Gainesville, Florida is a college town with a cool vibe, fun things to do, and one I fell in love with at once. On a most recent visit, I found a hidden gem in Gainesville that I couldn’t wait to share with you. Let me introduce you to a great place to stay, the Magnolia Plantation in Gainesville.
A Hidden Gem: Magnolia Plantation in Gainesville
Tucked away on a flower-lined street in the Bed and Breakfast historic district of Gainesville is the Magnolia Plantation. This is where my home away from home would be during my travels. It was also the first bed and breakfast in Gainesville. From the moment I walked through the door of the Magnolia Plantation in Gainesville to the time I checked out, it was sheer bliss. I was perfectly content nestled in this adorable property so much that I found it hard to go out and do the things that I came to Gainesville for.
The Magnolia Plantation is a historic property listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The house dates back to 1885, named the Baird Mansion at the time. It didn’t become a bed and breakfast until 1991. Today, house guests typically enter through the back door which is programmed with codes for all current guests. A phone is available on the back porch should you need it to call for a groundskeeper.
From the outside, the Magnolia Plantation in Gainesville could be used as a setting for a scary movie. It could also easily be turned into a creepy haunted house, even though the front porch is decorated with white wicker rocking chairs, planters, and Southern ferns. Of course, gas lanterns burned at the front gate, completing the look. I couldn’t wait to see the inside!
A Step Back In Time
Beautiful antiques line the walls of each room inside of the Magnolia Plantation. Collections of vintage china teacups and saucers decorate the surfaces in the dining room and kitchen. A living room with a piano, comfy chairs, and cookies for snacking awaited guests who wished to spend time in the pretty setting. Five rooms, or bedchambers, are in this part of the house, each offering a private bath with claw foot tub and gas fireplace. Nine cottages dot the outside property adding a second room type. Lovely gardens, waterfalls, and a gazebo are also on the 1.5-acre property.
The Charming Carriage House Awaits
I stayed across from the main house in the Carriage House. The bottom floor is where the food is prepared for guests. Cute wrought iron tables and chairs are set up outside of the kitchen for guests to enjoy. Retro tablecloths are draped over the tables and decorated with pretty vases of fresh flowers for a cheery touch.
My room was the upstairs part of the Carriage House, accessible by a private door and stairs off to the side. Inside, is a living room, kitchenette, huge bedroom, dreamy bathroom, and French doors leading to a private veranda. Stately chairs, lamps, and marble top tables accompanied the Victorian style sofa, one that my grandma used to have. Large windows allowed for a lot of light to get into the antique-filled cottage.
On the other side was the kitchenette. It held two small two-seater tables, a darling corner china hutch, and a marble-topped credenza. The staff would leave snacks on the table in my room at night. A small table was a make-shift coffee center with a Keurig, toaster, and all of the coffee supplies needed. There was also a sink, mini-fridge, microwave, and small toaster oven.
Bed, Bath, and Beyond…Way Beyond
Moving on to my favorite part of the house—a huge, modernized bathroom awaits guests to soak their cares away in the enormous corner jacuzzi tub. The farmhouse sink and romantic fireplace add a welcoming factor to the already desirable bathroom. Plush bath mats and towels were tied gracefully in pretty ribbons lying on the tub and in a big basket. The fireplace was lined with at least a half-dozen candles beckoning to be enjoyed. Lastly, a small but mighty touch, gold foil monogrammed stickers decorate the folded toilet paper with MP on them, my initials as well.
My bedroom was decorated in warm gold and maroon floral prints and fine linens. An antique bed with a huge wooden head and footboard provided a comfortable place for sleeping while a Bose radio played soft music beside it. Beside the bed sat a second gas log fireplace, again lined with candles and cozy chairs on the side. Ceiling fans helped keep the air circulating at night.
A Place To Relax and Unwind
Outside, the lovely Carriage House veranda with four wooden rockers, classic porch swing, and wrought iron bistro table called to me. From here, I could see the Magnolia Plantation property bursting at the seams with live oaks and Spanish moss, flower blooms, and a water fountain in the midst. The biggest draw of my entire Carriage House was the wooden swing/bed that hung in the corner nearest to the bedroom. A homemade quilt and cute pillows decorated the cushion-lined swing, and I could think of nothing but enjoying a nap wrapped in the blanket, listening to the sounds of nature and enjoying the cool breeze. That thought quickly won out!
Indulging in A Bountiful Breakfast
One of the best parts of staying at a bed & breakfast is the breakfast that is included. My first morning at the Magnolia Plantation, I was treated to waffles with a delicious homemade fruit compote, bowl of fruit, zesty sausage pieces, and a wonderful little crustless egg souffle, of which I had to ask for the recipe. I’m not a coffee drinker, but no worries as there were plenty of other drink options. On day two, I had a slice of vegetable quiche, sausage links, a fruit cup, and a piece of sweet bread. Yum! You can enjoy breakfast at the Carriage House, in the dining room of the main house, or delivered to your door if you are staying in one of the cottages.
The Magnolia Plantation offers a social hour for guests of the evening with wine and snacks. Since I was out late, the sweet innkeeper left a glass of wine and cookies in my room each night. One night I even got a beautiful vase of fresh-cut flowers. How thoughtful! Another personal touch was when she wrote out the egg souffle recipe by hand on a lovely notecard that I had inquired about upon check-out.
A Hidden Gem in Gainesville You Won’t Want to Miss
The service and accommodations at the Magnolia Plantation in Gainesville greatly impressed me. The inn is also pet-friendly, which makes it even better in my eyes. If you are in Gainesville, you may want to consider staying in the historic bed and breakfast district to enjoy this property or one like it. It is definitely more bang for your buck and a place for your soul to connect with old meets new and a brush with Southern charm.
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Thanks to Gainesville CVB for hosting my trip and accommodations. As always, reviews and opinions are 100% mine.
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