Spend The Night and Spread Your Wings From Lake City, Florida

Lake City, Florida is more than a convenient stop for travelers to the state at the junction of I-75, I-10 and US90. It’s the county seat of Columbia County and a great place to stay a few days to explore many of Natural North Florida’s wet and wild wonders.

I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but the town was renamed to Lake City from “Alligator”. From a tourism and public relations standpoint, that was a wise move. The now-booming city does have plenty of lakes, including Alligator Lake, to visit or enjoy.

In addition to walking tours of the downtown, Lake City has numerous eateries, including Marion Street Bistro and Brew House. If you tire yourself walking, try lunch there. Or in the evening, have a cold beverage, a great meal and some live music.

As with most growing cities, despite downtown redevelopment, Lake City has grown westward on US90 towards the intersection of I-75. Near there, you’ll find almost anything you need in the way of restaurants, picnic supplies, outdoor gear and local lodging . That intersection is also a great place to begin your exploration of Columbia County.

The Tru Hotel by Hilton is one of Lake City’s newest. Also consider the Holiday Inn and Suites, locate nearby.

The name “Lake City” connotes lots of lakes, and there are several. But Columbia County is really known for its springs and easy access to the Santa Fe River. There are several popular State Parks and County Parks at spring heads and alongside the river.

Ichetucknee Springs State Park is probably one of Florida’s most beautiful places. Located near Fort White, you can swim, dive or paddle there.
O’Leno State Park is a special place, originally constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps. There, the Santa Fe River disappears into the earth, rising just downstream at River Rise Preserve
One of the moss popular County Parks is at Rum Island Spring, on the Santa Fe River. It was recently upgraded with new walkways and restrooms. You can rent paddle boats or arrange livery for your own craft just up the road at Rum138 Outfitters

When visiting Lake City and Columbia County, plan to spend more than just one day–exploring and enjoying!