The university town of Gainesville, Florida is made up mostly of chain hotels to host visitors during football games and parents in from out of town, but there is a small group of independent inns and bed and breakfasts.
Magnolia Plantation Bed and Breakfast is just one of them. Joe and Cindy Montalto opened their bed and breakfast in 1990. The historic home is the former Baird Mansion, constructed in 1885. A number of prominent families lived here over the years, but it’s named for a local man who owned a sawmill and crate company.
The Montaltos restored the Victorian home to its former glory after years of inhabitance by college students. The main house at the inn has five rooms, each named for a type of flower. Over the years they’ve also added a number of outbuildings.
I stayed in the Carriage House, a large space above the period kitchen with a large bathroom with Jacuzzi, wraparound porch and sitting areas. There are also six other spaces in cottages and courtyards. Rooms come complete with bathrobes, mini-fridges and a nightly serving of wine and cheese.
The pet-friendly inn is more laid back than other establishments, as you’ll see their dog roaming the property and won’t need to wake up before dawn for breakfast. Cindy makes you breakfast, which you can enjoy overlooking the outdoor gardens or in one of the many sitting areas. It’s easy to see why Magnolia Plantation is a popular setting for groups and weddings.
The inn is located within walking distance of downtown and parking is included in your stay. The University of Florida is a short drive away.
If You Go
Magnolia Plantation Bed and Breakfast Inn is located at 309 S.E. Seventh Street, Gainesville, Florida 32601. Rates start at $155 per night for rooms and go up for cottages.
My stay at the Magnolia Plantation Bed and Breakfast was hosted by Visit Gainesville.