Bay Magazine June 2024

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JUNE 2024
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Born on the first day of summer, I have always embraced the months of June, July and August, when, in the words of George Gershwin, “the livin’ is easy.” Summertime is a slower time and that’s fine by me. In this issue of Bay, we share some fashions that will help you fit in during any summer activity, and we staged the photo shoot at one of my favorite locations: Dogs Inc, formerly known as Southeastern Guide Dogs. Full disclosure: I have raised numerous puppies for the organization, and I currently serve on its board of directors.

Our travel columnist, Cindy Cockburn, shares some special pet-friendly accommodations at one of the newest hotels in Clearwater Beach, Marriott’s AC Hotel.

We dish out some tasty tips for dining in Orlando.

Plus, former Times staffers Peter Couture and Wilma Norton have been visiting state parks for years and share the nature they have witnessed up close.

So, appreciate with me some old Florida charm, inspiring landscapes and, hopefully, playing with puppies.

Contact Kathy Saunders at ksaunders@




From a Georgian Revival mansion to a sprawling Sarasota estate, we profiled four historic venues that now serve as backdrops for modern-day weddings.


Beyond the theme parks and tourists, a multicultural culinary wonderland awaits in Orlando. Find our picks of the city's most sumptuous bites.


▲ 20 REAL

FLORIDA Wilma Norton and Peter Couture have visited roughly half of Florida's 175 majestic state parks. Find out about a few of their favorites.


What's the future of Florida travel? We asked Roger Dow, the former president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, to find out.


Need style inspiration for the dog days of summer? Our June fashions, shot at Dogs Inc in Palmetto, turn up the heat.


St. Petersburg – 1131 4th St. N., St Pete – 727.896.6656 | Tampa – Hyde Park Village – 813.875.3935 | Ol dN or thea st Jew elers .c om OLD NORTHEAST JEWELERS F INE JE WEL RY & WA TC HE S | BU YI NG & SE LL IN G SI NC E 19 84


Kathy Saunders


Nikki Life

COPY EDITOR Erin Feitsma


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hile researching wedding venues with my daughter-in-law, we came across several unique estates that early Florida settlers built as homes. Many of those settlers played important roles in establishing Florida as we know it today. They also had the forethought to leave their properties for future residents to appreciate. Bay profiled four of these historic old Florida homes that now serve as backdrops for modern-day weddings.





s a child, Eve Bass used to jump off the dock into Lake Alfred and hunt for Native American arrowheads in her grandfather’s citrus groves. The home where her grandparents, Dr. Charles Adams and his wife, Emmie, settled in the 1930s was the foundation of her family. “It was a great place to be a kid,” said Bass. When her grandparents passed away, she and her three brothers wanted to keep the house in the family.

For a time, it became the favorite place for the Adams’ great-grandchildren to get married. That’s what prompted them to transform the estate permanently. “We wanted to keep the house going, so we thought, let’s give this wedding venue a whirl,” said Bass.

Six years ago, the third generation of descendants opened the Adams Estate on more than 24 acres along Lake Alfred, located midway between Tampa and Orlando.

The property includes an outdoor, oak tree-framed wedding garden, two lakefront terraces and a glassenclosed, climate-controlled luxury tent for receptions. The first floor of the estate house and its kitchen are available for parties and bar service. Upstairs is a 3,000-square-foot, five-room bridal suite. A boathouse loft was renovated into a gathering space for grooms and groomsmen with a bar, a TV, a poker table and other amenities.

The ground floor of the boathouse is available for rehearsal dinners, and up to 54 wedding guests can stay on-site in one of the cottages or suites. Future plans include adding a restaurant, bar and spa on the grounds.

“Our lodging is one of the things that I think really sets us apart,” said Bass, who became general manager of the estate in 2020. “It’s a destination wedding (venue), but it’s truly private.”

All the guest areas and cottages, designed by her architect brother Max Strang, are named for family members. “It’s authentic and there’s history there. It still really is family-owned and -run,” said Bass.

Adams Estate, 2222 W. Pierce St., Lake Alfred, FL 33850. 863-450-9201.

Photo by Jake Molina, @jakemolinamedia.


hen South Carolina lawyer Col. Bird Pearson originally settled on 160 acres in Brooksville in 1847, he named the area “Mount Airy” for its high elevation and surrounding old Florida charm.

Today, engaged couples and their guests can enjoy that ambience for their weddings on the property now known as the Chinsegut Hill Retreat and Conference Center.

The site was renamed in 1905, when it was purchased by Elizabeth Robins and her brother Raymond Robins.

The antebellum home was the scene of many society gatherings, attended by visitors like Helen Keller, William Jennings Bryan, Thomas Edison and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.

When the owners died, the land was deeded to the state. It was leased for a time as a retreat center by the University of Florida and the University of South Florida and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003. Today, Hernando County leases the property and subleases it to the Tampa Bay History Center, which operates the Manor House as a museum, and to the city of Brooksville, which oversees everything outside the Manor House.

“There is a peaceful feeling you get the moment you pull onto the property,” said Christie Williams, who manages the property for the city. “Our retreat offers a glimpse of what life may have been like in a simpler time: sitting on the porch in a rocking chair, sharing stories with friends,

sippin' on a fresh, sun-brewed sweet tea.”

Wedding guests can enjoy the Manor House porches, dining hall, fire pit and cottages, where up to 56 guests can stay on-site. The main dining hall seats 65 people and the conference center can hold 75 guests. Up to 250 guests can enjoy events on the front and back lawns.

“While it has been traditional to host weddings on the lawn of the Manor House, I am not always a traditionalist,” allowed Williams. “I discovered the most amazing grandmother oak that welcomes couples under her sprawling majestic wings.” She said the location is now called the "I Do" tree.

“From the relaxed atmosphere of the Retreat Center to the old-world charm of the historic Manor House tours, if you are looking for a scenic backdrop where Spanish moss sways through the canopied oaks and a chance glimpse of deer or turkey, all while having just the right amount of amenities to accommodate the needs of (your) guests, this is your place,” said Williams.

Chinsegut Hill Retreat and Conference Center, 22495 Chinsegut Hill Road, Brooksville, FL 34601. 352-238-9186.

Photo courtesy of the Chinsegut Hill Retreat and Conference Center.
Photo by Angelina Grande, @AngelinaGrandePhotography.


hen she directs weddings at the Burroughs Home and Gardens in Fort Myers, Melissa Coon said she is transported back to the 1920s, when the home’s last inhabitants held dance parties on its porches.

“Many of the notables of society enjoyed parties at the home, including Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone, Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh,” said Coon, venue director at the historical site.

The Georgian Revival-style mansion was built in 1901 for Montana cattle rancher John Murphy. The property changed hands a few times and in 1920, Midwest-

erners Nelson and Adeline Burroughs and their two daughters, Jettie and Mona, moved into the home. When Mona died in 1978, she donated the property to the city of Fort Myers under the condition that it be made available to the public and used for parties. (The Burroughs sisters were musical and regularly hosted friends to sing and dance on the home’s porches.)

Today, Coon organizes up to 75 events a year in the home, mostly weddings. The property along the Caloosahatchee River includes the mansion, tropical gardens and an outdoor pavilion.

“We can accommodate up to 200 guests in our pavilion," she said. "Our waterside gazebo is located across the gardens from our pavilion and (is) used for cocktail hours, receptions and events."

In 2008, the city of Fort Myers contracted with the Uncommon Friends Foundation to preserve the property and manage daily operations of the home, which includes tours and events. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984, the home has inspired many

themed weddings and parties.

“Nature-focused events are very popular, as well as romantic vintage vibes as the ideal backdrop to 'The Great Gatsby' and 'Downton Abbey'-themed weddings we've hosted. Victorian themes have become really popular, and this venue is perfect for those,” Coon said.

All rental fees for the venue go toward the preservation of the estate.

Several hotels are also located within walking distance from the home.

Recently, the city of Fort Myers approved a $2.2-million renovation project for the property. “She’s getting a face-lift,” said Coon. The renovations will include a new roof and improvements to the main porch.

