By Mike Miller Updated April 4, 2023
Welaka, Florida 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.
Welaka is on the country roads west of US-17 and it's easy to get lost without a GPS or map.
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 has three historic churches on County Road 309.
Welaka doesn't get much traffic, and you will get a good feeling of old Florida tranquility.
One time when 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. You can still see the figurehead today.
A new restaurant that gets good reviews is Waters Edge Pub & Grill, 10 Boston Street, Welaka, FL 32193. It is being renovated, so please check at 386-467-2707 for the current status.
Andersen's Lodge is a fishing resort where the Waters Edge is located.
There are a few quiet RV parks in the area along the St Johns River in Welaka and nearby.
There are only a few dining opportunities in Welaka.
One that I enjoy is Shrimp R Us on the main drag through town, 3rd Avenue, also known as County Road 309.
This restaurant is a large tiki bar with all seating under roof with no walls so it's all open to the outside. Plastic roll down curtains protect the interior when it gets too cold outside.
The entire feeling is pleasant, with mostly local folk sitting around the bar enjoying a meal and a beer.
The food is very good, especially if you like fried fish.
Mar 09, 2020
There are several great places to hang out there.
My wife and I always go to Shrimps R Us for the 17 shrimp with 2 sides for $11. The River Pub has excellent food and is especially known for it's pizza, but they also have a new bone in ribeye that sounds amazing.
On the weekends, Shrimps has a live band Friday and Saturday until 10. Most people then go to Renegades on the Rive that also has a live band that ends around midnight.
If you still want to party, head to the Log Cabin, a nice little sports bar where the band plays till 1 AM.
Welaka Lodge and Resort is a great place to hang out as they have a bar/restaurant on the water, but it's only open on the weekends during the warm months.
Awesome grilled burgers and fish sandwiches. There are springs all around and lots of good bass fishing.
Jun 06, 2016
We love Welaka
by: Linda N
We love visiting back roads in Florida and found Welaka over a year ago. The Welaka Lodge and RV resort is a great place to stay.
They have wonderful cottages and a limited amount of rv spots. They also have a dock with boat rentals.
Great town for exploring by bike too. We loved the restaurant called Shrimp R Us and there's a fairly new BBQ place. We're ready to go back!
Our Facebook page has more than 127,538 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. We post articles every day. Please check it out and if you like it, we would appreciate a "like" from you.
By Mike Miller, Copyright 2009-2023
Florida Back Roads Travel is not affiliated with or endorsed by Backroads, a California-based tour operator which arranges and conducts travel programs throughout the world.