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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Take in the Waters in Florida’s Big Bend


3. What to Do

The Ichetucknee springs.  

Rent a canoe, kayak, or tube (best choice for the ultimate veg-out experience; $5) at Ichetucknee Springs State Park, located in Ft. White and atop eleven freshwater springs. For the best sites, take the vodka-clear, always-73-degree Spring Run—look for red cardinal flowers, turtles, and blue herons. In winter, the park shuttle doesn't run, so be prepared to float or boat back to where you started.

Take a ride down the “Road to Nowhere” (from CR 51 in Steinhatchee, take CR 361 southeast out of town), a fifteen-mile half-paved, half-dirt road that ends abruptly at a deserted stretch of grassy beach. Built years ago by local officials who were in cahoots with drug runners (the paved parts are where traffickers landed their planes), it's now an almost unknown connection to some of the most isolated and beautiful beaches anywhere—it's covered in moonlike limestone rocks, washed smooth by thousands upon thousands of high tides. Go at night—the constellations sparkle like diamonds, undisturbed by ambient light.

Look for lost artifacts among Micanopy's highly specialized antique shops. Start at Delectable Collectibles (112 Main St.; 212-219-3590), which hoards more than 1,400 antique cameos. Two doors down, O. Briskie Bookstore (352-466-3910) offers 50,000 titles, ranging from $1 used books to first editions from as far back as 1683. The nearby Antique Mall Downtown (110 NE Cholokka Blvd.; 352-466-3456) houses dealers of everything from hat pins to rare citrus-crate labels from the “Florida Label Man," some costing $400.

Published on Feb 14, 2008 as a web exclusive.

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