Small town Florida’s Sports Coast

Ville de Dade

As you drive the rolling hills and backroads of Dade City, you’ll feel like you’ve left Florida and wound up in a countryside that time forgot. The area’s distinctive landscape, pristine nature and historic small-town trappings distinguish this eastern Pasco County gem from the rest of the Sunshine State.

Learn the History

Dade City’s beauty also comes with plenty to do. More than 50 shops and restaurants clothe and feed the area. It’s also known as one of the best antique shopping destinations in Florida.

Take some time to stroll Dade City’s picturesque downtown with shops and eateries housed in lovingly preserved historic buildings. A stately courthouse threatens to steal the show in the center of it all, surrounded by quaint specialty shops and other businesses in pristinely maintained historic buildings, all clustered within convenient walking distance.

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The city’s Chamber of Commerce provides a self-guided walking tour brochure that you can print online or pick up at its office. The handy guide tells stories of historic homes with gingerbread porches and downtown landmarks such as the Williams Building and Bank of Pasco. The guide offers information about the Seminoles and other Native American tribes who called the area home as well as the Spanish explorers who settled there later.

Take in more history and culture of the Pioneer Florida Museum just north of downtown. On display are tools of the Florida pioneers, which show how they built their houses, made furniture, plowed fields, harvested crops and completed tasks involving leather-work and blacksmithing. 

The Dade City Heritage & Cultural Museum headquarters in an adorable railroad depot and provides displays of artifacts, interactive exhibits, storytelling and monthly events. Plus, there’s a fully operational model train.

Have Your Fill

After you’ve worked up an appetite, stop into Steph’s Southern Soul Restaurant, a local favorite for homestyle comfort food. If you’re more into the contemporary fusion of today but appreciate some historic flavor, try Kafe Kokopelli. The eclectic eatery can be found in a building built in 1916 by the Ford Motor Company for Model-T sales and service.

The Farmhouse Market & Cafe entreats foodies to an open-air market with Florida and Dade City local-made foods and Amish-made desserts. The cafe lives up to its name with inventive, farm-to-table fare.

The handy guide tells stories of historic homes and downtown landmarks.

Planning a big day? The Block is a favorite for weddings and other planned events. The 5,000-square-foot event venue combines modern amenities with rustic trappings and exposed brick walls. The Highlands Motor Company occupied the characteristic building in 1920.

Dozens of events bring the community together in Dade City. The annual Kumquat Festival celebrates the iconic fruit-bearing trees growing in abundance throughout the area. Locals also flock to the annual Country Christmas Stroll and Rattlesnake Festival.

Kumquat Ice Cream
Withlacochee River Park
Treehoppers
Lunch on Limoges

Outdoor Excursions

Don’t forget to get out of town to enjoy some outdoor adventure. This is Florida’s Sports Coast, after all, and you can find sporty fun in abundance in Dade City. The area’s unspoiled forests and preserves can be accessed via 60-plus miles of multi-use trails. Approximately 31 miles long, the Florida National Scenic Trail runs through the Green Swamp East et West tracts. 

The Withlacoochee River Park and state forest are just outside of Dade City and offer a unique remote wilderness experience. A small boat ramp on River Road does indeed take you to the river.

Extreme Family Fun

Get up close to the gentle giants that usually roam the plains of your TV screen. Giraffe Ranch surrounds you with giraffes that inhabit a verdant wildlife preserve. Along with seeing giraffes, ginormous live oaks and lush flora, including native orchids, make it all more mesmerizing. The 47-acre property also encompasses wide pastures and dreamy wetlands. 

At TreeHoppers Aerial Adventure Park, you can make like an orangutan and amble through a series of platforms and elements that interweave throughout the trees, connected by cable, wood, rope and zip lines. Each element presents a different challenge of how to get to the next platform, and there are 10 different courses to keep you both challenged and enchanted.

Snowcat Ridge, Florida’s first snow park, opens next to TreeHoppers in November 2022. The chilly fun will include snow tubing, snow play, and an Alpine Village. One of its attractions, the Snowy Slopes is a 60-foot tall, 400-foot-long snow tubing hill featuring single, tandem and family-style snow tubing. A pair of moving sidewalk/conveyor lifts transport you to the top of the hill. Even cooler, the slopes will stay open after hours on some evenings to feature nightly music and a light show visible throughout the park.’

Also known as “Tree City, U.S.A.,” Dade City neighbors San Antonio, Saint Leo (home of the historic monastery-turned-university; Saint Joseph), Blanton, Lacoochee, Trilby and Ridge Manor take you a world away from the traffic and mayhem of big-city life, where historic homes and churches charm the stress away, cajoling you to imagine a more downsized quality of life.

Discover More Things To Do In Dade City

Featured Listings

Giraffe Ranch

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38650 Mickler Rd,

Dade City, FL 33523

(813) 482-3400

Farmhouse Market & Cafe

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14124 5th St,

Dade City, FL 33523

(352) 437-5995

The Block

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14313 7th St,

Dade City, FL 33525

(352) 437-3059

TreeHoppers

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27839 St Joe Rd,

Dade City, FL 33525

(813) 381-5400

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