The 2016 Taste of Inverness is a wrap, but the food and culture are still alive!
Inverness, Florida is less than 2 hours from Orlando, however when you step into this town you feel like you are in a completely different place and time! I had the pleasure of being one of the 3 celebrity judges for the 2016 Taste of Inverness where I had the daunting task of tasting and rating over 50 different items in categories such as appetizer, BBQ, pizza, fine dining and dessert. I didn’t realize however, that when I went to Inverness that I would fall in love with such a beautiful place!
Before the Taste of Inverness, we spent the day exploring the city via bikes. We started out our trip on part of the 46 mile Withlacoochee State Trail which runs thru 3 different counties! This trail runs beside the Withlacoochee River which is wonderful for kayaking other water activities! To learn more about the trail, check out this link.
After a mile or so bike ride, we ventured to the new Boardwalk area at Cooter Pond Park where we spotted baby alligators, various birds and of of the most beautiful downtown areas that I have seen here in Florida! I was a little sad that we did not see any Cooters (which are turtles) however it is something for me to look forward to the next time I come back!
We then biked around the beautiful downtown district of Inverness. Most cities have a downtown district, but none I have ever encountered were as vibrant and active as the one here! One thing that caught my attention was the Valerie Theater which was built back in 1926. This theater was just renovated and I have to say was immaculate! Some buildings seem to have a life inside of them, a certain energy and this one surely did! If you are in the area, a trip to see this theater would be well worth the trip alone!
Our bike tour ended up at the McLeod House Bistro for some light lunch before the event that evening. After tasting the amazing food at this bistro, you would be silly not to grab some food there on your trip away to Inverness!
As for the event that night? The Taste of Inverness blew me away with not only the amazing food, but the people who call this town home. Everyone I talked to not only took pride in their city but were so welcoming of us visitors. You do not come by cities like this often for sure.
Overall, Inverness is a hidden jewel close to Orlando! This city has something for everyone, natural beauty, great food, culture and amazing people who call the city home. If you are looking for a great city to explore, make sure you check out Inverness, FL!
I know I cannot wait to get back to Citrus Florida and the City of Inverness! (Hopefully I will be a judge again next year for the Taste of Inverness because this is a tradition now that I do not want to go away!)