Micanopy Florida – The Little Town That Time Forgot

September 18th, 2020 by Corey A Edwards

Micanopy FloridaMicanopy FL, a tiny town 12 miles south of Gainesville, is more than meets the eye. Not only is it Florida’s oldest, continually inhabited inland settlement, with 38 buildings on the National Historic Register, it’s also an antiquers paradise and served as backdrop for two major motion pictures.

Micanopy (Mick-ah-NO-pee) may be exceedingly small, with a one square mile footprint and just under 650 residents, but it’s also Old Florida at its best.

Massive live oaks draped in Spanish moss shade turn-of-the-century buildings housing antiques shops, gift shops, and outdoor cafes. In fact, nearly all of Micanopy is a historic district.

The town, named after the Seminole chief of the Second Seminole War, started out as an Indian trading post in 1821. While much of the town had to be rebuilt after the Second Seminole War in the 1830s, those buildings are now on the National Register of Historic Places.

Cholokka Boulevard in downtown Micanopy, is a walk-able historic district and many of the buildings have plaques outlining their history. If “the little town that time forgot” weren’t so grounded in reality, it would look like a movie set. No wonder two major motion pictures were shot here: “Cross Creek” (1985) and “Doc Hollywood” (1991).

Things To Do

Micanopy antiques storesVisitors to Micanopy enjoy a slow pace. As a matter of fact, getting there too early can be a mistake. Even on a Saturday, downtown often isn’t fully awake until sometime between 10am and noon.

If you enjoy browsing anitques, Cholokka Boulevard is for you with some truly excellent antique shops. There are also galleries and specialty shops. Downtown also offers several popular places for lunch, snack, or refreshing beverage, all beneath a friendly canopy of the mossy oaks.

Shopping isn’t the only draw, however.

Another popular attraction is the 1845 Herlong Mansion, jewel of Micanopy. This elegant property is set back from the oak-lined road by a landscaped brick walkway leading to an entryway framed by Corinthian columns.

History buffs will enjoy a stop by the Micanopy Historical Society Museum, as well as the two century old Micanopy Historic Cemetery.

Herlong Mansion in Micanopy

“Herlong Mansion”
by Art Anderson is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Another big draw is the annual Micanopy Fall Festival, a two-day arts and crafts extravaganza that draws big crowds.

Visiting Micanopy

Micanopy is only 40 minutes south of our Gainesville area inn, Hampton Lake Bed and Breakfast, and can make for a fun day-trip.

If antiquing is your thing, the road to Micanopy from our Starke bed and breakfast passes through Waldo. Here you will find Waldo Antique Village, Farmers Market, and Flea Market, with more than 900 dealers displaying their wares.

The Micanopy area is also rich with things to see and do.

Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park is just 3 minutes north of town. This fantastic preserve is home to lots of wildlife, including alligators, bison, horses, and nearly 300 species of birds. The park offers boating, fishing, and eight trails for hiking, biking, or horseback riding.

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park is also close by and well worth your time. Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings is the celebrated author of “The Yearling,” among other books. The State Park preserves her historic cracker homestead, restored to how it was when she lived here in the 1930’s.

Spend the day exploring Micanopy, then head back home to your guest room on the quiet shores of Hampton Lake.

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