by Luis Castillo
There’s nothing like a picturesque bed and breakfast to say “I love you.” Make Valentine’s Day, your honeymoon or anniversary unforgettable with these four idyllic places that ooze charm, characterand history – some will even allow you to bring the other love of your life — your pet
Port d’ Hiver Bed & Breakfast, Melbourne Beach is a boutique hotel discreetly located on the half mile barrier island between the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian River Lagoon. Pronounced (dehvair), Port d’ Hiver is Old Florida luxury, comfortable yet elegant. Four airy, island-style buildings are intertwined with palm trees and brick paths in a lush tropical setting.Restored historic rooms feature private balconies. The largest and most private and luxurious room is the Mangrove Suite which can only be reached from the tropical garden bridge. With rates ranging from $277 to $458 this would be considered a high end choice.
Up the east coast in St. Augustine is The St. Francis Inn. Located in the oldest part of the nation’s oldest cityalong narrow brick paved streets, the St. Francis Inn dates back to 1791.The home
was converted to a lodging establishment in 1845and is now on the National Register of Historic Places.The St. Francis Inn sits on quiet corner with a private walled yard and lush gardens. Some rooms and suites offer balconies, fireplaces
and four poster beds. Along with a gourmet breakfast buffet served daily, the establishment offers free parking, loaner bikes and the use of a beach cottage. Room prices range from $149 to $379 and pets are welcome on a limited basis.
Over on the west coast in the Tampa Bay area is The Beach Drive Inn. Built in 1910 and located on the edge of the Old Northeast neighborhood, the Beach Drive Inn faces St. Petersburg’s downtown waterfront.The Beach Drive Inn offers six beautifully appointed rooms with rates that start at $149 and run to$275.The Vinoy Room is one of the two that allow pets. Perhaps the most attractive feature of this bed and breakfast is its location on St. Petersburg’s lively waterfront that is within walking distance of a lively restaurant scene not to mention shopping, museums and movie theaters.
For a more out of the way option there’s the Cedar Key Bed & Breakfast, a Victorian-style home built in the 1880s. Ancient oak trees, lush gardens and a fish pond grace the grounds.You can enjoy views of the Gulf of Mexico, go bird watching, or take a short walk to downtown Cedar Key. Enjoy eating from the “bottomless cookie jar.” Pet friendly rooms and bike and golf cart rentals are
also offered. Rooms like the “Summer Kitchen” to the “Tree House Suite” range from $110 to $200.