14 Best Things To Do In Dade City, Florida

things to do in dade city florida
Natascha
Natascha
Updated

Dade City is becoming a popular vacation spot for tourists. It is known for its antique stores, restaurants, some attractions, and its historical architecture. Actually, Dade City is known as the “kumquat capital of the world”, and holds an annual festival every year in January. Here, you are able to experience anything kumquat! For more ideas for your itinerary, check out these best things to do in Dade City, Florida!

1. Wild Things Zoo: take me to where the wild things are!

Gators
Source: Pixabay

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Whether you love going to zoos or if you usually don’t enjoy them, the Wild Things Zoo tour is not just a “zoo”, but an up and close encounter with animals in their natural habitat. In this 22-acre (9-hectare) Dade City attraction, you can swim with otters, visit gators and tigers and hug a sloth, anteater or even a baby gibbon. The Wild Things Zoo is a vocational adventure with an expert tour guide who will teach you about the environment and habitat of each animal and is on-hand to answer all of your questions. The Zoo gift shop has animal themed EVERYTHING!

There are several tours to look forward to, such as a Jungle Safari Ride tour. On this tour, you will get to board a large, open window tram and get very close to white Siberian tigers, among other animals. The Wild Things Zoo offers a variety of group tours as well as private, guided tours.

This is a great full-day adventure for the family and it is recommended to call and make reservations.

The Wild Things Zoo

Address: 37237 Meridian Avenue, Dade City, FL 33525 (Corner of Meridian Ave & 17th Street )

Price: Family Pass for Four: 2 Adults + 2 Children (2-12): 199.99 USD. Tours vary in price when purchased individually.

Contact: +1 352 567 9453

Website: The Wild Things Zoo

2. Giraffe Ranch: stick your neck out for fun!

Giraffe Ranch
Source: Pixabay

Has it been a dream of yours to pet, feed, or smell a giraffe? Your dreams are about to come true at Giraffe Ranch Farm Tours. This place was designed to not be a zoo. It is a real working game farm and wildlife preserve. All animals are free to live and roam in an African-like setting. Here, you will get to experience nature without lines or crowds and you have five options as to how you want to experience Giraffe Ranch. Some of the tours include: a customized vehicle safari, a camel expedition, or jump onto a segway safari ride. Whatever you choose, you won’t be disappointed! The experienced tour guides will introduce you to giraffes, ostriches, zebras, hippopotamuses and a variety of other wildlife.

All tours need to be booked in advance. They only offer daily tours at 11am and again at 2pm. You can call them and make a reservation or book online.

Giraffe Ranch

Address: 38650 Mickler Road Dade City, FL 33523

Price: Each tour ranges in price.

Contact: +1 813 482 3400

Website: Giraffe Ranch

3. Pioneer Florida Museum and Village: take a walk back in time.

A walk through history at the Pioneer Village.
Source: Pixabay

Don’t know what to do in Dade City? If you enjoy taking a journey back in time and want to see how the settlers of Dade City lived, then take a trip to the Pioneer Florida Museum and Village. This open-air museum includes the Overstreet House, schoolhouse, a church, a train depot, a train engine and a museum full of tools, household items, antiques and farm equipment. The Pioneer Florida Museum and Village wants to educate the public by showing them how men and women lived and survived. Without them, Dade City would not be Dade City. The regular admission price for an adult is 8 USD and for children, 4 USD. They do have guided tours throughout the property and one even includes a picnic lunch!

This is a beautiful place that holds so much historic content and is told in a fun, educated way that will keep the attention of everyone that attends. Take a trip back in time and see the beginning of Dade City.