“I know that Mona would be very happy that we are still using the dancing porch," Coon said.

Burroughs Home and Gardens, 2505 First St., Fort Myers, FL 33901. 239-337-9505.

Photo by Lianis Cruz Photography.
Photo courtesy of Burroughs Home and Gardens.


hen inventor Powel Crosley Jr. built his 11,000-square-foot estate in 1929, he likely was drawn to the property for the same reason couples gravitate there today. Situated on the shores of Sarasota Bay, the Powel Crosley Estate was once a winter home for Crosley's wife, Gwendolyn. Today, up to 1,000 guests at a time can enjoy the sprawling 16.5-acre grounds.

The mansion has 21 rooms, a 10,000-square foot lawn and a 200-foot dock where couples can arrive by boat. Up to 100 guests can enjoy a ceremony on the Bayside Lawn, while both floors of the two-story estate are also available to rent, along with the patio.

Inside, the estate includes a dining room, breakfast nook, gallery, balcony, Ship Room and Bayside Room.

Crosley was a native of Cincinnati who amassed a fortune in automobile parts and as an entrepreneur in the radio business. He also owned the Cincinnati Reds baseball team.

Crosley died in 1961 and in 1982, the estate was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The property is owned and maintained by Manatee County and estate reservations are managed by bradentongulfislands. com in partnership with Visit Florida.

Elliott Falcione, the executive director of the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, was there for the first

event at the estate in 1996.

“It (has) Mediterranean-style architecture that is hard to find in the state of Florida, let alone coastal Florida,” he said. “That mansion is important, and it feeds (tourism in) the Bradenton/Sarasota region from $8 million to $10 million a year.” He books upwards of 180 weddings a year at the estate.

“Couples use the bay side of the mansion as their wedding backdrop, and where the balcony is located, it (is) almost like

Crosley and his wife designed it for future theatre," Falcione said.

He also oversaw the renovation of the Bradenton Area Convention Center, where the 252-room Palmetto Marriott Resort & Spa opened in May. The waterfront hotel is about a half-hour drive from the Powel Crosley Estate.

The Powel Crosley Estate, 8374 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34243. 941-722-3244. powel-crosley.

Photo courtesy of the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.
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Gateway to Himalayan Art, on view at the Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida, introduces the main forms, concepts, meanings and religious traditions of Himalayan art with objects from the collection of the Rubin Museum of Art, New York A large multimedia map at the start of the exhibition orients viewers to the greater Himalayan region, which encompasses Indian, Nepalese, Bhutanese and Tibetan cultures as well as interrelated Mongolian and Chinese traditions Gateway invites exploration of these diverse cultural spheres through exemplary objects presented in three thematic sections: Symbols and Meanings, Materials and Technologies, and Living Practices. It also includes voices from Himalayan artists and contemporaries, along with connections to related digital content to learn more

Featuring 110 works of art, this exhibition—in addition to historical works such as sculptures, paintings, manuscripts and implements—further integra first-person perspectives fr specialists and practitioner Himalayan communities, an commissions from contem artists, to reveal the continuo use of distinct materials an techniques in contemporary cultural practices and community celebrations This traveling exhibition is organized and provided by the Rubin Museum of Art.

Gateway to Himalayan Art is on view through July 28, 2024 at the Harn Museum of Art in Gainesville, Florida and is funded in part by Visi Gainesville, Alachua County Admission is free To learn more about the Harn and upcoming exhibitions, visit and follow the museum on social media @harnmuseumofart

nd ritual egrates from ers from and mporary nuous and ry rt m da isit nty.

Above: Life Story of Buddha, Shakyamuni, Tibet; 19th century, Pigments on cloth, Rubin Museum of Art, Gift of Shelley and Donald Rubin, C2006.66.164 (HAR 157) Left: Bodhisattva Kshitigarbha, Tibet; 17th century, Rubin Museum of Art, Gift of the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, F1997.12.4 (HAR 700040)

Longboat Key

is just a short drive away!

Named as one of the top ten island destinations in the U.S. in Conde Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards, the twelve-mile island is luxuriously located on the Gulf of Mexico, bordered on the west

visitors a respite from the crowds while still providing the quintessential Florida beach experience. Blue skies, swaying palms, sultry breezes, playful dolphins, sandy beaches and a quiet calm welcomes the evening sunset, and beckons the discerning traveler.

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ITtook the world locking down for Florida to open up for us. Like many Floridians cooped up during the pandemic, we sought freedom in the outdoors. Our first outings during the early days of COVID were tentative at first and confined mainly to the Tampa Bay area. Soon, though, we began to venture around the state on weekend trips. Hiking shoes, wildlife photography and a chronicle of our adventures on social media soon followed. We are now converts to what park signs proclaim as “the real Florida.” This was an ironic turnabout for a couple who had proudly boasted of hiking only around the World Showcase at Epcot. Now we’ve visited — and, yes, even hiked — about half of Florida’s 175 state parks with the goal of experiencing them all. Some are vast. Others are tiny and have little more than a monument and picnic table. No matter the size of the park, Florida’s state parks encompass a range of ecosystems, wildlife habitats, outdoor pursuits and historic sites. They all share what the novelist Lauren Groff has called Florida’s “greatest glory and treasure.” Here are a few of our favorites (so far).



Anastasia State Park

Just minutes from historic St. Augustine, this Atlantic-front park has one of our favorite hikes through a shady hammock, along the beach and over the Ancient Dunes Nature Trail. We’ve also taken some of our best bird photos here, including pictures of a red-shouldered hawk that seemed to be posing for us.

Big Talbot Island State Park

We always enjoy experiencing a Florida destination that appears to be from another place and time. This Jacksonville area park’s appropriately named Boneyard Beach fits the bill. The beach is populated — haunted? — by the bleached skeletons of live oak and cedar trees that once grew near the shore. A stroll on the beach, especially on the gloomy day when we visited, makes for a slightly eerie experience as the downed trees seem to reach out to beachgoers with their skeletal tentacles. Our computer screen savers are still filled with photos from the Boneyard. Big Talbot, which is primarily a natural preserve, is one of seven parks that make up northeast Florida’s Talbot Islands State Parks.

Big Shoals State Park

Much like Big Talbot, this park in White Springs has a unique feature: the largest whitewater rapids in the state. That may not be what comes to mind when you think of the Suwannee River, but when its water level rises from 59 to 61 feet above mean sea level, the rapids merit a Class III whitewater classification. As Floridians not used to whitewater environments, it was a bit of a thrill for us to hike the Big Shoals Trail, a 2.2-mile round trip, and hear the river before we saw it. Limestone bluffs rise 80 feet above the river’s tannic-tinted waters.


Blue Spring State Park

The park along the St. Johns River has a little bit of everything that makes Florida’s state parks gems: manatees, the historic Thursby House, hiking and a view into the geology of the spring system. During the winter, when the manatees gather by the hundreds, it

can be hard to get into the park, so an early morning arrival is key.

Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State


This jewel, a short drive from Tallahassee, has been home to creatures both mythical and real. The legacy of the


park — an ancient cypress swamp that rims one of the world’s largest freshwater springs — includes its clear springs being used as the location for 1954’s “Creature from the Black Lagoon.” The movie’s iconic Gill-man, however, was far from the first beast to inhabit the land — mastodons once roamed here. Today, the behemoths

present are alligators and manatees. The best way to experience the wildlife is on a boat tour of the Wakulla River and springs, a 2-mile-long loop that gives visitors plenty of time to spot alligators, manatees and the diverse bird life. One of the many unique things about Wakulla is that unlike similar state park tours, a ranger is both pilot

and guide, which makes for a tour full of wildlife expertise, park history and stories. There is also a designated swimming area in the spring whose boundaries aren’t always respected by curious manatees. Want to feel like you’ve gone back in time? Spend a night or two in the historic The Lodge at Wakulla Springs, a Mediterranean Revival hotel that dates back to 1937 and whose 27 guest rooms feature period furniture. The snack bar in the lodge’s gift shop has what’s called the world’s longest-known marble bar, stretching some 70 feet. The dining room also invokes visions of glamorous days of early mid-century luxury.

