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Welcome to Hernando County


FUN “AL FRESCO”

Weeki Wachee MermaidA haven for outdoor adventurers Hernando County is the nature lover’s playground. Weeki Wachee Springs “The City of Live Mermaids” has been entertaining visitors since 1947. This year marks 61 years of this unique Florida attraction. Weeki Wachee Springs is one of Florida’s first magnitude springs with crystal clear water and the worlds only underwater spring theater. Riverboat tours will introduce you to the wildlife in and around the river. The adjoining Buccaneer Bay water park brings summer alive with swimming, waterslides, kiddie pool, and playground. Special events happen regularly in the park and nearby. Equipment for scuba diving and canoeing are available on the premises.
Take on the 6,000 acre tract of the Weeki Wachee Preserve for a day of hiking, biking, canoeing or kayaking. The Preserve includes miles of the Weeki Wachee River, portions of the Mud River and seven rock quarries for fresh and salt water fishing.

Florida is noted for its pink, purple and golden sunsets setting into the Gulf of Mexico. Join the sunset aficionados at Bayport Park pier and Pine Island beach. A day at any of our parks is always a great outlet for family fun. Host a family reunion, a child’s birthday party or even a wedding in McKethan Lake Park. This park has three covered pavilions that can accommodate up to 50 guests.

Hernando County offers an impressive park system, with more than 20 developed parks on 340 acres and 945 acres of open space. The various, well-maintained county parks support a wide array of recreational activities, from passive casual strolling to active sports such as baseball, soccer, skateboarding, boating, and swimming. When planning your next outing, consider stopping by one of these local parks. Anderson Snow Sports Complex, Ernie Wever Youth Park, and Veterans Memorial Park are all multi-functional sports complexes that offer ball fields, picnic areas, and playgrounds. From Anderson Snow Park, you can link up to the regional bicycle network at the Suncoast Bike Trail. Delta Woods Park is a large community park, which offers tennis, handball, basketball, shuffleboard, bocce ball, playground, picnic shelters, gazebos, volley ball and horse shoes. If a day at the beach is more your speed then stop by Alfred McKethan/Pine Island Park located on the Gulf of Mexico or Rogers Park located on the Weeki Wachee River. Into roller blading or skate boarding? Check out Stewy’s Skate Park located at Pioneer Park. Hernando County’s only skate park offers many different ramps and rails. This park also offers basketball courts, barbeque grills, volleyball, and a playground.

Botanical Gardens of Spring HillIn Spring Hill the Nature Coast Botanical Gardens includes several different gardens to walk through and a miniature train exhibit to enjoy. You may even walk into a wedding in progress at the gazebo.

Anyone for golf? Many beautiful golf courses are available including public, semi-private and private courses. For a list of Golf Courses in Hernando County, please visit this page.

 

Dining, Shopping and Entertainment
As a growing community, Hernando continues to add new venues for entertainment, recreation and fun. A variety of franchised and several family owned and operated restaurants provide options for family dining and sociable outlets. From Mexican, Cuban and Thai to Greek, Italian, and Chinese even American there’s sure to be something to satisfy your craving. Neighborhood sports bar & grills, local coffee shops and ice cream parlors provide a casual place to socialize in the afternoon or evening. Bowling lanes and movie theaters can be found in town as well.

Department store shopping is located on Cortez Boulevard, SR 50, with an array of new stores. Customers can shop for accessories, new fashions, seasonal gifts and electronics.
Or perhaps catch the latest movie.

