Sad Breaking News. RIP-alm Gardens


Where do I start? There is a part of my soul that is lost now. Or maybe it’s a part of my colon? The only good thing I can gleam from this sad heart breaking news. Like Cardiac Breaking.. Is that somewhere in my digestive track a  Jalapeno Popper is still there from several years back. Okay enough jokes…..

So sad

The Palm Gardens is..was…a Lake Dora institution. Perfection, and always packed with fellow Woody Boaters during the show. So much so, I think was a show unto itself. Many of us would pile into our boats and just hang at The Palm Gardens and watch the parade of other boats go by. And in Florida, on the Dead River, there is just about anything that can entertain. The staff there was always kind, and True Floridians. Happy to see you, and even happier to see you go. The foot was always shockingly great. Like really great, yet you always wondered what the real payment would be. And yet was worth it.

A classic spot

A normal day

Parking spot

Ampha Cars


Double ugh

We have all been here..

And worth every cent


Always great header material

Party deck

Always a good photo perch.


This coming year at Lake Dora, the ritual will be missed. But change is part of life. WAIT, WTF! Not in Woodyboaterville. Change is bad. Ugh, this just hit me on a very deep level. Or maybe its the Onion Rings from 2015 finally working there way out.

29 replies
  1. Steve Anderson from Michigan
    Steve Anderson from Michigan says:

    It makes you wonder what the new plans are for the place? It’s iconic. I have never had the pleasure of being there in person, but was looking forward to it next year now that my Continental is about done. So sad…

  2. RiverRat
    RiverRat says:

    It is happening all over. This is the last season for the Red Dock in Douglas Michigan on the Kalamazoo River. Not too many places left where you can sit at the bar with your boat a few feet away. The River flows got to go with it.

  3. Cliff
    Cliff says:

    Southern office Matt. Just saying you could sell “we-catchun” and a kidney for the down payment….

  4. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    These kinds of places seem to add that much more flavor to the food like Angels in Palatka Florida which is on the St. John’s River Cruise and a favorite of Dr. Bob (Tipster) Johnson and mine. There was an older waitress there who took no prisoners, lol. If you don’t understand what I’m saying go see the movie “Hell or High Water” set in Texas with Jeff Bridges as a Texas Ranger. He and partner go to a small town restaurant on a stake out and order steak and the waitress scene is memorable that its on youtube:

  5. floyd r turbo
    floyd r turbo says:

    BTW, Angels is Florida’s oldest diner and here’s a shot of their amazing batter dipped onion rings, the way they should be done. My chest pains kicked in just looking at this meal along with my drooling trigger.

  6. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    Unfortunate for sure.

    That header is what motivated me to go to Dora in the first place. The first year Sandi and I went (2014) we met Jim Frechette and Woody Gal on the docks, so we offered to buy lunch if they would take us to Palm Gardens and they complied. I consider them both dear friends ever since.

  7. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    In 2020 we found that Hurricane Dockside Grill (around the corner from PG’s) is another great place to hang out!

  8. Tim Robinson
    Tim Robinson says:

    Here in the Pacific Northwest our closest town is Port Townsend ,a tourist destination. Half the restaurants are close and the ones that are open have greatly reduced there days and hours of operation. The reason short staff WTF

  9. Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P)
    Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P) says:

    Damn!! That place was on my bucket list to go to. I was in Taveras and Lake Dora a couple of years age. (not for the show) I wish I had eaten and drank there then. Another part of old Florida is closing. I hope that it does not get replaced with a Holiday Inn Express and a Bubba Gumps. But I have a feeling thats what is going to happen. I hope someone gets the sign, and hangs it in therir garage. Cheers to 35 years.

    • Jim Staib
      Jim Staib says:

      Holiday Inn Express is already across the street. “Staggering Distance “. For those that had the experience of staying at Blairs Jungle Den “No cleaning fish in the rooms” it is also fenced off and due to be something else.

  10. John F Rothert
    John F Rothert says:

    Oh s-it! That hurts. But take faith, you can still go to Jeramiahs in Dora and eat the pot roast at the bar sitting next to Staib… can still go to the next best place in the world:
    Alabama Jack’s in Largo on the way to the Keys….
    Sad I will newer get splashed by an amphibious car while downing a great burger.
    John in Va

    • Troy in ANE
      Troy in ANE says:

      Though you can’t watch the parade there is still Harris Lake Hideaway, J B Boondock’s on Little Harris Lake, and of course let’s not forget Pirat’s Oaisis. All Old School Florida places for sure and they all have docks.

  11. Phil Little
    Phil Little says:

    The Hackmatack Inn, ( on the Cheboygan MI river, just entering Mullet Lake, is still going strong. It is a must-stop as you proceed at a leisurely pace on the way over to Round Lake, near Petosky. Since you must return by the same route, you’ll have a second opportunity to visit.

    I think this canal/lake system,across the top of the Thumb, is one of the most idyllic and interesting cruises you can do, not to be missed if you have the chance!

  12. Troy in ANE
    Troy in ANE says:

    I think what I will miss the most about Palm Gardens is sending Tommy Holm pictures of broken down Century’s at the docks.

  13. Bill Anderson
    Bill Anderson says:

    I will miss the oysters,but the look on my wifes face at the portaJon that was well used when restrooms were under construction ,last 2 yrs we have been staying more and was there at least 3 days a week,,remember back a few years when the sign was on it for big bucks,,it probable be condos now

  14. Ollon
    Ollon says:

    Sad. Out here on the left coast a lot of places are closed because the water is so low and their docks are on the bottom. Many lakes are also closing their launch ramps because they are almost or already high and dry.

  15. Scott Robinson
    Scott Robinson says:

    Shucker Tom is the best, we will somehow find another place he can bartender at. One of the reasons we love the area is Palm Gardens, We feel betrayed ! Life will go on, but another sad day in paradise Scooter

Comments are closed.