Fort Clinch State Park

This large-scale historic site and park in Fernandina Beach is one of Florida’s first state parks. In 1936, the Civilian Conservation Corps began restoring the buildings in the Civil War-era fort, whose cannons point across the St. Marys River into Georgia. (The only thing we pointed in that direction was our camera.) Today, visitors get a glimpse of Fort Clinch circa 1864, with staff members and volunteers sporting vintage uniforms. No disrespect, but our favorite was a very photogenic equine volunteer. (Inside the fort, visitors can tour rooms that served purposes ranging from barracks to blacksmithing.) Peer out from the fort’s gun deck with its 10-inch smoothbore cannon and you have views of Cumberland Sound, Cumberland Island, the mouth of the St. Marys River and the Atlantic. Suddenly, the choice of the fort’s location comes into focus.

Highlands Hammock State Park

This Sebring land officially became Florida’s first state park in 1935 and is one of eight original CCC parks in the state. It is home to more rare and native species than any other state

Photo by Scott Keeler.

park, including the endangered Florida panther. Among our highlights was the slightly elevated boardwalk above the cypress swamp where we watched a few juvenile wild hogs cavort while mom — we assumed — lurked nearby. As befits its roots, a park museum housed in a restored CCC building explains the history of the “dollar-aday” volunteers in the Depression-era works program. And don’t miss the sour orange ice cream from Maxwell Groves Country Store, available in the gift shop.

Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park

This remote Okeechobee park is unique in that it was recognized as Florida’s first Dark Sky Park by the International

Dark Sky Association for its lack of light pollution, which makes it a draw for amateur astronomers. The daytime views in this vast dry prairie are equally impressive: There is no sign of civilization all the way to the horizon. The prairie is also a haven for wildlife: We spotted several deer on the long road that leads to the heart of the park and were treated to a flock of wild turkeys at one of our stops. We abandoned a hike on a short trail just as it started when a large animal — most likely a wild hog — loudly announced its presence.

Koreshan State Park

The Estero park is home to a settlement founded in 1893 on the banks of the Estero River by Dr. Cyrus R. Teed,

aka “Koresh.” It was to be a utopia — Koreshan Unity — for Teed’s religious sect. The Koreshans believed in communal living and that the universe existed inside the Earth. We enjoyed roaming the crushed shell paths that connect the 11 restored buildings on the settlement’s grounds, whose only residents now are gopher tortoises. (Unlike the tortoises, the Koreshans practiced celibacy.) Of particular interest are the generator building with its steampunk collection of equipment and the stately wood-paneled Art Hall that served as a concert venue. The hall also is where you can see a model of the Earth as a “concave sphere” that encloses the universe — all based on Teed’s cellular cosmogony. It’s wacky but fascinating.

Myakka River State Park

We’ve visited this vast park near Sarasota several times and are always rewarded with a different experience given its geography that ranges from wetlands to wildflower prairies to pine forests. The majestic Myakka River flows through 58 square miles of the park. One unique feature: The 25-foothigh Myakka Canopy Walkway gives visitors the opportunity to observe the treetop world of an oak/palm hammock. It also has a 74-foot-tall observation tower. Still on our to-do list: one of the park’s boat tours. When we think of Myakka, we think of gators. We’ve never visited the park and not seen several large specimens of Florida’s favorite reptile. One word of caution: The park is said to be home to the state’s cousin to Bigfoot — the skunk ape.

Ravine Gardens State Park

From January through March, more than 18 types of azaleas bloom in the gardens of the Palatka park. The park’s most unique geological formations are


its ravines, which are intercut with trails that follow suspension bridges and stone staircases down to a spring-fed creek. Take your walking stick and enjoy one of the prettiest, non-flat walks we’ve seen.

Washington Oaks Gardens State Park

This park on the Atlantic, which we visited early in our exploration, showed us that you never know exactly what you are going to find. And that’s a good thing. We first roamed the garden on the west side of State Road A1A and were impressed with the rose garden, the history and the easy-to-navigate trails. Then we crossed the highway to the beach side of the park and were wowed. The beach’s coquina-rock formations look like the surface of another planet.


➤ Many parks are located within a two-hour drive of Tampa. For those, we arrive early so that we can explore before we and the wildlife seek refuge from the midday sun.

➤ Before heading out, visit the park websites to get updated information on hours, entrance fees and any closures or restrictions. For example, trails can become flooded during storm season.

➤ We also plan weekend getaways in areas that have clusters of parks. In northeast Florida, for example, we stayed in a rented condo on Amelia Island (bonus, it was steps from the Ritz-Carlton for easy access to

brunch) and plotted a route that included eight parks. We’ve found St. Augustine, Orlando, Naples, Flagler Beach, Fort Myers, Melbourne, Panama City and Pensacola to be excellent park-hopping hubs as well.

➤ Many parks have camping facilities if that’s your thing. (It’s not ours. We prefer a nice hotel or Airbnb.) A few have well-equipped cabins that we enjoy, but they are increasingly difficult to book.

➤ Florida state parks have admission fees that range from free to about $8 per carload. We buy a family annual pass ($120) that we think is a great value.



Dania has sold more than $75M in Luxury and Waterfront Homes from Jan-April 2024

Bayway Isles

– St. Petersburg Resplendent, with built-to -last concrete construction, this extraordinar y 13,632-total-sq. ft., 5-bedroom, 5½-bath luxury estate delivers sweeping panoramic views of the Intracoastal Waterway Wide 198 ft of sea wall. Beautifully updated, meticulously maintained. Easy Tampa Bay commuting Offered for $5,900,000.

Belle Isle – Belleair Beach

Avila – Tampa

A stunning coastal modern master work with commercialgrade concrete/steel construction designed to withstand 250 mph winds! Mammoth 20+-ft.-high great room with towering floor-to- ceiling windows. 5,579 sq.ft. of inspiring living area. Spectacular 1,920-sq.ft. rooftop sun deck delivers incredible 360- degree waterviews! Beautiful pool + hydrotherapy spa Boat lift/new dock Offered for $4,500,000.

Rising beyond the stately trees and verdant grounds of a private 1+-acre setting rests this majestic 6-bedroom, 6.2-bath, 13,432-total-sq.ft. manor Astounding architectural elements, ar tisan- quality craftmanship and impor ted world- class materials grace this brilliant floor plan. Built on a grand scale with uncompromising luxur y! Offered for $5,950,000.

Waterfront – Treasure Island

Enjoy the best of boating and the beach from this 4-bedroom, 4-bath, 6,643-totalsq.ft. modern coastal design All block construction, elegant contemporar y finishes, gorgeous kitchen/baths, luxury pool/spa, 20,000-lb. boat lift. Cruise to the Gulf, walk in seconds to the beach. No rental restrictions, strong rental histor y. Offered for $4,595,000.

Difference – The Real Difference in Real Estate he CENTURY 21 JIM WHITE & ASSOCIATES
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Dania has sold almost $2 Billion in

Bayshore – Madeira Beach

Luxurious and contemporary, with the per fect LA blend of minimalist elegance, superior form and advanced function, this visually stunning 4,960-total-sq.ft., 3-bedroom water front residence was built with refined imagination and years of forward-think ing A remark able “Andy Warhol-like” living experience Offered for $2,999,000. Bella Marguerite –

Saltaire – Downtown

St. Petersburg

Brand new and never occupied, this 3-bedroom, 3-bath, 19th-floor luxur y residence delivers dazzling views of the downtown waterfront. Exquisitely finished throughout, with outstanding five -star amenities! Superb dining and fabulous enter tainment within easy walk ing distance. Offered for $1,995,000.

St. Pete Beach

Arguably the finest luxur y penthouse available on the boating waters of Tampa Bay. One trip through this astounding place and you will see that its beauty is not expressed simply as a list of luxur y touches, but as a dazzling array of remark able floor-to- ceiling finishes work ing in concer t across 4,316 sq.ft. of sensational living area. Offered for $2,995,000.

Independently Ranked One of Florida’s 10 Best Real Estate Agents tly Delivering the Best Luxury Home Sales Results in Tampa Bay! • 727-215-2045 Luxury & Waterfront Specialist Dania Perry
Tampa Bay Region. Capri Isle Townhomes
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finished with exceptional craftsmanship, large covered
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beautiful living spaces. Large deep -water dock provides access to the Gulf in under five minutes. Easy walk to the beach! Offered for $1,694,000.
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decadent DINING

Beyond the theme parks and tourists, a multicultural culinary wonderland awaits in Orlando. If you’re traveling there for vacation or simply heading over for a weekend, there is lots to feast on. The bustling city is home to worldclass restaurants near the theme parks and Michelin-starred spots nestled among the town’s residential sprawl. Here are our picks for where to go for some of the city’s most sumptuous bites.

Photo by Kent Phillips.


If you haven’t visited Lake Nona, a trendy planned community near Orlando International Airport, it’s worth a stop on your weekend trip. The Lake Nona Wave Hotel is one of the neighborhood’s most exciting developments. The 234-room luxury hotel is set in Lake Nona’s swanky Town Center. It boasts a vast array of stunning art and impressive technology (like Toto toilets and smart windows that dim automatically), but it also has strong dining options, including the must-visit Michelin-recommended restaurant Bacán. This spot is influenced by “the boldly seductive flavors of the Americas,” featuring lots of dishes with Central and South American flair. There’s a five-course chef’s tasting menu offered before 9 p.m. (the whole table has to opt in), or a large a la carte menu offering a wide array of flavorful dishes. Starters like smoked pork belly and tuna crudo are worth sharing, but you must save room for one of the mains. Between the duck breast served with carrots and pickled apricots, the Bacán burger made with wagyu beef and foie gras, the lamb loin with mezcal peppercorn sauce and the carne asada featuring a 12-ounce striploin, it’s nearly impossible to choose. Everything here has a rather dramatic flair, from the warmth of the dining room to the fiery flavors on the plate. Lovely desserts, which rotate often, round out a meal, like the Mont Blanc tart with chestnut cream, pear and Mexican vanilla confit or the Flancocho, almond cake with coconut flan and pineapple cilantro confit

Before or after your time at Bacán, wander through the hotel’s stunning lobby for a cocktail at the Living Room Bar, which serves up drinks like Heart Beatz, made with Corazón Blanco tequila, hibiscus, pomegranate and an egg-free “Fee” foam; and Thomas Edison’s Bright Idea with Lillet Blanc, Chandon Garden Spritz and soda. And, if you need more food, there are tapasstyle bites like the octopus anticucho paired with baby corn and crispy celery root and tostones paired with grapefruit mojo, black salt and cilantro.

6100 Wave Hotel Drive, Orlando, FL 32827. 407-675-2000.

Photos courtesy of the Lake Nona Wave Hotel.


One of Walt Disney World’s best-kept secrets is Victoria & Albert’s, a Michelin-starred tasting menu restaurant at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. The restaurant maintains a discreet profile on the outside, but on the inside, ambience and elegance reign supreme: With white tablecloths, a harpist strumming romantic tunes and a selection of over 500 wines to accompany the multicourse menu offered each night, it’s one of the most refined meals you can have in the tourism mecca. The restaurant, currently presided over by chef de cuisine Matthew Sowers, received its first Michelin star in April. Tasting menus in the main dining room start at $295 per person, with optional

drink pairings: $155 for wine and $115 for zero-proof pairings. You can also book more intimate chef’s table reservations. The menu changes every day, but recent dishes include Norwegian king crab with kohlrabi and lemon verbena, rabbit cappelletti with sugar snap peas and saffron and a wild boar dish with rhubarb and broccolini. Save room for at least one dessert course (though there’s usually more), with sweet bites like candied carrots with hazelnut praline and cocoa “soil” and a mango pavlova with serrano pepper and Chantilly cream.

4401 Floridian Way, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830. 407-939-5277.

Photo by Kent Phillips.


The folks behind this refined yet playful Michelin-starred spot in Orlando’s Audubon Park Garden District have helped elevate Orlando’s food scene, ushering in a new wave of high-quality omakase experiences. The restaurant's nondescript exterior, shown at left, belies a lively experience inside. Owners Mark and Jennifer Berdin opened Kappo in the city’s charming East End Market food hall in 2014 and quickly gained a following for the innovative culinary moves at their humble sushi stand. They moved just around the corner in 2016 to open Kadence, a more intimate dining experience boasting a $305-per-person tasting menu that's heavy on seafood and sake. Both owners come from Michelin-starred restaurants and are “certified advanced sake professionals.” A meal here will not fail to wow.

1809 Winter Park Road, Orlando, FL 32803.


It doesn’t get more luxe than the Four Seasons, a swanky oasis tucked away on Walt Disney World property. Featuring an 18-hole golf course and tennis courts, a 5-acre water park including a lazy river and a serene spa offering massages and facials, this resort is worth a visit whether you’re planning a multi-day stay or just coming for the evening. The hotel’s dining program is top-notch, with a Michelin-starred steakhouse, an Italian restaurant open for breakfast and dinner (there’s even a character breakfast for kids) and elevated poolside dining.

At Capa, the steakhouse on the 17th floor of the hotel, Spanish influences and refined service combine to create a stunning dining experience. The restaurant has one Michelin star from the esteemed food guide, and for good reason: This is some of the best food in the area. The open kitchen is the centerpiece of the dining room, creating a show unto itself with lots of fiery drama as the evening unfolds. The menu is vast and worth perusing patiently. Are you in the mood for one of the gorgeous shareable

small plates, like the pulpo a la Gallega (octopus, potatoes, boquerones, pimentón, black pepper glaze and garlic aioli) or the Coliflor (fried cauliflower, culantro sofrito and pasture-raised eggs)? Or maybe a spread of Spanish cheese and charcuterie? You can’t go wrong with any of the starters. But save room for the entrees: This is a steakhouse, after all, and you must try one of the many cuts on the menu, like the New York strip, porterhouse or Delmonico Platinum X Wagyu. They’re sourced from places like Japan and New Zealand and are cooked on the restaurant’s signature hickory grill. The Iberico pluma, a Spanish pork dish that’s served with Marcona almond romesco and Valencia orange notes, is a worthy non-steak option. With attentive service and an impressive selection of cocktails and wines by the glass, a meal here is one to remember. And to top it all off, each night, the restaurant’s balcony offers awesome views of the fireworks at nearby Walt Disney World.

10100 Dream Tree Blvd., Lake Buena Vista, FL 32836. 407-313-7777.

Photo courtesy of Kadence.
Photos courtesy of the Four Seasons Resort Orlando.
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Fantastic Florida

Oh, Florida. Family and friends from around the world are jealous that we get to live in your paradise with over 1,000 miles of coastline to explore. And here comes another sizzling summer. New resorts are opening, and we can’t wait to say “aah” to their luxury spas. What’s your passion? Go ahead and golf your heart out or snorkel in those living reefs in the Keys. Bring the kids and bring the pets: We even found puppy-friendly resort packages. Let’s embrace our Sunshine State. Here’s what’s new.

The St. Regis Longboat Key Resort

I never thought any resort could top The Breakers in Palm Beach with all its

historic glamour. But now all eyes are on Sarasota as The St. Regis gets ready to open this summer. The resort is the largest development to open on Longboat Key in over 50 years. Here’s the scoop: The hotel overlooks the Gulf of Mexico and will offer 168 guest rooms, 26 suites with terraces, a private white-sand beach, multiple swimming pools and luxurious cabanas. A 475-foot-lon winding river with cascading waterfalls leads into the grotto, a private sanctuary with Jacuzzi jets and Champagne service at the touch of a button. The lagoon wildlife experience boasts a 350,000-gallon habitat with nearly 50 stingrays, over 2,800 local reef fish and two Aldabra tortoises.

Meet me at The St. Regis Spa! I love the idea of a co-ed snow shower at this new wellness retreat, and I can’t wait to toast to the sunset at the iconic St. Regis Bar, with a latticed circus-esque cage surrounded by a hand-painted mural by William Savarese.

