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 the movie was made, and it still a beautiful place to visit. And while you’re there driving down “Follow That Dream Parkway” (SR40) scoot over to Riverside Drive and be sure to stop by the Blackwater Grill, the latest iteration of the historic Isaak Walton Lodge.
You can reach the Blackwater Grill by car, from US19 down SR40, or by boat. There’s dockage, making the Blackwater the perfect spot to cool off and eat after a day of cruising or fishing. The Withlacoochee River is one of Florida’s most scenic rivers, and there are excellent launching opportunities at several marinas (Yankeetown Marina, B’s Marina, the city marina near the Coast Guard Station and the county ramp at the end of SR40).
The Blackwater Grill has spacious indoor seating as well as outside dining. Both spaces offer excellent views of the river. The menu is varied, with an obvious seafood bent, and there’s a full bar. And, if you arrive by boat with fresh fish, they’ll cook them for you!