Daytripping….. with Bruce Marion

Hop on Highway 192 west or 520 west (hwy 50 also) and head towards the land of Christmas. Year round it is a refreshing experience, though ironically closed on Christmas Eve Day and Christmas Day!
Ft-XmasEnroute you can stop at Camp Holly on 192 or Lone Cabbage on 520 for a lovely meal, airboat rides, fishing and nature views and sometimes entertainment on a weekend.  Lots of food and fun there and at Jungle Adventure on hwy 50 which is housed within Swampy the world’s largest alligator (shaped building?). Nearby gator farm and gift shop, air boat rides etc and very close to Fort Christmas.
Fort Christmas indeed was named as construction began on the infrastructure on Christmas Day 1837 during the 2nd Seminole Indian war. It was one of some 200 similar forts throughout the US during the Indian Wars, which is to say; not much more than a wood fence with a gate and a few structures for the sentries or the residents needing protection.  37477574 Fort Christmas itself has a gift shop/museum and hosts many activities during the year including reenactment events, and other festivals of a cowboy, outdoor, bluegrass music, agriculture, Christmas, cracker and old school themes.  There is a ballfield, playground, barbecue and picnic area and much more. They host educational projects like basket weaving, old musical instrument construction, pottery, quilting, leather and woodcraft, photography and even blacksmithing.
Lovely homes are throughout the area and there are many side roads of natural beauty such as Taylor Creek Rd which can take you back to how it looked almost 200 years ago!
Starting around Halloween many folks will make the drive just to have their Christmas cards postmarked at the historic old post office there and it gets crazy as the weather gets cooler. This is perhaps the big attraction for the town, Holiday visitors.
The little town in East Orange County of Christmas proper is only around 1200 population (in 2010), and is just west of Brevard County line so that many folks think it is part of west Titusville.
photography 123The nearby Wildlife management areas of Tosohatchee and the St johns WMA both provide countless opportunities for boating, fishing, hiking and nature photography. You are likely to see deer, turkeys, hogs, gators, turtles, vultures and more. Maybe even a bald eagle, manatee or panther. Mornings and late afternoons provide the most likely scenario in which you can see more wild animals, as some are nocturnal and be more present.
My wife loves Christmas more that anyone else I know and it has always been our dream to live in Christmas, Florida. Be sure to bring your camera, mosquito repellent, sunscreen and be prepared for any type of weather you could imagine in our state.
This could easily eat up a whole day from dawn to dusk plus but if you can’t find enough to do there call me anytime here at Marion Music or at home and I will send you on a side trip. Example, there is a little abandoned town (Maytown) west of Mims but that is another story.
Slow down and you will see a lot more, and it will be safer for all. Some people think the speed limit is the minimum not the maximum, so please be careful any time you are on the road. Happy Daytripping…..