The Ritz-Carlton, Naples

The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, an AAA Five Diamond-rated resort, was devastated when Hurricane Ian hit in 2022, but has recently unveiled a dramatic renova-

tion. I love the Champagne upon arrival. You’ll find new and innovative dining experiences and creative designs for the resort’s 474 guest rooms and suites. The world-famous 51,000square-foot Ritz-Carlton Spa is also back open. In March, the hotel opened its eighth eatery with the debut of Nolita, which features Italian fare and artisan pastas made in-house. Also popular is Gumbo Limbo, a casual beach restaurant beloved by visitors and locals alike, offering the perfect setting for a sunset dinner. Golfers will love the establishment’s sister resort, nestled among native wetlands and migratory bird preserves. The Ritz-Carlton Naples, Tiburón offers a sanctuary for both couples and families. The resort features a winding river, waterslides and private cabanas.

Located within an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary dedicated to protecting the environment, the Tiburón Golf Club features two legendary courses.

AC Hotel Clearwater Beach

One of the newest hotels in Clearwater Beach, the AC Hotel (a Marriott property), has designed the Paws in Paradise package. Guests receive a welcome kit that includes a branded Frisbee bowl, a pet notification door

All eyes are on Sarasota as The St. Regis Longboat Key Resort gets ready to open this summer. It’s the largest development on Longboat Key in over 50 years. Photo courtesy of The St. Regis Longboat Key Resort.
The Ritz-Carlton, Naples has reopened after extensive renovations. Guests love the views from Gumbo Limbo, a casual outdoor restaurant overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Photo courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton, Naples.

hanger for room service, puppy pads, puppy bubble bath and a list of dog-friendly cafés and restaurants in the area. I love the soft cotton puppy robe and compact doggie bed, ensuring that pups enjoy just as comfortable and cozy a stay as their human counterparts. Paws in Paradise guests will also be pampered with a nightly puppy turndown service, which may include special treats, like a bone or chew toy. An on-site dog park, equipped with a doggy bag dispenser, will be available 24/7, and water will be accessible via the hydration stations on each floor, so fresh air, fresh water and a place to release energy off-leash will always be readily available.

Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach

The Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach is home to the award-winning, AAA Four Diamond-rated Ocean Hai restaurant. With Asian-fusion cuisine and delicious plant-based options for vegetarians, Ocean Hai offers meals

with fresh, locally sourced ingredients that are crafted to perfection by the resort’s executive sous chef, Nana Darkwah. I also love the other on-site dining options, Dock’s Pool Bar & Grill, and the lobby bar eSKPades. Plus, don’t forget to take time for a tranquil moment at the hotel’s Pallavi Spa.

Innisbrook Resort

The acclaimed Innisbrook Resort reopened its signature restaurant, Packard’s Steakhouse, after an extensive renovation that included a modernized redesign and a new menu created by David Morris, its recently appointed director of culinary. The best news? It’s open to the public!

Hawks Cay Resort

Centrally located between Miami and Key West on the secluded island of Duck Key, the Hawks Cay Resort is an ideal summer vacation destination with scuba diving adventures and leisurely sunset cruises. The Calm Waters Spa

offers locally influenced spa treatments that utilize the natural ingredients and aromas of the islands. When it’s time to dine, embrace prime steak and fresh seafood at Sixty-One Prime, enjoy poolside fare at the Tiki Grill or bring your own catch for a dockside meal at Angler & Ale. Spend more time and less money when you book three nights in one of Hawks Cay Resort's private villas and get the fourth night free.

Michelin Guide Eateries

Nine Florida restaurants earned Michelin stars when the 2024 Michelin Guide Miami, Orlando and Tampa selections were announced recently at The Tampa EDITION hotel. “Since the arrival of the Michelin Guide to Florida in 2022, there has been significant growth in the state’s local culinary scene, proving Florida is a leading gastronomic destination for travelers near and far,” said Gwendal Poullennec, the international director of the Michelin Guides.

Hawks Cay Resort is located between Miami and Key West on the secluded island of Duck Key. It offers an endless array of aquatic adventures. Photo courtesy of Hawks Cay Resort.
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The future of Florida travel

Roger Dow began his career with Marriott, eventually spearheading the company’s marketing operations and launching the chain’s frequent-guest reward program, Marriott Bonvoy. In 2005, he took over as president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, where he was charged with increasing travel to and within the United States. He knows the best places in the world to live and work, and he and his wife, Linda, chose to live in Northeast St. Petersburg. We asked Dow to share some of his past experiences and where he sees Florida travel headed in the future. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. — Cindy Cockburn

You used to commute to work in Washington, D.C. How did you make that work?

I commuted for over 10 years. I would leave Tampa at 7 a.m. and be in my D.C. office by 9:15 a.m., while many of my staff members were still stuck in traffic. Also, the nature of my job had me somewhere else in the U.S. or around the world half the time. The convenience, ease and available destinations from Tampa International Airport (TPA) made that easy. I’m not sure people appreciate what a phenomenal asset TPA is to the area and the ability to do business from here.

In 2005, I retired from Marriott to head up U.S. Travel for what I thought would be a five-year gig. It was a lot of fun; we accomplished a lot, and five years became 15. Then, COVID happened, and the board asked me to extend for another two years to help guide the travel industry through the pandemic. COVID hit the travel industry worse than any other, putting 8 million of our 17 million travel and hospitality employees out of work.

Why did you choose the Tampa Bay area as a permanent home when you have traveled the world?

I’m told the average age here is 42, which contributes to that

vibrancy and the “something’s always happening” attraction of the bay area. It truly has everything in close proximity: sports, culture, entertainment, the beaches, a myriad of outdoor activities and dining choices. It seems like a new restaurant opens every week. A huge factor was the two airports, with TPA voted the best airport in the U.S. Also, home prices were really reasonable in 2012, compared to Sarasota, Naples and Florida’s east coast.

At U.S. Travel, you launched a regular video series featuring conversations with prominent corporate and industry leaders throughout the pandemic. What do they think of the Sunshine State’s post-pandemic recovery?

In the U.S., airlines (and) hotel, cruise and attraction companies are ramping up their investment in Florida. They see it as easier to do business with greater upside potential than some other destinations. Internationally, Florida is very attractive, but countries around the world are increasing their efforts to lure global travelers away from Florida. The state has fully recovered and exceeded pre-pandemic numbers when it comes to leisure, meetings and conventions. The one lagging sector is business travel — not only in Florida, but everywhere. Remote work has forever changed business travel. My belief is (that) “remote”

Roger and Linda Dow. Photo by Brian James.

does not have to mean just working from home. There is a huge opportunity for people to do their work remotely from Florida and have their families with them for days or weeks at a time.

As a leading travel industry advocate, you met with administration and congressional leaders to advance policies that benefit the broader travel industry. What did that accomplish as far as future travel?

I’m very bullish on the tourism future for Florida. It has so much to offer, and that list keeps growing. The pandemic was really a positive shot in the arm (no pun intended) for Florida. While many competing destinations were virtually shut down, Florida was open. This caused leisure, business and meeting/convention travelers to come to Florida to be pleasantly surprised. There are so many destinations and activities in the state that keep growing and improving. My caution (is) for Florida to not become complacent; other destinations are ramping up their promotion activities, while the state and many local lawmakers are continually trying to reduce or redirect tourism funds (paid for by visitors). Over time that will hurt tourism — the prime driver of Florida’s economy and jobs.

You have spent dozens of years observing visitors. What has most surprised you about where tourists are coming from? Is international tourism on the rise?

Florida has always been attractive to visitors from Europe and Latin America. Pre-pandemic, Florida was being discovered by high-spending visitors from China, India and the Middle East. COVID kind of shut that down, only to be rekindled in the future. The U.S. is the (most) aspirational destination for travelers around the world by far. That said, the difficulty in getting a visa is crippling international tourism growth. It takes well over a year to get a visa to visit the U.S. these days. Would you go anywhere if you had to wait over a year to get a visa to go there? Fix that, and you open a spigot to tens of millions of legitimate international visitors.

