Dade City is for Lovers
February 14, 2002

DADE CITY -- Steal a kiss by the old courthouse; take a stroll under the moss-draped oaks; hide out in a cozy bed and breakfast.

It’s okay: Dade City is for lovers.

Visit Florida, the state’s official tourism marketing corporation, named downtown Dade City to its list of romantic hideaways in its new “Just the 2 of Us” marketing campaign.

“From dazzling night scenes to historic town squares, Florida offers the perfect setting to wine, dine and unwind,” reads the promotion, unveiled this month under the FLA USA banner. “Whether it’s your once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon or that special romantic getaway, you’re making memories in Florida. Let yourselves go, just the two of you.”

Most of the 13 romantic west central Florida spots highlighted in a promotional brochure and map are in Pinellas County, but Dade City’s downtown made the list.

Northeast in this region, several county seats speak to a Mayberry state of mind,” the brochure reports. “In tree-filled Dade City, indulge a taste for fine food a short stroll from B&Bs. Stop in a nearby kumquat grove, shop where rich, tart kumquat-oatmeal cookies delight the palate.”

Also earning a mention is San Antonio’s St. Charles Inn on Curley Street near that city’s downtown.

“The historic St. Charles Inn (circa 1913) in San Antonio offers Southern hospitality at its best,” the brochure noted. “You have the opportunity to relax on the porch just outside your room or in the guest parlor by the fireplace.”

Tom Flanigan, Visit Florida spokesman, said the list of romantic hide-aways was compiled through suggestions of travel industry experts.

“We asked the entire industry -- lodging, attractions, restaurants, etc. -- do you folks have anything specific pertaining to this theme? We said what do you folks want us to include?”

The promotion is aimed at out-of-state visitors and at residents of the state looking for an escape close to home.

“I’ve lived here 22 years, and I’m nowhere near seeing everything there is to see in this state,” Flanigan said.

Flanigan said he has been to Dade City.

The promotion came as good news to Ginny Solberg, executive director of Downtown Dade City Main Street. She ordered 200 copies of the brochure.

“It’s a great promotional piece,” she said Wednesday. “This gives us one more things to send out to people to show them who we are.”

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