Sometimes the places right in your backyard turn out to be so much fun. I’ve been enjoying and exploring many of those since COVID has kept us close to our homes. A day trip to Fellsmere, Florida, brought my husband, friends, and me to an iconic restaurant, great produce stands, historic sites, and surprisingly good shopping. Here is what you can expect in Fellsmere, the frog leg capital of the world.
If a Floridian were naming the top 25 eateries in the state, chances are, Marsh Landing would be on the list. This landmark restaurant has a southern style menu with Old-Florida cuisine items such as gator tail, frog legs, swamp cabbage, and catfish. Offering warm hospitality and a dining room filled with taxidermied animals and historical artifacts, Marsh Landing is a great place to go for breakfast, lunch, or dinner since 2002.
On our visit, the four of us started our meal with Corn Fritters and Pimento Cheese Biscuits (grilled) with bacon jam. Holy goodness, you won’t believe how amazing these pimento cheese babies are. I would rank this appetizer as one of the best I’ve had in the whole country.
We ordered Grilled Shrimp Platter, Fried Green Tomato BLT (with remoulade sauce), Gator Platter, and 4-Vegetable Plate for lunch. The veggies (or starches) I chose for my veggie plate were baked beans, Mac and cheese, collard greens, and glazed carrots.
If you have room, order a slice of homemade pie or cobbler. We were too full to hold anything else, but the desserts sure looked good. Marsh Landing also has live bluegrass bands a few nights a week.
Historic Signs and Sites
Fellsmere was the birthplace for women voting in Florida. In 1915, it became the first place women in Florida, and anywhere south of the Mason-Dixon Line, could legally vote.
If you are walking around town, be on the lookout for these historic buildings and local landmarks:
- City Hall, 1915
- Fellsmere School, 1915
- Community Bible Church, 1913
- Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, 1925
- Fellsmere Inn, 1915
- Bank Building, 1913
- Marion Fell Library, 1915
Right beside Marsh Landing is Ditch 13 Gallery and Gifts, a small shop offering local books, souvenirs, bird-feeders, outdoor decor, and gifts. The thing that caught my eye were the clever utensil wind chimes. What a great way of upcycling.
Small stores like this need your support more than ever after the 2020 we’ve all had, so even a stop by to say hello would be appreciated.
You will also find Spanish Talavera pottery at many of the local produce markets, not to mention incredible fruit and vegetable selections at great prices. I took home a gorgeous piece with an orange hibiscus from Big C’s Produce for much less than the price tag I’ve seen in other Florida cities.
We lucked out on our visit to Fellsmere as a classic car meet-up was visiting Marsh Landing. The streets were lined with beautiful cars to admire.
We beat the Florida heat by cooling off with a tasty frozen treat from Yami’s Ice Cream Shop. Whether you want ice cream, fruit bars, or fruit drinks, the price is right, and they are delicious! We tried the fruit bars, which are easy to eat on the go and don’t melt as fast as ice cream. I highly recommend the tamarind and coconut. Cash only is accepted.
If you’d prefer a Mexican pastry or sweet treat, Garcia Plaza Bakery has everything you can think of.
Fellsmere is one of the leading producers of watermelon in the state of Florida. Other crops are abundant here, as well, including citrus fruits. Because of the primary Hispanic workers in agritourism, Fellsmere has a wealth of Mexican restaurants, markets, and other ethnic foods. Thanks to that, there are a wealth of delicious Mexican eateries all through town. Our favorite is Las Tapatias Mexican Restaurant, where you can get a full belly for around $5-$6 per person.
Drive-by Blue Cypress Lake, one of the world’s largest osprey nesting sites. If you like to fish, know that bass and crappie are the big catches in Fellsmere. Fishing here is world-renowned for both saltwater and freshwater.
I hope you will enjoy your visit to Fellsmere every bit as much as we did. Next time, I’m doing a taco crawl to see which of the Mexican restaurants have the best tacos. Travel safe.
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