What do you think continues to attract people to our Sunshine State?

People are attracted to our Sunshine State for its weather, variety of unique destinations, growth of attractions and things to do. The ease of traveling here by air or auto is a big plus. Not surprising to me, but still a surprise and still unknown to potential visitors, is the sophistication of our entertainment, cultural and dining possibilities, which are on a par with any destination in the world. Many still view us as a state full of motels, theme parks, T-shirt shops and low-end restaurants.

What brought you to Florida, specifically the Tampa area, and why do you stay?

Falling in love with the bay (area) when we attended the Super Bowl in 2009, Linda and I moved to St. Petersburg in 2012. Pound for pound, Florida, and especially the Tampa/ St. Pete/Clearwater areas, have as much or more to offer than most destinations in the U.S. and around the world. That’s why Linda and I are proud to call it home. We live in Old Northeast overlooking Tampa Bay in a home that took 3.5 years to renovate. I love waking up to beautiful sunsets and the vibrancy of the Tampa/St. Pete/Clearwater area.

Even though you retired from U.S. Travel, do you have any new projects on the horizon?

I prefer “rewirement” to retirement as I am starting a new travel-related business in Florida. I’m the co-founder of FutureWrx Solutions and currently working on a pilot (program) in Orlando. It’s a new service for the hospitality industry, working with hotels, restaurants, convention centers and stadiums. The official launch date has not been announced yet.

Roger and Linda Dow. Photo by Brian James.
Broker Particip ation is welc omed and encourag ed OR AL REPR ES EN TATI ON S CA NN OT BE RELI ED UP ON AS CO RR EC TLY STAT IN G REPR ES EN TATI ON S OF TH E SELL ER FO R CO RR EC T REPR ES EN TATI ON S, MA KE REFERENC E TO TH E DO CU MENT S REQU IR ED BY SECT IO N 718. 50 3, FLOR IDA STAT UT ES , TO BE FU RN IS HED BY A SELL ER TO A BU YER OR LESS EE This projec t has been filed in the st ate of Florid a and no other st ate. This is not an of fer to sell or solicitation of of fers to bu y the cond ominium units in st ates where such of fer or solicitation cannot be made Prices availability ar tist ’s rend erings dimensions sp ecific ations and fe atures are subjec t to change at any time without notice The project described herein (the “Project”) and the residential units located within the Project (the “Residential Units”) are not owned, developed, or sold by Pendry Intellectual Proper ty Holding Company, LLC or any of its respective af filiates (collectively, “Pendr y”), and Pendry does not make any representations, warranties or guaranties whatsoever with respect to the Residentia Units, the Project or any part thereof. TRD Riverwalk Developer LLC uses the PENDRY brand name and certain other Pendry trademarks (collectively, the “Trademarks”) in connection with the sales and marketing of the Residential Units in the Project under a limited, non- exclusive and non- sublicensable license from Pendry The foregoing license may be terminated or may expire without renewal, in which case neither the Residential Units nor any part of the Project will be identified as a PENDRY-branded project or have any rights to use the Trademarks Ar tist’s Conceptual Renderings Subject to Change Construction Underway | Luxury Waterfront Residences Priced from $1.6 Million Schedule a Private Appointment | 10 0 S. Ashley Drive, Suite 10 0 | Tampa, FL 33602 813-590-5738 | Pendr WH EN YO UR FAVO RI TE DE ST IN AT IO N IS HO ME BA LT IMOR E | CH IC AG O | NE W YO RK | NE WP OR T BE AC H | PA RK CI TY | SA N DIE GO | WA SH INGT ON D. C. | WE ST HO LLYW OO D CO MI NG SO ON | BA RB AD OS | NA TI RA R | PU NT A MI TA | TA MP A
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ummer in Florida calls for lightweight clothing and high-performing sunglasses. Bay stylist Tim Creagan found some suitable options for day or night, whether you’re inside or outdoors. From casual jeans for the park or poolside to dresses and kicky shoes, these outfits will take you from a dog walk to a dinner party. The backdrop for our June fashions is Dogs Inc, one of North America’s premier service dog organizations. At Dogs Inc’s campus in Palmetto, puppies are raised to provide hope, love and independence for an array of individuals in need. We got an up-close look at those dogs while trainers discussed the programs in which puppies are bred, raised and eventually trained.

Frank Lyman blouse, $200. Joseph Ribkoff jeans, $240. Mary Frances Dog Love crossbody bag, $130. Pippa Pelure Boutique, St. Petersburg. Naturalizer Oakley sandals, $75. Peltz Shoes, Clearwater. STYLING BY TIM CREAGAN

On May 1, the organization, formerly known as Southeastern Guide Dogs, adopted its new name. In a formal announcement of the organization’s rebranding as Dogs Inc, CEO Titus Herman said the name change will help the organization meet the needs of the increasing number of individuals who are expected to apply this year for a guide dog, service dog or skilled companion dog.

“When we were established 42 years ago, there was a modest vision to offer guide dogs to people in Florida and people in a few southeastern states,” he said. “Today, we (provide) more than guide dogs and we’re more than southeastern. Our (old) name no longer accurately reflected who we are or what we do.”

Because the nonprofit organization offers trained dogs at no cost to recipients in all 50 states, the former name was limiting, he said.

“Five hundred people are desperately hoping to get a dog from us,” said Herman. “With Dogs Inc, we can help more.”

Dogs Inc provides guide dogs for adults, teens and children with vision loss; service dogs for veterans with physical and invisible wounds; therapy dogs for patients and workers at military hospitals and installations; and skilled companion dogs for military families, including Gold Star families that have lost a loved one. The organization provides the dogs, training for teams and premium food for program dogs at no charge.

Currently, Dogs Inc supports more than 1,200 puppies on campus, in the homes of puppy raisers and those living with alumni, along with 630-plus actively working guide and service dog teams.

“At Dogs Inc, our mission, vision, values and brand remain steadfast, reflecting our history and the integrity that defines us,” said Herman in announcing the name change. “Our abbreviated name declares our broadened mission - a testament to our expansive reach and a beacon for our future ambitions.”

For more information, visit


ABOVE: THMC beach pullover, $65. Pistola wide-leg pants, $148. Krewe Brigitte sunglasses, $65. Bay Club, St. Petersburg. Ecco boots, $160. Peltz Shoes, Clearwater.
Miel tee, $36. Hyfve pants, $58. Motek necklace, $24. Allure Genesis sunglasses, $25. Coastal Soul Boutique, St. Petersburg. Vionic Winny sneakers, $125. Peltz Shoes, Clearwater.
ABOVE: Darlington Isle dress, $150. Tin Marin tote, $88. The Canary, St. Petersburg. Toms Marisol sandals, $80. Peltz Shoes, Clearwater.
LEFT: Coastal Cruise top, $65. The Haven high-rise jeans, $79. Boho Bandeau headband, $15. She’s Famous square sunglasses, $19. The Adalyn shoes, $55. Vogue Society Boutique, St. Petersburg. ABOVE: Mystree tank, $32. Tempo Paris pants, $90. Sunglasses, $50. Havaianas Wollumbin bag, $34. Coastal Soul Boutique, St. Petersburg. Lisa Todd cashmere sweater, $315. Jackie Z Style Co., St. Petersburg. Virginia Hagan bangles, $75 each. ARTicles Art Gallery, St. Petersburg.
RIGHT: Art Simply dress, $156. VBRT jean jacket, $115. Jelly bag, $63. Eve shoes, $122. Pippa Pelure Boutique, St. Petersburg.


