and snuggle always makes a place feel homier.
Adorable house in town. Love that yellow door paired with the purple siding!
A cafe in town, unfortunately closed while we were there.
Cool commercial buildings. The white building was for rent - only $800 a month!
Spanish moss-draped Live Oaks create such a romantic old-south landscape.
This large home was an antique/gift shop & nursery. The plants were gorgeous and very reasonably priced. With a large courtyard and a statuary area shaded by live oaks, I cannot imagine a prettier place to shop for the garden.
Gorgeous orchids. I seem to recall these were only about $10 (not including the clay pots). The birdhouse is from a different antique shop. It was a fun item to run across because Rock City and Ruby Falls are tourist attractions in my city, 8 hours to the north.
This antique shop was across the street from the nursery. I really wanted everything in this corner: beautifully executed portraits of 1970's ladies, and that groovy chandelier. We did buy several items from this shop, I will show those sometime later.
Neat old bear figurine and Arabic Seiko alarm clock. Of course, we wanted those too. Everything was so reasonably priced, it was so tough not to buy tons of stuff!
Around town. The little purple house was for sale.
Next we headed to nearby Rainbow Springs. There is an interesting story about this area, which was developed into an amusement park at one time. Now a state park, the gardens and waterfalls around the springs have been maintained. There are also remnants of the old zoo still standing. It is a nice, hilly hike and birds, fish, and turtles abound. The Rainbow Springs are the headwaters of the Rainbow River, which is crystal clear.

Rainbow Springs was far too crowded for an enjoyable swim, so we headed up the road to the KP Hole. My obsession with the little anole lizards continues.
I wish I had something - anything - exciting planned this weekend, but alas it will probably be pretty dull. The rain continues to put a wrench in our plans, so I will have to live vicariously through you. What do you have planned for the weekend?

P.S. I'm finally on Twitter, username TweetingCheese!


Melissa Blake said...

Ooooh! I would love to be there right now!

Erin said...

Thanks for taking us along! The Two Rivers Inn looks so cute (especially your tropical Maui room!!) I just love old motels!

Alicia @ boylerpf said...

What a great motel! Love the decor & the Rainbow Springs looks like a great place to visit. Nothing great planned this weekend so no vicarious living through me..LOL! Off to follow you on Twitter! Welcome to the world of 140 characters!

me melodia said...

You're photos are great!

down and out chic said...

sounds like a lovely vacay and how cute is that motel room?!

Teresa @ good-grace said...

I don't know if it could be any more charming!! Definitely marking this post ... such a lovely little place. (Great pictures!!)