Located about an hour away from Tampa Bay, Dade City has a charming rural aesthetic and small population. It is dotted with pastures and gently sloping hills that make it ideal for visitors looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. You will be away from the noise but still in close proximity to the major attractions in the area. What are these attractions, you ask? Below, we check out the top 20 Things to do in Dade City, Florida.
20. Kafe Kokopelli
Kafe Kokopelli is a downtown restaurant that has been operational since 1997. It offers modern American cuisine and is an excellent destination for couples. In addition to the wonderful meals, Kafe Kokopelli has a very romantic aesthetic, complete with beautiful wall murals, brick walls, cozy interiors, and rustic décor. You can take all this in, while feasting on scrumptious sandwiches like the Chicken BLT and Cuban, among other mouth-watering meals.
19. Pasco County Courthouse
Pasco County Courthouse was entered into the US National Register of Historic Places in 2006. Located on Meridian Avenue, this historic site was built in 1909 and boasts Classic Revival architecture. Every year, it hosts a Valentine's Day complimentary wedding ceremony, among other events. You can enjoy the façade outside, then go inside to learn more about the Florida government.
18. Annetta's Attic
As the Greater Dade City Chamber of Commerce confirms, Dade City is famous for its historic architecture, antique restaurants, and stores. One such antique location is Annetta's Attic, a 22-room antique shop featuring everything from tools and toys to furniture. In case you do not find what you are looking for, the owners at Annetta's Attic are more than happy to call each other and track down the item for you.
17. Pioneer Florida Museum and Village
Founded in 1960, the Pioneer Florida Museum and Village is the perfect place to be for anyone interested in how Dade City came to be. It is an open-air museum situated on a large forested plot of land in the town. By visiting this park, you get to step back into history and relive the day-to-day lives of the pioneering people that grew Dade City into what it is today. The museum features several restored buildings, including a church, train station, and schoolhouse. There are also several displays showcasing different artifacts, including household objects and tools.
16. Sweet Blossom Alpaca Farm
Another great thing to do while visiting Dade City is tour a working alpaca farm! Located on 15 acres of natural farmland, Sweet Blossom Alpaca Farm raises and works with alpacas who are allowed to roam freely on the grounds. You can make a reservation for a guided tour of the farm, where you will get to learn about these docile animals and how they are raised. You can also participate in the feeding and have lunch or dinner on the farm surrounded by alpacas. During your visit, you should also visit the on-site show, where you can browse alpaca items like scarves, harts, and yarn.
15. Scream-A-Geddon Horror Park (Open Every Fall)
Scream-A-Geddon Horror Park is known for its unique haunted house experience, which is organized by a group of horror fans and local actors every fall. The experience is interactive, so visitors get to actively interact with all the scary surprises set up by the organizers. Overall, there are six haunted houses in the horror park, with each one having a different theme, including Dead Woods, Blackpool Prison, Bedlam 3D Asylum, and Monster Midway. If you prefer to be in the vicinity but away from the horror or you would like a break, you can play Zombie paintball, sit around a fire, or go for a hayride. You can also sit down for a meal and enjoy craft beer and fair food with other park visitors.
14. Dade City Heritage Museum
Dade City Heritage Museum is another great place to learn about the people and history of Dade City. The museum is set in a 1912 train depot and displays several artifacts and exhibits. If you wish to make a reservation, it is open by appointment on Fridays and to the public on Saturdays. The staff is highly knowledgeable about the history of the area and will offer information about the people and personal stories about living in Dade City.
13. Big Storm Brewing Co.
Big Storm Brewing Co. has three active locations. While in Dade City, you can visit the Odessa branch and enjoy carefully crafted, award-winning, quality craft beer made from fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. The brewery produces over 20 beers, including classics like Oktoberfest, Bay Beer, and Tropic Pressure, which are served in an unhurried environment. Additionally, you can enjoy a variety of hand-crafted ice cream treat flavors and craft coffee at the Clearwater taproom.
12. Ivy Cottage Antiques and Wine
Ivy Cottage Antiques and Wine has been in business for over 20 years. The establishment specializes in antique wine, gifts, books, architectural pieces, and accessories, and furniture. It is open Monday through Saturday from 10 to 4, and you can sign up for wine tastings.
11. Out of Our Hands Gallery
Out of Our Hands Gallery is a family-friendly gallery that displays a wide range of local artist work collected from all over Florida. The prices are very fair, with many of the hand-crafted items selling for less than $25. Overall, it is a great destination for art lovers and a wonderful place to shop for gifts for your friends and family. You will find everything at Out of Our Hands Gallery, including glass, jewelry, pottery, and paintings. The gallery also hosts art events and offers classes.
10. Kachunga Airboat Adventures
Kachunga Airboat Adventures is a private airboat charter that allows you to experience the beautiful ecosystem in Florida. Through the tours, you can go bird watching, catch turtles, spot snakes in the water, and see wild alligators. The coastal tour is so enjoyable and unpredictable; you might even get to see dolphins swimming next to your boat or spot a manatee. Kachunga Airboat Adventures is a great place to visit with friends and families but will also do well for a corporate outing.
