sun dazed

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Way down upon the Suwannee River, the musical legacy of Stephen Foster — who never set foot along it — lives on at Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park in White Springs, a park devoted to the preservation of Florida folk culture. The largest gathering of folk musicians in the Southeast, the Florida Folk Festival has run for more than 50 years here, where there's a festival for every season. On-site craftspeople, including smithies and basket-weavers, contribute their knowledge of handmade arts for future generations by sharing their secrets at the craft village. Cousin Thelma's store showcases their wares, as well as the songs of ...

Way down upon the Suwannee River, the musical legacy of Stephen Foster — who never set foot along it — lives on at Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park in White Springs, a park devoted to the preservation of Florida folk culture. The largest gathering of folk musicians in the Southeast, the Florida Folk Festival has run for more than 50 years here, where there's a festival for every season. On-site craftspeople, including smithies and basket-weavers, contribute their knowledge of handmade arts for future generations by sharing their secrets at the craft village. Cousin Thelma's store showcases their wares, as well as the songs of Florida folk musicians and the creative output of artists from around the region. The centerpiece of the park is the carillon, where 97 bells ring out tunes all throughout the day. The park is a launch point for the Suwannee River Wilderness Trail, a Mecca for canoeists from around the United States. Hiking, bicycling, and equestrian trails meander above the riverbanks and are best enjoyed in early spring, when the air is filled with the sweet scent of wild Florida azalea in bloom.

Sandra Friend
About the Expert

Sandra Friend has written 12 books about Florida, including the Explorer's Guide (Countryman Press) series to Florida.

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Spring