Pioneer Florida Museum and Village

Address: 15602 Pioneer Museum Road, Dade City, FL 33526-0335

Price: Adult: 8 USD, Child: 4 USD

Opening Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 10 am - 5 pm. Closed Sunday, Monday and major holidays (December 24th, and December 31st)

Contact: +1 352 567 0262

Website: Pioneer Florida Museum and Village

4. Annetta's Attic: take a piece of history home with you.

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

When walking along downtown Dade City, you will truly feel as if you’re walking back in time. The historical buildings and architecture have been well-kept and preserved. If you enjoy antiquing, Dade City has some of the best shops around. One that is a go-to, even for locals is Antiques on Main Street. The owner has quite a vast collection of primitive, handmade antiques.

Another great antique location to visit is Annetta’s Attic, one of the best Dade City antique shops. This owner has 22 rooms to explore including a room called the “Man Cave” where you can find several husbands hanging out as their wives get lost in searching for their treasures. Everything is here, from toys and tools to furniture. And if you can’t find what you’re looking for, the owners of each antique store are friends and often call each other to see if they have what you’re looking for.

The Dade Merchant Association plays host to an antique fair every spring and fall.

Antiques on Main St.

Address: 14122 7th St.

Opening Hours: Monday - Saturday 10 am - 4 pm

Contact: +1 352 523 0999

Website: Antiques on the Main St.

Annetta's Attic

Address: 14144 8th St.

Opening Hours: Monday - Saturday 10 am - 5 pm

Contact: +1 352 567 0087

Website: Annetta’s Attic

The following content is contributed by Trip101 writer, Anne

5. Have fun in nature in Withlacoochee River Park

Withlacoochee River facing north
Source: Photo by Flickr user B A Bowen Photogr... used under CC BY 2.0

Visitors looking for things to do in Dade City this weekend can check out Withlacoochee River Park. This is a wilderness park covering 406 acres (164.3 hectares), with Withlacoochee River running through. Visitors have the chance to see wildlife, including the swallowtail hawk, bald eagles, great blue heron, owls, snakes, wild hogs, raccoons, and more. Peaceful and tranquil, the park is the ideal place for relaxing with the sounds of nature. Activities here include kayaking, fishing, picnicking, biking, hiking, and camping. For those wishing for more comfort, a Pioneer Cabin and a small, cozy cabin are up for rent, complete with electricity and air conditioning. One of the best places to view wildlife in the park is the Observation Tower, which offers panoramic views of the park. Nature and bicycle trails are available throughout Withlacoochee River Park. For the kids, there is a playground in the park and restrooms are available.

Withlacoochee River Park

Address: 12449 Withlacoochee Blvd, Dade City, Florida, USA

Opening hours: 7am - 8pm (daily)

6. Go hiking or biking on Hardy Trail

Trail
Source: Needpix

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Ideal for families, Hardy Trail runs from Church Street to Lock Street in Dade City. The paved trail replaces an old railway line that has been converted into a multi-use path, cycling path, and nature trail. Plans are being made to extend this trail so it joins with Withlacoochee State Trail mentioned above. This will give hikers the opportunity to enjoy a longer hike. The city also plans to extend Hardy Trail northward, which will then link Dade City with Zephyrhills. Hardy Trail is perfect for a fresh air stroll or biking trip, with pretty places to stop off along the way for a picnic.

Hardy Trail

Address: 37822, 37856 Church Ave, Dade City, Florida, USA

7. Get a good scare at Scream-A-Geddon Horror Park

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Scream-A-Geddon Horror Park is perfect for those who love to be scared by zombies, vampires, killer clowns, and things that go bump in the night. Visitors walk through rooms that twist and turn, with walls that seem to close in on them. Along the way, abnormal creatures can be seen, plus scary figures and clowns, all in full-color experience. Loud music plays in the rooms to cover up the screaming of terrified fans. There are a number of rules for patrons. They are urged to keep what they see a secret, so as to enhance the visits of their friends. Visitors cannot leave until they complete the experience, no matter how scared they become. They are also assured that the clown with the chainsaw is there for their entertainment and not to attack them. Just how brave are you?

