A Summer Escape for the Day, the Weekend, or a few weeks, any of these choices or all are fun. Below are a few suggestions for a Fun Florida Adventure.
A Day in Deland
Visit the Museum of Art and/or take a walk through Historic DeLand and enjoy a collection of more than a dozen sculpture installations. Two of the pieces you will enjoy are the Continuation and Jeugo, they are located prominently near City Hall and in front of the Bank of America Building at 230 North Woodland Ave. Both the Sculpture Walk and Public Art is a collaboration between the museum and the city of DeLand. The artwork changes annually and features a variety of styles and media including concrete, aluminum, stainless steel, PVC, bronze, and cooper. Enjoy the Public Art in the Utility Box Art Wrap Program which features vinyl wrap installed onto the utility boxes.
After taking an art walk or enjoying the Permanent Collection and exhibits at the museum enjoy a meal at one of the many restaurants in town.
A Weekend Trip to Wakulla Springs
Truly a weekend away from it all, casual, comfortable, and fun. Wakulla Springs is about a 5-hour drive north, near Tallahassee, but away from the typical tourist crowds. The area is beautiful with over 6,000 acres of pristine forest. The Wakulla Springs Lodge is known as the “Castle of North Florida” and was built in 1937 by Edward Ball, an industrialist. You can stay in one of the twenty-seven guest rooms at the lodge, or you can stay in the area and enjoy the nature, history and the comfort surrounding Wakulla Springs State Park.
Wakulla Springs is largest, deepest freshwater spring in the world. In 1937 Ball purchased 4,000 acres surrounding Wakulla Springs and built the Lodge as a guest house. He imported marble and tile and hired craftsmen and artisans who built everything on site. The lodge has 27 unique guestrooms, each with a voluminous marble bathroom, walk in closet and period furnishings.
After taking a walk, hike, or a boat tour in Wakulla Springs State Park be sure to stop at the Soda Fountain. The fountain is an old Marble Soda Fountain known as the “longest marble soda fountain ever built.” The marble soda fountain is 70 feet plus 6 inches long and serves Root Beer Floats, Cherry Phosphates, Ginger Yips, and Sundaes. Soda Jerks man the counter and serve guests 7 days a week with ice cream treats, hot dogs, chili, sandwiches, and chips. A flash back to the fountain service you may have enjoyed “back in the day.” When I was a child, My Aunts and Uncles had a Soda Fountain in Little Ferry NJ and this fountain brought back many happy memories of sitting at the counter, legs dangling from the stools that spun around sipping Chocolate Egg Crème Sodas.
Enjoy a walk in Fort Sam Marcos de Apalache State Park, you can take a self-guided interpretive trail that will walk you through the historic ruins or book a ranger guided interpretive tour a few weeks in advance of your visit. The rangers will make every effort to accommodate your request. When Lee and I were last in town, we stopped at one of the local markets, picked up a picnic lunch and enjoyed a quiet afternoon in the parks’ picnic area. Head over to Tucker’s Point for a scenic view at the water’s edge where the St. Marks River joins the Wakulla River and flows out into Apalache Bay.
The park’s museum displays pottery and tools that were unearthed near the fort. Stop and stay to view the short video recounting the days the Spanish, English, American and Confederate forces occupied the site. The video is informative and will tie all the periods of the fort’s history together for you.
There are lots of small towns in the area to stop and enjoy that “away from it all” feeling. Enjoy a Stay in a B & B, a Motel, the Lodge, or a hotel, but take time to enjoy the quiet beauty that surrounds you.
Extend your Weekend Trip and take a detour on your way home
If the Wakulla Springs Trip sounds like your “cup of tea” then why not make this weekend destination into a road trip and extend your stay a few more days. Simply continue your road trip to Cedar Key, it is on your way home to Poinciana, travel south and head to the Gulf Coast to enjoy Florida, the way it was before Disney Moved into town. If you love Florida fresh seafood, you have arrived in paradise. Book a fishing charter, take a walk along the hidden Gulf Coast, and enjoy the sweet, salty air. Tourists, like the condominiums outnumber the fishermen these days, but the tourists are laidback as the beaches are not the main draw. Instead, these beaches are quiet little strips of sand hidden away from lots of beach goers. Grab a book, blanket, a chair, a hat for sunshade, and find the perfect spot to spend the day.