Howdy, partner. A secret to most, Arcadia and other areas of Florida have a rich history of cattle-raising, which means it also had – and continues to have – a large contingent of cowboys, known locally as Florida Crackers (for the sound made by their whips). Located just one hour east of Sarasota and Bradenton and one hour north of Fort Myers, Arcadia sits in the middle of Florida cowboy country and it is a place where the Old West meets the Old South. Rodeos and other competitions in Arcadia are common, and the town also hosts the De Soto County Fair in January and the Watermelon Festival in May. Arcadia is also known for its peaceful orange groves, streams built for canoeing and woods made for camping.

    Paddling the Peace River

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