9. Snowcat Ridge (Seasonal)
Snowcat Ridge is the only alpine snow park in Florida. According to its website, the park produces 100 percent real snow using only water. Snowcat Ridge has several attractions you can check out, ensuring fun for the entire family. Each of these attractions has its own capacity limits and rules, information which is provided on the official website. Snowcat Ridge is open on select dates from November to March. The website posts a complete list of the official hours and dates. Usually, the length of a season in Snowcat Ridge will vary depending on the current weather conditions. The Crystal Ribbon, Arctic Igloo, and Snowy Slopes attractions open and close at the same time as the park while the box office opens 30 minutes before the opening time.
8. A Matter of Taste
Established in 1990, A Matter of Taste is a staple eating establishment owned by Carole and Jim Hendry. The menu and ambiance mimic the region's cultural diversity, with Spanish, Cuban, Greek, and local dishes on hand. The chefs make everything from scratch using fresh ingredients. The overall atmosphere is inviting, bright, warm, and friendly, and the restaurant also served a limited wine and beer selection. After hours of sightseeing, A Matter of Tate is a great place to relax and enjoy a great meal as you prepare for your next expedition. You can sample a wide range of foods, including Angus burgers, fried tomatoes, green gyros, and Cuban sandwiches.
7. Antiques on the Main Street
Antiques on the Main Street is an antique store situated in Downtown Date City. Established over 16 years ago, it displays several primitive antiques, rare objects, and rustic hand-crafted items, including bucket benches, wooden storage casks, and pie safes. It also helps that the quaint shop is located only minutes away from other must-visit downtown spots, including restaurants and other antique shops.
6. Hancock Groves
If you love natural fruits and orchards, you will love Hancock Groves. This family-owned farm grows peaches, strawberries, and citrus fruits. Visitors to the farm are allowed to tour the property and pick in-season fruits. It is an excellent activity for kids.
5. Ergle Christmas Tree Farm (Seasonal)
The Ergle Christmas Tree Farm is situated on Treiman Boulevard. It has been central to holiday traditions in Central Florida for over 25 years. In addition to offering a wide variety of fresh trees, it also has Christmas wreaths and cactus, as well as hydroponic blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries. There is an endless list of affordable activities families can engage in on the farm, including cutting down Cedar, Sand Pine, or Carolina Sapphire trees. You can also pet animals in the barn, such as pigs, turkeys, goats, and dogs, or just watch them as they go about their business.
4. Treehoppers Aerial Adventure Park
More and more thrill-seekers are turning to ziplining as a favorite weekend activity. If you are an adventurous soul that loves nature, you should visit Treehoppers Aerial Adventure Park. In addition to being the largest aerial park in Central Florida, this adventure park also boasts the largest zipline ropes course in the area. It offers several dozen ziplines with climbing challenges, courses, and rope bridges. In line with traditional ziplining, every run on the course is separated from the next one by a platform. You will be required to rise to the challenge and figure out how to get to the next platform. Never worry, however, there are trained experts in hand to ensure you are safe at all times.
3. Withlacoochee River Park
Withlacoochee River Park is a 406-acre wilderness park that is home to many wildlife, including raccoons, wild hogs, snakes, owls, great blue heron, bald eagles, and the swallow-tailed hawk. The Withlacoochee River runs through it, creating a tranquil environment for a lazy afternoon with friends or family. In addition to viewing wildlife, some of the activities you can enjoy here include camping, hiking, biking, picnicking, fishing, and kayaking. You can also remain indoors at the park's Pioneer Cabin or a smaller cozy cabin with air conditioning and electricity. Wildlife enthusiasts will love the park's Observation Tower, which gives panoramic views of the surrounding area. The park is also traversed by bicycle trails and a playground where kids can play in nature.
2. Steph's Southern Soul Restaurant
Steph's Southern Soul Restaurant is a must-visit dining establishment for Dade City locals and visitors alike. The restaurant is staffed with friendly waiters who treat you like family and serve amazing food. Usually, the food is served buffet-style, and you can choose from a wide range of dishes, including vegetables, bread, ribs, BBQ, chicken, meatloaf, and fish. You can also order scrumptious salads and soups and accompany them with timeless desserts like strawberry shortcake and key lime pie. Even better, all the meals are sold at affordable prices. You will enjoy every bite and leave with your wallet intact.
1. Giraffe Ranch
At Giraffe Ranch, you get to interact with giraffes in a free-to-roam environment, almost like the one they live in when in Africa. The 47-acre establishment is family-owned and has been operational for over two decades. You can feed the giraffes and view other animals, including hippos and zebras. You can also go on Segway rides, camel expeditions, and vehicle safaris as the knowledgeable staff feed you with information about these beautiful, exotic animals. Overall an excellent place to visit with the family.
As you can see, there is no shortage of fun and exhilarating Things to do in Dade City. Surrounded by beautiful rolling hills and pasture lands, the town is a refreshing reprieve from the noise and frenzy of the city. It is only an hour away from Tampa Bay, but its relaxed pace will make you feel like you are a world away. Plan your trip today and enjoy all of these Dade City attractions.
Written by Liz Flynn
Read more posts by Liz Flynn