Scream-A-Geddon Horror Park

Address: 27839 St Joe Rd, Dade City, Florida, USA

Website: Scream-A-Geddon Horror Park

Opening hours: Thu & Sun: 7:30am - 11pm; Fri - Sat: 7:30pm - 1am (closed from Mon - Wed)

8. Take to the trees at TreeHoppers Aerial Adventure Park

Go Loco. Naturally
Source: Photo by Flickr user Loco Ropes used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

TreeHoppers Aerial Adventure Park can be found on St Joe Road in Dade City and is considered to be the best aerial adventure course in Central Florida. You’ll find a series of platforms interwoven through the trees, plus cables, ropes, and ziplines are there to create different adventures. There are, in total, 9 different courses to enjoy, combined with more than 100 unique elements. Each trail is color-coded for different skill levels, including Little Lemurs for children 1 to 6 years of age. Others range from intermediate to expert levels. Participants each receive a safety harness and a safety orientation prior to their climb. The harness is designed to keep visitors securely attached to a safety line at all times. Guides and park monitors are available throughout to assist.

TreeHoppers Aerial Adventure Park

Address: 27839 St Joe Rd, Dade City, Florida, USA

Website: TreeHoppers Aerial Adventure Park

Opening hours: Wed - Thu: 10am - 4pm; Fri: 10am - 7pm; Sat - Sun: 9am - 7pm (closed on Mon & Tue)

9. Enjoy a visit to Dade City Heritage and Cultural Museum

Dade City ACL Railroad Depot6
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ebyabe used under CC BY-SA 2.5

Dade City Heritage & Cultural Museum has been set up to tell the story of the city and its residents’ past by exhibiting a number of artifacts, holding events, and storytelling. The museum is set in the beautifully preserved 1912 train depot in Dade City. It shares the same building with Dade City Train Museum and Theater. Besides the exhibits, the museum holds regular events like Haunted History Tours so visitors can learn about the mysteries of Dade City, and it heads out from the museum and into town.

Dade City Heritage and Cultural Museum

Address: 14206 US-98 BYP, Dade City, Florida, USA

Website: Dade City Heritage and Cultural Museum

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 4pm; Sun: 1pm - 4pm

10. Slake that hunger at Steph's Southern Soul Restaurant

Red velvet cake
Source: Pixabay

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Steph’s Southern Soul Restaurant aims to provide fresh and delicious Southern food at affordable prices. Patrons can dine in or take out a variety of meat and fish meals. Healthy side options are available, like collard greens, green beans, okra, tomatoes, and squash casserole. Patrons can choose from a variety of bread and salads to accompany their meals. End your meal with a delicious dessert like red velvet cake, chocolate-chocolate cake, sweet potato pie, yellow cake, key lime cake, strawberry shortcake, or banana pudding. Refreshing, non-alcoholic drinks are available to accompany the meal.

Steph's Southern Soul Restaurant

Address: 14519 5th St, Dade City, Florida, USA

Website: Steph’s Southern Soul Restaurant

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 10:30am - 7pm; Fri - Sat 10:30am - 8pm (closed on Sun)

11. Meet the cute animals at Sweet Blossom Alpacas

Alpaca farm
Source: PxHere

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Sweet Blossom Alpacas is a 15-acre (6-hectare) farm in Dade City. People are welcome to visit the alpacas by making a reservation. Book a table on the patio at the farm to see the animals up close and enjoy views over the pastures. A visit includes a one-hour tour to learn about the alpacas and includes a tasty lunch. The farm has a shop where visitors can purchase items such as socks, scarves, shawls, sweaters, hats, gloves, and blanket made from alpaca wool, or fun stuffed animals for the children. Yarn is also available for sale.

