Updated October 11, 2020

Florida Nostalgia is all about the memories of Florida the way it used to be, especially within our own lifetime. The older you are, the more memories you have.

The rapid growth of the state has left many people - especially natives and long time residents - feeling lost and bewildered.

Washing a 1937 Packard in FloridaWashing a 1937 Packard in Florida

Many memories of old Florida places and times trigger our sense of nostalgia.  Many times we look back longingly at the way things used to be. 

Florida has grown so quickly in our lifetimes, that we take comfort in remembering these things.  We have a sentimental yearning for the happiness of former places and times.

The collection of images, postcards, stories, history, and culture on this website try to take us back to these times. 


Florida Cracker Cowboys by Frederic RemingtonFlorida Cracker Cowboys by Frederic Remington


Florida Authors.  Learn about writers and how they saw the Florida of their time and place.  Here are biographies and bibliographies of 50 or more authors.

Carl HiassenCarl Hiassen
John D. MacDonaldJohn D. MacDonald
Randy Wayne WhiteRandy Wayne White
Stetson KennedyStetson Kennedy

A Land Remembered
A best selling novel by Patrick Smith that recounts the lives or three generations of a Florida pioneer family as they tame the wilderness and evolve into modern times.   It is perhaps the most popular book ever written about Florida.  

Alas Babylon
This best selling novel from the late 1950s, written by Pat Frank, is based in a town that many think is a thinly disguised Mount Dora, Florida, and describes the way that desperate survivors of a nuclear war struggle to exist.

Naked Came the Manatee
This hilarious crime satirical novel was written by a collaboration of 12 famous Florida authors, each working independently based on the previous chapter they had been give.  Carl Hiassen, Dave Barry, and other well know authors were involved.

Travis McGee
John D MacDonald is the creator of Travis McGee, an adventurer who lives on his houseboat in Fort Lauderdale and is the star of 21 best selling novels.


Florida Citrus Labels are works of art and give you a glimpse into the colorful history of citrus in our state.

Florida Vintage Maps is a collection of maps, including road maps, that show you the way the state was from the very earliest times up until now.

Florida Vintage Postcards capture earlier times and places that are a colorful way to help you enjoy the past.  Some you will remember.



Branch Ranch Dining Room
This was a traditional old farmhouse restaurant in Plant City that delighted diners for 50 years until closing in 2006.

Brevard Hotel 
This postcard shows the Brevard Hotel on the Indian River in Cocoa, Florida about 1940. It was torn down in 1999 and replaced by a modern high rise …

Chalet Suzanne 
When I first moved to Florida, my job as a civil engineer took me all over the state. When I was down in the Lake Wales area, a special treat was to have …

Church Street Station
This popular entertainment and dining attraction in downtown Orlando prospered from the 1970s to 1990s.  Rosie O'Grady's, Cheyenne Saloon and many others were so popular Church Street Station at its peak was the fourth largest tourist attraction in Florida.

Frances Langford's Outrigger Resort 
In 1969 I was working on the foundation investigation for the future St Lucie Nuclear Power Plant on Hutchinson Island. I stayed in nearby Fort Pierce …

Gary's Duck Inn
For almost 50 years this Orlando restaurant was a favorite for locals and tourists.  It became the inspiration for the Red Lobster chain.

Holiday House Restaurant
This popular chain once had 14 Central Florida locations.  Now they are gone, but have been superceded by a family owned one under a different name in DeLand.

Horne's Restaurants and Motor Lodges
The chain was once a common sight along Florida roadways.  The yellow roof was their distinctive feature.

Howard Johnson AdHoward Johnson Ad

Howard Johnson's
This popular restaurant and hotel chain was once almost everywhere you'd travel in Florida.  Now they are sadly lost to history.

Kapok Tree
This unusual restaurant in Clearwater was one of the most popular destinations in Florida. It operated from 1958 to 1991.

Lum's Restaurants
This chain started in Miami Beach and grew to 500 stores.  Now all that remains is the memory of its beer steamed hot dogs.

Mama Sagy's Pleasant View Inn 
In 1968 I was working on the foundation exploration for the new nuclear power plant. It was being built on Hutchinson Island about halfway between Fort …

Mathers Bridge Restaurant
Memories of a favorite Merritt Island waterfront treasure that was demolished in 1992.

Top of the Pier, Pier 66, Fort LauderdaleTop of the Pier, Pier 66, Fort Lauderdale

Pier 66 in Fort Lauderdale
A favorite spot for a drink was the rotating lounge on top of this Fort Lauderdale landmark.  What a fantastic view it was!

Rainbow Ranch
Located near Big Tree Park in Longwood north of Orlando, this was a popular country western music and dance club that opened in 1960.  It closed after twenty years of entertaining locals and tourist.

Siple's Garden Seat Inn
A Clearwater tradition for 70 years that was voted No. 1 restaurant in Florida 10 times by Florida Trend Magazin.  Closed in 1990.

Webb's City and Doc Webb
This St. Petersburg store was like a Walmart before there was a Walmart. It was also a popular tourist attraction from 1925-1979.

Florida Places We Loved and Lost
This page is a listing summary of the Florida places described in the entries above.


Christo and the Surrounded Islands
A floating work of art on Miami's Biscayne Bay may have been a turning point in the city's turbulent history.

Espanola, Florida and the Old Brick Road 
Espanola is a little old crossroads community in Flagler County about 5 miles northwest of Bunnell on County Road 13. When you get to Espanola, take …

Flavet Villages at the University of Florida 
I attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida from 1963 until graduation in 1966. It probably would have been too expensive for me to …

"Bullet Bob" Hayes

Florida Black Football Pioneers
It wasn't until the late 1960s that major Florida colleges began to allow black athletes on their teams. Here are some of the first.

Galloping Ghost of Indian Lake Estates
The most famous American athlete of his time chose to live in this isolated lot sales development in the middle of nowhere.

Kenansville: Henry Flagler's Divorce 
Kenansville is a spot on US-441 about halfway between Yeehaw Junction and Holopaw. Most travelers whiz through without knowing anything about the history of how it got its name.

Marco Polo Park PosterMarco Polo Park Poster

Lost Florida Tourist Attractions
Places that were once popular but have now faded into history.  Many of them put out of business when Walt Disney World opened in 1971. Pirate's World, Six Gun Territory, Floridaland, Marco Polo Park and many more.

Nalcrest Florida and The Former Fedhaven
A stretch of Florida State Road 60 runs 45 lonely miles between Lake Wales and Yeehaw Junction. Lots of cattle land on both sides of the road, and few …

Old Wabasso Bridge
A historic bridge across the Indian River north of Vero Beach was dismantled and is in use today at Walt Disney World.

Orange Blossom Special
This luxury train ran from New York to Miami from 1926 to 1953.  Its speed and luxurious features made it famous, but not nearly as famous as the song it inspired.

Florida Backroads Travel Videos
These short 1 to 2 minute videos give you an entertaining preview of what our website is all about.


Our Facebook page has more than 101,518 followers who love off the beaten path Florida: towns, tourist attractions, maps, lodging, food, festivals, scenic road trips, day trips, history, culture, nostalgia, and more.

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Mike Miller of FloridaBackroadsTravel.com has written 25 books on Florida.  

Click on the cover display to see his Amazon author page.


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