by The Editors | December 21, 2023

Flamingo’s Most Popular Stories of 2023

From Lynyrd Skynyrd's whiskey tales to Orlando's celebrity-chef hotspots and Ocala's equine glow-up: Flamingo's top stories of 2023 unveiled!

Lynyrd Skynyrd frontman Johnny Van Zant sings to a sea of fans. Photography courtesy of Lynyrd Skynyrd.

2023 held quite a few editorial adventures for Flamingo readers. From galloping across Ocala's rolling hills and lounging poolside in Palm Beach to swinging from a trapeze at the Ringling Bros. Circus and wading deep into the swamps of North Florida in search of Tupelo honey, Flamingo writers reported from every corner of the state. In case you missed one of these amazing stories or just want to revisit one of your personal favorites, our editors compiled a roundup of our most popular pieces from this past year, in no particular order:

Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Johnny Van Zant Talks About Life, Whiskey & His Florida Roots

Johnny Van Zant, lead vocalist of Lynyrd Skynyrd, sits down with Editor in Chief Jamie Rich to talk about life after the tragic plane crash in 1977, killing multiple band members, including his older brother and former frontman Ronnie Van Zant. The singer reveals what it was like joining the band, details about his current tour and his new line of whiskey, Hell House.


9 Celebrity Chef Restaurants in Orlando You Have To Try

Orlando, a fresh new foodie scene, is bringing the heat when it comes to celebrity chefs. Dine at restaurants from nine of the most creative, successful chefs around the world, including Richard Blais's Four Flamingos, Gordon Ramsey's Fish and Chips, Guy Fierri's Chicken Guy and more.


10 Boutique Hotels Around Florida You Should Book for Your Next Weekend Getaway

Booking a trip for 2024? Check out our roundup of the best boutique hotels throughout the Sunshine State. Reserve a room at the iconic pink Colony Hotel in Palm Beach, stay at the urban-cool Hotel Palms in Atlantic Beach or explore historic Ybor City at Hotel Haya.


Window shopping in Amelia Island. Photography by Mary Beth Koeth.

Discover the Enchanting Allure of Amelia Island: A Hidden Gem of History and Charm

Join Editor in Chief Jamie Rich as she takes a weekend trip to Amelia Island, an enchanted stretch of North Florida coastline. Shop their cobblestone downtown streets, stay the night at a restored Victorian bed and breakfast, walk through historic Fort Clinch and set sail in the Intracoastal.


Preserving History One Click at a Time: A Photographic Diary of the Rural Panhandle

Flip through 50 years of photograher Jimmy Nicholson's black-and-white images—some new, some old—and find out how in the Panhandle, time stands still. Join the documentarian as he traverses forgotten roads and depicts agricultural labor, cemetery scenes and intimate moments with his analog camera.


Ty Pennington Works His Makeover Magic in Palm Coast

This HGTV star takes on a new project, this time for himself. Tour his renovated waterfront fishing bungalow off the Palm Coast, complete with accordion windows, lush greenery, warm cypress paneling and Pennington's favorite roommate: his mom.


Ocala Levels Up in the Fast-Paced Equestrian World

Welcome to the World Equestrian Center, the latest addition to the Horse Capital of the World. The 248-room resort, five indoor arenas, 22 outdoor show rings and World Stadium have brought a new level of equine competition to Ocala.


Trapeze troupe leader George Caceres prepares for a dangerous maneuver. Photography by Josh Letchworth.

The Resurrection of Ringling Bros.: From Cannon Blasts to Crisscrossing Heights

Chalk up and get ready to swing into the dazzling world of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, starting with a never-done-before trapeze maneuver. Learn about the six-year hiatus and their new approach to the big top.


Tedeschi Trucks Band Reignites the Flame of American Music

Take a seat—or stand and dance—at the opening show of the Tedeschi Trucks Band's Wheel of Soul tour. Feel the electricity in the air as Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks play rock ballads and soulful covers in their hometown of Jacksonville.


Florida's Iconic Tupelo Honey is in a Sticky Situation. Can Beekeepers Bring it Back?

Uncover the sticky truth behind Tupelo honey, meet the families behind Florida's liquid gold and learn why this iconic livelihood along the Apalachicola River basin is at risk of disappearing forever.