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The ultimate road trip to Williston, FL

Hit the road and head to Williston, FL — we’re sharing all the details about what to do and eat, plus where to stay.

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If you look closely, you can find City Editor Brad trying to find a turtle.

Photo via TBAYtoday

Table of Contents
Eat

Itching to get out of town, TBAY? Skip those pesky airport security lines and jump in your car for a road trip to Williston, FL, instead.

From swimming in the Devil’s Den Spring to the blueberry crumble at Sister’s Place — we’re spilling all the details on how to have an unforgettable time in the 352.

Essential info

Drive time: ~2 hours
Year city was established: 1853
Est. population: ~3,000

Experience

Devil’s Den Spring
This underground prehistoric spring attracts scuba divers and snorkelers from all over the United States. The sapphire blue, 72-degree waters are home to fossils from the Pleistocene Age + one turtle. Pro tip: If you go during the winter, the cave emits a tantalizing yet eerie fog.

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Dive deep into the Blue Grotto

Blue Grotto Dive Resort
Dive 20 ft down onto the open water training platforms and meet the Grotto’s favorite resident, Virgil the Turtle. And for the brave, the chamber stretches another 80 ft down. Fun fact: there’s technically no sunshine down that low.

Cedar Lakes Woods and Gardens: Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve
This retired rock quarry was transformed into a botanical oasis and should be at the top of your list of places to check out. Check out everything from the amber Azaleas to Dr. Seuss-like pink touch-me-nots.

Two Tails Ranch
Ever wanted to meet a seven-ton elephant? At Two Tails Ranch, you can get up close and personal with the gentle giants — and ride them during tours.

Amber Brooke Farms
Need some fresh ingredients for that Triple Berry Peach Pie? Amber Brooke has you covered. Pick blueberries, peaches, and Florida strawberries during the farm’s monthly U-Pick.

Eat

Sister’s Place
This farm-to-table Williston staple is just off the main drag. We’ve got ten words for this place: barbeque gator, frog legs, corn nuggets, and a blueberry crumble You’re welcome.

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The Ivy House also doubles as a fashion boutique.

Photo via The Ivy House

The Ivy House
Enjoy homemade Southern comfort food. We recommend getting lost in a giant plate of BBQ shrimp and creamy grits.

Sad Donkey Coffee
After a long day of diving, wake yourself back up with some Sad Donkey Coffee. Try the chocolate frappuccino with a shot of espresso.

BubbaQue’s
Pig out with some southern-inspired recipes. We recommend the fried green tomatoes and Redneck Nachos to start, a rack of ribs for your entree, and banana pudding for dessert.

Prime & Pearl

You can’t get this close to Gainesville and not try this should-be Michelin Star restaurant. This date-night spot offers up some tender ribeyes, fire fillets, and a knowledgeable staff.

Stay

Two Hawk Hammock Lodging
Nestled deep in the heart of Williston, this serene escape offers a mix of picturesque landscapes, a koi pond, a whimsical tree, and cozy cabins.

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Cozy up next to the fireplace at this dark-themed campsite bungalow.

Photo via VRBO

Secluded Getaway
Recharge and relax and recharge at this one-of-a-kind onyx-themed oasis — complete with pool, fire pit, and sprawling land.

Charming Farmhouse
This quaint and clean paradise is surrounded by more than 100 majestic oak trees, offers easy access to all of the local experiences, and horse stables are available upon request.

Family retreat on 50-acre working horse farm
From the sparkling screened-in waterfall pool, the ample living space, and the entertainment-centric backyard — this luxury home might just be the perfect backdrop for your next family getaway.

Wait a minute, TBAY. Before you head out the door, find the cheapest places to fill up your gas tank.

Also, bookmark this map so you have no trouble finding all of our recommendations while visiting Williston.

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