As always, the side roads are infinitely more entertaining.
Credit the Dorling Kindersley (DK) Eyewitness Travel Guide to Florida for telling me about one diversion near the state capital of Tallahassee: Bradley’s Country Store.
Since 1927 it’s been on the old Cotton Trail, one of the many scenic roads in Leon County where you can still see some of the last bits of unspoiled rural Florida. Drive Miccosukee Road (there’s a greenway/trail nearby for hiking) and Magnolia Road, and feel the cooler darkness when the car passes through tunnels of trees that arch and meet over the highway.
There isn’t much out there in the way of restaurants, so a timely stop at Bradley’s is good when it’s stomach fortification time.
Complete with a creaky front porch stocked with friendly rockers, the store is the jumble of products and devices that always characterize a general store out in the country.
They sell their own grits and cornmeal, ground locally the same way for more than 75 years.
They also specialize in smoked sausage links, “….bite size pieces as an appetizer with mustard sauce, or served as a sausage dog on a bun.”
Grab some with a Coke, let the screen door slam behind you and eat it sitting on a porch rocker or nearby picnic table, waving at the occasional car that happens by.
You’re in Old Florida.
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