Experience the Magic of Micanopy Minutes off I-75

  By Nancy Moreland When you see the Micanopy exit off I-75 in North Central Florida, it’s tempting to drive on by. Especially if you think it’s just another nondescript stop or small Florida town along the highway. That would be a mistake. Take exit 374 (about 20 minutes south of Gainesville) and within minutes, …

Follow Your Dream To The Blackwater Grill in Yankeetown, FL

In the summer of 1961, Elvis Presley spent almost two months in the Yankeetown area, filming “Follow That Dream“.  It’s anyone’s guess why Elvis’ producers picked this sleepy Levy County town on the banks of the Withlacoochee River, but it’s solitary location might just be the reason.  Yankeetown is historic, and has grown little since …

Spend A Day At The Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo—It’s Good For You!

There’s only one American Zoo Association accredited zoo on a  college campus,  and it’s on Gainesville‘s Santa Fe College campus.  Santa Fe College offers both Associate and Bachelor’s degrees and won the 2015 Aspen Prize for Educational Excellence.  It enrollment now tops 20,000 and it’s an excellent adjunct to the educational community in Gainesville, which …

Downtown Christmas Open House and Parade–Perry, Florida–December 7, 2018

Leave it up to our friends in Taylor County to come up with a new “twist” on Christmas.  This year, in addition to a “Santa’s Little Helpers” parade, there will be a tribute to “Sheriff Taylor” at the “MayPerry Christmas” festivities.   Perry, the vibrant County Seat of Taylor County, is the perfect place to …

Christmas On The Square, Live Oak, Florida–Nov. 29 & 30 and Dec. 1, 2019 (Expect SNOW!)

Winters in our Natural North Florida region are never harsh or especially cold.  For the most part, it’s shorts and short-sleeve weather.  However, the Suwannee County Chamber of Commerce wants everyone to get in the Christmas Spirit and are again (for the 34th year!) hosting “Christmas On The Square“, Nov. 29 and 30 and Dec. …

Free* Kayak Eco Tours at Cedar Key

Thanks to the generosity of Dr. Paul King, a Florida Coastal Master Naturalist, Tom Liebert at Kayak Cedar Keys and the folks at the University of Florida’s Nature Coast Biological Station,  visitors can arrange free guided kayak Eco-tours of the area around the Cedar Key archipelago. Paddlers may bring their own boats or rent from …

Hart Springs Park, Gilchrist County, Florida–New and Improved For 2018!

Florida’s State Parks are excellent, but often crowded.  However, we have a number of very fine county-operated parks in Natural North Florida that are generally less crowded, with the same spring access as the bigger state parks.  Hart Springs, in rural Gilchrist County, is alongside the famous Suwannee River, and has recently been renovated. The …

Steinhatchee Springs WMA—Explorers and Photographers Welcome

Florida’s Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) are a varied collection of public and private lands, managed and overseen by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).  Many include tracts of private homes and leased hunting lands, but all allow some access by the public.  The Steinhatchee Springs WMA is a narrow, 20,000+ acre parcel stretching …

Take A Walk On The “Wild Side”– In Gainesville’s City Limits–At Sweetwater Wetlands Park

Gainesville’s Sweetwater Wetlands Park is about more than 125 acres of protected land near the intersection of South Main Street and Williston Road. The park is not only a place to connect with nature, it’s a way to protect our environment. Featuring wetlands and ponds, the park was created to improve the water quality of …

Visit Cedar Lakes Woods & Gardens Near Williston, Florida–It’s the “Pits”!

So….what do you do with a retired hundred-plus-year-old rock quarry?  If you want to create a masterpiece of flora and fauna, you move tons of rock and divert lots of water and build a park for visitors to enjoy.  That, in a nutshell, is the history of Cedar Lakes Woods & Gardens, located just off …