by Mike Miller
Welaka is on the east bank of the St. Johns River about halfway between Palatka and Deland. It is not on the main highway, so you have to work a bit to find it.
The little village is on the east bank of the St. Johns River between Satsuma and Georgetown. This part of northeast Florida is still pretty much like it used to be in the old days.
The Florida back roads leading into Welaka are beautiful, many of them canopied with old oak trees showing grey beards of hanging Spanish Moss.
There are a couple of little motels and restaurants that are worth visiting. Welaka is a vacation spot for fishermen who love to go for the big bass in the river.
Streets are lined with old buildings to please the eye, most of them not restored and some even empty. The town doesn't get much traffic, and you will get a good feeling of old Florida tranquility.
The last time I was there, I saw a young man working on restoring an old Airstream trailer. A beautiful ship's figurehead was supervising the work from the front of the shop.
A new restaurant that gets good reviews is Waters Edge Pub & Grill, 10 Boston Street, Welaka, FL 32193. Anderson's Lodge is a fishing resort where the Waters Edge is located.