The day-to-day hustle and bustle of life can quickly take a toll and it’s important to carve out some time for a little rest and relaxation, so we’ve rounded up some of the best spots in Suwannee County to embark on a peaceful getaway.
Whether you’re a Suwannee County local looking for a small change of scenery or an out-of-towner wanting to stay for a spell, there are a few options available for those seeking an overnight dose of tranquility.
When on hiatus from flocks of crowds enjoying the music festival season, the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park is a natural oasis for unwinding. Spanning over 800 acres, the park is speckled with lush cypress, blooming dogwood, and moss-wrapped oak; carved by hiking and biking trails; and enhanced with lakes, hidden waterfalls, and a view of the acclaimed Suwannee River. These beautiful sights encourage inner reflection and a calming ambiance.
Here, it’s easy to enjoy the quiet with subtle sounds emanating from wind-ruffled trees, rushing water, and nearby wildlife such as deer, hawks, owls, and the occasional peacock call the area home. Near Rees Lake, bird-watchers can enjoy an on-site bird sanctuary and a walk to Farm Field welcomes one of the largest bat houses in America. Find the Mother Treehouse to witness a beautiful piece of architecture that overlooks the sun-washed river.
Enjoy the fresh air during a hike through the native scrublands or along the river; dip your toes in the swimming pool or take a canoe trip down the river. To up the adventure, bring a bike to enjoy the beauty of the park from a different perspective; play a round of disc golf, or partake in some catch-and-release fishing.
For those who enjoy and appreciate the great outdoors, spending the night or even just the day at Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park is sure to be memorably breathtaking.
If you are looking for a more modern stay indoors, the Holiday Inn Express offers guests comfort and relaxation along with plenty of amenities. An outdoor pool, fitness center, free Wi-Fi, and a complimentary continental breakfast serving up scrambled eggs, sausage, and biscuits with gravy are just some of the accommodations available to hotel guests.
For the ultimate private getaway, rent an entire home nestled on over 18 acres of property. The Suwannee River Chalet on Airbnb provides 700 feet of riverfront views and easy access for sunbathing, fishing, or kayaking. A paddle upriver invites kayakers to a remote island while a journey downstream opens up to Mearsen Spring. Hiking and biking opportunities are also available on the property. A stay in April fills the night sky with fireflies, but any reservation during the warmer months is idyllic for tubing or kayaking from Royal Springs County Park back to this cozy bungalow.
With all the amenities of an entire home, peaceful surroundings, and a scenic backdrop, what more could you ask for?
Finding a place to grab a warm cup of coffee or a refreshing fruity beverage can make all the difference in a person’s day – there’s a reason why “Friends” took place in a coffee shop, right? Whether you’re a coffee connoisseur or just looking to quench your thirst, here are three local spots we recommend checking out.
Seasonal coffees like lavender honeycomb, Irish cream, red velvet cheesecake, eggnog, and dark chocolate almond have all made an appearance on the Arise Coffee Bar menu ensuring you’ll get a unique sipping experience whenever you visit. Not a coffee drinker? Arise also has a lineup of refreshing teas to cater to either preference and is perfect for taking on the go to a nearby park or garden.
Specialty lattes like honey dreams, salted vanilla matcha, and Mexican mocha; cappuccino; espresso; cold brew, and a menu of non-coffee drinks like hot cocoa, chai tea, and iced tea are featured on the everyday menu at Daily Cup of Jo, but their seasonal offerings help set the tone of the time. From black lavender coffee, fresh fruit smoothies, a peach green tea refresher, and strawberry rose mojito mocktail in the spring to sugar cookie, gingerbread, and peppermint coffees for the holidays along with rotating baked goods, frequenting Daily Cup of Jo any time of year is sure to bring a smile to any customer.
Energizing teas loaded with vitamins and antioxidants; mouthwatering shakes and smoothies and of course coffee, Inside Out Nutrition offers customers a wide menu of drinks with added health benefits in each blend whether it be additional protein or less sugar so you can get yourself a treat that’s sweet, well, from the inside out.
The quickest way to achieve a little rest and relaxation is to indulge in some pampering. A colorful set of nails; a moisturizing and revitalizing facial; waxing; spray tans and hair services can all be found at The Spa at 339.
While staying indoors can harbor a cozy vibe, it’s also invigorating to step outside, enjoy the fresh air and witness some of nature’s beauty.
Heritage Park and Gardens’ history dates back to the mid-1930s when T.T. Scott built a Georgian Revival home in the middle of the property. The master bedroom now serves as the main dressing room for the brides and bridesmaids who choose to be married at the park. The large brick building is captivating in its own right, but it’s the surrounding landscape filled with bright colors and an enchanting essence that is a natural work of art providing a sense of wonder to all who walk the grounds.
Big, blooming hydrangeas, a charming koi pond, and a hidden gazebo all await those who visit the gardens, which are open to the public every day from dusk to dawn. If exploring the ground solo isn’t of interest, visiting during a special event like a festival or Christmas at Heritage Park is also a great way to experience the park.
Free to the public and open from dusk to dawn, Hearthstone Gardens in Wellborn is a 35-acre botanical garden adventure featuring stunning sights from the on-site rose garden with pink, red, and white blooms; a Japanese garden highlighting bamboo, maple, and lotus; the children’s garden growing plants like cat’s whiskers, lizard tail, and elephant ears; a butterfly garden catered to pollinators and the shimmering Mirror Lake, which is home to wood storks, lizards, frogs, and fish.
A beautiful experience on its own, Hearthstone also offers educational opportunities through guided tours and monthly workshops. The gardens also host special events like a spring plant sale and a scarecrow festival in the fall.
Whether you want to rent a private chalet along the banks of the Suwannee River, stop and smell the roses at one of the local botanical gardens or simply enjoy a delicious beverage, there are plenty of ways to find rest and relaxation in Suwannee County.
Hayli Zuccola has been a freelance writer for the last eight years for both digital and print publications across north central Florida. She enjoys traveling, finding the best food spots, and spending time with her pets. You can find her latest adventures on Instagram @hayztravels.
If it’s interesting, relevant or just plain awesome and it’s happening in Suwannee County, we’ll make sure to tell you all about it!