This is a big birthday year for me and two of my longtime friends. We were texting with one another at the end of last year, anticipating this milestone, and we all wanted to plan a special little getaway where we could have fun together, celebrate our friendship, chat about life, and explore somewhere new.
Our goals for this trip: Find a cute town with outdoor activities and great food. So, I chatted with my friends at Discover Crystal River and they hooked us up with an incredibly packed 3 days in Inverness, FL.
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Our Awesome Accommodations in Inverness FL
This was my first time staying in a motel and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The staff was friendly, the rooms were spacious and the location was perfect. The motel is located right on the Withlacoochee State Trail and is only minutes away from downtown Inverness.
Day One – Explore Downtown Inverness
Inverness is such a sweet small town. The square is full of locally-owned restaurants, pubs, and shops. You have easy access to everything via the Withlacoochee State trail, so it’s perfect for those who are planning a biking trip or looking to experience the natural beauty as well.
We started off our first evening with a stroll around downtown and stopped into a couple of their local boutiques, Twisted Moon Boutique and Sonshine Boutique. And I’m happy to report we did not leave empty-handed. Being that it was a birthday weekend, there was no guilt in buying something small for ourselves. Before dinner, we checked off finding a couple cool murals and took some selfies for the memories.
There are quite a few great locations in town for a before-dinner drink. SideBar Tavern is perfect for the Draft Beer lovers, Twysted Vyne Wine Bar and Pine Street Pub are both great spots for a group that is looking for Wine, Cider, and Beer options.
Dinner at Oscar Penn’s
This was a true fine dining experience, with a cute and cozy atmosphere. They rotate a delicious seasonal menu, so everything is made from scratch daily, using the freshest ingredients. We started off our meal with feta stuffed bacon wrapped figs and they were a decadent delight. We can also recommend the Stuffed Salmon, the Maker’s Mark Salmon and the Seared Filet Mignon, all three dishes exceeded our expectations. Our tummies were full and satisfied, but we still all shared their Triple Fudge Brownie with Godiva Sauce and it was totally worth it.
Day Two – Fun Activities & Delicious Food in Inverness FL
Our second day in Inverness was our only full day, and boy did we make it count. We filled it with a couple fun activities, all the delicious food and lots of unplugged time with one another.
Breakfast of Champions at Cattle Dog Coffee Roasters
Cattle Dog Coffee Roasters is a cute locally-owned and operated roaster. Not only do they have an array of fresh roasted coffee, but they have fresh pastries, delicious breakfast sandwiches and so much more.
We were major fans of everything we ordered at Cattle Dog Coffee Roasters and highly recommend the Cali Toast (for the fresh choice), Monte-Uno Cristo Brunch Bagel (for the sweet & savory choice), and the Funky Chicken and Biscuit Bread (for the adventurous choice).
Drink-wise we recommend the Haystacker, the Mocha Espresso Freeze and the Carmelita (with an extra shot of espresso.) We loved our drinks so much we went back the following day to get another one for the road.
Side note: Sheila, the manager, was such a delight. She provided wonderful customer service and had an amazing personality! Definitely started our day off with a smile.
Activity #1 – Bike rentals from cooter rentals
After lunch we made our way to Fit Full Force Fitness Studio where we picked up our bike rentals from Cooter Rentals. They are conveniently located very close to the 46-mile-long Withlacoochee State Trail.
We set off for a few hours on the trail. We rode through Wallace Brooks Park and took a detour into Fort Cooper State Park, before we headed back and took a mid-ride break to save a teeny-tiny turtle and play some Duck-Pin Bowling at The Train Station. It was so fun, it’s the same number of pins, but everything is smaller. After our game, we got back on our bikes, rode a little north where we saw Lake Henderson and then we made our way back to return our rentals before heading to our next destination… lunch!
Refuel at The Cove Pub & Grub
The Cove Pub & Grub is a popular local spot with a unique setting right on the Tsala Apopka chain of lakes. We started our lunch off with a celebratory Margarita cheers to our last year in our 30’s and to over 10yrs of friendship. Being that we worked up an appetite on our bike ride, we were hungry, so we started off our meal with their Oinkers, Cove homemade chips covered in smoked pork, drizzled in Cove ranch and chipotle bbq sauce. Yes, it was as good as it sounds. Being that they are famous for their Chicken Wings, we also ordered those with their famous Debbie sauce, again they did not disappoint. We finished things off with their delicious Road House Hamburger and their Fried Chicken Salad – both of which were absolutely delicious. To top it off we shared their Tiramisu.
After lunch we quickly made our way to our next destination…
We set out on an awesome adventure tour through the wilderness of the Withlacoochee River wetlands. We saw so many variety’s of birds, grown alligators and even a pod of over 20 alligator hatchlings. Our guide ended the tour at high speeds and extreme turns, we all definitely got a little wet, it was so much fun!
This is the perfect excursion if you are wanting to spend some time on the water, see some wildlife, learn a little about Florida’s wetlands, and have a lot of fun.
After our busy morning and afternoon, we had a small window of time where we could go back and relax in our motel and then get ready for dinner. Being able to just lay in a motel room and chat with friends, in itself was a special occasion for all of us, that we truly enjoyed.
Dinner was at Nine State Brewery
Nine State Brewery is a family-owned brewery, the owner and head brewer has been brewing beer for over 10 years. In addition to its great brews, Nine State also serves authentic Korean cuisine.
The atmosphere was great and the staff were so helpful and accommodating. There are so many different beers to try, we highly recommend you go the route we did and order a beer flight so that you can try more. We also really enjoyed the Sangria. Our favorite dish was the Tteok-bokki – its sweet and spicy deliciousness.
Day Three – One More Meal Together
We woke up, packed up our rooms, and made our way to one more meal together.
Breakfast at Cinnamon Sticks
This is the top rated restaurant in Inverness on Trip Advisor, as well as a “Locals Favorite” and I can totally see why. We shared the Stuffed Banana Fosters French Toast, the Spinach and Feta Omelette and the Biscuits and Gravy and they were all a 10 out of 10.
Breakfast exceeded our expectations, but then the mood was bitter-sweet because it was time to say goodbye, but that also meant I was going home to my babies. A couple of us took a little detour back to Cattle Dog Coffee Roasters for one more coffee and then we were back on the road.
We all thoroughly enjoyed our time and are so thankful to Discover Crystal River for hosting us. If you are looking for a place to visit in Florida, that has a small-town feel, is about being outside in nature and has some amazing places to eat be sure to check out Inverness FL, you won’t be disappointed!