Brooksville is a reflection of “the Old South.” It grew from two communities: Fort DeSoto and Pierceville. In 1843, Hernando County incorporated what is today known as Pasco, Hernando and Citrus Counties. Visiting Brooksville today brings southern hospitality to fun, adventure, shopping, dining and a myriad of discoveries.
The city of Brooksville is the county seat of Hernando County, Florida. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 7,719 and an area of 10.9 square miles. The geographic center of the State of Florida is 12 miles north-northwest of Brooksville.
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“Two kids from Dunnellon High School worked on that Elvis movie in Yankeetown,” I told my daughter as we sped down the road towards the film location. She pulled her earbuds out. I had snagged her attention. “Yeah, they shoveled sand to make the movie set beach.” She had already… Read More
Gift fruit is a term used to describe locally grown citrus that has been washed, waxed, sorted and packed for shipment to someone who doesn’t live in the Sunshine State. At several times throughout the last century or so, Florida’s Nature Coast has been an integral part of this delicious… Read More
In 2007, the idea to hold a foot race and fun run/walk in the beautiful area surrounding The Arc Nature Coast’s Neff Lake Campus was born. The roads surrounding this nonprofit organization that serves adults with developmental disabilities were hilly and shaded, with minimal traffic, and so the Spring Memorial… Read More
What is the Hernando County Growers Association? It’s not a what as much as it’s “Who.” It’s Homosassa hydroponic farmer George Gifford helping James Tremblay pick out some eggplant. It’s midwife Michelle Hale conducting classes at the Little Rock Cannery, where folks can learn about cooking, canning and handling preserves… Read More
The Kiwanis Club of Brooksville was chartered on March 22, 1923. Brooksville Kiwanis Club Foundation The 39 original members initially focused on city and county beautification projectsduring the 1920s, but soon branched into serving youth in Brooksville andHernando County.The club members worked very hard in the 1990s to establish… Read More
For over a decade, Live Oak Theatre has provided the entertainment for Christmas on Main Street’s Tree lighting ceremony. Representatives of Live Oak Theatre and the Live Oak Conservatory will entertain the audience with the customary high standard of entertainment that the large crowds have come to expect. “Our Christmas… Read More
This Saturday, November 26, for ONE DAY ONLY, Live Oak Theatre plays host to a Murder Mystery Theatre performance of Body of the Play by Eileen Clark at 2:30 pm and 7:30 pm. This special production is produced and co-directed by 13-year-old Jude Mys, a student at Gulf Coast Academy… Read More
Donations of Teddy Bears, Stuffed Animals to Create ‘Comfort Squad’ for Officers to Distribute to Children in Stressful Situations Saint Leo University-Tampa Collecting for Teddy Bears for TPD Saint Leo University is helping the Tampa Police Department this holiday season. Teddy Bears for TPD will provide cuddly critters for officers… Read More
On Saturday, November 13, I joined my neighbors for the afternoon performance of Oliver, JR by Live Oak Theatre’s Acorn team. Our group six ranged in age from seniors to three years old. We all recommend seeing this performance for yourself! The cast of this musical production ranged in age… Read More
On November 1, 2021, during a regular Council Meeting, the Brooksville City Council proclaimed Thursday, November 11, 2021, as Veterans Day. Veterans Day provides an annual opportunity to honor the American Patriots who answered the call of duty to protect our nation and preserve our freedoms. The Brooksville City Council… Read More
Hernando Audubon November Activities Hernando Audubon Virtual Meeting: Thursday, November 18, 7 p.m. Our Favorite Birds. Members will show photos of their favorite birds that they saw this year. Because of Covid-19, we will meet on the Internet via Zoom. For details about connecting to this meeting, send a message… Read More
Oliver! Jr. will be performed from November 12-14 and 19-21 at the Carol and Frank Morsani Center for the Arts, 21030 Cortez Boulevard, Brooksville, Florida 34601. Live Oak Theatre & Conservatory Announces the Cast of Oliver! Jr. The Cast of Oliver! Jr. is as follows: -Oliver Twist: Titus… Read More
Innovation Collective offers Free Inspirational Summit October 22-23: A Weekend of Storytelling and Mentorship
IC Summits are your opportunity to recharge, get inspired, and spend quality time with some of the greatest minds of our generation. These 2-night experiences consist of stories that tell life lessons, professional development, and a high-energy business building session that will super-charge your ideas! Included are several… Read More
Live Oak Theatre announces its open auditions for Newsies. To be considered for this audition, any talent, whether they’ve been involved in a Live Oak Theatre production or not, should submit a video audition of themselves performing one of the pre-selected monologues from the show and one of the pre-selected… Read More
The Southwest Florida Water Management District’s Governing Board will hold its monthly meeting Tuesday, Oct. 19, at 9 a.m. at District Headquarters, located at 2379 Broad Street in Brooksville. The meeting is open to the public. Based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and… Read More
Tickets are now on sale for Oliver! Jr. The Acorn Theatre production of Oliver! Jr. is co-sponsored by Redmile Appraisers. Set Sponsorship is by WellCome OM Center, Costume Sponsorship by Nancy Ponticos, Sugarmill Woods Homes, and Land and Acorn Scholarship by Marker 48 Brewery. Oliver! Jr. will be performed from… Read More
Quick Brooksville History
Brooksville was originally known as Melendez and then Benton. Incorporated in 1856, it is a wonderful city featuring a hilly terrain that ranges in elevation from 175 to 274 feet. There is a long history of successful planters, growers, and cattlemen in and around Brooksville.