Brian James IG: @brianjamesgallery

Téa Bremner, assistant IG:


Tim Creagan IG: @creagan1


Monique McLaughlin IG: @moemakeup


Amanda Lyman IG: @amandaellexo


Kerrie Klark Level Talent Group

English Factory dress, $150. I-Sea Astrid sunglasses, $39. Audrey Allman Designs earrings, $85. Bay Club, St. Petersburg. Naot Dynasty sandals, $170. Peltz Shoes, Clearwater.
BEHIND THE SCENES: Stylist Tim Creagan getting some puppy love.
Find a store near you.
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Sett ing a ne w bar for luxury in Ta mpa Bay ON LY 8 UN IT S – 4 PE ND IN G, 4 AV AI LA BL E Where Luxury Lives OF FI CE S TH RO UG HO UT TA MP A BA Y • CO AS TA LP GI .C OM 302 DRUID ROAD W 6 bd | 4/1 ba | 4, 28 4 sq ft | $1,749,0 00 Scot t & Amy Ferg uson 727.74 4.09 93 Clearwater 670 ISLAND WAY UN IT #906 3 bd | 2 ba | 1, 85 4 sq ft | $9 85,0 00 Vickee Walthall 727. 282. 36 05 715 VILL AGRANDE AVENUE S 5 bd | 4 ba | 3, 876 sq ft | $2,3 50,0 00 Daphne Smith 727.415. 54 57 1198 MANDAL AY PO INT 3 bd | 3 ba | 3,43 4 sq ft | $37, 50 0, 000 Mary Hickok 727.42 2. 64 63 Clearwater BeachSt. Petersburg Clearwater Beach SC AN FO R MO RE IN FO LI VI NG SA I. CO M | Li nd a Ro ss Pr es to n | 81 3. 31 8. 24 08 | li nd ar os sp re st on @c oa st al pg i. co m Prices starting in the low $6M | Units feature a cabana, wet bar and private elevator entry | Customizable interior finishes | Pool and direct beach access

SOCIAL CITY: Fashion + Art + Culture Tampa Museum of Art

The 13th edition of CITY: Fashion + Art + Culture, staged by the Tampa Museum of Art on April 20, featured high-society fashion house Carolina Herrera’s spring collection presented by Saks Fifth Avenue. Co-chairs Mary Crino and Vera Reilly ambitiously seated 400-plus guests upstairs in the museum’s Ferman Gallery, where the “Embellish Me” exhibition of artwork from the Pattern and Decoration movement provided the perfect backdrop to blend fashion and art. The fashionista crowd, some wearing Herrera designs by the current head of the iconic brand, Wes Gordon, celebrated in the atrium with Champagne and hibiscus margaritas, hors d’oeuvres, desserts and dancing. Funds raised from sponsors and ticket sales will support the museum’s educational programs.   — Text and photos by Amy Scherzer.

Models give guests at the Tampa Museum of Art’s signature CITY event a look at luxury fashion house Carolina Herrera’s spring collection.
Models pose in gowns from Carolina Herrera’s spring collection. Keith Bucklew and Mark Anderson. From left, Austin Eason, Keebler Straz, Catherine Straz, Kelly Schulz and Matthew Innes. Cortland and Vera Reilly and Mary and Bryan Crino. A floral print gown from Carolina Herrera’s spring collection. Photo by Foto Bohemia.
Samar Hasan and Wesley Winer.


Heroes Ball

St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital Foundation

Tampa’s Pagidipati family, represented by community heroes Ami and Sidd, will be true superheroes to future patients treated at a new St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital facility that will be named in their honor, thanks to their $50 million gift. Heroes Ball co-chairs/presenting sponsors Vik and Sneha Patel and nearly 800 guests celebrated the philanthropic family at the JW Marriott Tampa Water Street on April 13, also honoring Drs. Rudrama and Devaiah Pagidipati on their 50th wedding anniversary. The wildly successful gala borrowed from the beloved children’s book “Where the Wild Things Are” for entertainment, dinner and an illuminated drone show. Countryside High student Braeden Callahan gave a harrowing account of his emergency surgery for two stab wounds and a 10-day hospitalization last year, his words helping raise $1.45 million for the pediatric intensive care unit. Text by Amy Scherzer. Photos by PamElla Winslow for Tacy Briggs-Troncoso Photography.

Sneha and Vik Patel. From left, Srujani Pagidipati, Scott Fink, Kate Sawa, Drs. Devaiah and Rudrama Pagidipati, Ami and Sidd Pagidipati, Stephanie Conners, Rahul Pagidipati and Dr. Neha Pagidipati. Mike and Lori Kosloske.

n’ t mi ss yo ur bi gg es t fun dr ais in g op po rt uni ty of th e ye ar

2024 — 2025

Cha rity Re gi st er Tampa Bay

Reach 40,000 of the bay area’s most affluent households with an announcement in Bay magazine’s exclusive 2024/2025 Charity Register

This special adver tising section will run in the October edition of Bay magazine and will incorporate free and paid listings featuring nonprofit organizations.

Plus! Be included in the 12-month calendar of Tampa Bay’s top fundraising events from October 2024 through September 2025

Place your announcement by August 14 at



Tampa Bay Heart Ball American

Heart Association

From heart-healthy dinner choices to donations of nutritious pantry items, the annual Tampa Bay Heart Ball celebrated the American Heart Association’s 100th birthday motto: Every person deserves the opportunity for a full, healthy life. More than 400 guests arrived to jazzy tunes sung by The Vocalitas and a pair of hot pink “human flamingoes” on stilts April 20 at the Tampa Marriott Water Street. Gala co-chairman Paul Shoukry went off-script, speaking instead about losing his colleague a few days prior to a sudden heart attack. His heartfelt words inspired donors, including one guest’s $90,000 bid for a 2024 Subaru Forester Wilderness that was donated by the Morgan Auto Group and Subaru of North Tampa, setting a record for the live auction. The BStreetBand from New Jersey covered Bruce Springsteen hits as proceeds topped $2.1 million for cardiac research and education. Text by Amy Scherzer.

Photos by PamElla Lee Photography.

From left, Cheryl Jones, Barb Izzi and June Kittay. Tampa Bay Buccaneer Yaya Diaby. Amy and Paul Shoukry. The Vocalitas.
JUNE 2024 | BAY MAGAZINE | 65 ANNOUNCING THE 2024/2025 SEASON ancis, Concer ts in Ta mpa | St. Pete rs bu rg | Cl ea rwater Flor idaO rchest ra.o rg | 727. 892. 3337 SUBSCRIPTIONS ON SALE NOW Celebrating years of michael francis Be there for every unforgettable moment with the maestro. Subscribe now for the best seats at the best price at Florida’s premier orchestra, at home in Tampa Bay. Now with more matinees than ever! Choose from Masterworks, Pops and Morning series Support your Florida Orchestra today 10 Visit for tickets, exhibition & event information, RSVPs, and ad ditional prog ra ms Events are subject to change
Lizzi Bougatsos, Idolize the Burn, 2022, Brass chandelier, red wax, silver, candles, resin dipped toe shoes, and wood. Courtesy of the artist and James Fuentes Gallery, NY

Coundouriotis Facial Plastic S urgery & Laser Center is a facial plastic and cosmetic surgery practice specializing in surgical and nonsurgical procedures for the face and neck. With the addition of Dr. Abbassi, we have expanded our scope of services to breast and body. The new MedSpa excels in aesthetic treatments and services to restore and maintain healthy, beautiful skin

Dr. Coundouriotis is dual board- certified and fellowship trained in facial plastic and reconstruc tive surgery and offers the latest and most trusted cosmetic ser vices including laser, injectables, eye rejuvenation, wrinkle treatments, CoolSculpting™, HydraFacials, DiamondGlow, Microneedling with PRP and more.

Dr. Abbassi graduated with honors from Texas A&M Medical and earned her Doctor of Medicine degree in 2016. After completing 6 years of integrated plastic surger y residenc y she completed an additional year of aesthetic surger y fellowship at the Aesthetic Center for Plastic Surger y in Houston, Texas before joining the Coundouriotis Facial Plastic Surger y and Laser Center Call for a

Andrew Coundouriotis, MD, FACS and Bahar Abbassi, MD

For over 26 years, Dr Zimmer has provided unparalleled care in internal medicine to thousands of patients. The Zimmer Concierge Medical Membership takes the patient experience to the next level, infusing the highest-quality care with first-rate amenities to make your visits comfortable, convenient, and hassle-free.

