Where did our Florida RV adventure take us next?

Where did our Florida RV adventure take us next? We spent a few nights in Grant-Valkarie, visited Vero Beach for an afternoon, and spent a couple of days outside Monticello, Florida.

Boondocking near Grant-Valkaria, Florida

Where did our Florida RV adventure take us next?

One of RV’s great benefits is the opportunity to visit family and old friends as we travel along. One of these opportunities came up in Florida. Albert, a long-time neighbor, relocated to Florida not too long ago, and we were eager to check in with him for an afternoon. Steve and I arranged our travel to put us within easy reach of a day’s visit. We could not find an affordable RV park with a one-night vacancy in Vero Beach, where Albert lives, and that is how we ended up at the fantastic BoondockersWelcome spot near Grant-Valkarie, Florida.

This overnight stay was back in a rural neighborhood. When we turned down the driveway to this home, we both thought we were going into a tropical forest. However, the road opened up onto a lovely home on one side and ample open space for RVs. Our host met us and helped us get set up with complimentary electric and water hook-ups AND screaming fast wi-fi. I have never experienced wi-fi that great, even at home! We spent two very peaceful wi-fi-tastic nights here as guests of these stellar hosts. Thank you, Lisa and Jeff.

Vero Beach

Where did our Florida RV adventure take us next?

What a seriously pretty seaside town, and I would not mind spending a week or two here in this little land of sunshine instead of one of the more publicized and popular beach resort towns in Florida. Vero Beach has great restaurants, eye-catching shops at the beach, and very inviting-looking hotels. Vero Beach ordinances limit most buildings and homes to around three stories high. The result is that Vero Beach feels like a seaside village and not an overrun beach town. Let’s keep this secret paradise to ourselves, okay?

Mulligan’s Beach House Restaurant

We enjoyed a delicious lunch with Albert, his brother Rich, and his good friend Helen at Mulligan’s Beach House restaurant, right on the beach. After lunch, Helen toured us around town, pointing out the many sites. Steve and I were just a bit jealous of these guys’ lovely retirement homes in their beautiful and socially active community. They are enjoying Florida’s retirement dream. We had an enjoyable day full of memories.

Where did our Florida RV adventure take us next?

Steve, Albert, Helen, and Rich

BoondockersWelcome, Monticello, FL

Where did our Florida RV adventure take us next?

Tank and Lilly loved this boondocking location!

Monticello was our last stop in Florida before heading home, and what a terrific find this was! We reserved two nights at another BoondockersWelcome location outside Monticello, Florida. If you haven’t guessed by now, we prefer to stay outside cities in rural settings. That’s what this next stop was; down a country road and enclosed in a large fenced and gated property where our dogs could run free and play with our hosts’ dogs.

The running free thing ended after Tank’s determined attempt to” catch” their chicken! Our hosts, devoted dog lovers, were very understanding and good-natured about Tank’s energetic “high spirit” that day. I think Tank would have completely freaked out if he HAD ever caught up with the chicken.

Where did our Florida RV adventure take us next?

Weldon’s spoon sculptures

Debbie and Weldon – you guys are the best! Our hosts were, you guessed it, unique and beautiful people with life stories to match. They each have separate side-by-side buildings on their property where they work on their crafts and hobbies. As is the case for most all BoondockersWelcome hosts, they are avid and long-time RV travelers themselves. We could not list all the tips, secrets, and ideas we have gleaned from the many hosts that so generously allow us to spend a day or two on their property. The entire process always amazes me.

Historic downtown Monticello

Monticello is in north-central Florida and is 20 miles east of Tallahassee. I did not research, read about, or even think about this town until we arrived. Boy, was this a good find! Debbie, our host, told us all about the great things to see and do in Monticello, so we drove the few miles into town to take a look. We chose Monticello based on the driving time from our last stop, Grant-Valkarie, and on the availability of our BoondockersWelcome stay.

