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Florida Heritage Travel, August 2013
July 30, 2013

August 2013 News And Events

Florida Heritage Travel is the companion monthly e-zine of


This month's postcard shows the St. Johns River near Welaka, Florida, about 15 miles south of Palatka. This historic river flows north for 310 miles from the marshes southwest of Melbourne to the Atlantic Ocean 15 or 20 meandering miles east of Jacksonville. Much of the early modern history of Florida was lived along the banks of this majestic river. In the years before the railroad appeared, people and materials were transported along the river. Many settlements popped up along its shores in the 1800s. Some prospered, and others are little more than place names in modern Florida.

The St. Johns is one of the few rivers in the United States that flows north. It drops only 30 feet over its length, so the current is generally pretty slow except in Jacksonville and some other places where the river narrows. Major towns and cities along the way are Sanford, DeLand, Palatka, Green Cove Springs, Orange Park and Jacksonville. Smaller towns include Enterprise, Astor, Georgetown, Welaka, Satsuma, Mandarin and a host of others. U.S. Highway 17 wanders along the west bank of the river up to Jacksonville. State Road 13 and other two lane roads along the east bank take you through some of the smaller places on your Florida backroads travel.

Harriet Beecher Stowe lived for many years in Mandarin on the east bank of the river south of Jacksonville. She was famous as the author of "Uncle Tom's Cabin", an anti-slavery novel that became the biggest seller in American history at that time. When Abraham Lincoln met Mrs. Stowe during the Civil War, he reportedly said "so you're the little lady who wrote the book who started this great war". She also lured many visitors to Florida with her travel book, "Palmetto Leaves", published in 1873.


Corky Bell's Seafood, East Palatka


Thanks for continuing to subscribe to Florida Heritage monthly e-zine. Florida Backroads Travel continues to grow, and we hope you enjoy these updates.

I continue to automate Florida Backroads Travel so that any updates I make are posted automatically to my Mike Miller Facebook page and Facebook Florida Backroads Travel page, and are also tweeted on my Twitter page. You can also subscribe to our Florida Blog by going to our home page and selecting an RSS feed. This way you will have daily updates.

August is still hot and humid and the snowbirds are still up north. Air conditioners in homes, cars and restaurants are cranking away. Electric bills are high. We get lots of rain, and your yard is ready to mow again the day after you've just finished it.



FLORIDA WINERIES. Check the Florida winery nearest you. Many of them have wonderful weekend events that include music and wine tastings. Our site has information on 18 wineries scattered across the state. We plan to add even more when we have time to visit them.

FLORIDA TOURIST ATTRACTIONS. We have an extensive list of Florida Tourist Attractions. Some of them are well known; other are a wonderful step back into Old Florida.

FLORIDA FESTIVALS. There are several outside events this time of year. Among these are outdoor art festivals and folk and bluegrass music festivals.

FLORIDA ZOOS. Florida has many zoos, and Florida zoos offer an interesting and inexpensive way to spend a day or more. Most of them have shady places where both you and the animals can escape the sun.

FLORIDA BEACHES. Almost anything you decide to do in Florida can be enhanced by spending some quality time at a great beach, and best beaches in Florida will guide you in the right direction.

FLORIDA MUSEUMS. Many Florida art and historical museums have scheduled events. Click on the links to find out what is going on.

FLORIDA THEATER. This is an active time for plays and musical events in our many Florida theaters.. Check the links to find out what might be interesting to you.

FLORIDA AUTHORS. August is a good time to sit in air conditioned comfort and read a book by a Florida author. Our most visited author page is still that of Tim Dorsey, the creator of zany serial killer
Serge Storms, followed closely by Randy Wayne White and his hero Doc Ford.

Rather than listing one event in each of Florida's 8 regions on a monthly basis, I have decided instead to provide a very useful link that will tell you what is going on this month virtually everywhere in Florida.


Information on the towns and places hosting these events, or near them, including lodging, can be found at Florida Towns. We have also added a new page to the website called "Florida End of Road Towns" to help you plan a trip to those kinky places you always find at the end of the highway.

A few events are cancelled on very short notice. I do my best to ensure that our information is correct and current, but I recommend you call before leaving for the event to make sure it's still on.

Thanks for subscribing to Florida Heritage Travel. We will see you next month with more updates and event information.

Regards, Mike Miller
Chief Backroads Traveler

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