It's DeLightful, It's DeLovely, It's DeLicious. It's DeLand!

By: Gary McKechnie

ADD TO FAVORITES

I’ve been to DeLand quite a bit, but a Saturday visit reminded me how enjoyable it is. I can’t recall many towns that have a downtown music store (band instruments) as well as music stores (plural) with some groovy vinyl (yes, there's Groovy Records), real live bookstores like The Muse (yes!), performances at the classic 1922 Athens theatre, as well as collectibles shops like Carasell's, art galleries, antiques and boutiques, florists and restaurants that serve everything from hot dogs and sushi to Greek and casual American (Mainstreet Grill) to a wonderful buffet (see: Cook’s – most excellent!).

I hope that on your next road trip, you set your sights on DeLand, about 15 minutes west of Daytona and 40 miles north of Orlando. It’s a quiet town with an active college (Stetson University) and an even more active downtown. There’s shopping, the Museum of Florida Art, skydiving from the DeLand airport, and you’re only about seven miles south of De Leon Springs State Park (cook your own pancakes), 10 miles northwest of Cassadaga (a camp of seers and psychics), and a few minutes east of the St. Johns River (rent a houseboat!).

Arrive on the fourth Friday of any month and you’ll be here for the DeLand Art Walk when local artists pair with local merchants to present their works throughout the shopping village. Strolling from showing to showing takes about three hours and introduces you to a variety of merchandise – and a variety of artistic styles. And it’s all in a lovely setting.

And together, DeLand is another reason why people love Florida.

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