We’re bringing back the idea of the family doctor, and creating physician-patient relationships that are authentic and personal. As a member, you’ll benefit from our premium services while receiving care uniquely tailored to your medical needs.

66 | BAY MAGAZINE | JUNE 2024 Me mbe rs hi p Be ne fi ts • Always see Dr. Zimmer himself • Never wait more than the next day for appointments • Unlimited visits • Appointments are never rushed • Access to Dr Zimmer via phone, cellphone, email Dr. Zimmer is a boardcertified, award-winning doctor of internal medicine. call 727-502-2626 visit SCHEDULE YOUR FREE IN-PERSON CONSULTATION 509 Jackson St. N., St. Petersburg Do you yearn for a doctor who’s attentive, unrushed and accessible –without all the waiting? Then discover the luxury of Concierge Medical Care Zimmer Concierge Medical Membership
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Annual Gala Museum of the American Arts & Crafts Movement

In celebration of its first few years of operation, the Museum of the American Arts & Crafts Movement held its annual gala March 23. Guests ate, drank and danced the night away in the St. Petersburg museum’s grand atrium, amid the spiral staircase and monumental tile mural. A live auction was hosted by David Rago of Rago Arts and Auction Center and “Antiques Roadshow.” Auction items included a guitar autographed by Elton John, as well as works of art and more. Funds raised by the auction will benefit the museum’s educational programs.

Text by Maggie Duffy. Photos by Kyle Fleming Photography.

Guests gather below the grand spiral staircase in the museum's atrium. Willi Rudowsky and Hal Freedman. A guitar autographed by Elton John was among the auction items.


JUNE 2024 | BAY MAGAZINE | 69 Exhibition continues through June 30th, 2024 123 4 DR M. L. K. JR ST N, ST PE TE , FL | 727 -8 98-6061 | AR TI CL ES ST PE TE. CO M Common
Special Guest Ar tist: Machelle Knochenhauer Pi ec es Sh ow n ar e fr om th e 'F ish in g th e Gul f Str ea m' Se ri es


Art in Bloom Margaret Acheson Stuart Society

What better way to celebrate spring than with stunning floral arrangements inspired by great works of art? That was the scene at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg when Art in Bloom returned on April 4-7. The annual tradition, presented by the Margaret Acheson Stuart Society, brought dozens of florists, designers and hobbyists together to create arrangements on display throughout the entire museum. The featured guest florist was Canaan Marshall, a former contestant on Season Two of “Full Bloom” on HBO Max, whose work has been featured in Southern Living magazine. The arrangements were on view for four days and special events surrounding the display included an April 4 cocktail party and an April 5 luncheon featuring a presentation by Marshall.

Text by Maggie Duffy. Photos courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg.

Dr. Kenneth Kesty looked to Kehinde Wiley’s “Leviathan Zodiac (The World Stage: Israel)” for inspiration for his arrangement. Art in Bloom brought floral arrangements to the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg. This arrangement is by Monica Cujino. This arrangement by Cassie Osterloth was inspired by Jason Middlebrook’s installation, “Debris Pile.” Featured guest florist Canaan Marshall tends to an arrangement.

In 2021 Rachel Castor resisted doing her clinical rotation in Houston, Texas, hoping she could find an internship closer to home in Lakeland or near the University of Florida where she was finishing her doctorate in physical therapy Choices for hands-on experience during the pandemic lockdown were limited, so she relented, packed her car, and drove to Houston. On the weekend she arrived, a friend from back home said she knew a former classmate from the University of Central Florida who was living in Houston. It was the connection of a lifetime. Joe Saunders was doing some remote baseball scouting in Houston while the spor t was shut down. He invited Rachel to a local brewery and that began a journey that led them to the altar in May

In the two years since they met, Joe has been working in the Midwest as an MLB scout and Rachel as a physical therapist in Jacksonville. Joe proposed to her on Easter weekend 2023 at the St. Petersburg Pier and they joined their families and close friends for an engagement par ty that evening at The Don CeSar on St. Pete Beach. The wedding was held at the Adams Estate in Lake Alfred. After a honeymoon in the Caribbean, the couple will settle in Jacksonville

Email Call 727-893-8909 Place your announcement today! From weddings and anniversaries to birthdays, engagements, and other joyous events, recognize the moments that matter with a Celebrations personal announcement in Bay magazine A quar ter page announcement is just $275 Share your in Bay magazine. CE LE BR AT IO N

2024 Gala

The Junior League of Tampa

Since 1926, the Junior League of Tampa has trained hands-on, problem-solving volunteers to tackle major social and economic community issues. Fast forward nearly 100 years, and current members work on literacy initiatives, combating human trafficking and distributing more than 1 million diapers to families in need. President Meg Severino recounted the organization’s historical impact, celebrating with 200 guests at the Hotel Haya on April 20. Celeste Roberts, CEO of The Skills Center, was honored with the 1926 Legacy Award and a $10,000 grant to continue steering  students to success by applying sports skills at school and work. Co-emcees Natalie Taylor and Walter Allen of WTVT-Ch. 13 rallied donors and auction bidders to raise more than $171,000 from the black-tie crowd.  Text by Amy Scherzer. Photos courtesy of Carlos H. Rello Photography and Design.

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Miranda and Issac Henderson. From left, Meg Severino, Celeste Roberts, Danielle Tinsley and Taylor Baker.
Julianne Fudge and Kaitlin Howell.
72 | BAY MAGAZINE | JUNE 2024 Get ‘em while it’s hot! ©2021 Hunter Douglas All rights reserved All trademarks used herein are the property of Hunter Douglas or their respective owners. 14260605 2610 4th St N, Saint Petersburg, FL M-F: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm • Sat: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm • Sun: Closed (727) 823-2929 •
JUNE 2024 | BAY MAGAZINE | 73 See the best of the Arts & Crafts movement on display, only at MAACM! 355 4th St N, St. Petersburg 727-440-4859 MASTERPIECES Extraordinary Works from the Two Red Roses Foundation The Tampa Bay School Supply Drive ensures that students with the greatest need have the tools to succeed during the new school year. Recognizing that thousands of families in our area struggle to afford these critical supplies, Hillsborough Education Foundation and Pinellas Education Foundation are partnering to support students on both sides of the Bay. For more information on all the ways you can support students, visit: Pi tt sb urgh Matt r e s s Fact ory re ss Custom Qualit y • Factor y Direct We Build Custom Mattresses (941) 729-7604 2424 Hwy. 301 North • Ellenton • Find us on facebook Our expert consultants will take the time to design and manufacture a mattress just for you! Reversible Innerspring, 100% Latex & Memory Foam Mattresses • Genuine Boxprings Adjustable Beds • Custom Sizes for Boats, Tr ucks, Antique Beds & RV Mattresses Visit Our Factor y Showroom!

Huddle Up! for Kids Friends of the Children - Tampa Bay

Hundreds of sports fans gathered April 6 for Huddle Up! for Kids, a football draft-themed fundraiser designed to expand Friends of the Children - Tampa Bay’s mentoring programs. Guest speaker Anthony “Booger” McFarland, a former Tampa Bay Buccaneer and current ESPN football analyst, shared his personal story about being raised by a single mother in rural Louisiana and about the male role models who mentored him. The event was held at House of Athlete, a performance training center operated by Yo Murphy, a former Buccaneer teammate of McFarland’s, and former NFL cornerback Brandon Ghee, a board member at Friends of the Children. Guests enjoyed dinner and auctions featuring items donated by many of the professional athletes who train at the center during their off-seasons. Guests wore jerseys from their favorite teams and staff from Friends of the Children donned shirts with the same number - 12.5 - representing the number of years their professional mentors spend with each child in the program. Text by Kathy Saunders.

Anthony “Booger” McFarland. Photo by Kerry O’Reilly.
Rick McClintock and Marybeth Parrilla. Photo by Kerry O’Reilly.
74 | BAY MAGAZINE | JUNE 2024 May 17–July 6, 2024 Sponsored by: Explore ar tistic expression inspired by the world of games.
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