Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park

Look to the top of the Carillon Tower that plays Stephen Foster’s music throughout the day at the Stephen Foster Culture Center State Park at 11016 Lillian Saunders Drive/US Hwy 41 in White Springs.

 

 

 

 

The museum is a memorial to Stephen Foster. Watch a film about Stephen Foster’s early life; he wrote 250 songs during his lifetime. The Florida state song “Old Folks At Home” became a state song in the mid-1930s. Dioramas and paintings throughout the museum that illustrate some of his songs. A piano that he played on, a piano used at a Jenny Lind the Swedish Nightingale concert all permanent exhibits. A desk on display that he used to compose his songs as well as articles and photographs about him throughout the museum. While strolling on the grounds sit on a bench and listen to the relaxing sounds of the fountain or bring a picnic lunch and sit on a picnic table under a shade tree on the museum grounds.

Thirty-three miles of trails throughout the park. Ride a mountain bike or hike the Mountain Loop Trail an 8-mile scenic trail. Canoes, bicycles, cabins and campsites available for rent.

 

 

 

 

Walk along the brick path to the craft square shops that sell arts and crafts. A blacksmith shop that demonstrates blacksmithing. Books on Stephen Foster’s music, an assortment of jellies, jams, and other homemade crafts for sale in the gift shop.

The Florida Folk Festival held every Memorial Day weekend offers music, crafts and food. Check the website for other events throughout the year. I recommend the park a lot to see and do.

Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens

Pick up a map at the welcome center and walk around the outside and admire the fountain then follow the paths throughout the Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens at 2410 SE Westmoreland Blvd in Port St. Lucie. Situated on 21 acres that includes wetlands and mangroves. A wide variety of unusual plants, and trees all through the gardens.

Inside the Hibiscus Garden a 3 Cubes sculpture an abstract geometric sculpture made of stainless steel by Dale Rogers.

 

 

 

 

Walk along the native plant garden a hidden path that includes the White Indigo Berry an evergreen tree that grows 6 to 10 feet. Coco plum that produces an edible plum and the Gumbo Limbo a tree native to South Florida.

Stand under the gazebo in the Secret Garden, read about the many uses of Bamboo in the Bamboo Garden. The Monarch Butterfly often seen in the Butterfly Display Garden. Native and migratory butterflies inhabit the garden.

Walk under the circular trestle to the Rose Garden the Southern Old Rose and other varieties inside the garden.

Bring a picnic lunch or sit on a bench in the butterfly garden or in the event lawn. I won’t describe all the gardens but each garden is beautiful and worth exploring. Before leaving stop in the gift shop and browse for gifts from local arts. Admission is free, donations accepted. Contact the staff on the website for events.