Although Florida is a popular vacation destination both for Americans and international travelers, most people head to the state’s main cities or seaside resorts. However, there are plenty of smaller and lesser-known locations that people should consider visiting, especially if they prefer places that are off the beaten track. One place to consider adding to your travel bucket list is the quiet community of Pinecraft. Pinecraft is a small community in Florida close to Sarasota. The community predominantly consists of Amish people and Mennonites, who originally moved to the area in the 1920s to grow celery. Although celery farming was unsuccessful, the people loved the climate. Only a small percentage of the homes are permanently occupied, as many homes are used as vacation houses by North American Amish and Mennonites. Here are 10 reasons to make a day trip to Pinecraft, Florida.
1. Spend SomeTime on the Beach
Pinecraft is within walking distance of the beaches of Siesta Key, which are famous for their sugary sand and the stunning views out to the Gulf of Mexico. Visitors to the area can enjoy a stroll along the beach, take a dip in the sea, or have a picnic on the sand. It is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy the views. Sending some time at the beach is also an enjoyable experience for nature lovers as there is an abundance of wildlife along the coast.
2. Eat Amish Dishes
When visiting a new location, you should try some of the local foods. In Pinecraft, the Amish favor comfort foods, such as pies. To get a taste of the local cuisine, pop into one of the Amish restaurants in the town. Only In Your State recommends eating at Yoder’s, which is one of the area’s most popular restaurants. It is famous for its country-style cooking, with dishes such as biscuits and gravy, homemade pies, Amish potato cakes, and crispy chicken.
3. Try Some Sweet Treats
Another place to try tasty Amish food is at Der Dutchman Restaurant. Like Yoder’s, it has a menu of Amish comforts food. However, it is best known for its sweet treats, as it has an outstanding bakery. You do not need to sit down and dine in the restaurant to sample some of the sweet treats, as you can simply buy them over the counter.
4. Walk the Legacy Trail
If you enjoy spending time outdoors, one of the top activities in Pinecraft, Florida, is walking the Legacy Trail. It is a 14-mile trail in Sarasota County that runs alongside one of the borders of Pinecraft. The trail was formerly a section of the Seminole Gulf Railway corridor. It begins at the Historic Venice Train Depot and finishes on Bahia Vista Street, which is just east of Sarasota. There are plans to extend the trail in 2022.
5. See the Churches
There are some pretty churches in Pinecraft; one for the Amish and the other for the Mennonites. Visitors to the area who are members of these faiths are welcome to attend the churches for mass. Other visitors to the area can see the churches from the exterior. The Mennonite church was once a bakery and was bought by the Mennonites in 1947. In the past, this church was also used by the Amish. Furthermore, it was also used as a local school for the children and young people of Pinecraft until around 1950.
6. Have Fun at Pinecraft Park
Crystal Sands on Siesta Key recommends having some fun at Pinecraft Park, as there is something to enjoy for people of all ages. There is a play area for younger children, but there are also activities for older children and adults to enjoy in this outdoor space, including various courts for playing shuffleboard, sand volleyball, and basketball. Alternatively, simply take a stroll through the park to take in the greenery and enjoy the fresh air in pleasant surroundings.
7. Buy Some Locally Produced Goods
One of the best things to do in Pinecraft is to visit the local stores. Many of the local stores sell locally produced handicrafts, such as quilts, wooden toys, dolls, scented candles, and quilts. These items make fantastic souvenirs of your stay in the area. You will also find shops selling handcrafted furniture, such as rocking chairs. Furthermore, there are stores that sell homemade goods using local produce, such as chutneys, jams, pickles, cheese, and baked goods.
8. Soak Up the Sun
One of the key reasons that people choose Florida for a vacation is to enjoy the amazing climate, and many people head to the main tourist spots to do so. However, the climate is just as fantastic in the quieter destinations, such as Pinecraft. Due to the tranquil and laid-back nature of the town, along with the pretty outdoor spaces, it is a nice place to take a stroll in the sunshine.
9. Enjoy the Peaceful Lifestyle
The community in Pinecraft enjoys a peaceful and quiet lifestyle. If you want to take a break in a place with a slower pace of life that is not led by modern technology and stresses such as time pressures, then Pinecraft is a fantastic place to spend some time. It is an excellent choice for a day trip for those who want to relax and get away from the strains of daily life.
10. Stay at the Carlisle Inn
Many people who visit the community of Pinecraft do so as a day trip from Sarasota. However, it is also possible to spend several days in the area, as they welcome visitors from outside who are respectful of their lifestyle and traditions. The best place to stay overnight if you want to experience more of the lifestyle and culture of people in this community is the Carlisle Inn, which is just down the road near Sarasota. It has a range of modern amenities for a comfortable and pleasurable stay.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson