May 1, 2021
Micanopy is on the west side of U.S. Highway 441 about 12 miles south of Gainesville.
It is a small village with some unique antique shops, restaurants and historic residential homes.
The entire town is designated a historic district and it's easy to see why when you walk or drive around the quiet streets.
First let's get the pronunciation out of the way. It is Mick Can Opie (as in the boy character on the old Andy Griffith Show about Mayberry) - so don't make it rhyme with canopy.
The name comes from a Seminole chief of the same name. He didn't actually live here, but a lot of his tribesmen did and there was a lot of fighting around Micanopy during the Seminole Wars.
It's hard to think of violence in this peaceful village of about 700 people.
Peace and quiet is still the order of the day in this quiet oasis in the middle of the booming state of Florida. It's a great getaway.
It's more fun to browse the antique shops, an interesting musical instrument shop or just lounge around the small restaurants in town.
There are also several old homes in the downtown area and on its edge that look like great places to live.
Micanopy is also a great place to try a bed and breakfast - perhaps The Herlong Mansion - and take a side trip to nearby Cross Creek, the home of famous author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.
The movie "Doc Hollywood" starring Michael J. Fox and Woody Harrelson was largely shot in Micanopy in 1991.
Micanopy seems to have escaped the ravages of Florida's population boom.
There are still many authentic old buildings to visit and enjoy.
The old Thrasher Brothers store is a good example. It's a favorite photo op for amateur and professional photographers alike.
A few buildings are not being used but still add to the downtown charm like this old vine covered building.
There are two country roads leading west from the Micanopy community.
One of them is County Road 234 that leads from the west side of downtown Micanopy and soon crosses I-75 into Old Florida country.
Another is Wacahoota Road that leads west from US-441 at a point about one half mile northwest of Micanopy.
These country roads have many examples of old Florida Cracker homes and outbuildings.
The same is true of the quiet canopied streets in the residential areas of Micanopy.
Micanopy is a small and quiet little town, so it's somewhat of a surprise to find a restaurant as good as Antonio's four miles south of this historic country town and close to the village of McIntosh.
It must be an Italian thing, because the minute you walk in here you feel like you're part of a big happy family. Maybe this is because Antonio was born in Italy.
This is a small intimate restaurant with only about fifty seats, so it's always recommended to make a reservation.
The have a nice selection of wine and beer to start your meal with.
Their appetizers - called antipasti in Italian - include some tasty items such as sausage and peppers drizzled in goat cheese and vinegar; clams and mussels alla Divaola; and Bruschetta Napoletana.
Their full menu is extensive with soups and salads, pasta, chicken, veal, seafood, and sweet desserts.
I like to start a meal with Pasta Fagioli, a traditional Italian soup made with Great Northern beans and fresh vegetables.
One of their most popular dinners is Lobster Ravioli sauteed in a creamy gorgonzola sauce and topped with shrimp.
A good way to finish your meal is with Tiramisu, and theirs is very good.
Antonio's was established in 2013 and already has a wide following of smart diners from all around the area.
Antonio's also has an affiliated place on the property across the courtyard named The Depot Restaurant and Speakeasy.
It is inside a historic train station built in 1881 and moved to the site from the nearby town of Reddick in 1978.
Live musical entertainment in the outside courtyard can be enjoyed on weekends, and in non-pandemic times also inside the Speakeasy Room.
Each of these operations also has a full bar and the Speakeasy is well known for its whiskey cabinet.
Antonio's and The Depot are open Wednesday - Thursday, 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm, Friday -Saturday Noon to 10:00 pm, Sunday Noon to 7:00 pm.