Out and About

Summer Library Programs for Children

The long, warm days of summer are here! The Hernando County Public Library is getting ready to begin their summer reading program. This year the theme highlights super heroes from ancient times, to local heros, and even heros within nature. The children’s program is titled “Every Hero Has A Story” geared toward ages 5-12 and “Unmasked” is the tween and teen program tailored for kids up to age 18 years old. Activities and events are free of charge and are held throughout the county at different library branches.

Summer Camps and Activities in Hernando County

It’s that time of year again the kids will be out of school in less than a month, leaving us parents frantically trying to find what is available to keep our kids entertained all summer long, and keep our sanity. All the search and comparing can be exhausting and a full time job, I know because I do it every year. So I’ve compiled a list of my findings so far for the summer. Here you will find a collection of programs found to date.

Spring, Sunflowers, and Sun at Sweetfields Farm

Located just a little south of Springhill Drive on US 41 you will find a wonderful place to spend a weekend afternoon with the whole family. Sweetfield’s Farm opened in 2008 and is family owned and operated. In the fall they have their annual corn maze and in the spring they have the sunflower maze. Even prior to moving to Hernando County 3 years ago we always made a day trip there each fall and spring. Each year it gets a little bigger with something new added.

Restaurant Revitalized in Hernando Beach

A restaurant location in Hernando Beach formerly called Swanie’s was in drastic need of renovations after being bought and sold several times. Shrimp boats unloaded their catch at the former restaurant’s dock, which made for an authentic dining experience. Business partners Scott Morano and Marc Delape decided to purchase the restaurant and clean things up. At first Delape thought his partner Scott Morano was a bit crazy, but after weighing out the pros and cons, both decided to give it a go.

Italian Food Lovers Rejoice- Papa Joe’s is Back!

by Julie Maglio

Papa Joe's has become a Brooksville Institution. In the eyes of many who drive by Brooksville on Interstate 75, Brooksville is Papa Joe's. The success of the restaurant has much to do with Joe and Donna Giarratana's 34 years of hard work and generosity. It is also because of this that they were able to rebuild after an electrical fire destroyed their original restaurant back in January of 2014.

Local Roots Cafe & Coffee House

Hernando Sun Staff

Local Roots Cafe & Coffee House bills itself as a local farm to table coffee house. They offer a selection of sandwiches, salads, and soups for lunch. For breakfast they have coffee, sandwiches, and baked goods. They offer regular coffee, cappuccino, and mocha. Hernando Sun tried their cappuccino and it compares favorably with Starbucks.

On Tuesday’s they sell hot pasties. On the other days you can purchase frozen pasties to take home and cook. To many who were fond of the pasty store from the 1990’s on 98 just North of West Jefferson Street, this is a welcome return.

Gino's Place: A great place to eat close to Spring Hill Drive

by Hernando Sun Staff

Located just south of Spring Hill Drive on Linden, Gino's Place offers lunch and breakfast at a great price for the size of your meal. It is fresh and fast. You order at the counter and Gino himself prepares it. He is friendly and personable and has 40 years of experience in the restaurant business. He opened Gino's place about 5 years ago and says it was on his bucket list to run his own restaurant. Business was slow going at first, but now he has built up a good clientele.

Weeki Wachee Seafood Market

by Hernando Sun Staff

Al and Ellie Marceau own the Weeki Wachee Seafood market which opened its doors late last year. So far they have developed a strong relationship with locals and restaurant owners. They have great prices and fresh delicious seafood of many varieties. The gulf shrimp pinks are wonderful and their wild North Atlantic salmon melts in your mouth. Both are affordably priced. We even tried their octopus which we chopped up and sauteed with some garlic and olive oil. This was a hit.

Rising Sun Bistro: Local Food and Fun

by Hernando Sun Staff

The Rising Sun Bistro opened its doors in June 2014 by Criss Holzaepfel and Catherine Reeves. Since then they have built a large following and a successful business. Rising Sun always uses fresh ingredients and locally sourced when available. When we stopped by, they had strawberries from JG Ranch on Wiscon Road. They also get beautiful lettuce for their salads from Auro Community Gardens. They carry local wines from Strong Tower Winery and others. Criss makes homemade soaps with essential oils that she places in the restrooms.