If you’re looking to visit a place with small-town charm, High Springs is the perfect place to start. Located halfway between Lake City and Gainesville, High Springs is known for its beautiful, natural springs. However, they also have a downtown area that is full of places to explore.
Last Saturday I spent the afternoon in High Springs with my gal pal Emily. It’s only about a 20 minute drive from where we live in Lake City, but we always just drive right on by. So we decided to take the time to stop and explore.
I’d been to High Springs a couple times to write about some local business for a previous job, so I was kind of familiar with the area. But, I had never been in most of the places there, so it was a new experience for both of us.
High Springs’ downtown area has a couple small, local restaurants, antique stores and specialty shops. We walked through a couple of adorable stores and looked at all the chachkies (my grandma’s word for trinkets) and saw some pretty cool stuff!
Next we made our way over to Great Outdoors Restaurant. One of the handful of restaurants located in historic downtown High Springs, I had heard rave reviews about the food and the atmosphere, so we knew we had to check it out.
We opted to sit outside because it was such a beautiful day, and the back patio was beautiful! The restaurant was decked out in Florida decor, with lush greenery, a bar and a covered sitting area called “The Boathouse.” There was also a stage where bands perform in the evenings.
It’s never too early for margaritas in my opinion, so I started my meal off with a strawberry margarita on the rocks, and my friend Emily ordered a Bloody Mary. Both of the drinks were delicious.
For lunch I ordered the Weeki Wachee, named after one of the springs nearby. It was a grilled chicken sandwich topped with bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and honey mustard and served with fries. Now ya’ll, I’m a grilled chicken sandwich connoisseur. It’s my go-to order, and let me tell you this may have been the BEST grilled chicken sandwich I’ve ever had! It was perfect.
Emily ordered the Chicken Waldorf Salad: roasted chicken, glazed walnuts, sweet apples and celery on a warm croissant and served with homemade chips. She loved it!
After lunch we decided to pop into more of the local stores. We went into River Run Olive Oil, which specializes in unique olive oils and balsamic vinegars. Then we went to Buffalo Girl Soaps, which sells all-natural bath and essential oil products. And then we popped into The Bird Nest, an antique stores selling beautiful furniture and decor. I bought the most delicious candle called “Southern Belle.”
River Run Olive Oil
Buffalo Girl Soaps
The Bird’s Nest
We ended the visit with a trip to The Talented Cookie, a delicious coffee shop and bakery. It was such a sweet ending to an amazing day!