The administrative center of the Volusia County, Deland is a small city with an estimated population of around 35,000 inhabitants located in Eastern Florida, United States of America. Nicknamed ‘The Athens of Florida’, the city dates back to 1874 where settlers from New York arrived and inhabited the area. They sold their businesses back home and cleared the area to construct new buildings, schools, utilities, and churches, consequently attracting more inhabitants and turning it into a town.
Deland was the first city in Florida to have electricity. At a total area of 50 square kilometers, the city is part of the Deltona–Daytona Beach–Ormond Beach metropolitan area.
Deland is brimming with leisure activities, both indoors and outdoors, and has something to offer for everyone. The Blue Springs State Park is an outdoor sanctuary for water activities, similar to Hontoon Island Adventures that has the bonus of camping along with hiking and boating. Admirers of history and artifacts can head on down to the Museum of Art-Deland which is a quaint art museum with rotating exhibits.
If one is seeking a park with lush grounds and a rich history to stroll in with their friends, families, or pets, look no further than the gorgeous De Leon Springs State Park to hang around.
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Located in the central portion of Volusia County, Deland offers a rustic charm of small-town comfort that is only minutes away from world-class entertainment, dining, and shopping. If you are searching for a home in Deland and need a mortgage home quote to fund you there, write to us at MortgageQuote.com.
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Discovering the Historic Charm of Deland, Florida: Must-Visit Attractions and Landmarks
Welcome to Deland, Florida, a hidden gem of historical charm and rich heritage. Nestled in the heart of the Sunshine State, Deland is a captivating destination that offers an array of must-visit attractions and landmarks.
Immerse yourself in the city's storied past as you explore its historic downtown, characterized by quaint shops, vibrant galleries, and cozy cafes. Deland's Mainstreet was even awarded the title of "America's Best Main Street" by Parade Magazine and has been attracting visitors from near and far.
One of the most iconic landmarks in Deland is Stetson University, Florida's oldest private college. Established in 1883, this esteemed institution is renowned for its beautiful campus and distinguished academics.
For nature enthusiasts, the city offers the breathtaking De Leon Springs State Park, where you can swim, kayak, or simply indulge in a delicious pancake breakfast at the Old Spanish Sugar Mill Grill and Griddle House.
Deland is also home to the DeLand Naval Air Station Museum, which pays homage to the city's military history and showcases intriguing artifacts.
Discover the captivating blend of history, culture, and natural beauty in Deland, Florida. Whether you're a history buff, nature lover, or simply seeking a charming getaway, Deland has something to offer everyone.
The History of Deland, Florida
Deland, Florida, has a rich and fascinating history that dates back to the 19th century. The city was founded in 1876 by Henry Addison DeLand, a prominent businessman and philanthropist. DeLand envisioned a vibrant community that would become a cultural and educational hub in Central Florida.
The city's history is deeply intertwined with Stetson University, which was established in 1883. Stetson University played a pivotal role in the development of Deland, attracting intellectuals, artists, and entrepreneurs to the area. Today, the university continues to be a driving force behind the city's cultural and economic growth.
Deland was also a key player in the citrus industry during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The city's fertile soil and favorable climate made it an ideal location for citrus groves. Many historic landmarks in Deland pay tribute to its citrus heritage, including the annual Florida Citrus Parade held downtown.
Historic Landmarks in Deland: Stetson University
Stetson University stands as a testament to Deland's rich history and academic excellence. The campus is a sight to behold, with its picturesque red-brick buildings, lush green spaces, and majestic oak trees. The university offers a diverse range of academic programs and is known for its rigorous curriculum and distinguished faculty.
One of the most iconic landmarks on the Stetson University campus is the Elizabeth Hall, a striking Mediterranean Revival-style building that houses the university's administrative offices. Built in 1913, Elizabeth Hall is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a cherished symbol of the university's heritage.
Another notable landmark on campus is the Sampson Hall, home to the School of Music. This beautiful building features a grand performance hall, practice rooms, and state-of-the-art recording studios. The School of Music at Stetson University is renowned for its exceptional faculty and talented students, attracting music enthusiasts from around the world.
Historic Landmarks in Deland: Athens Theatre
The Athens Theatre is a true gem in Deland's cultural landscape. Built in 1921, this historic theater is a stunning example of neoclassical architecture. The theater has been meticulously restored to its original splendor and continues to host a variety of performances, including plays, musicals, concerts, and film screenings.
Step inside the Athens Theatre, and you'll be transported back in time. The theater's ornate interior features intricate plasterwork, a grand chandelier, and a beautiful mural above the stage. With its intimate setting and superb acoustics, the Athens Theatre offers an unforgettable experience for theater lovers.
In addition to its regular performances, the Athens Theatre also offers educational programs and community outreach initiatives. From acting workshops to summer camps, the theater strives to inspire and nurture the next generation of performing artists in Deland.
Historic Landmarks in Deland: Museum of Art - Deland
Art enthusiasts will delight in a visit to the Museum of Art - Deland. Located in the heart of downtown Deland, this museum showcases a diverse collection of contemporary and traditional art. The museum's extensive permanent collection includes works by renowned artists such as Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, and Thomas Hart Benton.
The Museum of Art - Deland is housed in a historic building that dates back to 1912. The building itself is a work of art, with its Spanish Revival-style architecture and intricate details. Inside, visitors can explore the museum's galleries, attend art classes and workshops, and participate in special events and exhibitions.
The museum also has a strong focus on community engagement, offering educational programs for children and adults. From art camps for kids to lectures and artist talks, the Museum of Art - Deland is a vibrant hub for artistic expression and cultural enrichment in the city.
Must-Visit Attractions in Deland: Hontoon Island State Park
If you're craving a nature escape, look no further than Hontoon Island State Park. This hidden gem is located on a lush, wooded island in the St. Johns River and offers a tranquil retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life. Accessible only by boat, Hontoon Island State Park is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.
The park is home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, otters, and a wide array of bird species. Visitors can explore the island's scenic trails, go fishing or boating, or simply relax in the shade of towering oak trees. Hontoon Island State Park also offers overnight camping facilities, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of nature.
One of the highlights of Hontoon Island State Park is the Hontoon Dead River, a picturesque waterway that can be navigated by kayak or canoe. Paddle along the river, and you'll be treated to breathtaking views of untouched wilderness and serene waterways.
Must-Visit Attractions in Deland: Blue Spring State Park
Blue Spring State Park is another must-visit attraction for nature lovers. Known as the "Home of the Manatees," this pristine park offers a unique opportunity to observe these gentle giants in their natural habitat. During the winter months, hundreds of manatees seek refuge in the warm waters of Blue Spring, creating a truly awe-inspiring spectacle.
Aside from the manatees, Blue Spring State Park boasts crystal-clear waters, scenic hiking trails, and picnic areas. You can go swimming, snorkeling, or scuba diving in the park's refreshing spring waters, or simply relax on the park's sandy beaches.
If you're feeling adventurous, rent a kayak or paddleboard and explore the park's waterways. The park's lush vegetation and abundant wildlife make it a haven for nature photographers and birdwatchers.
Must-Visit Attractions in Deland: Downtown Deland
No visit to Deland would be complete without exploring its charming downtown area. Deland's historic downtown is a vibrant hub of activity, with its tree-lined streets, colorful storefronts, and lively atmosphere. The downtown area is home to a plethora of unique shops, art galleries, and delicious eateries, making it a perfect destination for a leisurely stroll.
One of the highlights of downtown Deland is the weekly farmers' market, where you can sample an array of fresh local produce, artisanal goods, and homemade treats. The market also features live music and entertainment, creating a festive and lively atmosphere.
If you're a fan of antiques and vintage finds, you'll be delighted by the numerous antique shops and thrift stores that line the streets of downtown Deland. From vintage clothing to unique home decor items, you're sure to find something special to take home as a memento of your visit.
Exploring Deland's Local Cuisine and Shops
Deland is a food lover's paradise, with a diverse range of culinary offerings to satisfy every palate. From farm-to-table restaurants to cozy cafes and lively breweries, the city's dining scene is a delightful mix of flavors and cuisines.
For a taste of true Southern comfort food, head to one of Deland's renowned barbecue joints. Indulge in mouthwatering ribs, pulled pork, and homestyle sides, served up with a side of Southern hospitality.
If you're in the mood for something a little more adventurous, Deland's downtown area is home to a variety of international eateries. From Thai and Vietnamese cuisine to Cuban and Italian fare, you'll find an abundance of flavors to tantalize your taste buds.
After a satisfying meal, take some time to explore the city's unique shops and boutiques. Deland is known for its thriving arts and crafts scene, and you'll find a wealth of locally made products, including handmade jewelry, pottery, and artwork. Don't forget to pick up some citrus-inspired souvenirs to remind you of Deland's citrus heritage.
Conclusion: Experience the Historic Charm of Deland, Florida
Deland, Florida, is a destination that seamlessly blends history, culture, and natural beauty. From its charming downtown to its historic landmarks and breathtaking parks, Deland offers a wealth of attractions and experiences for visitors of all ages.
Whether you're exploring the beautiful campus of Stetson University, immersing yourself in the arts at the Athens Theatre and Museum of Art - Deland, or indulging in nature at Hontoon Island State Park and Blue Spring State Park, Deland is sure to leave a lasting impression.
So pack your bags and embark on a journey to discover the historic charm of Deland, Florida. Experience the allure of this hidden gem and create memories that will last a lifetime.