First: It’s pronounced mick-ah-NO-pee, and the town was named for a Seminole chief who lived nearby in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. You can hear country star John Anderson sing about Micanopy in his hit song, “Seminole Wind.”
Living in Micanopy, Florida’s oldest inland town, you’ll discover a slower pace and a heightened appreciation of your surroundings. To walk down Cholokka Boulevard on a quiet day is to step back into a time marked not by digital clocks but by shifting seasons and the annual migration of thousands of sandhill cranes. Stories of the hamlet’s rich history are revealed in the facades of its brick buildings, its wood-frame Victorian and Cracker houses, and its cemetery where sunlight dapples the ground through moss-draped oaks.
Take a closer look and you’ll unearth new surprises. While the main part of town is a Historic District, it’s also where you’ll find some of the most unusual shopping in all of Alachua County—arts, crafts, antiques, books old and new, jewelry, furniture, seasonal decorations for your home, and Floridiana. There’s a haunted bed and breakfast inn, the Herlong Mansion, and several restaurants. Ask around, and you may find one of the town’s several hundred residents who worked as an extra on the movies Cross Creek or Doc Hollywood when they were filmed here. And you’ll certainly hear about the Fall Harvest Festival, a weekend-long, community-wide celebration with arts, crafts, food, and live entertainment.
If you like history or photography, you will love the Micanopy Historical Society Museum in the Thrasher Warehouse with its picturesque painted Coca-Cola advertisement on the side of the building. Here you can learn about the area’s settlers, from the original Native Americans through the explorers Hernando de Soto and William Bartram to the pioneers who settled the area. Pick up a guide to the Micanopy Historic District, a walkable section of town with over 20 noted buildings.
Residents enjoy the benefits of the Micanopy Branch Library, open five days a week, as well as a post office, local bank, gas stations, a country store, and an animal hospital. The Micanopy Area Cooperative School is contracted by the School Board of Alachua County to provide education from pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. Another charter, Micanopy Middle School, serves children in sixth through ninth grades.
Two miles north of town are the open vistas and birding paradise of Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, a 22,000-acre National Natural Landmark where our year-round resident sandhill cranes are joined each winter by thousands of their northern kin. The park offers bicycling, camping, canoeing and kayaking, fishing, geo-seeking, picnicking, wildlife viewing, hiking and nature trails, and a visitor center. The Prairie is on the Great Florida Birding Trail and the Trail of Florida’s Indian Heritage.
Less than 10 miles east of Micanopy is the hamlet of Cross Creek, which lies between Orange and Lochloosa lakes and was the home of the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Yearling, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. Gainesville, with all the amenities of a university city, is 12 miles north of Micanopy—about a 20-minute drive.
Micanopy is often called “the little town that time forgot” but once you spend time there, you’ll never forget it—and to live there is to love it.