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County by County Riding Florida…Bradford-Home of the Starke Bike Fest

By Lulu

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As bikers we love to explore and a great destination for August is Bradford County. August 26th-28th in downtown historic Starke is the 6th Annual Starke Bike Fest with live music including Big Engine, a tattoo contest, “Porta Potty Pulls”, best tan contest and a 2 day bike show. Pretty roads, biker friendly people, cold beer, good music what more can you ask for?

[singlepic id=1651 w=320 h=240 float=left]We have attended Starke Bike Fest over the last few years and watched the attendance grow from a few hundred to thousands. Vendors line the street. Last year they implemented bike parking only on Call St. and filled the streets and side streets with bikes. This is a small town with southern charm, little traffic and miles of country roads to ride. Book your hotel now since rooms are limited.

As far as our reader’s top bars to choose from Timbuktu on 301, Whiskey River Saloon on 301 and The Slab off 100 were the top three. We always enjoy Timbuktu and, according to Debbie, the BBQ vendor out back Chitz and Giggles will be back again this year for the Bike Fest. Our first time to Whiskey River gave us an opportunity to meet Joanna a really friendly bartender that tended bar at Howlin’ Wolf in Putnam Hall before hanging her hat at Whiskey River. The Slab is a unique place to down a cold one or two. It is a bait shop/beer joint with pool tables and some food referred to as “Slab Grub”.

Other bars in town that were mentioned are Red Dog Saloon in Bradford County, the rest were a bit of a ride and not within the county lines, Double Deuce in Lake Butler, Smith Lake Bar on CR 214 and Keystone Saloon on 100.

Top 3 restaurant picks by the readers were Cowboys on 301 known for their steaks and burgers, Grannie’s Country Cookin’ on 301 known for their breakfast and pancakes and Mamma Mia’s Ristorante Italiano. We have filled our bellies at all three places and can give our stamp of approval. At Mamma Mia’s try their Mamma’s Jambalaya a mixture of shrimp, chicken, sausage and a spicy marinara or the Mamma’s Burger which is huge and features bacon, onions and mushrooms. Other restaurants on the list were Pit Stop Café and Chrissy’s Olde Meeting House Café on Call St. Whale’s Tales on Call St. has changed hands and is renamed Rick’s. They offer upscale food and beer/wine.

[singlepic id=1661 w=320 h=240 float=right]As far as things to do while in town on 301 just past the county line in Waldo is a flea market and antique shop. Also stop in Knuckle Draggers that have a great party going on during the Bike Fest. Camp Blanding Museum & Memorial Park is free and has a nice display of military history.

No matter which direction you travel the roads are open and not congested. Travel either 100 between Butler & Palatka, SR 16 from Camp Blanding to Raiford Prison or CR 214. BEWARE! There are speed traps in Waldo & Lawtey (there are even billboards declaring this as fact).

The Main Street Starke, Inc., North Florida Regional Chamber of Commerce and Florida Works extend a biker friendly invitation to all and hope you will ride out to visit their slice of Florida!

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