Micanopy (Mick-can-oh'-pee) is a unique city located in southeastern Alachua County between I-75 and US 441. The streets are overhung with ancient oaks bearded with Spanish moss and are bordered on either side by private homes and storefronts that time seems to have forgotten. As Florida's oldest inland settlement, Micanopy (sometimes called "the little town that time forgot") has a well-established tradition of charm and Southern hospitality.
The quiet streets are lined with historic buildings each housing unique shops (brimming with antiques, folk art, collectibles and home décor), cafes, friendly people, beautiful vistas and parks nearby such as Paynes Prairie, Orange Lake and Cross Creek. There are many things to do year round for the whole family. Best of all, Micanopy is located 1 mile off I-75, 25 minutes away from Gainesville's University of Florida and just a few hours from Tampa, Jacksonville, Daytona Beach, St. Augustine, Tallahassee, and Orlando. Take a look around and find out more about our "little" town that's big on relaxation, shopping, antiques, and Southern hospitality.
If you're in Florida, or planning a visit nearby soon, we're right down the road, so drop by and visit--you'll be glad you did!
If Micanopy looks a little familiar, chalk it up to Hollywood--whose directors can't resist Micanopy's quintessential small town charm and Southern hospitality. This jewel of a town has served as the backdrop for films "Doc Hollywood," with Michael J. Fox, Woody Harrelson, David Ogden Stiers, and Bridget Fonda; and, "Cross Creek," with Mary Steenburgen, Peter Coyote, and Rip Torn.
While Hollywood loves to visit, it certainly hasn't changed the ambiance of this quiet town. Visitors leisurely wander in and out of shops selling antiques, old books, ceramics, stained glass, jewelry and other specialized arts and crafts. The town offers a four star bed and breakfast--The Herlong Mansion--and great restaurants nearby. Try Blue Highway Pizza off of 441 for excellent food.
Most of the buildings are on the National Historic Register. In fact, Micanopy is the oldest inland settlement in Florida. As early as 1539 there is record of a village located at the site of Micanopy when explorer Hernando De Soto found the Timucuan Indians living here.
A Seminole Indian village named Cuscowilla was located on the site when the naturalist William Bartram visited in 1774. The town was included in a land grant made by the King of Spain in 1817 to Don Fernando del la Maza Arredondo of Havana and St. Augustine. Eventually the fertile soil was used to produce sugar cane and then citrus. Edward M. Wanton was hired to promote settlement in the area, and not long after Florida became a U.S. territory in 1821. In 1823 Moses Elias Levy established the first white settlement. Wanton was the name of the first post office established in Alachua County in 1826.
A fort established there about 1831 to protect settlers from hostile Indians remained until after the Second Seminole War (1835-42). Micanopy has been continuously settled since 1821 and was listed on National Register of Historic Places in 1983.The town was simultaneously referred to as "Micanope" after the Seminole Indian chief (Left ca., 1785- 1847) head chief of the Seminoles in the Seminole War; Micanopy means "head chief." The name officially changed to "Micanopy" in 1834.
When Bartram made his famous journey through Florida, the Indians he found living in Alachua County (near Micanopy) were remnants of the Southern Creek nation. They were called "Seminoles," a Creek word meaning "runaway." These Indians had become wealthy by raising cattle and horses on land now known as Paynes Prairie.
Bartram wrote a book called The Travels of William Bartram, published in Philadelphia in 1791. Alachua County, portrayed as lush and dangerous, figured prominently among the stories and sketches of plants and animals of Florida. He stayed with the Seminoles and wrote about their customs.
The Indians befriended Bartram and must have been amused by his keen interest in botany, because they nicknamed him 'Puc Puggy,' meaning "Seeker of the Flowers." But plants weren't his only interest here. Included in his work are a collection of drawings and stories about "smoke breathing" alligators. Of course, alligators didn't actually breathed smoke like fictional dragons, but his readers must have loved the dramatic images Bartram created. From his detailed work, we know that these were the ancestors of the same alligators that still cruise though the dark waters of the Alachua Sink deep within Paynes Prairie.
The population of Micanopy is approximately 653.
The approximate number of families is 293.
The amount of land area in Micanopy is 2.561 sq. kilometers.
The amount of surface water is 0.12 sq kilometers.
The distance from Micanopy to Washington DC is 720 miles. The distance to the Florida state capital is 139 miles. (as the crow flies). Micanopy is positioned 29.50 degrees north of the equator and 82.28 degrees west of the prime meridian.