Tupelo’s Bakery & Café

Tupelo’s was our first stop in town. We had delicious cupcakes, a local soda, and perfect coffee served by the friendliest young ladies. We were a little early for lunch, but Tupelo’s has a terrific lunch menu that features organic and locally grown foods. Full Moon Farms has a wonderful honey and gift shop inside this space where they sell natural soaps, lotions, and beeswax candles, and we enjoyed looking at all the honey-making supplies sold there. Lunch here is on our “next time” list.

Huckleberry’s Creations

Where did our Florida RV adventure take us next?

Great words and art displayed on the wall at Huckleberry’s

Just a few doors from Tupelo’s, we discovered Huckleberry’s Creations. The shop is a relatively large space. You can find new custom-made furniture, antique furniture, and truly unique gift items, as well as whimsical life-sized characters throughout the store.

Take a look at the characters placed around the store.

Farmer’s Market

Where did our Florida RV adventure take us next?

When we visited Monticello, we discovered a small farmer’s market downtown. We stopped and purchased homemade cookies from Martha’s food display. We just ate cupcakes, but these cookies looked and tasted so good! Yes, I know.

Monticello Opera House

Where did our Florida RV adventure take us next?

This beautiful and historic building was built in 1890 and is the area’s art center.

Jefferson County Courthouse

This courthouse is in the center of town in the middle of a big traffic circle. We wandered over to read the Confederate Memorial and take a few photos. Here’s a great story about how friendly the people in Monticello are — As one of the residents drove through the traffic circle in his pickup truck, he slowed down to talk to us and to tell us a car had hit the Memorial about three years ago and almost took it out! Just a friendly little chat with strangers. So, I would say yes, this is a pleasant town.

Where did our Florida adventure take us next?

1909 Courthouse. Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello is the namesake for this town and was the model for this courthouse.

Oh Happy Day Gifts

Where did our Florida RV adventure take us next?

Thank you, Amy! This cute shop is down the street from the courthouse and is chock-full of fun gifts and clothing to buy. I am not a shopper and buy almost everything online these days. But I discovered a navy blue top that I just had to have from this shop.

Rancho Grande Mexican Grill

Our hosts back at our BoondockersWelcome place recommended this restaurant, and since we are Texans and had not had Mexican food in ages, it sounded like a great lunch option. This very colorfully decorated restaurant served good traditional Mexican food and some surprisingly delicious mango margaritas. We made a good choice here.

Letchworth-Love Mounds Archaeological State Park

Where did our Florida RV adventure take us next?

We did not expect to see this in Florida, but this state park is home to Florida’s tallest Native American ceremonial mound, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Archaeological research suggests the mounds were built between 1800 and 1100 years ago by Swift Creek and Weeden Island Native Americans and discovered in 1932. Research indicates that this large mound served as a ceremonial place for unique and significant events or rituals. It was a cool thing to see and learn about.

Where did our Florida RV adventure take us next?

This State Park has wide open spaces, picnic tables, a walkway to the large mound, and an interpretive pavilion.

Old City Cemetery and Roseland Cemetery

These are adjacent cemeteries the City cemetery established in 1827 and Roseland established in 1845. These coffin-shaped crypts above the ground here were unusual.

We often learn a lot about the history of the cities and towns we visit at the local cemeteries, and they provide a pleasant walk through that town’s history. It is for history that we usually seek out these cemeteries. Unfortunately, because I entered just the word cemetery in my GPS, we went on a wild, wild goose chase down long dirt country roads. It was a fun adventure. Steve loved tearing through the muddy roads in the Jeep, me – not so much.

Where did our RV adventure take us next?

That’s a dirty windshield!

We did end up at a very interesting-looking unnamed cemetery, though.

Historic Monticello Ghost Tours

We were pretty surprised to learn that some refer to Monticello as the “South’s Most Haunted Small Town!” I do not know why Monticello has that title, but I expect some good stories there. Still, I hope our return visit and participation in the Historic Ghost Tour will answer that question.

Although we have a sketchy plan as we travel about, we never know where our RV travel will take us and what surprises we will find. Each of these three Florida cities we visited was full of interesting people, history, sights to see and left us with terrific memories and stories to tell.

Read more about our Florida travels here.

Where did our Florida RV adventure take us next?

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