JC PenneysAlong U.S. 19 you’ll find franchise stores for grocery and appliance shopping and a host of small businesses. JCPenney opened in March of 2008 as the primary anchor in the new Nature Coast Commons Shopping Center on Commercial Way, also the future site of Office Depot and Best Buy. Additional major stores are expected to open this year.
The new Suncoast Crossings Shopping Center on Spring Hill Drive just off the Suncoast Parkway exit hosts a Kohl’s. Target is expected to open in 2009. A sporting goods store, book store, electronics retailer, grocery chain, furniture outlet and pet store are among the businesses looking to open in the future.Kohls
More and more people are moving to Hernando because it’s close enough to enjoy city opportunities and entertainment without the crowded rush or expense of city living. Tampa is only 45 minutes from here...bringing nightlife excitement and sporting events close to home. Clearwater Beach is just south of Hernando with its aquamarine waters and downtown district. Two hours east, Orlando is home to Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Sea World and Islands of Adventure, other places for family fun and excitement.

 

Enrichment Centers for Seniors
For seniors there are two “Enrichment Centers” offering plenty of opportunities for socialization and inspiration. Activities to keep you active include exercise, Yoga, Tai Chi, clogging, line dancing and tap. Seniors play a variety of table games such as Mah Jong, pinochle, duplicate bridge and rummy. There are clubs for camera lovers, orchid and violet enthusiasts.

Or if you just want someone to listen, join one of the ongoing support groups; Parkinson’s, Diabetic, Alzheimer’s, Ostomy, Well Spouse, Nurse’s and Breast Cancer.

The Department of Veteran Services of Hernando County visits the Brooksville Center once a week. Driving classes are also offered and someone to answer questions about Medicare, Meals on Wheels and Congregate Meals.

For more information contact the Spring Hill Enrichment Center 352.597.6331 or the Brooksville Enrichment Center 352.544.5900.

 

The ARTS
As culture, art, dance, stage performances and music add more than a splash of color, organizations for the arts are becoming more active and visible in Hernando County.

John Leggio’s Center for the Performing Arts offers a host of dance Dancersinstruction classes. New comedies, tragedies and musicals are performed on stage each month at Stage West Community Playhouse. From Shakespeare to Woody Allen, Stage West has a full range of stage productions to participate in or just enjoy the show. Hernando Symphony Orchestra is a 70 member volunteer orchestra that gives concerts at the Hernando Performing Arts Center and at Springstead Theater. New in town, the Florida Lakes Symphony Orchestra plans to add to Hernando County’s cultural growth with a variety of classical, pop music and dance. The Hernando Broadway Series features professional touring companies in Broadway musicals, plus student productions at Springstead Theater. Once a month, the Band Shell Bash in downtown Brooksville offers an evening of free outdoor concerts for everyone to enjoy.

In Spring Hill, the St. Petersburg Times Concert Series entertains audiences at a variety of venues. It is held the fourth Saturday of the month at the Spring Hill Civic Center’s Lake House overlooking Hunter Lake. Contact the Spring Hill Civic Association for further information at 352.666.4746 or visit www.springhilllakehouse.org.

Mural

Artistic spirit blooms in Brooksville where colorful murals are painted along the walls of the buildings. Also, exciting artwork by local artists can be viewed at the Brooksville City Hall on Howell Ave. The Spring Hill Art League and Hernando County Fine Arts Council promote various forms of art in the county including cultural activities and workshops for professional and amateur artists.

Florida Lakes Symphony Orchestra, 352.429.4650
Hernando County Fine Arts, 352.754.4788
Hernando Performing Arts Center, 352.799.5577
Hernando Symphony Orchestra, 352.688.0427
John Leggio’s Center for the Performing Arts, 352.683.8395
Spring Hill Art League, 352.683.5452
Springstead Theater, 352.797.7010 Ext 221
Stage West Community Playhouse, 352.683.5113
St. Petersburg Times Concert Series, 352.666.4746

 

BricksHISTORIC Hernando County
The Old South comes to life through Historic Brooksville’s brick-lined streets and plantation homes. The May Stringer Heritage Museum, a Victorian Mansion built in 1856, displays over 11,000 original southern artifacts. A visit to Rogers Christmas House Village is a visit to Christmas all year round. There are five turn-of-the-century houses filled with an array of gifts for any occasion. Just a few blocks away is the Russell Street Train Depot. Built in 1885 it is the original train station with a pre civil war dining car on view. Driving thru town you will see the first in a series of five colorful murals depicting the history of Brooksville.

