Local Attractions: Start your day!
Awaken to hot and cold cereals, and fresh eggs from the chickens, upon your request. You'll find coffee and tea are awaiting your command to brew. Your fully appointed kitchen allows self catering, in addition to the nearby gas grills. The perfect introduction to an unhurried day, in your own time, at your own pace.
Welcome to the Original Florida
The Smoakhouse is located on a paved road in the "Hatchbend" community of farmers and ranchers. This area was named for "Hatch's bend in the River". Visit the site of an essential outpost that served the shipping traffic vital to keeping the settlement provisioned, and allowed commerce. You may have seen our area on the Discovery channels River loggers series. You'll be surrounded by well drained pastures that allow for a true Ranch experience. This is the real Florida--No chuck wagons or "dudes" here---just great weather, minimal pests, and a chance for kids of all ages to feed the "Ranch pets". Experience life at a slower pace! Enjoy the southern style food offered at Sister's Restaurant. Savor the entrees' at the "Our Place Pizzeria and Ristorante". Nearby Branford is only 8 minutes away, and features great dining and shops to meet you requests. "Bob's Place" offers a non-commercial riverside park full of slides, rope swings, volleyball, picnicking, and just great "country fun"!
The Ranch is located within 30 minutes of 8 area parks, including the popular Ichetucknee River tubing run. Swim with the manatees at nearby Manatee Springs park. Explore the steamboat Madison remains at Troy Springs. Visit a huge underwater cave entrance at Little River. Join the music festivals at the Spirit of the Suwannee Park, or the annual concerts and Christmas Lights celebration.We're also just minutes from Ginnie, Poe, and Blue Springs. Within another 15 minutes drive, explore the exhibits and demonstrations at Stephen Foster park, or walk the battlefield grounds at famous Olustee. Explore a real Confederate fort erected to protect the railways. It's all here!
Our Neighbors at High Springs: "Florida's Antique Capital"
The people of High Springs welcome you to experience the charm of our small town. Voted the "Friendliest Small Town" in Florida, High Springs beckons you to discover History, Adventure, Recreation and Family Fun!
Located in beautiful north Florida halfway between Gainesville and Lake City, our area offers delights for the nature lover, sportsman, and historian. Canoe our pristine rivers, dive or splash into a crystal clear spring, shop till you find that item you never thought you would find, or just relax with an ice cream and admire one of our many historic buildings. Stroll our tree-lined streets and stop to enjoy our fine eateries, browse to your heart's content through our antique, specialty and gift shops.
Enjoy a Florida Wine Tasting!
Take a wine tasting class, or just relax and sample an array of local offerings. A nearby Winery with it's local blend of country hospitality and unique southern wine offerings is just south on highway 349.
Explore the Rivers and the Gulf
The Smoakhouse Ranch is located less than 2 miles from the confluence of the Suwannee and Santa Fe rivers, and is served by two boat ramps. Bring your canoe, kayak, or picnic boat. There are dozens of small springs in the area only accessed by water. Take over one of many "sandy beaches" for a cook out. Explore the sites of many native American hunting parties. You can run the river all the way to it's outlet in a fishing village still offering guides and charters (or a 35 minute drive). Enjoy lunch at the "Salt Creek" cafe, or the Lighthouse at Old Town, featuring the best of our seafood bounty. Suwannee is also the beginning of a coastal path following the shore line for several miles. You'll drive through tree lined canopys, and break out into unreal landscapes of salt marsh meadows. Find the hidden pier, and look out on miles of hidden marshes and tree islands. Was that a wild boar! Harvest the abundant scallops in summer. The historic Island of Cedar Key is less than an hours travel
Go On Safari!
Our Neighbor John has opened his 300+ acres of wildlife enriched land to a Florida shutterbug experience. Enjoy an excursion to deep woods and dry river loops to see many of the areas native species, as well as some unique exotic animals. For a moderate fee,$15 per person, you'll experience the same thrills any safari has to offer, but without the 4 day journey! Within 3 miles of the Ranch is the Lafayette Forest, a multi-use park featuring miles of roads and paths that extend into the Mallory Swamp area. This important water management basin supports a native population of many species, and is being quickly returned to it's natural state. No fee!
Historic Pioneer Days at Mayo
Join us each year on the second Saturday of October for this popular festival. We fill our town park with the best crafts and food the area has to offer.
The Forest Capital at Perry
Each fall, the coastal area community of Perry celebrates the bounty of the North Florida pine tree farmers with an event not to be missed. You'll have a chance to see what created all of that paper in your life, and why it's an infinitely renewable product so vital to the agribusiness community.
The Cedar Key Seafood and Arts Festival
Also in the Fall, this historic slice of old Florida brings the best of food and arts in a setting of an old magestic homes, a delightful waterfront, and great dining. Get the best breakfast at "Joe's". Enjoy a glass of wine at the 1890's Island Motel. Try smoked mullet with grits, or bring your own fresh catch in for preparation!
Other Area Festivals
Many of our area parks offer special weekends in all of our four seasons. The nearby Spirit of the Suwannee Park now has three major concert events, as well as many special event weekends. Each February brings the "Battle of Olustee" Civil War reenactment at nearby Lake City. Stephen Foster park celebrates the Magnolia Festival each spring.
THE SMOAKHOUSE RANCH FARM STAY: 386-935-2662