There are some places where time seems to stand still, where the hustle and bustle of daily living is forgotten for a decidedly slower pace. Palatka, FL is one such place. For years, visitors have come to this sleepy town on the St. Johns River to unplug and unwind far from city congestion.
A town of only 10,000 full-time residents, Palatka was established by early European settlers in the mid-18th century and offers plenty of old-world charm mixed with the new. Plan for plenty of peaceful relaxation in and beyond your vacation rental's doors in Palatka.
Situated on the western shores of the St. Johns River in Northeast Florida, Palatka resides in rural Putnam County. Fifty-nine miles north lies Jacksonville, 29 miles east sits America’s oldest city, St. Augustine, and you can find college town Gainesville by driving 45 miles west. A 53-mile drive down Highway 1 will bring you to the exciting happenings of Daytona Beach, which will please everyone in the group.
Once an important area for trade and commerce along the St. Johns River, history runs deep in Palatka. Take a look back into the past on a free, guided tour of the Bronson-Mulholland House, a beautifully preserved antebellum home on North Second Street in downtown’s North Historic District. Walk through the home’s stately rooms with period furnishings and artifacts from the town’s earliest days, and learn about the lives of some of the town’s earliest socialites and business people.
Go home to grab a quick snack in your vacation rental, then continue your glimpse into the past with a drive through downtown. Painted on the sides of buildings between 2nd and 3rd Streets lie over a dozen murals telling the story of Palatka’s fascinating history, featuring scenes of early settler life, musicians playing in Palatka clubs, and tributes to local soldiers who fought in the Korean and Vietnam wars.
If you’re an outdoorsman or nature appreciator, you’ll love the options awaiting you in Palatka. Bait a line and cast right off the bank at Riverfront Park, lace up your boots for a hike on lush, tropical trails at Ravine Gardens State Park, and get ready to get muddy on an off-roading excursion at the Hog Waller Mud Bog pits.
Throughout the year, you’ll also find fun festivals in Palatka. A few include the Florida Azalea Festival, which celebrates the many vibrant colors of blooming azaleas, and the Blue Crab Festival, featuring carnival rides, live music entertainment, arts and crafts, and vendors lining the streets along the downtown riverfront. All in all, it’s fun for the whole family.
Visit Northeast Florida with an unforgettable stay in one of our Palatka rentals today. Just minutes from all of the town’s attractions, our vacation rentals are where you want to be!
Photo Credit: Allen Forrest via Flickr