Tomoka State Park

Formerly inhabited by the Timuca Indians Tomoka State Park located at 2099 N. Beach Street in Ormond Beach. The Tomoka River over nineteen miles in length home to Manatees, Bottlenose Dolphins, alligators and to seven species of birds.

Surrounded by broadleaf trees the 1-mile trail offers plenty of shade. Read the interpretative plaques as you walk along the trail and be amazed at the many different usages of the trees. When arriving at the clearing visit the site of Nocoroco the former Timuca Indian village. A sculpture dedicated to “Chief Tomokie” the Timuca Indian Chief by Fred Dana Marsh.

Rent a canoe, kayak or paddleboard at the Tomoka Outpost and explore the thirteen miles of canoe trails. Sit in a rocking chair by the water’s edge, feel the gentle breeze while watching the boats launch. I recommend the park, a lot of natural beauty. Hours of operation and admission prices on the website.

 

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Ormond Beach Environmental Discovery Center

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PICT0702-1Ormond Beach Environmental Discovery Center in Central Park located at 601 Division Street in Ormond Beach. Walk along the winding path stopping to read the plaques next to the plants that line the walkway. Native Florida plants include the Starry Rosinweed to the Cabbage Palm Florida’s state tree. Stop in front of the Butterfly Garden as early as 10:00 a.m. to spot one of the species of butterflies that fly around the garden.

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Swallow-Tailed Kite

Swallow-Tailed Kite

 Osprey

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Launch or dock a kayak or canoe at the floating dock; have a picnic lunch on the porch or on the grounds. Pick up a pair of binoculars on the porch and see if you can spot an Osprey or a Swallow-Tailed Kite.

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A volunteer who is a beekeeper explained the lifecycle of the honeybee colony located inside the center.  The Dollar Sunfish found in North Carolina, Florida and Texas. The Red-Rat Snake mostly found in the southeast portion of the United States. The Florida Red-Bellied Cooter a turtle found in freshwater wetlands and southeast Georgia all contained in the aquariums located inside the center.

PICT0692-1A skeleton of a cougar, alligator and coyote exhibited. Mammals, birds, plants can be studied on interactive touchscreens. Free admission to the environmental center, hours and days of operation on the website.

 

Ormond Beach Memorial Art Museum and Gardens

Welcome center 434steps to the top of waterfall

Wooden bridge

Welcome center 447Ormond Beach Memorial Art Museum & Gardens located at 78 East Granada Boulevard. The museum was closed so I walked around the gardens. Open from sunrise to sunset seven days a week dedicated to the veterans of World War I and II. Many pathways, a wooden bridge and ponds encompass the area. Lush foliage surround the waterfall, you can walk to the top. The bamboo trees are so tall that they bend and crackle. A gazebo for relaxing in the shade. Walk across the bridge to experience The Labyrinth Walk described as an ancient symbolic tool for healing and wholeness. Emmons HouseEmmons Cottage a pioneer home built in 1885 an Ormond Beach Historic Landmark used for special events. Check the website for hours of operation if combining the art museum with the gardens.

MacDonald House Welcome Center and Museum

Welcome center 430MacDonald House Welcome Center and Museum located at 38 East Granada Boulevard in Ormond Beach. The Queen Anne-style house built in the latter part of the 19th century is a Historic Landmark.

A 15-minute film of Ormond Beach presents a thorough account of the early settlers. Sketches of the early Timucua Indians in Florida made by Jacques le Moyne de Morgues. They made tools, pottery and miscellaneous ornaments. War and disease wiped out the early people in the 1700s. Posters chronicle the life of The First Spanish Period, English Period and The Expansion Period after the civil war.

Portraits of family life along the walls of the Welcome Center depicted. The First House built in 1869 by Brothers John Andrew and Charles Bostrom from Sweden the first settlers in Ormond Beach. Photographs of sightseeing on the Tomoka River, beach vehicles in the early 1900s and the original auto racers. John Anderson an early pioneer came to Ormond Beach then known as New Britain in 1876. He built The Ormond Hotel in the later part of the 19th century and two years later sold the hotel to Henry M. Flagler. The welcome center offers a historical bus tour. Check the website for details.

 

The Casements

Casements

The Casements located at 25 Riverside Drive in Ormond Beach. A casement window is a window that pushes out not up and down and is prevalent in Europe and the western part of the United States. The Casements a three story house with an elevator that was unusual for the time. A minister built the house in the early part of the twentieth century for his wife who was wealthy and related to the Pullman family that built sleeping cars. John D. Rockefeller bought the house in 1918 after his retirement. There is a dispute about how the house was paid for – $75,000 or Standard Oil Stock. Mr. Rockefeller spent winters in the house and after his wife died, lived in the house year-round. His wife founded Spelman College that is a college for African American Women.

After Mr. Rockefeller died, the house became a college for young women but closed after ten years of operation. The house vacant for a long time and gutted by vandals. The house listed on the National Register of Historic Places in the early 70s. The City of Ormond Beach bought the home, had it fully restored and is run by the Guild.

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There are photographs throughout the house showing how it used to look. A Gazebo in the yard where you can sit and across the street is a park. Free entrance to the house; donations accepted.