Hillsborough River State Park is a real gem. Though I’ve lived near it for most of my life, I recently took my first visit there.
One of the coolest aspects is the large pool. While it is closed in winter, we could still see how fun it would be for the summertime. They also have a large amount of picnicking spots that come with playgrounds and some good area for biking.
The numerous trails accommodate many levels of hikers. Perhaps the coolest one takes you by the suspension bridge that is fun for all. Hillsborough River is also one of the few places to see rapids in the area and makes this park all that more unique.
If this plethora of outdoor activity isn’t enough, it’s not every day you get to visit a fort. While this one is only a replica, it is still an awesome sight! Fort Foster is a short tram ride through Hillsborough River State Park. Once upon Fort Foster, you are greeted with a large, oval wall made of wooden posts. For more, see our earlier post on Fort Foster.
Yes, there is a Christmas, Florida. They’ve created an awesome replica of the fort with great historical exhibits and an interesting historical park. Perhaps the other thing you’ve heard about in Christmas, Florida is the post office there. Your mail will be posted with “Christmas, Florida” and who wouldn’t want that on their Christmas cards? Maybe a December visit is in order?
Once you get to Fort Christmas, you are greeted with a huge replica of the original fort. The beams are impressive and well placed. It has nice signage that discusses the fort and the wars it was involved with also. Once inside the fort you’ll find an impressive historical display. They have collected tons of artifacts that you don’t see every day. The displays discuss war history, local history, Seminole history, and more. Much of the display discusses local history, which is especially neat once you see the connected historical park. In fact, I might consider visiting the historical park first—because the exhibits in the Fort are even more interesting when you have that context.
The accompanying historical park includes many homes, a cow camp, and various buildings. The day we went there, they had a guide who greeted you at the beginning of the exhibit. She was knowledgeable and friendly, and offered a few extra tidbits of history. I think what was perhaps the best part about the historical park is that we were able to actually walk through most of the houses in the exhibit. So, you aren’t stopped by ropes or a gate most of the time. It’s a better way to get a feel for the times and the home, though it does surprise you at first. (But always pay attention to the signage when you go, because it looks like sometimes the houses cannot be walked through.)
The houses belong to early residents of the town. They have signage and pictures discussing what the occupants did and a little about them. Then you got to see clothing, accessories, cookware, and such from those times. It was neat to see how they lived and how their homes were built.
Run by the county, you can enjoy a fun few hours at Fort Christmas. The area comes with a playground, picnic tables, and restrooms. It is not a daylong adventure, so perhaps you want to also plan on a trip to Dixie Crossroads restaurant in Titusville. This was my first visit there, and the fritters are not to be missed.
Filed under Florida, Travel