The state of Florida can look very different depending on where you are. A dramatic change can be seen from one coast to the other. In fact, the closer you get to the peninsula the more deep country the feel. Central Florida has its own appeal with its grand oak trees, spanish moss, and rolling hills…and all of this is so different from the Art Deco atmosphere of South Beach. I fell in love with a little town called Homosassa Springs on the West Coast of Florida. My father-in-law took my husband and I to this quaint little spot 15 years ago when my children were young. We were captivated by the charm of its natural setting. We visited a local wildlife refuge park, which upon arrival became clear was a manatee haven. There were live shows where these sweet creatures interact with the caretakers and audience. A boat ride yielded even more beauty of the natural spring that was the wildlife park setting. Such lovely trees with roots that twisted and turned down into the rivers edge. Dolphins followed along playfully, jumping in and out of the waters surface. This is magical little place; so natural and rustic. We saw everything from broken down bungalows, to million dollar homes that lined the river all the way to the oceans edge. Many of the upper scale homes are made up of transplants from hectic cities who discovered this peaceful spiring that flows into the ocean. It is also thriving with locals; fisherman who have spent their whole lives casting lines. They own flats and skiffs and know exactly where the best red fish can be caught. There are may islands scattered about with homes that can only be accessed by water. One in particular houses a man and his wife who run a large shrimp boat that provides bait for fishermen headed out to sea. Yes, I would have to say this part of Florida is very different than most people imagine of palm trees, surfboards, and white sandy beaches. It is a hidden little treasure all its own. We decided to buy a little piece of it–a little corner of paradise. Our small authentic fishing cabin over looks the the waterways and has served as vacation spot for our family going on 10 years now. There are so many grand parts of Florida to explore, but if you enjoy the peace and tranquility of a slower pace of life Homosassa Springs is a must see destination.