By Bill McMillon
Ramble via America's rural heartland on winding again roads resulting in mom-and-pop markets, roadside fruit stands, steam railways, and an unending number of out-in-the-country sights. each one identify explores 10 or extra meandering weekend excursions as authors proportion their intimate wisdom of individuals, locations, and nation lifestyles.
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Extra resources for Country Roads of Florida: Drives, Day Trips and Weekend Excursions (Country Roads of)
Introduction to the First Edition This book was a travel writer's dream. I couldn't pass up an offer to select country roads of Florida and write about one-and two-day trips along them, and this guide is the result. Page x I traveled through a Florida that was far different, though not always far in distance, from the heavily visited, glitzy communities along both coasts; I chose lightly traveled roads representative of the state's diversity. I saw outstanding natural sites along some routes, visited important historical sites along others, and explored sections of Florida that few visitors, or even Florida residents, ever see.
Rockefeller and his associate Henry Flagler made the region from Jacksonville to Key West a refuge from the rigorous winters of the Northeast. This stretch lies between Ormond Beach and St. Augustine. Along here lies intermittent access to the ocean and the large tracts of land that have been preserved as parks. A number of important Florida historical sites are within easy reach of FL A1A, and the first I visited was in Ormond Beach, just north of Daytona Beach. Both Daytona Beach and Ormond Beach were developed in the early 1900s as towns where tourists escaping from the frigid Northeast could spend at least part of the colder months, and many wealthy families such as the Rockefellers began to winter in the area regularly.
There are many large oaks in Florida, but the one behind the Wardlaw-Smith house is huge even by Florida standards. Since it was planted in 1830, the tree has grown to more than 80 feet in height and almost 20 feet in diameter; it has a spread of almost 150 feet. Tobacco is the largest crop grown in Madison County today, but it was cotton that brought refugees from South Carolina to the region in the early 1800s. Here they grew some of the finest long-staple cotton in the world, and before the boll weevil wiped out cotton as a cash crop in Florida in 1916, the largest cotton-processing plant in the world was located in Madison.