The city of Arcadia, Florida, was founded in 1886 and had a population of about 7,600 residents at the time of the last census.
It’s the county seat of De Soto County and is located just inland from the Gulf of Mexico, along the south-central portion of the state’s west coast.
Arcadia is located about an hour east of Sarasota and an hour north of Fort Myers.
1. Slim’s BBQ & Grill
Slim’s BBQ & Grill is located on South Brevard Avenue in Arcadia and has been a locally-owned and family-run business for nearly six decades.
Their menu includes a variety of BBQ options, including ribs, brisket, and chicken with several sauce options.
They’ve got great steaks, salads, and desserts too, including perennial favorites key lime pie and cheesecake made with Florida citrus.
2. Morgan Park
Morgan Park is comprised of nearly 250 acres of preserved natural areas that are full of amenities and activity options, and it’s free to visit.
A paved trail runs the length of the park and is appropriate for strollers and those who use wheelchairs.
Dogs are allowed in the park as long as they’re kept on leashes and cleaned up after, and the trails wind their way through stands of Saw Palmettos and along the scenic river.
3. Arcadia Peace River Charters
The Peace River flows through downtown Arcadia and is one of the area’s premier attractions for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
For those who’d rather experience the great outdoors but let someone else take care of all the little details, booking a tour with Arcadia Peace River Charters would be a wise choice.
Sunset tours are offered too, and charters can be tailored to the ages and interests of guests.
4. The DeSoto County Courthouse
The DeSoto County Courthouse was built in the early years of the 20th century and is one of the best preserved examples of revival-style architecture in the area.
Although the iconic red brick courthouse is no longer in use, it sits adjacent to the building currently in use in the heart of the Arcadia historic district on East Oak Street.
It is in a quaint area and is within easy walking distance of businesses, restaurants and shops, making it the perfect place for an afternoon walking tour.
5. DeSoto County Fair
The DeSoto County Far takes place in January when the weather is generally pleasant and mild. It’s a week-long event, which means you can visit multiple times.
The fair includes lots of livestock events, beauty pageants, live music, and even bull riding.
Since most of the vendors are locals, the majority of money spent on-site will stay in the community.
6. Arcadia Peace River Campground
For those who prefer breezes and stars to pricey hotels and breakfast buffets, the Arcadia Peace River Campground would be a good fit.
The nearly 80-acre site is set amidst scenic stretches of the Peace River’ popular nearby activities include kayaking, fishing, biking, and bird-watching.
The park is open to campers and RVs, and its amenities include abundant showers and bathrooms, built-in BBQ grills. Bikes and golf carts are available to rent as well.
7. Platt Branch Wildlife and Environmental Area Trails
The Platt Branch Wildlife and Environmental Area Trails are popular natural escape destinations for those who prefer to distance themselves from the crowds and experience the great outdoors.
Consisting of grassy scrublands, pine flatwoods, and wetlands that fill and drain seasonally, the varied environments through which the trail meanders are home to a variety of Florida wildlife.
Turtles, snakes, and foxes are common species, as are a variety of birds – from raptors and woodpeckers to waterfowl and wading birds.
8. Myakka River State Park
For many travelers to the Sunshine State, they’re places that they choose to spend the majority of their time.
For those in the Arcadia area, Myakka River State Park is one of the most popular.
Biking, fishing, and kayaking are popular park activities, and guided tour options are available as well.
9. Arcadia Municipal Golf Course
The Arcadia Municipal Golf Course is open every day of the year, with the exception of Thanksgiving and Christmas.
It’s open from 7 AM until 9 PM most days and features 18-scenic holes that play about 6,100 yards from the blue tees.
Generally, rounds can be completed in three or four hours, and there are a variety of tee boxes to accommodate children, seniors, and women who prefer to play from the red tees.
10. Warm Mineral Springs
For those in need of some natural therapy, there’s no better place to get it than Warm Mineral Springs in nearby North Port.
The springs are surrounded by lush, treed areas, and unlike many of Florida’s natural recreation spots, the springs are a gator-free environment.
The springs attract lots of foreign visitors, so you may feel like you’ve been transported to the spas of Eastern Europe.