Have you ever wanted to go somewhere to just decompress? A place where your stress just seems to drift away and the craziness of life seems like a distant memory? I’ve found this in Wakulla County Florida, a secret destination for many! For years my friend and fellow blogger, Bohemian Babushka, has been wanting me to visit, so when my daughter attended the Florida Youth Commission Retreat in Tallahassee, I took her up on her offer. Now I’m sorry I took so long to visit!
Why did I wait so long to visit Wakulla County when it is ONLY 30 miles south of Tallahassee, Florida’s capital. Founded in 1843, the county is proud of its history and vast natural beauty. Wakulla can’t be beat if you are a nature lover. With national parks and historic sites all throughout, the simplicity of another time surrounds the very air. Of course, being in the outdoors is sure to open your appetite, and Wakulla can definitely please you there too.
Seafood is one of Wakulla’s specialty. Panacea, one of the towns of the county, is “a coastal area steeped in rich maritime history, shaped by generations of proud families, who still work the water in the time-honored traditions of boat-building, shrimping, crabbing, and fishing.” I was a guest of such a family and had a marvelous lunch at their restaurant, Posey’s Steam Room & Oyster Bar. Shirley and her staff made me feel at home with their hospitality and down home cooking.
Also in Panacea is the place to visit if you want to know all there is to know about the county, the Wakulla County Welcome Center . Volunteers lovingly share the history and current activities of their county and invite you to “go around back” to enjoy the view. Quick to point out the animal visitors and insights of the day, they truly do exhibit that old fashioned southern hospitality.
Now, don’t mistake old fashioned to mean out of date. Wakulla’s proud of its history and heritage, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have modern conveniences!! The marvelous Patels, owners of the Best Western Plus Wakulla Inn & Suites were gracious hosts and shared with me the various awards their establishment has won. Very well deserved awards; their rooms are beautiful! Simple but elegant , with plenty of space for a wonderful rest. (pics) But you don’t have to rest if you don’t want to. There are amenities you’d expect in higher priced hotels that are included in your stay. A gym, pool,free wifi and free breakfast are all part of the their great hotel. (pics)
After a good nights sleep, Babushka and I went to enjoy the free breakfast, and then on our way to the Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park. Open all year round, the park and the Wakulla Springs Lodge are a must see when you @VisitWakulla. Built in 1937 the lodge is a throw back to the opulence of the day. Historic and with handcrafted details throughout, the lobby takes you back to another era. So does the “World’s Largest Marble SodaFountain Counter”, 70 feet of marble ready to show off its specialties.
The beauty of the springs made it a favorite of movie makers. The Tarzan movies starring Johnny Weissmüller as well as the Creature from the Black Lagoon, was filmed in this park. Now there’s a lovely boat tour that shows you the different species of “locals” who make their home there.
The days trip is one more element of relaxation Wakulla brought to me. Maybe it was the history, or the non hurried atmosphere, or maybe it’s because Wakulla County is filled with true “Old Florida” nature, that the very air calmed me. Whatever the reason is, there is no maybe about me revisiting. I’m looking forward to seeing more of Wakulla and my friend Babushka!
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Tell me, have you visited this part of Florida?
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