 

Community EVENTS
MONTHLY
BandshellCruise-In, Every 2nd Saturday
Market on Main Street, Every 3rd Saturday
except July & August
Band Shell Bash, Every 2nd Saturday
All You Can Eat Fish Fry & Music Night,
Istachatta Every Friday night
Haunted Heritage at Heritage Museum,
Brooksville Every Friday & Saturday Night
The St. Petersburg Times, Concert Series at
the Lake House, 4th Saturday of almost every month

 

ON GOING
Brooksville City Hall - Local Artists Highlighted, www.ci.brooksville.fl.us
Chinsegut Nature Center - Various Wildlife Programs, www.myfwc.com/chinsegut
Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce, For more information visit website www.hernandochamber.com
Hernando County Extension Service Programs for homeowners, horticulture, landscaping, FYN, small farms, family consumer sciences, 4H, www.hernandocounty.us/county_extension
Hernando County Fair Grounds Varied events all year long, www.hernandocountyfair.com
Hernando County Tourism, www.co.hernando.fl.us/visit/calendar.htm
Fletcher Music Studio, Weekly concerts, show tunes etc., 352.597.5658
Nature Coast Technical High School, Classic music all school year, 352.797.7088

Annual events

JANUARY
Brooksville Raid, Sand Hill Scout Reservation
Flatlanders Challenge 10K and 1/2 Mile Race, Brooksville
Red Mule Runners Tri 5K Challenge, McKeathen Lake Park

FEBRUARY
Family Motor Coach Assoc. Southeast Rally,
Hernando County Airport
Heritage Days, Heritage Museum

MARCH
Weeki Wachee Swamp Festival,
Linda Pederson Park at Jenkins Creek
Humane Society Pet Expo, Tom Varn Park

APRIL
Hernando County Fair, Hernando County Fairgrounds
Old Time Music Festival, Sertoma Youth Ranch
Hernando Marketplace Live Shop Play
Anderson Snow Park

MAY
Victorian Mother’s Day Tea, Heritage Museum
Memorial Day Weekend Bluegrass Festival,
Sertoma Youth Ranch
Blessing of the Fleet, Hernando Beach
Art In The Park, Hernando County Fine Arts Council

JUNE
Red Mule Runners Tri 5 K Challenge,
McKeathen Lake Park
Hurricane Expo
Weeki Wachee Springs State Park

JULY
Intermezzo Opera Festival at Nature Coast Technical High School

AUGUST
Intermezzo Opera Festival at Nature Coast Technical High School
Red Mule Runners 5 K, McKethan Lake

SEPTEMBER
Labor Day Weekend Bluegrass Festival
Sertoma Youth Ranch
Butterfly Workshop, Chinsegut Nature Center

OCTOBER
Fishing Tournament, Hernando Beach
Halloween Haunted House, Heritage Museum
Wild & Wicked Nights,
Weeki Wachee Springs State Park
New Residents Reception hosted by the
Chamber of Commerce, Weeki Wachee Springs State Park
Weeki Wachee Springs State Park

NOVEMBER
Pioneer Day, Chinsegut Nature Center
Thanksgiving Weekend Bluegrass Festival,
Sertoma Youth Ranch
Art League Weeki Wachee Springs State Park
Rock Hounds Gem Show,
SNPJ Hall
Antiques & Handmade Craft Fair

DECEMBER
Christmas Parade & Festival,
City of Brooksville
Christmas Tour of Yesteryear, Heritage Museum
Winter Wonderland Christmas Festival
Weeki Wachee Springs State Park
Angels On High, Spring Hill Community Association’s
Lake House
Holiday Golf Tournament hosted by the
Chamber of Commerce