Recently I shared with you about the first part of my trip to Wakulla County Florida. Today I’ll finish that story! After lunch at Posey’s Up the Creek we headed to Wakulla Springs and the Wakulla Springs Lodge.
In 1937 financier Edward Ball opened the Wakulla Springs Lodge, originally the Lodge was used to host Mr Ball’s friends, family, businessmen, and politicians. The building is stunning and has only 27 guest rooms. While the Lodge did get air conditioning and wifi in 2015, there are still no televisions in the guest rooms. The ceiling in the lobby is painted with local wildlife scenes. Close examination shows it to be a combination of European folk art, intricate Arabic scroll work, and Native American influences. We couldn’t stop staring at that ceiling as well as the ceiling in the veranda. The veranda ceiling is made of pecky cypress which was painted blue and then sanded down so that now the only blue that shows is that which seeped into the natural knots, holes, and cracks in the wood. The floors are of equal beauty and history. Mr Ball chose specific stones chosen to be made into the tiles you see on the floors at the Lodge. The Lodge also boasts the longest known marble bar, at 70 feet 3 inches, is in the Soda Fountain/Gift Shop.
We were able to upstairs to Edward Ball’s Library which is where many meetings of the Florida Pork Chop gang took place. Many important political decisions in Florida’s early 20th century were hammered out in this room. We also got to step into the room that belonged to Mr Ball’s sister, Jessie Ball du Pont. The closet in these rooms are huge, bigger than my master bedroom.
After touring the Lodge we enjoyed dessert in the dining room where we sampled Key Lime Pie, Butterfinger Cake, and a 13 Layer cake! They were all delicious but the Butteringer cake was my favorite.
Finally the thunderstorms had stopped so we could head outside to see the swimming area. Unfortunately it was too late for us to take the boat ride on the springs, but we were able to check out the public swimming area and see where the boats were docked. Wakulla Springs is the world’s largest and deepest fresh water spring. The water temperature averages between 68-72° F year round. The air temperature was over 90° F the day we visited and this is why you see the mist caused by the temperature difference in some of the pictures.
When we left Wakulla Springs we headed to the St Marks National Wildlife Refuge Welcome Center, which is where David’s office is located. Then we headed out to the St Marks Lighthouse. This is the second oldest lighthouse in Florida dating back to 1831 originally. Due to the threat of erosion in 1842 the light house was disassembled and another one was built further inland using the original lantern and illuminating apparatus. After leaving the lighthouse we drove through the refuge where we spotted some alligator and deer.
After a quick stop at our hotel, we headed across the parking lot to The Seineyard restaurant for dinner. Again we were blessed with several appetizers to try including the fried crab claws, fried calamari, fried green tomatoes, fried Sammie Cakes and fried onion rings. I enjoyed the delicious Sticky Shrimp for dinner. We were all too full for dessert but Lisa, the manager, brought us one piece of her Key Lime Pie to share, it was delicious.
I had a wonderful visit to Wakulla County, Florida and I hope that you will visit there too. It was like stepping back in time and being engulfed in old Florida, very different from the part of the state where I live. Thank you to Visit Wakulla for hosting us!