Day Trippin’ in DeLand, Florida
Before going over to tour the Stetson Mansion, my friend Julie and I did a mini- tour of the historic part of DeLand. What we found was a quaint and proud town definitely worthy of their own post and brimming with charm.
Located halfway between Orlando and Daytona, DeLand is home to the oldest private college in Florida, the Stetson University. We parked at a public parking lot on Woodland Blvd, in historic downtown DeLand (their “main street”) and set out to see what it had to offer. First up, Dolls of DeLand, where I was transported back to my childhood (and my own personal Barbie doll collection) with their fascinating display of dolls and collectibles. Lace & Accessories is another store that you need to stop in and admire the craftsmanship, regardless of if you are buying anything or not.
DeLand’s Main Street USA
It seemed that most of the crowds were either in the Boston Coffeehouse or the Muse Book Shop. Muse is a wonderful selection of new and antiquarian books including children’s books and topographical maps. They host event signings, so check their website for coming events. Some of their books date back to the 1700’s. Steve’s Downtown Music is one of those new and used record shops, that is full of vintage posters and vinyl; a place where a music lover like myself can get lost for hours. Steve’s offers hard to find DVDs, CD’s, Albums (Google this term if you are way too young to know it), and rock & roll memorabilia. Grrs & Purrs is a specialty shop for pets that does on-site grooming. It also has a large selection of pet toys, food & supplies, leashes, collars, and clothing; such as the savvy faux-fur collar I purchased for my dog, Priscilla.
More Downtown DeLand Offerings
Craving something sweet? Pat & Toni’s Sweet Things has you covered. Retro candy, fudge, ice cream, and fresh-made novelties adorn this tastefully decorated chocolate shop. They also customize gift baskets and offer shipping. I recommend trying one of their 13 types of turtles. Somewhere in Time and The Shoppes at Rivertown are both wonderful antique stores. Shoppes at Rivertown features 7,000 square feet of antiques along with the most darling wine bar/tea room, Vintage Vino, that also serves high tea, lunch, & desserts. I look forward to coming back to DeLand to try this great offering.
DeLand offered many options for cultural enrichment such as the Athens Theatre; built in Italian Renaissance architecture, which hosts events such as concerts, musicals, plays, summer camps, and monthly theater workshops. The Museum of Art store is a beautiful shop with specialty gifts and a friendly staff. The holiday and note cards, jewelry, and pottery selections were amazing, showcasing the talents of many local artisans. I could not make it out of this establishment without spending some money. The Museum of Art (not to be confused with the shop) is currently featuring the art of John Mellencamp through December 28th. They have their schedule of coming events listed online.
Hopefully you will be able to visit DeLand’s cute little town if you are in the area. I am having quite the luck running into such fun places around Florida. I hope my streak continues. Do you have any small towns that I should investigate?