Winter may not be the first time of year that pops into your head when you think about planning a trip to Florida. However, thanks to the moderate weather here in Wakulla County, the winter season opens up many opportunities for adventure. From exciting local festivals to relaxing outdoor activities, here are just a few of the top ways to spend winter in Wakulla County.
St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge Wildlife, Heritage, and Outdoor Festival
The St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge is an important resource for many local wildlife species, which is why it is celebrated every February at the Wildlife, Heritage, and Outdoor (WHO) Festival. This beloved event reminds visitors of the connection that Florida native has always had to the area’s flora and fauna. When you attend the WHO Festival, you can expect live entertainment, educational wildlife displays provided by various outdoor organizations, and games and activities including the famous Youth Duck and Turkey Calling Contest.
Stone Age and Primitive Arts Festival
Long before European immigrants established permanent settlements in Florida, Stone Age humans were living off the Gulf Coastland and transforming the environment with the help of tools. The annual Stone Age and Primitive Arts Festival in late February looks back at many of these traditions and techniques to educate attendees on how these early inhabitants survived and created a thriving society. The Stone Age and Primitive Arts Festival is held at Ochlockonee River State Park, and some of the popular activities include demonstrations of flint knapping, deer hide tanning, atlatl throwing, and primitive archery competitions.
What to Do
It’s true, birds fly south for the winter. In Wakulla, you can catch some seasonal species of migratory birds and local favorite who live here year-round. You can find great bird-watching spots in the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, Wakulla Springs State Park, Apalachicola National Forest, and other areas throughout the region.
Where to Eat
Hamaknockers BBQ – Crawfordville
Accept no substitutes: Real southern barbecue is a labor of time, technique, and love, and all of those are on display in the succulent offerings at Hamaknocker’s BBQ. Pair their slow-smoked meats with some of the 11 delicious homemade sauces for the perfect taste of the south.
Angelo and Son’s Seafood Restaurant – Panacea
Established in 1945, Angelo and Sons is one of the original Wakulla County dining destinations, and it still draws in crowds for its spectacular view of the Ochlockonee Bay. What keeps the restaurant thriving is that the food is just as good as the views, with specialties like seafood pasta dishes and seafood au gratin.
Where to Stay
The Magnuson Inn at Wildwood – Crawfordville
When you stay at the Magnuson Inn at Wildwood, you’re right in the heart of nature! This serene property is located amidst 1,000 square miles of protected land.
Wakulla Springs Lodge – Crawfordville
The historical Lodge is located within Wakulla Springs State Park, and it is a full-service hotel featuring dining options, conference facilities, and easy access to the park.
Looking for even more Wakulla winter fun? Download our free Winter Guide to see all the great things to do this season. To get the full Wakulla experience, you’ll need to stay a few days at one of our hotels or campgrounds by visiting our accommodations page. Schedule your next Wakulla adventure today!