North Central around Gainesville, Florida Attractions
A predominantly rural area that is characterized by rolling hills, citrus groves, numerous freshwater springs and forests. Europeans first settled the region in the 1840's, whereas Ticuman and Seminole Indians previously occupied it. Much of the development prior to the arrival of the railroad in the late 1800's stemmed from the Armed Occupation Act. After the Civil War, decommissioned soldiers and homesteaders were offered 160-acre plots of land for free. Although citrus fruit is still grown here, the industry has seen major setbacks over the years, especially during the landmark freezes of 1895 and more recently in the early 1980's. Popular activities in the area include fishing, cave diving and hiking in the 430,000 acre Ocala National Forest.
Edward Ball Springs State Park, Wakulla, Florida
Sixteen miles (26 km) south of Tallahassee, Edward Ball Springs State Park contains one of the largest and deepest springs in Florida. It produces more than 500 million gallons of crystal-clear water daily. When the visibility is good, visitors can go on glass bottom boat rides to see aquatic life along with mastodon bones found in 1850. Other riverboat tours follow a 3-mile (4.8km) route through the natural habitat of alligators, birds, turtles, white-tailed deer and wild turkey. There are also several hiking and biking trails which wind through park that offer a chance to spot wildlife. It is believed that Ponce De León came here and declared the site to be the famous "fountain of youth".
Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge, Chiefland, Florida
The Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge conserves the habitat for fish and wildlife. Over 90 species of birds make nests throughout the 51,340 acres. A river trail offers a view of the Suwannee River, cypress trees and the hardwood swamps. Bird and wildlife observation, wildlife photography, fishing, canoeing, hunting, and interpretive walks are available throughout Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge.
Quincy was established in 1828 as an agricultural town, it prospered due to the tobacco industry.Soldiers from the Natural Bridge and Olustee battles were treated at a medical center in Quincy, during the Civil War. The town was also a supply commissary for the Confederate Army.A 36 block historic district features Victorian-style buildings, period lighting and landscaping, most buildings were constructed in the late 1880's although some date as far back as the 1840s.
Ichetucknee Springs State Park, Fort White, Florida
Ichetucknee Springs State Park is a very popular destination for tubing on the Ichetucknee River. Visitors on tubes or floats can enjoy the hardwood hammocks, limestone outcrops, and wildlife. Snorkeling, scuba diving, canoeing, swimming, and hiking are additional opportunities. Tubes, snorkeling and diving equipment can be rented from private vendors outside the park.
Gulf Specimen Marine Laboratory, Panacea, Florida
Over 30,000 gallons of sea water is contained in a large number of aquariums and special touch tanks at the Gulf Specimen Marine Laboratories. A wide array of sponges, anemones, starfish, sea cucumbers, crabs, lobsters and tunicates, small sharks, skates, sting rays, electric ray, moray eels, and black sea bass are on display.Visitors can see and handle life forms in the touch tanks.
Camp Blanding Museum and Memorial Park, Starke, Florida
Camp Blanding Museum is housed in World War II barracks and features a collection of weapons, photos, artifacts and exhibits that tell the story of Camp Blanding and the infantry men that trained there. There are several outdoor monuments and memorials that are tributes to those who served during WWII and other conflicts during the 20th century.
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings State Historic Site, Cross Creek, Florida
The restored cracker style home and farm allow a glimpse of 1930s farm life for Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. The home, farm and nature trails are open to the public and are the place where she wrote " The Yearling", an American classic and winner of the Pulitzer Prize. This area was the setting for several of her books.
Battlefield State Historic Site, Olustee, Florida
Olustee Battlefield State Historic Site was the site of the largest Civil War battle on Florida soil. Every February the battle is re-enacted with a Civil War Expo each summer. The museum has many Civil War artifacts on display. An interpretive trail describes the events of the battle at Olustee.
Steinhatchee Landing Resort
The cottages at Steinhatchee are Victorian, Georgian and Cracker style design.Wildlife such as deer, wild boar, fish, crab, scallops, and many species of birds including owl, eagle, duck, wading birds and turkey can be found in the surrounding area.
Cedar Key, Florida
In 1896 a hurricane leveled the original town. Now Cedar Key is a resort area, the town relies on commercial fishing, clam farming and tourism to sustain the economy.Cedar Key is home to many artists and is popular with bird-watchers.
Cedar Key Historical Society Museum
The Cedar Key Historical Society Museum displays memorabilia and artifacts from Cedar Key's history dating back to the 1800s. Prehistoric and Native American artifacts, the Civil War, the cedar pencil and lumber industries, and the seafood industry including clam aquaculture are highlighted.
Cedar Key State Museum
Cedar Key Museum State Park houses a comprehensive collection of shells and historical exhibits about the town. The home of Saint Clair Whitman, the founder of the first museum in Cedar Key is located at the park and has been restored to reflect life in the 1920s.
Address: 12231 SW 166th Court, Cedar Key, FL 32625-6200, United States
Opening hours: 10am-5pm; Closed: Tue, Wed
Always closed on: Christmas - Christian (Dec 25)
Entrance fee in USD: $2.00, Child 5 & under FREE
Disability Access: Full facilities for persons with disabilities.
