Once a frontier gateway to Southwest Florida, Arcadia will enter the next millenium with all its charm intact. Within its 58 block Historic District are some of Florida's finest examples of turn of the century architecture, many virtually unchanged in their appearance. Originally known as "Tater Hill Bluff" Arcadia was incorporated in 1886 after the arrival of the railroad, and became DeSoto County Seat in 1888. More than 370 homes and businesses are on the National Registry of Historic Places. There is a fascinating walking tour provided for visitors-call 813-494-4033 for information. In addition, there are lots of antique shops, cafes and a Historic Museum, as well as fun activities such as swamp buggy tours and airboat rides. Canoeing and boating activities abound on the pristine Peace River that runs alongside the city. The beautiful Peace River is Florida's most poupular designated canoe trail, with ample opportunities for fishing, fossil hunting and wildlife observation, including alligators, turtles wading birds and maybe even a black bear if you're lucky.

In nearby Ona is Solomon's Castle, home and studio of world-renowned sculptor Howard Solomon, an amazing hand-built wonder that has more than 80 stained glass windows and acts as a showplace for his fascinating art creations. Arcadia's All Florida Championship Rodeo is the oldest in the state and attracts cowboys from all over the country, and usually takes place in July.

abfla logo