Things to Do in Deland – 2024 Ultimate Guide

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Welcome to Deland, a charming city in Florida known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and abundance of activities for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re a history buff, outdoor enthusiast, foodie, or art lover, Deland has something for everyone. Join me as we explore the top things to do in Deland, from exploring historic sites to indulging in delicious local cuisine. Let’s dive in and uncover the hidden gems of this delightful city.

Can’t-Miss Attractions

1. Stetson Mansion: The Stetson Mansion is a historic landmark in DeLand, Florida, known for its stunning architecture and rich history. This Victorian-era mansion offers guided tours that provide visitors with a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of the Stetson family, who were prominent hat makers. The mansion’s intricate woodwork, vibrant stained glass windows, and lavish decor make it a must-see attraction for history buffs and architecture enthusiasts alike.

2. Blue Spring State Park: Blue Spring State Park is a natural gem located just a short drive from DeLand. This park is famous for its crystal-clear waters, which are a popular spot for swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking. Visitors can also enjoy a leisurely stroll along the boardwalks that wind through the park, offering glimpses of manatees and other wildlife. Blue Spring State Park is a serene escape into nature and a perfect place to relax and unwind.

3. DeLeon Springs State Park: DeLeon Springs State Park is another natural wonder near DeLand that offers a variety of outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy. The park is home to a historic sugar mill where visitors can learn about the area’s past and even make their pancakes at the Old Spanish Sugar Mill Restaurant. In addition to exploring the mill, visitors can swim in the spring, take a scenic boat tour, or hike along the park’s trails. DeLeon Springs State Park is a great destination for families and nature lovers.

4. Museum of Art – DeLand: The Museum of Art – DeLand is a cultural hub in the heart of downtown DeLand, showcasing a diverse collection of contemporary art. The museum features rotating exhibitions that highlight both local and international artists, making it a dynamic and engaging space for art enthusiasts. In addition to its galleries, the museum offers educational programs, workshops, and special events that cater to visitors of all ages. The Museum of Art – DeLand is a must-visit for anyone looking to immerse themselves in the local art scene.

5. Hontoon Island State Park: Hontoon Island State Park is a hidden gem located along the St. Johns River, accessible only by boat. This secluded island offers a peaceful retreat for visitors looking to connect with nature. Hiking trails wind through the island’s lush forests, providing opportunities to spot wildlife and enjoy scenic views of the river. Visitors can also explore the island’s archaeological sites, which offer insights into the area’s Native American history. Hontoon Island State Park is a tranquil oasis that offers a unique glimpse into Florida’s natural beauty.

One-day trip

If you’re looking for exciting day trips within a 2-hour drive from Deland, Florida, you’re in luck! Here are five fantastic destinations to consider:

1. Blue Spring State Park:
Just a short drive from Deland, Blue Spring State Park is a popular spot known for its crystal-clear waters and the opportunity to see manatees up close. Visitors can enjoy swimming, snorkeling, and picnicking in this beautiful natural setting. The park also offers hiking trails for those looking to explore the surrounding wilderness.

2. New Smyrna Beach:
Located less than an hour away, New Smyrna Beach is a charming coastal town with pristine beaches and a laid-back atmosphere. Visitors can spend the day sunbathing, surfing, or strolling along the bustling boardwalk. The town also boasts art galleries, boutique shops, and delicious seafood restaurants for a well-rounded day trip experience.

3. De Leon Springs State Park:
Just a short drive from Deland, De Leon Springs State Park is a hidden gem known for its natural beauty and historical significance. Visitors can take a dip in the spring-fed swimming area, paddle along the spring run, or enjoy a scenic hike through the surrounding forest. The park also features a historic sugar mill and a popular pancake house where guests can cook their pancakes on griddles at their tables.

4. Mount Dora:
Less than an hour’s drive away, Mount Dora is a picturesque town known for its quaint shops, art galleries, and historic architecture. Visitors can spend the day browsing antiques, sampling local cuisine, or taking a leisurely boat tour on Lake Dora. The town also hosts various festivals and events throughout the year, making it a vibrant destination for day-trippers.

