The Park

Have you ever pulled in?

If you’re driving south on the Trail, just pull in. Going north? There’s a traffic light to make an easy left.

I was talking to someone the other day who said, “Hey, I know that place. I drive by it several times a week.”

And I asked, “Have you ever pulled in?”

If you’ve never pulled in, you’ve missed this oasis of calm right off the Trail.

Nope, they hadn’t. Here’s all the Phillippi Estate Park loveliness they missed:

  • 60 acres of 100+ year old Florida.
  • Trees!
  • A shady playground for the kids.
  • A natural walking path through the mangroves.
  • Fishing piers on the tidal creek.
  • Observation decks (look for marine life!)
  • Canoe and kayak launches with plenty of parking.
  • Picnic tables under centuries-old oak trees.
  • A palm circle planted by some of the first folks from Up North.
  • An ancient midden (and in case you don’t know what a midden is, a signed self-guided tour explaining all for your delight.)
  • Oh, and there’s an app with a walking tour through the park.
  • A mansion built in 1916, and its outbuildings, including the Keith Farmhouse, a simple wooden structure that’s lasted over a century and due to become the Phillippi Interpretive Center.
Bring a picnic, homemade or store-bought, and enjoy nature with your meal.

And that’s without mentioning the seasonal (October-April) Wednesday Farmhouse Market, the free Brown Bag concerts in the winter, weekly docent-led tours of the Edson Keith Mansion on Market days, the rose garden, benches for sitting and contemplating life while gazing over the water… and of course, dogs, leashed, are welcome. A Save the Date: History Day in the Park will be Saturday March 25 2023.

So next time you drive by 5500 South Tamiami Trail, instead of just waving, go ahead, pull in. All that loveliness is waiting for you, dawn to dusk.

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