When I first moved to Florida in 2012, I knew of little else in the state besides beautiful beaches and jam-packed theme parks. I didn’t think about open fields, quaint towns, or an abundance of state parks. And I certainly didn’t think of places like Micanopy.
If one word comes to mind after my half day spent in Micanopy, (pronounced Mick-ah-NO-pee – I’m not proud of how many times I botched the name) it’s inviting. The town is tiny with a population of less than 600 people and the main road is lined with old buildings, antique shops, and large trees covered in Spanish moss. It’s like a bite sized version of St. Augustine and Savannah, GA rolled into one. In other words, right up my alley for an afternoon of exploring.
I owe the discovery of Micanopy to my mom. Always up for a day trip, she sent me an article a few months ago with a list of picturesque small towns in Florida and we decided to check out a few – Micanopy being one of the choices.
It’s conveniently located just minutes from Paynes Prairie Preserve (definitely worth the visit) and combining the two made for a really enjoyable day trip from where I live near Clermont.
Towns like Micanopy are a photographer’s dream – everywhere I turned there was a small detail or interesting architecture to photograph. My mom was quickly reminded what it’s like to explore with me when I’ve got my camera in tow – I can’t tell you how many times she went on talking to me, walking along the street, only to stop and notice I’d disappeared around the corner or stopped to take a photo. Sorry mom. 🙂
We stopped for sandwiches and a generous slice of carrot cake at The Old Florida Cafe, great for refueling after walking around 4.5 miles (and dodging gators) through Paynes Prairie. (And just a tab more substantial than the caramel creams we’d been snacking on all day.)
Unfortunately, we didn’t arrive until mid afternoon and most everything seemed to start closing up around 5, so get there early if you want to see everything. Luckily we were content to wander the quiet streets and peep into shop windows.
Were it not for my mom sending me that article, I likely never would have known Micanopy existed. But our day spent in the area was a great reminder of how much there is to explore in Florida. Sometimes traveling only a few hours outside of your usual element is just the jolt you need to remember how great the place you are now can be if you’re willing to look upon it with fresh eyes.