By  Mike Miller   Updated October 6, 2022

Bronson, Florida Things To Do, Lodging, Dining, & Real Estate At End Of Article
This Article Also Contains Two Brief Videos of Bo Diddley and His Music

Bronson is a town of about 1,200 people in Levy County in North Central Florida.  It is located at the crossroads of Alternate US-27 and State Road 24 about 26 miles southwest of Gainesville.

Bo Diddley Grave in Bronson, FloridaMike Miller at Bo Diddley Grave in Bronson, Florida

It is the county seat of Levy County, named for Florida's railroad pioneer and early U.S. senator from Florida, David Levy Yulee.


A local settler named Bronson was a friend of Senator Yulee, and the town is named for the senator's friend.

Remember, it's not who you are but who you know.

When the Civil War broke out and Florida left the Union, Senator Levy became a Confederate Senator.

Bronson is a "crossroads" town that lies at the intersection of US-27, County Road 337 and State Road 24. SR-24 follows the route of David Levy Yulee's early pre-Civil War railroad that ran from Fernandina Beach to Cedar Key.

According to the town's website, Bronson was originally named Chunky Pond.  It had a saw mill and a general store and trading post. 

The area around Bronson developed into about 75 different orange groves, all within 3 miles of the courthouse.  

The hard freezes of the mid 1890s destroyed the orange groves and the town sank into quiet obscurity.

Bronson, Florida, Levy County CourthouseLevy County Courthouse, Bronson, Florida. Photo by Ebyabe.

The first county seat was Levyville, also named for the senator. It was about halfway between Bronson and Chiefland.

The area around Levyville was originally named Sodom but the name didn't catch on for some reason and faded into Florida history.

Levyville wasn't on the route of the Florida Railroad, however, and Bronson was.

A few years after the railroad was completed, the residents moved the county seat to Bronson. Levyville also faded into the mists of Florida history.


My Uncle Karl lived in Bronson for a couple of years in the 1970s. The thing I remember about visiting him is how quiet the place was.

It's pretty much the same now as it was back then.

The downtown area has a few shops, a convenience store, gas stations, and a couple of other businesses. 

People who really want big time shopping or entertainment drive to Gainesville, 26 miles to the northeast.

Bronson United Methodist ChurchBronson United Methodist Church

Some historic buildings have been preserved, and it's fun to get back into the quiet neighborhoods and look around at the houses and large trees.

Blue Springs Park, Photo by FloridaFamilyNature.comBlue Springs Park, Photo by

Blue Springs Park is a local attraction that features good swimming and other natural amenities.  

Florida Memory • View of C.C.C. Co. 1431 P-63 camp - Bronson, FloridaFlorida Memory • View of C.C.C. Co. 1431 P-63 camp - Bronson, Florida

Bronson appeals to many people because it's a place where you can get away from the hustle and bustle of busier Florida. 

There are also lots of opportunities to enjoy nature, kayaking, and fishing.


One thing that's changed is that a celebrity is now in town. Bo Diddley died in 2008 and his grave is in the Bronson Cemetery.

Bo lived for many years in Hawthorne, Florida and Archer, Florida, not too far from Bronson. 

His grave is a photo opportunity in Bronson that many people enjoy, including me. 

Bo Diddley at the Florida Folk FestivalBo Diddley at the Florida Folk Festival

Here is a short YouTube clip of Bo Diddley in 1955 on the Ed Sullivan show.

He was one of the true pioneers of rock and roll.  Bo pioneered the beat that sounds like "shave and a haircut, two bits".

Here is another YouTube clip of the Bo Diddley beat showing Bo in 1960. 

His "Bo Diddley" beat inspired and was emulated by most of the rock and roll greats.


Bo Diddley’s Grave 
Rosemary Hill Cemetery, 285 East Thrasher Dr, Bronson, FL 32621 

Musician Bo Diddley's (1928-2008) signature boxy red guitar is angled across his headstone. A slab lists the Rock Hall of Famer's contributions, including "Originator of Rock N Roll."

I’ve discussed this guitar legend in detail earlier on this page. The grave is visible from SR 24 on the SW end of the cemetery under some trees. 

Devil's Den Prehistoric Spring 
5390 NE 180th Ave, Williston, FL 32696 | (352) 528-3344 
Just about 12 miles from Bronson in Williston, Devil's Den offers a unique underwater experience for snorkelers and scuba divers. This prehistoric natural spring, set inside a stunning underground cave, is adorned with ancient rock formations and crystal-clear waters.

They provide a glimpse into Florida's natural history. It’s our favorite spot for those looking to add a touch of adventure to their visit, offering both the thrill of exploration and the beauty of untouched nature. 

Blue Grotto Dive Resort 
3852 NE 172nd Ct, Williston, FL 32696 | (352) 528-5770 
Another gem for diving enthusiasts, the Blue Grotto Dive Resort is renowned for its clear waters and vibrant aquatic life. With a depth of up to 100 feet, it's the largest clear water cavern located in the heart of Florida's spring country.

The facility offers diving classes, equipment rentals, and a serene environment perfect for both beginners and experienced divers. It’s a peaceful escape where you can immerse yourself in the tranquility of underwater worlds. 

Cedar Key Historical Society Museum 
609 2nd St, Cedar Key, FL 32625 | (352) 543-5549 
A bit further afield (33 miles), the Cedar Key Historical Society Museum offers a fascinating look into the history of the Cedar Keys and surrounding areas. Through its exhibits of artifacts, photographs, and documents, visitors can explore the rich cultural and natural history of this part of Florida.

It’s a must-visit for history buffs or anyone interested in learning about the Gulf Coast’s past and its impact on the present. 

Manatee Springs State Park 
11650 NW 115th St, Chiefland, FL 32626 | (352) 493-6072 
Around 15 miles from Bronson is the pristine natural sanctuary of Manatee Springs State Park. The park features a spring that flows directly into the Suwannee River. 

This creates a perfect habitat for manatees, especially during the cooler months. With its boardwalks, picnic areas, and snorkeling spots, it’s an ideal setting for a day of relaxation and nature observation. 

Levy County Quilt Museum 
11050 NW 10th Ave, Chiefland, FL 32626 | (352) 493-2801 
The Levy County Quilt Museum, a cozy cottage filled with an array of colorful quilts, offers a glimpse into the art of quilting and its significance in American history. As Florida's only quilt museum, it showcases both contemporary and antique quilts, each with its own story.

It’s a favorite spot for those who appreciate the craftsmanship and heritage behind quilt making. Some crafts are for sale. 

Williston Peanut Festival 
50 NW Main St, Williston, FL 32696 | (352) 528-5552 
Held annually in Williston, close to Bronson, the Peanut Festival celebrates the local agriculture with a day full of fun, food, and entertainment.

From peanut products and crafts to live music and activities for kids, it’s a wholesome event that brings together the community and visitors in a festive atmosphere. 

Bronson Blue Springs Park 
4550 NE 94th Place, Bronson, FL 32621 | (352) 486-3303 

This county park is briefly mentioned earlier on this page. It has bathrooms, picnic tables, grills, swings and a volleyball court as well as the refreshing springs.  


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