City Profile: Palatka

By: VISIT FLORIDA staff

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Explore the history of Palatka at its local museums and nature parks.

Historic Palatka is located on the St. Johns River in northeast Florida and is a one-hour drive to northeast Florida attractions and a two-hour drive to Orlando. Palatka and all of Putnam County, offer unlimited opportunities to explore the St. Johns River, one of only a few rivers in North America that flows northward.

You can experience Old Florida charm in Palatka, or share in celebrating our Florida heritage at our many festivals and events, including the Florida Azalea Festival, St. Johns River Catfish Festival, Blue Crab Festival or Bostwick Blueberry Festival.

Other opportunities for adventure include fishing for trophy bass in the "Bass Capital of the World", camping, canoeing, kayaking the area's eight designated blueway trails (the only ones on the St. John’s River), playing golf, touring historic homes and churches built in the 1800's, hiking or bicycling on one of our many trails, visiting the birding sites listed in the Great Florida Birding Trail, renting a houseboat and enjoying nature on the beautiful St. Johns River and visiting our State Parks, State Forests and Conservation Areas.

The Palatka Mural Tour featuring over 30 artistic renderings offers an experience depicting the historical, cultural and natural riches of Palatka and Putnam County in larger-than-life murals.

The Bronson-Mullholland House (circa 1854) is located in the Northern Historic district is in downtown Palatka. This gorgeous historic Greek revival plantation home offers guided tours that include a description of the house and people who lived there through the Civil War era and into the 20th Century. Hours are Thursday through Monday, noon to 5 p.m. The house is closed on major holidays.

Next door, visitors will find the Putnam County Historic Museum (circa 1838), formerly used as military barracks during the Seminole Indian Wars. This building houses Putnam County and the region's memorabilia that depicts historic events from the early Spanish settlements through the 20th century. Hours are Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Union Station, renovated in 2003, is located in downtown Palatka. The station is also the home of the David Browning Railroad Museum, which has exhibits of the history of the railroad in northeast Florida.  Memorabilia, documents and an operating model train are on display.

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