Florida Day Trip #3
DeLand, Cassadaga, De Leon Springs
I grew up about 30 min away from DeLand, and never thought much of it. To my surprise I ended up marrying a DeLand local. He really opened my eyes to all the things DeLand has to offer. Over the last few years it has really started to blossom. There are a lot of amazing people opening businesses that are really changing DeLand. We are lucky enough to be friends with many of them. DeLand is about an hour from downtown Orlando.
A little history for you! The city was founded in 1876. It was the first city in Florida to have electricity. DeLand is home to Stetson University, Florida's oldest private college. DeLand was originally named Persimmon Hollow for the wild persimmon trees that grow around the natural springs.
Here is a list of my personal favorite DeLand spots. FYI! A lot of DeLand spots are closed on Mondays!
Bakechop - A charming little space with great food.
Neighbors Artisan Taqueria - A permanent food truck. Some of the best tacos! Owned by the same folks that own Persimmon Hollow Brewing Co. which I’ll mention shortly.
Mr. Bills Donuts- You will notice a theme in DeLand. My husband Clark has done a lot of branding and logos for local businesses there. Mr. Bills is one of them!
Trilogy Coffee Roasting Co. - Owned by some friends who truly have a passion for coffee. The shop is so lovely! P.S. Clark did their branding!
Persimmon Hollow Brewing Co. - A great local brewery. Owned by some of our friends. Clark also did all their branding, and helped name them! If you remember from your history lesson DeLand originally was named Persimmon Hollow.
Cafe Da Vinci - Another Clark logo! This bar/venue has a great outdoor patio!
SoNY Market (South Of New York) - A bar/vintage shop. Such a cute space! I have found some gems there before.
Marketplace At Rivertown - A three story antique store.
Deland Indie Market - Happens about every three months on a Sunday at Artisan Alley. You can find all kinds of goods from Artists, Boutiques,Vintage and Handmade Vendors.
Things to do -
Blue Springs State Park - Located just outside of DeLand. During certain times of the year you can find hundreds of manatees in the Springs. It’s one of my favorite springs in Florida.
Gillespie Museum - Located on Stetson University campus. It houses one of the largest gem and mineral collections in the southeast.
Stetson Mansion - part of Florida's First Luxury Estate and is the largest, grandest and most historic home ever built in Florida before the 20th century. Check to see if they are offering tours when you visit.
Museum of Art - Who doesn’t love some art.
Cassadaga: 15 minute drive from Downtown DeLand.
I love Cassadaga! It’s the weirdest little town. Cassadaga is also know as Cassadaga Spiritualist camp. It began in 1875. It is known for having a large number of psychic and mediums. It has been named the "Psychic Capital of the World.
It’s super small so you can’t really miss much. Just park at the visitors center and gift shop and just walk around. They have a several shops and parks you can stroll through. My favorite thing to do is just walk up and down all the streets and admire the old homes.
I’ll list a few must see spots.
The Cassadaga Hotel: Swings on the porch swings, or stroll through the lobby. Most days they have a psychic set up somewhere. Go checkout the meditation station! You can also grab some dinner at Sinatra’s.
Tours: Cassadaga offers a couple different tours. Take a historic walking tour to learn all about this mysterious little town, or take a night spirit walking tour. You can get tickers at the visitors center. Double check what days they offer tours before you go!
Cemetery: Don’t miss the cemetery on the outskirts of town. There is an urban legend about the devils chair. They say at midnight the devil himself comes there to sit. If you leave a beer, and come back the next day it will be empty without the cap being taken off. Or so they say. In reality an old man lost his wife and daughter in a fire and built the chair so he could sit and mourn, but that story isn’t as mysterious.
De Leon Springs: 15 minutes from Downtown DeLand. 25 minutes away from Cassadaga.
De Leon Springs is not only a beautiful spring. It is also home to the Old Spanish Sugar Mill. It’s a historic sugar mill that was turned into a make it yourself pancake restaurant. It’s super fun! Beware it has no AC! So go when the weather isn’t so hot. The place is very busy, and popular so there is always a wait! Sometimes up to 2 hours. You also can’t make reservations. BUT here is something you can do while you wait. Go put your name on the list, and then go on the eco boat tour. It’s only $14. The tour is about an hour. It’s a great nature tour to see the beauty of Florida. If they called your name while you were gone they will put you next on the list when you get back! Boom!! After you eat all your pancakes that you made yourself, go enjoy a dip in the springs, paddle boat or canoe ride, or just walk around and enjoy nature!
There you have it! A few great options for a great day trip. If you are ambitious, maybe you can do all three in one day! I believe in you. I hope you have fun exploring and discover new spots of your own as well!