In October, we published Cathy Salustri’s Backroads of Paradise: A Journey to Rediscover Old Floridain which she retraces a 5,000-mile journey once taken by Stetson Kennedy and Zora Neale Hurston. Along the way, she stopped at various landmarks not usually part of the typical Florida vacation. Below she shares photos she captured and talks about the wonderfully eclectic spots she found during her travels.

Shonda’s Souvenirs Pineapple
Shonda’s Souvenirs hasn’t fared as well as the orange pineapple, which — several years after I took this photo — became home to a family of osprey, who have built their huge nest across the pineapple top.
Shonda’s Souvenirs Mural
This mural on the side of the now-deserted Shonda’s Souvenirs at the southern end of US 27 speaks to once-lush citrus industry along the Lake Wales Ridge.
Ouzts Too
A must-stop for oysters and a cold beer every time I head west on US 98, Ouzts Too marks the start of eating my way west across the Florida panhandle.
The way the trees filter the light in the swamp — like this one at Highlands Hammock State Park — always makes me feel like I’ve slipped into another world.
Highlands Hammock State Park Boardwalk
One-rail boardwalk through the swamp: This serene swamp walk through Highlands Hammock State Park — Florida’s first state park — always gets a little more adventurous when I get to this part of the boardwalk.
Fort Jefferson Seaplane
At 70 miles off Key West, Fort Jefferson is almost as far away as Cuba. This seaplane, viewed from inside the fort, is one of two ways to get there without a private boat (the other is a commercial trip from Key West).
Shack in the Gulf
I feel as though this is the most-photographed thing on Cedar Key (at least by me). A must-stop: The market outside the gas station, where you can pick up 100 clams for almost no money and, if you’re lucky, some out-of-state Black Bear Jam.


2 thoughts on “Stops along the “Backroads of Paradise”

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