Photo: Kim Kerr / Copyright Riley
Looking for a unique small town Florida experience? Check out Contributor Kim Kerr’s list of the top things to do in Micanopy, FL, the town that time forgot
Updated Jan 1, 2023 / Commissions may be earned from our affiliate partner links
Located mid-way between the Florida cities of Gainesville to the north and Ocala, the tiny community of Micanopymakes for a superb day trip or weekend getaway in the northern part of the Sunshine State. A hop, skip, and a jump from the I-75, Micanopy is all too easy to pass by, yet offers visitors a unique and authentic Florida experience.
Nicknamed by those in the know “the Town That Time Forgot”, Micanopy remains little changed since it was founded in 1821. Famous as the first official settlement in Florida, Micanopy’s historic downtown area remains so well preserved that its entirety has been placed on the United States’ National Register of Historic Places.
It’s small population of just 600 residents are extremely welcoming, with some of them running successful boutique ships and galleries. And thanks to the establishment of the superb Herlong Mansion, undoubtedly one of the best bed and breakfasts in Florida, you can extend your visit for a few days while you explore everything Micanopy has to offer.
To learn more about the very best things to do in Micanopy Florida, be sure to read through our list of fun places to visit in this unspoiled Florida settlement.
Enjoy a Romantic Getaway in a Micanopy Mansion
Located just a few minutes’ walk away from Micanopy Historic District, Herlong Mansion is quite-rightly ranked as one of the top B&Bs in Florida. This luxurious, grand old red brick home was originally built in 1845 in the ‘cracker’ style, and was upgraded and expanded soon after into its present configuration.
With its four grand Corinthian columns and its huge wraparound verandah overlooking lush formal gardens, you’ll feel like royalty as you relax on the property and soak up that special Southern hospitality. Boasting luxurious rooms and suites decorated in period style, you’ll enjoy exquisite furnishings and elegant bathrooms with showers. Upgrade if you can to a room with a huge Jacuzzi tub and its own private patio for an extra-memorable stay.
Other perks include a great breakfast featuring local produce served in the lounge or dining room, an expansive garden, and ample parking.
Riley Recommends: For the latest rates and reviews, visit Herlong Mansion.
Explore Micanopy Historic District
While those who’ve checked into Herlong Mansion can make use of this luxurious Florida B&B’s ample parking, day trippers will find plenty of on-street parking available close to downtown Micanopy. Encompassing pretty much the entire downtown area, Micanopy Historic District covers an area of around a square mile between Cholokka Boulevard and Ocala Street, and Smith Street West and Okehumkee Street.
Consisting of 35 well-preserved old buildings dating from the community’s founding 1821 to the early 1900s, the entire area is of such historic significance that its entirety is included on the the United States National Register of Historic Places. With little car traffic and wide sidewalks, it’s certainly fun to explore in foot.
Along the way you’ll find plenty of fun places to visit, from boutique shops and antique stores to great cafés and eateries with pleasant street-side patios to relax on. And have tour camera the ready as this unspoiled little community offers plenty of great photo opportunities, whether of the attractive old commercial and retail buildings to its fine old historic homes.
Hike the Trails at Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park
If you’re looking for a fun nature escape that’s located close to Micanopy, be sure to visit Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park.
An easy 5-minute drive northwest of Micanopy on the road to Gainesville, this 23,000-acre nature preserve is home to a vast array of wildlife, including birds and bison, as well as alligators, white-tailed deer, bobcats, armadillos, and even eild horses. Various bird species can also be spotted, making ait a great spot for birdwatchers.
Founded in 1971, the park is also home to numerous species of plant and draws its name from its unique (for Florida) savanna ecosystem. Popular activities include hiking the park’s eight well-marked trails, as well as kayaking and canoeing. Be sure to visit the visitor center’s observation tower for some superb views over the park.
Visit: 100 Savannah Blvd, Micanopy, Florida
Contributor Kim Kerr is appreciates the finer things in life, and loves to her experiences with others.
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