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Old 07-03-2010, 07:04 PM
 
1 posts, read 2,172 times
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Imagine my culture shock when I moved from Cincinnati, Ohio to Arcadia, Florida, years ago. Your description sounds pretty accurate, although I think that had you been one block northeast you would have seen the lovely antiques stores and tea rooms that constitute our "main street" area. No piles of garbage here (the one you saw rather surprises me, frankly), the main street area is well manicured and planted with small palmettos. The buildings are very old (antiques themselves) and there is a lovely park at the intersection of 17 and Oak Street (the "main" street of which I speak). This park boasts a huge and ancient Live Oak tree, around which are wrought iron benches. Public restrooms there serve the many out-of-towners that visit the shops each weekend. Give us another visit. The delightful older gentleman you met is only one of the charms of this tiny, sweet town.
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Old 07-03-2010, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Tampa
2,602 posts, read 6,936,237 times
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Besides, where else in Florida have you seen a building like this?

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Old 07-03-2010, 09:45 PM
 
Location: SARASOTA, FLORIDA
11,501 posts, read 12,975,258 times
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Originally Posted by ferret111 View Post
Besides, where else in Florida have you seen a building like this?

That is an awesome building.

Love those old buildings that have been taken care of.
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Old 07-04-2010, 06:56 AM
 
Location: tampa, florida
19 posts, read 34,741 times
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next time i go i will focus on only one town per day. and not go on a weekend (especially a sunday).

if there is one area of rural florida you would like me to tour and report on, which would it be?
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Old 07-04-2010, 10:33 AM
 
Location: FLORIDA
8,964 posts, read 5,618,122 times
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^^^ Lake Placid and Sebring are about as good as you can get for small, rural FL. Also, Brooksville and Dade City are really nice and friendly too! I'm sure there are many across the panhandle and below the panhandle along the west coast too (before you get to Tampa and all that as you move further south).
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Old 07-04-2010, 01:16 PM
 
Location: Alabama
974 posts, read 2,382,039 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saharan View Post
next time i go i will focus on only one town per day. and not go on a weekend (especially a sunday).

if there is one area of rural florida you would like me to tour and report on, which would it be?
It's awesome that you're interested in checking out different parts of Florida. I know so many native Floridians who don't have a clue about their own state. It seems like when Floridians take trips, they either go to the mountains or somewhere else far away, when there is so much to see in Florida. Florida is such a diverse state.

When I was a student at FSU and I would drive back home to Daytona, I always tried to take a different route home.

Since you're in Tampa, I would suggest taking a drive up towards Chiefland, Cross City, Perry, Monticello, and Madison. Check out the Suwannee River also. There's a spot on the river where there is a nice park and you can walk the shore for a ways. It's where Highway 27 crosses it in the town of Branford. If you go to Branford, be sure to eat at Nell's. Without a doubt the best breakfast buffet I've ever had.
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Old 07-04-2010, 01:53 PM
 
39 posts, read 62,061 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saharan View Post
next time i go
Just stumbled across your post and quite enjoyed it. I've been to all the places you've mentioned and it was fun to hear another perspective. Whenever I've traveled the state, and it's been often, I've tried to take the back roads through small towns. In the mid 70s I used to travel the state working construction. We spend three months living in the KOA campground on the Peace River, just out side of Arcadia. Arcadia was our normal breakfast stop.

I've spent the last five or six years half halfheartedly looking for my own piece of rural Florida property to hunker down in and maybe grow a nice garden. I never thought I'd have the nerve to pull the trigger but we did finally buy some land just west of Live Oak, FL. My primary search area had been around Chiefland but the right place at the right price (cheap) came along and we did it. The previous poster mentioned Branford. We went through there more than a few times but I'll have to make it a point to go back through again and hit the spots mentioned. We also checked out Monticello and that's worth a trip. I have a good friend that lives a few miles outside of Madison so eventually we'll check that one out.

I haven't pulled up your other posts, but I get the drift you're sort of searching around Florida for some land to "get back to the earth"? If so, best of luck.
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Old 07-05-2010, 09:57 AM
 
Location: FLORIDA
8,964 posts, read 5,618,122 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FSUMike View Post
It's awesome that you're interested in checking out different parts of Florida. I know so many native Floridians who don't have a clue about their own state. It seems like when Floridians take trips, they either go to the mountains or somewhere else far away, when there is so much to see in Florida. Florida is such a diverse state.

When I was a student at FSU and I would drive back home to Daytona, I always tried to take a different route home.

Since you're in Tampa, I would suggest taking a drive up towards Chiefland, Cross City, Perry, Monticello, and Madison. Check out the Suwannee River also. There's a spot on the river where there is a nice park and you can walk the shore for a ways. It's where Highway 27 crosses it in the town of Branford. If you go to Branford, be sure to eat at Nell's. Without a doubt the best breakfast buffet I've ever had.

LOL, that's what most ppl do, wherever they are. Most people take vacations (I would assume) during the summers. Why wouldnt Floridians want to come up here to the mountains in NC? In FL, the topography doesnt change, it's HOT no matter where you are in FL, so it just makes sense to come up here in the summer.
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:30 AM
 
109 posts, read 382,356 times
Reputation: 101
Great description, pretty accurate but you should take your roomate's advice as you are lucky you made it home safely. I was laid up in Belle Glades alone at 2 am looking for gas, not a high light of my trip.
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Old 01-18-2011, 01:06 AM
 
13 posts, read 14,060 times
Reputation: 46
Just stumbled upon your post. Thanks for a great writeup of your road trip and description of the area.

I did a very similar, but unintentional road trip about a decade ago (no GPS's around yet, no cell phone either, and I had no map). I was driving from Orlando to Sarasota one afternoon, and I-4 was a horrible mess that day, so I decided to take SR-27 south for a ways, then cut back west. I completely missed my turn west, and kept going south for 3 hours, thinking, "shouldn't I have hit the Gulf by now?"

Well, I ended up all the way in Lake Placid, by now around 8pm and dark outside. I called AAA on a pay phone, and got directions back toward Sarasota, and went on my way via some backroad highways towards the west across the state.

That was one freaky drive! I took some back roads to Zolfo Springs, and then SR-64 across to I-75. With the exception of Zolfo Springs, and the lovely town of Ona, FL (which was one streetlight, a closed gas station and a couple old mobile homes), there was nothing, and I mean NOTHING out there for the entire drive - just 2 empty lanes and black wilderness. I went a solid 45 minutes without seeing a single oncoming car, or light, or building, or any sign of human life. In my mind, I was just waiting for a UFO to pop up over the horizon, or some crazy thing that seems to always happen only to lone people in the middle of nowhere.

I would have never thought before then that central Florida could have such a vast swath of nothing, but there it was.
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