Savor a slice of ‘Old Florida’ beauty

Residents who live on the eastern side of Pasco County don’t have to travel far to get an idea of what “Old Florida” was like.

They can find evidence of that loveliness all around the locale’s corners and bends.

Perhaps that’s why those with deep ties to this part of the county fight so fiercely to protect their piece of paradise, and why the area attracts newcomers who want to put their stakes down to partake in the beauty, too.

With its lush landscapes, rolling hills, fertile farmland, historic places and outdoor spaces — the area offers much to enjoy and admire.

The incredible view of the setting sun over Lake Pasadena, as seen from the Dade City home of Derek Thomas. Thomas lives on Fort King Road, near the top of Leheup Hill, which is one of the area’s highest elevations at 240 feet above sea level. This ‘mountain’ is part of a series of rolling hills in the area. (Christine Holtzman)


Nature’s beauty can be found at the Withlacoochee River Park, in Dade City. The Withlacoochee River cuts through the 406 acres of forested land, brimming with an abundance of wildlife. Park amenities include fishing piers, boardwalks, canoe/kayak access, picnic and camping areas, shelters/pavilions, trails, playgrounds, and an observation tower.

Tucked away in an area across State Road 52 from Saint Leo University, (next to the golf course), there are two historic grottos.
The Gethsemane Grotto, was built by local men from San Antonio in 1933, to depict Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. The construction contains natural stones, such as Florida coral, limestone and flint.




The Lady of Lourdes Grotto was built in 1916, and is the final resting place of the Saint Leo Abbey’s first Abbot, Charles Mohr, OSB.

The historic Capt. H.B. Jeffries House, 38537 5th Avenue in Zephyrhills, was built in 1911, for city founder and Civil War veteran Capt. Harold B. Jeffries. Today, the building is used by the non-profit Main Street Zephyrhills, Inc., a group dedicated to the preservation, revitalization and the economic vitality of the downtown business district.

Many farms dot the East Pasco landscape, an area that is rich in agriculture. These silos on a farm at the corner of St. Joe Road and Bellamy Brothers Boulevard, peak above the lush pasture.






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