Northeast Florida is a sprawling area of forests, farmland, pastures and college towns before you reach the Atlantic Ocean. There is so much beauty to see in Northeast Florida that I just had to share it with you.
On one of our recent day trips, we decided to head north just a bit, head east a bit and then head back home through the Ocala National Forrest.
Our first stop was Micanopy, known as the self-proclaimed antique capital, this small and very quaint town is just the most perfect place to stop and visit. Most of the shops are on Cholokka Boulevard, which is the main road as you come into town. There is a great Fall Festival with loads of crafts and music to enjoy. Paynes Prairie is right next door and if you love wildlife like bison, gators and wild horses, be sure to stop there.
Also nearby is the Marjorie Rawlings homestead in Cross Creek which is a must-see of the home of the woman who wrote The Yearling. It’s one of my favorite home tours.
After we left Cross Creek and had been on the back roads for a while, we passed a beautiful small country church. I just had to stop and take a picture. I’m sorry to say I’m not sure what town it’s in but on the main road.
Palatka is located near the St. Johns River, which is one of the few rivers which flows north. Old Florida charm is surely found at the Florida Azalea Festival, St. Johns River Catfish Festival, Blue Crab Festival or Bostwick Blueberry Festival. There are several lovely southern homes and the Palatka Mural Tour on the sides of buildings downtown, featuring more than 30 artistic renderings which depict the history, cultural and natural riches of Palatka and Putnam County, are worth the tour. Stop by the Chamber of Commerce downtown for a map of the murals.
The boats, docks and of course all the fishing you would ever want to do are just steps away. There is camping, canoeing, kayaking in the area’s eight Blueway Trails, playing golf, touring historic homes and churches built in the 1800s, hiking or bicycling, and visiting birding sites listed in the Great Florida Birding Trail. So much to enjoy in this smaller town in Florida. If you love gardens, stop by the Ravine Gardens State Park which has two ravines up to 120 feet deep with bridges over them you can walk across. Visit in the early spring to see all the beautiful azaleas blooming while driving through the park in your car.
If you are looking for a good fresh fish meal, go over the bridge on HWY 17 and stop by Musselwhite’s Seafood & Grill. You won’t regret it.
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