Natural North Florida Springs–Cool in Summer, Warm in Winter

  Our Natural North Florida counties (Alachua, Gilchrist, Levy, Dixie, Taylor, Madison, Jefferson, Union, Lafayette and Wakulla) have the largest concentration of natural freshwater springs in the world.  And, when the weather gets hot, they’re the perfect place to cool off.  However, visitors and residents flock to the springs, and their contant 72-degree water temperatures, …

Gainesville Area’s “Big City” Farmers’ Markets Bustle in Fall

While mostly rural, the 11-county region we call “Natural North Florida” has one large urban area.  Gainesville and Alachua County are large, that is, if you count the 75,000-plus college students at the University of Florida and Santa Fe College.  Without those venerable institutions, you’d see fewer Publix Supermarkets and more roadside farmers’ markets! Not …

Heading To The Water? Use Florida Boat Ramp Finder For The Best Access

If you’re heading to the Gulf, the rivers or the lakes in our Natural North Florida region, be assured we have plenty of boat ramps with public access for your use.  And the best way to find them is to use the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Boat Ramp Finder.  It’s a complete listing, …

Hike, Bike and Camp at Paynes Prairie State Park’s South Side, in Alachua County, Florida

Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park is biologically, geologically and historically unique. The park became Florida´s first state preserve in 1971 and is now designated as a National Natural Landmark. Noted artist and naturalist William Bartram called it the great Alachua Savannah when he wrote about his visit to the prairie in 1774. The State Park …

Small Town Escape: Alachua, the Main Street of Natural North Florida

Don’t be fooled by all the new development, gas stations and fast food outlets when you exit I-75 at Exit #399, US441.  You’re in the town of Alachua (pronounced Al-ach-u-way) in rural Alachua County (pronounced Al-ach-u-wah).  And you’re in a real gem of a Natural North Florida town. The restoration of downtown Alachua is impressive, …

Bike, Hike or Ride Your Horse at San Felasco Hammock State Park, in Alachua County, Florida

This preserve has one of the few remaining mature forests in Florida. The limestone outcrops and extreme changes in elevation provide ideal conditions for many species of hardwood trees, including several champion trees. Bobcats, white-tailed deer, gray foxes, turkeys, and many species of songbirds make their homes in the 18 natural communities found in the …

Take A Walking Tour of Historic Micanopy in Alachua County, FL

Founded in 1822, Micanopy, FL is the oldest inland settlement in the state.  And it’s still an interesting place to spend a day, just walking and shopping in the many antique and collectable shops found there.  Located about 15 miles south of Gainesville, Micanopy is located between two prominent prehistoric lake beds, Paynes Prairie and …

29th Annual Hoggetowne Medieval Faire, Gainesville, FL 1/24 & 25 and 1/30-Feb. 1, 2015

The 2015 Hoggetowne Medieval Faire is coming to Gainesville, January 24 &24 and January 30-February 1.  While there will be plenty of swordfights (staged, of course!) there will be fun for visitors of all ages.  Just as in the days of Robin Hood, you’ll behold Kings, Queens, Knights and fair ladies while browsing the crafts …

Don’t Miss a Hearty Meal at Conestoga’s Restaurant in Downtown Alachua, FL

Rick Robertson and his crew at Conestoga’s Restaurant in downtown Alachua, Florida have just one thing on their minds:  letting you leave after some pretty good eating and with a full belly! Open for lunch and dinner, Monday thru Saturday, Conestoga’s is located at 14920 Main Street in Alachua (Phone (352) 462-1294), just a few …

Want To Paddle Natural North Florida? Kayak and Canoes Available for Rent!

There are hundreds of paddlecraft (kayak and canoe) launches along our Natural North Florida waters, inland and coastal.  And there are a number of outfitters willing to help you learn local waters.  Fishing is an option, but there’s also some excellent touring along some of the most uninhabited rivers and coastline in the southeastern U.S. …