High Springs, Florida
High Springs was once a mining and railroad town that offers antiquing and recreational opportunities.O'Leno State Park and Ginnie Springs feature swimming, camping, bicycle trails, adventure trails, boating and fishing.
Ginnie Springs is a resort found along the south bank of the Santa Fe River, in over 200 acres of forest and land. Snorkelling, scuba diving, camping and canoeing are some of the recreational activities available.
Lake City, Florida
Lake City is located south of the Georgia state line. Lake City was named in 1856 and became an important railroad junction by the early 1900s. Lake City is also the headquarters for the Osceola National Forest.
Columbia County Historical Museum
Columbia County Historical Museum is located in an 1870's era house containing exhibits related to the history of this Northern Florida County. Each room is devoted to a significant event or time period. The Civil War room has period weaponry, uniforms, flags as well as household items and farm implements from the 1880's.
Florida Sports Hall of Fame and Museum of Florida Sports History (closed)
ATTRACTION IS CLOSED.Exhibits honor athletes that are tied to Florida. Interactive games, video presentations and other exhibits representing 25 sports are on display.
Micanopy is the former site of a Timucuan Indian village. It is Florida's oldest inland town. The many antique, art and curio shops create an atmosphere of a village during the 19th century.
Micanopy Historical Society Museum
The Micanopy Historical Society Museum is located in the Thrasher Warehouse, which was built in 1890. This plain warehouse has Gothic Revival influence with the original wooden shingles covered by a tin roof. There are hand-scrolled wooden purlins under the eaves on both sides with the original red paint still apparent. The warehouse is a wood frame building with horizontal siding and a patterned shingle design in the west gable. The warehouse features the original cashier's cage, a sealed room for seed storage, and some of the original pipe which carried carbide gas to the hanging brass light fixtures.The museum features a transportation display and the Benjamin Collection which has many historical items relating to the history of Micanopy.
Paynes Prairie State Preserve
Paynes Prairie State Preserve was Florida's first state preserve and is now a National Natural Landmark. There are 21,000 acres of freshwater marsh, hammocks, pine flatwoods swamps and ponds. The vast array of wildlife includes alligators, bison, and wild horses. The observation tower provides a panoramic view of Paynes Prairie State Preserve or visitors can explore the vastness on one of the eight trails.
Osceola National Forest
Osceola National Forest is 187,000 acres of flat country with ponds and swamp found throughout. Fishing is available in many of the creeks and rivers. Other activities include camping, hiking, swimming, and wildlife viewing.
Forest Capital State Museum, Perry, Florida
The Forest Capital State Museum is dedicated to long-leaf pines, which grow on the museum grounds, and the 5,000 products manufactured from them. The forestry industry dates back to the 1800s in Florida.
St Marks, Florida
In 1836, a railroad was built that connected Tallahassee with St. Marks - it is now dismantled. A historic trail offers a 16-mile paved trail for cyclists, hikers, horseback and skaters.
San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park
The history of San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park began in 1528 when Panfilo de Narvaez arrived with 300 men. They had traveled overland from Tampa, Narvaez was impressed by the area located at the meeting point of the Wakulla and St. Marks rivers. They built and launched the first ships made by white men in the New World.The first fort was built in 1679 and occupied for a short time during the 1800s by Andrew Jackson.The museum at San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park has many exhibits and artifacts such as pottery and tools that assist in explaining the area's history. The visitor center is built on the foundation of the old marine hospital.
St Marks National Wildlife Refuge
The St Marks National Wildlife Refuge covers over 68,000 acres along the Gulf of Mexico. Established in 1931 as a winter habitat for migratory birds, the refuge has grown to encompass diverse wildlife, which can be viewed throughout the year.Within the refuge is St Marks Lighthouse built in 1831.
White Springs, Florida
White Springs is built around sulphur springs, which were believed to be sacred by the Seminole and Timucuan Indians. They believed their warriors were impervious to attack while recuperating there.
Stephen Foster State Folk Culture Center
Situated on the Suwannee River, the 247-acre center honors the memory of Stephen Foster, whose song "Old Folks at Home," memorialized the picturesque stream.Craft Square at the Stephen Foster State Folk Culture Center serves as a gathering place for those who still practice quilting, blacksmithing and stain glass crafts.Hiking and cycling trails are available as well as opportunity for canoeing and wildlife viewing.
Natural Bridge Battlefield State Historic Site, Woodville, Florida
The 6 acre site is a memorial to the Battle of Natural Bridge which was fought in 1865. It was to prevent Union troops from capturing the Capitol at Tallahassee. The battle is re-enacted each year in March.Fishing and picnicking are available.
Live Oak, Florida
Live Oak offers the opportunity for wildlife viewing, and is home to the Suwannee River Gospel Jubilee which takes place at Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park.
Suwannee County Historical Museum
The Suwannee County Historical Museum in Live Oak displays creatures indigenous to the north central Florida region, a 16th century Timucaun Native American Village re-creation and artifacts that contributed to the development of the community. The museum, housed in the former Atlantic Coastline Freight Station, has an exhibit that features a working dial telephone exchange, antique switchboards and telephones representing the history of telecommunications.
Spirit of Suwannee Music Park
The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park is located on 600 acres along the Suwannee River. Canoeing, horseback riding, hiking, cycling and skating are some of the featured activities. Concerts and other events are organized regularly.