Its southern background is reflected in its name, honoring South Carolina Congressman Preston Brooks who is best noted for hitting abolitionist Senator Charles Sumner on the head with his cane.
The downtown area features the iconic Hernando Courthouse, along with great shopping in unique stores featuring everything from antiques, outfits, high-end resales, stationery, flowers and bric-a-brac to formal gowns – and a centennial hardware store. Some streets still show the Augusta bricks laid by hand.
Visiting Brooksville Today
There are several downtown restaurants and coffee shops, along with legal and banking offices, a library and a park. Brooksville is working hard to revive its downtown to attract more visitors and became a Florida Main Street community in 2016.
They hold several events in the downtown area as well as host farmers and artist markets, as well as motorcycle rallies and holiday events.
Local art is displayed in several downtown businesses and buildings, as well as murals painted throughout the downtown area. A walking tour map of the downtown murals may be found here.
The Brooksville City Hall building houses a changing art exhibit in The Uptown Gallery, and all are welcome. There is no charge.
The architecture is interesting in several buildings and a wonderful historic walking tour can be had for the simple act of following the map here. If you would like more information about each building on the historic tour, download the complete guide here.
Visit the May Stringer Museum, located at 600 West Jefferson. Housed in the 1850 Stringer House, a Queen Anne masterpiece with a four-story tower, this historic building is reputed to be haunted.
F. L. Stringer was a State Senator and judge. With thousands of historic artifacts and regular tours, it commemorates the Civil War era and provides a glimpse at the lifestyle and relics of a gone but not forgotten segment of American history. Ghost tours are held on Friday and Saturday nights by reservation.
There are a historic train depot museum and one-room schoolhouse to visit on Russell Street.
Continue east to find another wonderful shopping area, featuring the Hawkins House, Transformed Treasures, The Wired Bird, and the Florida Cracker Trading Company and Tap Room. There is even an old-fashioned Coney Island where it is rumored that Elvis Presley may have eaten many years ago.
Expanding Beyond Brooksville’s City Limits
If you travel north on US 41, you can visit the historic Chinsegut Manor House at the Chinsegut Retreat Center and rediscover the magic that caused its last private owners to name it Chinsegut, meaning, “a place where lost things are found.” Learn their story of courage and civil rights for all.
Then spend the night in one of the unique cabins on the former plantation’s grounds. The cabins are part of a wonderful Retreat Center offering a dining hall, conference room, fire pit and lots of space to get out and make and event extra special.
*Please note that Chinsegut Hill Museum is temporarily closed.
Head back south on U.S. 41 and then travel east on S.R. 50/U.S. 98. Make a right on Spring Lake Highway (541) and follow it to the top of the hill. On the left is Boyett’s Grove Citrus and Timeless Attraction. Here you will find a wonderful zoo where you can feed the animals, a dinosaur cave, aquariums, birds, snakes, alligators and more.
A putt-putt golf course winds through part of this fun-filled tourist trap. There’s even a snack bar, ice cream parlor, and an old fashioned Florida gift shop! It’s one of my favorite places on the Nature Coast.