At ABC Action News, we know it's the combination of all the communities that make Tampa Bay great to live in. That's why we've started a new series of reporting highlighting good things happening around town, discovering cool gems you may not know about, and uncovering the big news events impacting those areas.
On Friday, the Good Morning Tampa Bay team focused on Brooksville.
Brooksville's Florida Cracker Kitchen is now a Florida Cracker Universe.
Prepare to spend a few hours eating, drinking and playing at this friendly country wonderland located at 966 E Jefferson St.
"The best way to describe us?" says co-owner Blair Hensley, who formerly ruled the Coney Island Drive-Inn. "We're a Cracker Barrel on steroids!"
The Mermaid Trail is perfect for people of all ages seeking an urban adventure. You’ll weave through historic downtown Brooksville, passing plenty of shops and restaurants along the way.
Bringing the community together is what Brooksville Main Street hopes to do.
From concerts to markets, the events are plentiful along historic downtown.
Friday night concerts have been a big success story.
"It's just a really relaxed time, free concert, we close the street," Natalie Kahler, Executive Director of Brooksville Main Street says. "So you can sit in front of Main Street in your chair, and hang out. We have food trucks and stuff too. So it's just become something that people know that they can do."
A trip through Brooksville and you're going to notice a whole lot of history.
The Hawkins House is just that. It was built in 1896 by Lena Hawkins and her husband. Hawkins was the first female mayor of Brooksville.
So, it's fitting that the house now belongs to three women-owned businesses.
Situated in a strip mall off US 41, you'll find Florida's best Reuben, at least that's their claim.
The Red Mule Pub has been around for more than 40 years. It was started by a man named Les, a former submariner in the Navy.
Now, it's owned by a Brooksville native who's looking to make his mark.
It's old-fashioned Florida, you know, the quirky, never know what you're going to find type.
Boyett's Grove in Brooksville is eclectic.
You can find just about any Florida souvenir you'd want or maybe never knew you wanted.
On any given day there could be up to 250 people dancing, singing, and acting at the Live Oak Theatre Company’s summer camps in Brooksville.
In one room students are learning dance choreography, in the next, they're on stage combat, while down the hall singing the lyrics from the Sound of Music. And, don’t forget the improv class taking place outside.
“Anybody can come in if they have the desire and a really good attitude,” said president Randi Olsen. “Basically our goal is to fill every inch of this building of performance art instructions.”
Female inmates are getting a second chance to rebuild their lives at a prison in Brooksville.
It's all part of an innovative Faith and Character program through the Florida Department of Corrections and the Hernando Correctional Institution, led by Warden Tamera Poynter.
You would think faith would be hard to find in the middle of a women's prison in Hernando County, but the women serving anywhere from just 18 months to a full life sentence say differently.
"Having faith in a higher power is definitely key to changing your life," said Siobhan, one of the women serving time at the Hernando Correctional Institution.
A stroll through Sparacia Witherell Family Winery and Vineyards in Brooksville will transport locals and visitors from the typical Florida scenery to acres of lush greenery.
Joe Sparacia and his brother bought the property in 2018. Three years later and the uncommon Florida hills are now adorned with muscadine grapevines.
"It's an incredibly meditative place. It's peaceful," Sparacia said. "It's really a labor of love and when you walk out there and see those grapes forming on that vine it's just something to you. Anyone who has ever grown anything understands it I think."
Visit McKethan Lake Day Use Area with your family this weekend! This small charming park is a great place for all ages and ability levels. Here's what you need to know before you visit!