Feeling homesick for the north after my stay in Atlanta, I was pleasantly surprised when I ventured into the cities of Alachua, High Springs and Micanopy I wasn’t expecting the rolling hills and beautiful old trees with moss hanging. Traveling in my prior life, never found me in the northern part of Florida so for many of you my comments seem ignorant. I had never experienced it or studied Northern Florida since grew up in Central New York.
Growing up in a town of 3500 with one stop light, these three precious towns had much I could identify with; there is nothing like a small town when everyone is friendly and waves because even if they don’t know you now, they will soon enough!
Alachua is a beautiful historic town and the main street is just a delight. Eating lunch at the Conestoga I was treated to a wonderful grilled piece of chicken, you could tell just came off the out door grill. Asking me if I wanted a tea to go, I was overwhelmed when it came and was in a 32 oz cup; I love these people!
I enjoyed wandering the sleepy street and ventured into a lovely shop where the manager working was also an artisan. It was great to hear her story; while the majority of the store was not local product, it was good to get a sense of the area and potentially leave with two artisan’s names.
Moving on to High Springs, if you love antiquing this is a great place to visit. Everyone and I mean everyone is friendly and all wanting to help. Although the local artisan leads didn’t turn out, I found inspiration in some of the antique stores. Some of the fixtures I plan on incorporating into Shoppe 561 that will lend some additional charm and a sense of peace and welcome.
Finally, my last stop before the drive home was Micanopy. As you see in the pictures below a charming spot to visit and for those making the trek between Atlanta and S. Florida a great place to get off and just stretch (only 30 minutes from Ocala).
Reflecting on my N.Florida detour, although I may not have left with as many potential artisans I left with a head full of inspiration and a heart full of hope. Hope in my heart seeing in these beautiful little towns shop owners committed to meeting the needs of their customers; building relationships one person at a time.