5. Ocala National Forest:
For nature lovers, Ocala National Forest is a must-visit destination located within a 2-hour drive from Deland. This vast forest offers a wide range of outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, fishing, and wildlife viewing. Visitors can explore natural springs, scenic trails, and serene lakes, immersing themselves in the beauty of Florida’s wilderness.

These five destinations offer a mix of outdoor adventures and cultural experiences, making them ideal choices for day trips from Deland. Whether you’re seeking relaxation on the beach, immersion in nature, or exploration of charming towns, these locations have something for everyone. So pack your bags, hit the road, and embark on an unforgettable day trip adventure near Deland!

Restaurants and bars

When visiting Deland, Florida, be sure to check out these five exceptional dining establishments that offer a taste of the local culinary scene:

1. The Citrus Grove Restaurant – Indulge in their famous Citrus-Glazed Grouper, a dish that perfectly captures the flavors of Florida. The Citrus Grove’s charming ambiance and use of fresh, local ingredients make it a favorite among visitors and locals alike.

2. The Garden Bistro – Known for its cozy atmosphere and innovative menu, The Garden Bistro is a must-visit spot in Deland. Don’t miss their signature dish, the Pesto Chicken Pasta, which combines classic flavors with a unique twist.

3. The Oak & Vine – This upscale eatery is renowned for its sophisticated ambiance and delectable dishes. Try the Oak-Smoked Ribeye for a truly unforgettable dining experience that showcases the chef’s culinary expertise.

4. The Honeycomb Cafe – A hidden gem in Deland, The Honeycomb Cafe is beloved for its farm-to-table approach and mouthwatering dishes. Be sure to sample their Buttermilk Fried Chicken, a local favorite that embodies comfort food at its finest.

5. The Blue Heron – Nestled by the St. Johns River, The Blue Heron offers stunning views and a menu inspired by the region’s seafood bounty. Treat yourself to their Seafood Paella, a flavorful dish that highlights the restaurant’s commitment to quality and taste.

For a relaxing break or a vibrant evening out, Deland’s top cafes and bars are sure to impress:

1. The Artisan’s Perch – This charming cafe is a favorite among locals for its artisanal coffee blends and delectable pastries. The Artisan’s Perch’s cozy ambiance and commitment to quality make it a go-to spot for coffee enthusiasts and foodies alike.

2. The Moonlight Lounge – Step into this stylish bar for a unique cocktail experience unlike any other in Deland. Known for its creative mixology and chic decor, The Moonlight Lounge is the perfect place to unwind and savor expertly crafted drinks in a sophisticated setting.

Interesting Facts

Deland, a charming city in Florida, offers a variety of unique experiences for visitors to enjoy. Here are three surprising and interesting facts about Deland that showcase its rich history and vibrant culture.

1. Stetson University: Deland is home to Stetson University, Florida’s oldest private college. Founded in 1883, the university’s historic campus is a must-see for architecture enthusiasts. Visitors can explore the campus and learn about the university’s prestigious academic programs and rich traditions.

2. Skydiving Capital: Deland is known as the “Skydiving Capital of the World” due to its popular skydiving center, which attracts thrill-seekers from around the globe. Whether you’re an experienced skydiver or looking to try it for the first time, Deland offers a unique opportunity to experience the adrenaline rush of freefalling over its picturesque landscape.

3. Quaint Downtown: Deland’s downtown area is a hidden gem filled with boutique shops, art galleries, and cozy cafes. Visitors can stroll along the historic streets lined with oak trees and Victorian-era buildings, taking in the vibrant atmosphere and Southern charm. Don’t miss the weekly farmer’s market and monthly art walk for a taste of the local culture.

With its rich history, adventurous spirit, and charming downtown, Deland has something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re exploring the university campus, skydiving from great heights, or wandering through the bustling streets, Deland is sure to leave a lasting impression on all who visit.

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