Lake City, a little Florida town located in the southern quadrant of Columbia County, embodies peace and a tranquil atmosphere. The city is situated within walking distance of Watertown, FL with access to Interstate 75 and Interstate 10. Named for the numerous lakes in the area, the town is home to generations-old families, which means close-knit communities of locals.
There are several restaurants and family-owned shops that are beloved to Lake City, alongside a few attractions that are great for travelers of every kind.
For history buffs, the Lake City Columbia County Historical Museum is a must-see. The museum is small and located within an old southern home, with exhibits that date back to the Civil War era. Trace local genealogy, take pictures in hopes of capturing ghostly images, and listen to tour guides regale you with stories of the past. The museum is completely run by volunteers, so make sure you call ahead to check their open and close times for the day.
When you work up an appetite, head to Marion Street Bistro and Brew House—a gastropub that serves up local beers with a side of homemade burgers and fries.
Or, for a fuller, healthier meal, visit Cedar River Seafood on West US Highway 90 in Lake City. The sides are homemade, the fish is fresh-caught, and the service is knowledgeable and speedy.
Try a traditional appetizer of clam strips and hush puppies, or go full-southern with some fried frogs’ legs. Follow it up with a platter of seafood favorites, like flounder and fried shrimp. Then finish up your meal with a heaping helping of homemade sweet potato soufflé.
Other top rated Lake-City restaurants include:
- Texas Roadhouse - American, Steakhouse, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free options
- Sonny's BBQ - American, BBQ, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free options
- Gondolier Italian Restaurant - Italian, Pizza, Vegetarian, Gluten Free options
- Sal's Italian Deli - Italian, Pizza, Delicatessen, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free options
- Ruby Tuesday - American, Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free options
Stay at the best hotels in Lake City
The weather in Lake City is gorgeous, and daytime temperatures rarely dip below 66 degrees Fahrenheit [even in the winter months]. Courtesy of TripAdvisor, the top-rated hotels in Lake City include Country Inn & Suites by Carlson, Comfort Suites, Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites, and Palms Garden Inn. Bookmark and check TravNow weekly for more updates on Lake City and other popular Florida locations.
Country Inn & Suites by Carlson
The Country Inn & Suites by Carlson on Southwest Florida Gateway Drive is a luxurious stay, with a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence and a high ranking of fourth best hotel in Lake City. From business professionals that book weekend stays, to families, honeymooners, and singles on lengthy vacations, the hotel caters to all types of travelers. As a matter of fact, the hotel has been voted the third best hotel in the area for romantic vacations and business, as well as fourth best for families.
Room-wise, the Country Inn offers a microwave, counter space, and mini fridge, as well as a queen-size, super-comfortable bed with plush pillows, a fluffed mattress, and warm blankets.
Other hotel features include a swimming pool and hot tub, free daily breakfast with waffles, bacon, cereals, coffee, and juices, an on-site workout room, and self-serve laundry facilities.
On Southeast Hernando Avenue, less than 3 miles from the Country Inn, sits the Lake City Columbia County Historical Museum. Tour Civil War exhibits, learn the ghostly legends of the museum house, and catch a glimpse of antique artifacts from the olden days.
The Comfort Suites
The Comfort Suites, situated off of West US Highway 90, offers comfortable accommodations at affordable prices in Lake City. There are dozens of hotels to choose from, but this one was ranked number two of the best hotels, courtesy of TripAdvisor.
The staff has even been awarded the Certificate of Excellence, with a 4.5-star review from over a thousand TripAdvisor reviewers. Over 400 reviewers have commented on the courteous staff, excellent customer service, speedy check-in and check-out processes, and overall awesome experience.
From weekend trippers, to lengthy vacationers, the Comfort Suites can be a home to all kinds of guests. Some of the notable hotel features include complimentary breakfasts, free high-speed internet, beautiful and clean indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and a luxurious, well-kept hot tub. Want something local and delicious for lunch? Jessica’s Bistro is a must-try with Cuban sandwiches, black beans and rice, fresh-cut fries, and fried plantains.
Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites
Seated on Southwest Commerce Drive, the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites is a pleasant, clean hotel that provides simple, convenient accommodations and homey, comfortable amenities. Guests are given the utmost respect, as noted by numerous TripAdvisor reviewers. The staff has been called courteous, knowledgeable, and hospitable, while the rooms are clean, the pool room is spacious, and the towels, linens, and toiletries are available whenever you request them. To hundreds of reviewers on TripAdvisor, the Holiday Inn brought a wow-factor and a positive experience to their stay.
Some of the hotel amenities include free parking spaces in a private lot, an on-site restaurant with a bar, lounge, and room services, free high-speed internet, an on-site fitness center, a hot tub, and self-serve laundry rooms.
For business professionals, there is an on-site business center with several clean, internet-accessible meeting rooms and conference facilities. US Highway 90 is the super-road for lots of mega attractions throughout Florida—and this hotel is moments away.
Shop to your heart’s content at The Lake City Mall to explore several department stores, shops and restuarants. Or, play a few rounds of golf, walk the nature paths of the Southern Oaks Golf Club, or catch a new movie at the UA Cinema 90 6.
The Palms Garden Inn
The Palms Garden Inn on South US Highway 441 is a basic hotel with simple, comfortable accommodations for budget-minded travelers. Located off of exit 414, the hotel adds easy access and navigation to your drive, giving you a clear-cut shot to the hotel parking lot from the off-ramp.
Good news for tired drivers. Ranked excellent for their value and must-have amenities, the hotel features a free, private parking lot, free high-speed internet, complimentary breakfasts, and a swimming pool.
The rooms are comfortable, spacious, and well-equipped with modern features, such as a mini fridge, microwave, flat-screen television, and cable access. O’Leno State Park near High Springs is the local favorite for nature lovers in the Lake City area. Within 5 miles of the hotel, the park offers tree-shrouded nature paths, natural springs and a few small waterfalls, professional hiking trails, and horseback riding paths.
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