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4 Reasons to Take a Family Trip to Lake City, Florida

by Aoife O'Riordan

Aug 3, 2023

© Columbia County Tourism Development Council

Destinations / North America

Situated between Jacksonville and Tallahassee, Florida, Lake City is an underrated family travel destination. From crystal-clear springs to miles of hiking trails to rich history, here are four reasons to take a family trip to this often-overlooked destination.


Water Adventures

Lake City is home to the famous Ichetuknee Springs State Park, a series of springs known for its turquoise waters and tubing adventures. Head to the park to drift down the river on a tube or kayak the waters while surrounded by greenery and native wildlife.

Olustee © Columbia County Tourism Development Council


Rich History and Culture

Founded in 1821, Lake City features preserved buildings from the 19th century. In the charming downtown area, several streets are lined with historic structures and boutiques. While there, visit Columbia County Historical Museum to learn about the region’s past. On Marion Street, look for The Blanche Hotel, constructed in 1902, that hosted guests like Al Capone and Johnny Cash. Just outside Lake City, head to Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park, the site of Florida’s largest Civil War battle, where kids can see reenactments and meet historical figures.

Stephen Foster State Park © Columbia County Tourism Development Council

Family-Friendly Activities

Lake City is called Lake City for a reason. Families can go fishing on one of its many lakes to reel in a variety of fish. Or, families who prefer a trek can hike through one of several state parks in the area, including Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park on the banks of the Suwannee River and Big Shoals State Park. Thrill seekers can even take a sightseeing helicopter tour to see Lake City and the surrounding area from new heights.

O’Leno State Park © Columbia County Tourism Development Council

Natural Beauty

In addition to beautiful lakes, Lake City is home to lush forests, clear springs, and hiking and horseback-riding trails. The city is also just minutes from the Suwannee River, made famous by Stephen Foster, who has a park dedicated to him, his songs and the culture of the region in nearby White Springs.


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