Sweet Blossom Alpacas

Address: 37543 Pappy Rd, Dade City, Florida, USA

Website: Sweet Blossom Alpacas

12. Snap a photo of Historic Pasco County Offices

Pasco Cty Courthouse Dade City
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ebyabe used under CC BY 2.5

Historic Pasco County Offices and courthouse is a well-known landmark in Dade City, Florida. The building was constructed in 1909 and is located on Meridian Avenue. Attractively painted, the building has four impressive columns on its front. The building was designed in the Classical Revival style by architect Edward Columbus Hosford. This structure was added to the US National Register of Historic Places on September 20, 2006. A charming Valentine’s Day tradition has been going for several years now, where Pasco County Clerk offers a free wedding ceremony on the steps of this historic building.

Historic Pasco County Offices

Address: 37918 Meridian Ave, Dade City, Florida, USA

Website: Historic Pasco County Offices

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 8am - 5pm (closed on Sat & Sun)

13. Sample craft beer at the Brass Tap Dade City

Happy hour
Source: Pixabay

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

The Brass Tap Dade City is perfect for those who enjoy a good craft beer. In fact, they offer more than 150 craft beers from all over the world. The expert staff can answer any questions patrons may have about the various brews. Their motto is “Sip, smile, repeat”, which perfectly describes patrons’ experience here. The bar also offers live entertainment, daily specials, and fun events each month. Flat-screen TVs allow patrons to keep up with their favorite sport. For those feeling hungry, this establishment offers pub food, including savory and sweet options to accompany the delicious beer.

The Brass Tap Dade City

Address: 37916 Pasco Ave, Dade City, Florida, USA

Website: The Brass Tap Dade City

Opening hours: Mon - Tue: 2pm - 11pm; Wed - Thu: 2pm - 1am; Fri: 1pm - 1am; Sat: 12pm - 1am; Sun: 12pm - 11pm

14. Catch a race at Dade City Raceway

Motocross
Source: Pixabay

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Dade City Raceway in Dade City, Florida offers all the excitement of MX racing. Here, the experts of off-road dirt bike racing thrill the crowds, and even the Hollywood stunt community is known to enjoy the show. Day in the Dirt is an annual event held here each year, which some have dubbed “MX Woodstock”. The race track is located behind Pasco County Fairgrounds and is open on Thursday evenings for practice sessions. The track itself is composed mostly of clay and sand. Motocross lessons are available on Saturday mornings. The surrounding park includes restrooms, a concession stand, and a bike wash area.

Dade City Raceway

Address: 36722 State Rd 52, Dade City, Florida, USA

Website: Dade City Raceway

Dade City should be your next vacation!

Dade City FL Christopher Lock House
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ebyabe used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Dade City is a great vacation for families looking for a quiet getaway. You can unplug from technology and visit history, make your way to a place where animals roam freely or visit when the kumquat festival is happening where you can eat, smell and buy anything with kumquat. Dade City is only an hour and a half drive to Florida’s theme parks if you want to do a day trip. You won’t be disappointed, so be sure to check out these things to do in Dade City!

Frequently asked questions about the best things to do in Dade City, Florida

1. What are the top attractions to visit in Dade City?

If you’re planning a trip to Dade City, some top attractions you can’t miss include Wild Things Zoo, Pioneer Florida Museum and Village, Giraffe Ranch, and Dade City Heritage and Cultural Museum.

2. What are the best outdoor activities in Dade City?

Plenty of outdoor activities can be enjoyed in Dade City, including wildlife viewing, kayaking, fishing, biking, hiking, and camping. If you’re eager for outdoor adventure, head to Withlacoochee River Park. For a more relaxed option, enjoy an easy stroll through the paved Hardy Trail. You can also tackle one of the aerial adventure courses at TreeHoppers Aerial Adventure Park.

3. What are the most popular things to do with kids and family in Dade City?

If you’re heading to Dade City with your family, kids and adults alike will enjoy feeding the giraffes at Giraffe Ranch, meeting cute alpacas at Sweet Blossom Alpacas, and completing a fun aerial adventure course at TreeHoppers Aerial Adventure Park.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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