Lake City is a city of 12,000 people (2019) in North Central Florida. Lake City is known as "The Gateway to Florida" because it is adjacent to the intersection of Interstate 75 and Interstate 10. It was founded as the "Town of Alligator" in 1821.
Lake City's location at the intersection of Highways 90, 441, Interstate 75 and just off Interstate 10 have long made it a convenient stopping place on long highway drives. US-90 approaches the town from the west, while I-75 passes west of the town from north to south.
- Greyhound Bus Lines, 251 S Marion Ave, ☏ . 7:30AM-8:15PM.
The old part of town is on either side of Highway 90 around the intersections of Main and Marion Streets. It has a pleasant appearance with old houses and shops and Lake DeSoto and is worth a look if you're not too much of a rush.
Check out the downtown by day. Pretty much everything downtown closes up at 5PM. Places near the Interstate remain active at night.
From the end of November through December, the Festival of Lights is a spectacular Christmas display downtown.
- 1 Big Shoals State Park (on County Road 135, approximately a mile east of White Springs, off US 41). This Florida state park features the largest whitewater rapids in Florida. Limestone bluffs, towering 80 feet above the banks of the Suwannee River, afford outstanding vistas not found anywhere else in Florida. When the water level on the Suwannee River is between 59 and 61 feet above mean sea level, the Big Shoals rapids earn a Class III Whitewater classification, attracting thrill-seeking canoe and kayak enthusiasts. A smaller set of rapids downstream is called Little Shoals. Over 28 miles of wooded trails provide opportunities for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and wildlife viewing. The Woodpecker Trail, a 3.4 mile long multipurpose paved trail, connects the Little Shoals and Big Shoals entrances to the park. The river offers excellent opportunities for freshwater fishing. A picnic pavilion that seats up to 40 people is available at the Little Shoals entrance.
- 2 Ichetucknee Springs State Park, 12087 S.W. US Hwy 27 (exit from I-75 at exit 399; take US 441 north to High Springs; take US 27 north to Ft. White the south entrance to the park is 4 miles on the right), ☏ . 8AM-sundown, 365 days a year. Ichetucknee Springs is a popular destination for tubing, kayaking and canoeing.; Tube rental costs are generally $5-$20 per tube.; Major changes were made in 2016 because the park concessionaire vendor changed. This was controversial for many reasons. Beginning in 2016 tubes can be rented in one of two ways, either Outside the park, from independent vendors, Inside the park from the park concession vendor; Between Memorial Day and Labor Day the park has vehicles which take you from the park to the river and from the exit (from the river) to the parking lot. Park Admission Fees: $6 per vehicle. Limit 2-8 people per vehicle. $4 Single Occupant Vehicle. $4 Motorcycle Fee (one or two people). $2 Pedestrians, bikes, extra passengers, passengers in vehicle w/ holder of Annual Individual Entrance Pass.
- Olustee Battle Festival. Begins with a memorial service at Oak Lawn Cemetery in Lake City to honor those who died from both sides on day one and ends with a reenactment at the Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park on day three. There are various activities from live entertainment to exhibits are on display in downtown Lake City and the Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park.
- Alligator Warrior Festival (O'Leno State Park 20 miles (32 km) south of Lake City). Held each year on the weekend of the 3rd Saturday in October to recognize the early history of Columbia County prior to the Civil War.
Antique shops along Marion Avenue.
The standard national chains are well represented in the area by the Interstate exits. The old downtown also has several local places.
- 1 Cedar River Seafood, 1592 W US-90 (west of downtown), ☏ . Su–Th 11AM–9:30PM, F Sa 11AM–10:30PM.
- 2 Jessica's Bistro, 426 SW Commerce Dr #115 (near I-75, west of town), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 3 Marion Street, 281 North Marion Ave (downtown, one block west of the lake), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com.
- 1 Days Inn, 3144 W US-90, ☏ . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon.
- 2 Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites, 213 SW Commerce Dr (just off I-75 Highway 90 exit), ☏ . Rooms with whorlpool tubs available.
- Ramada, 3340 West US Highway, ☏ .
|Routes through Lake City|
|Pensacola ← Tallahassee ← Jct N S ←||W E||→ Osceola Nat'l Forest → Jacksonville|
|Macon ← Lake Park ←||N S||→ Gainesville → Tampa|
|Macon ← Lake Park ←||N S||→ Brooksville → Tampa|
|Pensacola ← Tallahassee ←||W E||→ Osceola Nat'l Forest → Jacksonville|