June 14, 2020
Suwannee is on the Florida Gulf Coast near the mouth of the famous Suwannee River.
The river was immortalized in Stephen Foster's classic minstrel song "Old Folks at Home", also known sometimes as "Swanee River" or "Swanee Ribber".
He wrote the song in 1851 although he had never seen the real Suwannee River.
The modern day town of Suwannee is an unincorporated place located about 65 miles west of Gainesville. It has a population of about 300.
It is at the end of SE County Road 349, a lonely two lane road that travels through the country side and crosses through the Yellow Jacket Conservation area and the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge.
Much of this land was originally heavily forested with long-leaf pine trees and dotted with wiregrass marshes.
The native trees were cut down long ago, but reforestation efforts are under way, especially in the refuges and conservation area.
Suwannee is laced with man made canals that tie into the Suwannee River and provide access to the excellent fishing waters in the river and the nearby Gulf of Mexico.
There are many vacation homes along the canals and a fair number of permanent residents.
This area is very popular with kayakers.
There are two marinas in town that serve the needs of the commercial and sport fishermen that love the area. The village also has a post office, church, motel and restaurant.
Because of the environmentally sensitive marsh land that surrounds the settlement, it stands little risk of becoming one of Florida's huge sprawling urban areas in the future.
Suwannee is not far from another interesting little village, Fowler's Bluff, located on the other side of the river. It's only about 10 miles as the crow flies so it's an easy boat trip.
By car, on the other hand, it requires a 50 mile trip up the road to Old Town and then down US-98 to Chiefland and then along County Road 345.
If you visit Suwannee and Fowler's Bluff you will be among the few Florida citizens or visitors who ever have. These Old Florida communities are truly on the back roads.
Salt Creek Restaurant & Marker 29
23440 SE County Road 349
Suwannee, Florida 32692
It is a pleasant surprise to find a good restaurant in such a small town as Suwannee. The village itself is not only tiny, it is at the end of the road in a lightly populated area of Florida.
In spite of those drawbacks, plenty of people find their way here to enjoy the great seafood and ambiance.
As you would expect from a place in a fishing village, seafood is their specialty. Their appetizers include clam chowder and smoked mullet dip, Gulf shrimp, chicken wings, and crab fingers.
There are also gator bites for the diehard Florida Crackers or adventurous tourist who find their way here.
You can enjoy several salad selections before digging into your main meal.
These entrees feature a seafood combo with shrimp, crab, oysters, mullet, grouper, catfish, crab fingers, and scallops.
The Fisherman's Platter is loaded with choices featured also in the combo and can be enjoyed with grouper, mullet, or catfish.
They will prepare your food any way you like, but fried stuff here is a real treat. They even have pasta if you insist and a very good burger.
There is also a neat little inside bar and an outside tiki bar overlooking the creek.
You can have your meal inside or outside. Both choices will give you great views, and the outside area has plenty of shade umbrellas.
They have dockage along Salt Creek, and you can come here in your boat if you'd like.
Salt Creek Restaurant is open 7 days a week, as follows: Monday through Friday 5PM to 9PM. Saturday and Sunday 11AM to 9PM.
The Suwannee river rises in the Okeefenokee Swamp of south Georgia and meanders more than 238 miles southward through mostly rural farmlands and conservation areas. 206 of those miles are in Florida. Read about some of the historic places along the river.