Wednesday, January 24, 2018

De Leon Springs State Park - A deliciously unique experience

One day you may find yourself cruising along the coast of Florida thinking, man, I really could go for a tasty and interesting culinary experience. If that happens, my advice is to see how close you are to De Leon Springs State Park. Nestled within this State Park, adjacent to a 72°F swimmable spring, is The Old Spanish Sugar Mill Restaurant. What makes this restaurant unique is that every table is outfitted with a griddle. Think self-serve, Hibachi style, all you can eat pancakes. Yum!

Shira cooked up such a perfect batch of pancakes that the table next to us wondered aloud if she might be willing to cook up theirs, too.

It was a bit too chilly the day we visited to swim in the spring. But we did take a delightful walk along the nature trail. For those willing to explore, this gem is waiting for you:

It's a little hard to read, but that there is Old Methuselah, a 500(!) year old cypress tree.

We didn't get a chance to explore the 4.6 mile loop trail in the park, or take the boat tour of the area. Just two more reasons, along with tasty pancakes, to go back to this location.

While there's plenty of history at the park, including ruins of structures known to be built by slaves, the name itself is pure tourist-bait. The park's name was changed in 1880 to DeLeon Springs simply to rope in tourists searching for any connection to the fountain of youth. Hey, use what you got, right?

If you're looking for a fun spot to explore, and tasty pancakes, here's a winner.

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