Raiford Florida (Union county) – The Ultimate Vacation Guide

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Are you planning to visit Raiford Florida? Then you are at the right destination! Raiford, Florida is an amazing place where you can plan for your family visit or even permanent living.

You can experience the fantastic selection of historical settings with your family. Raiford, Florida has many adventurous visiting places that can take your family vacations to the next level of amusement.

Raiford is a town in Union County, Florida in the United States. In the 2010 Census, this town has 225 in population. And 240 of the population was recorded in 2019 of the census by United States Bureau.

Raiford, Florida was the hometown of the original Florida States Prison. It also continues to be home to a total of three prisons.

What is Raiford known for?

raiford florida union county sign

Raiford, Florida is located near Union Correctional Institution, while the popular Florida States Prison is also located just across the County line in Bradford County. Both institutions contain death row convicts, but only Florida States Prison executes inmates.

Raiford is a community where everyone’s life is linked with the operations of the Florida Department of Corrections. The Correctional Institute is also close to the Florida training facilities for Correctional Officers.

Raiford, a town in Union County, Florida, is a town where virtually every one’s life is intertwined with the workings of the Florida Department of Corrections in one way or another.

This small town is the site of Union Correctional Institution, with the famous Florida State Prison sitting just across the county line. Initially, these institutions were considered one.

In Florida, three facilities, including the Florida State Prison and Union Correctional Institution, are tasked with housing the highest custody level inmates under a death sentence. Union Correctional Institution is the largest and oldest correctional institution in Florida.

Raiford town is too small to keep you occupied and the primary industry, the Florida State Prison, is definitely not designed for well-behaved tourists. But that’s not all there is to it anyway; if you enjoy history, you may find everything from the cemeteries that carry a whole lot of the town’s past.

Located about 38 miles to the northeast of Raiford is Jacksonville, the largest community within a 50-mile radius, with a population of 921,000 people. Gainesville is the next largest community within the 50-mile radius, located about 28miles to the south of Raiford. Gainesville has a population of 135,000 people.

In the 1940s, Raiford was a big turpentine town with a bank, two barbershops, three drug stores, three doctors, and nine stores. The story is different with the town’s population at just about 240. Essentially, Raiford town is a prison town, and without the prisons, whatever little has remained of the small town would not be there.

Things to do in Raiford, FL:

When you hear the name Florida, you’ve got to be prepared for adventure. Every part of this state and everything therein has something that will definitely catch your attention. Here, we get to explore things you can do in Raiford, Florida, on your trip there. Whether you are new in town, a local, or just passing through, there is a lot to explore in this small town.

Raiford, Florida is home to a varied range of state parks and recreational activities for people of all ages. Here are so many visiting places that can be exciting and fun for everyone. Union County Public Library, Matheson Museum, Lake City-Columbia County Historical Mus, Florida Museum – Dickinson Hall are famous for many art & history exhibitions. These places have a variety of fun activities for children with discounted offers.

You have to make a plan to visit Rainford, Florida, because of its unique assortment of local parks and fulfilled adventurous places. You will find almost everything here for your kid’s fun desires. Skate Station Funworks and Adventure Landing are the best entertainment options to visit.

Similarly, if you are an art lover, you can find artistic implements near Raiford. Central Florida Office Plus & A and G Custom Farming & Gifts are enough to feel the artsy vibes in Raiford.

After many fun activities, you must feel hungry!

And surely want to know what Raiford, Florida can offer you to make your vacations more delightful and worth visiting.

All international food chains are available in Raiford to satisfy your cravings.

Additionally, different other restaurants have special and variable offers for visitors. Raiford, Florida has many attractions for tourists and for those people who want to live there permanently.

Let’s check the following places to make a plan for your adventurous vacations.

Palatka-Lake Butler State Trail
⦁ Cable Junction Zipline Adventure Park

raiford florida union county ziplining
⦁ Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park
⦁ Subway
⦁ Powell’s Dairy Freeze
⦁ Laredo Mexican Restaurant
⦁ Cassat Lanes Inc
⦁ Bowl America

The Woods and Waters of Union County Florida:

If there is something that matches Union County’s modest population, then it is its size.

In 1921, when it was carved out of the original New River County, it was only 240 miles. This remains so, but that does not mean you should overlook it.

There’s plenty of stuff to do from fishing, canoeing, kayaking, bicycling, and so much more.

Embark on the roads of this lonesome region, and along the way, you will find the only three incorporated towns: Worthington Springs, Union County Seat, and Raiford.

Twenty miles southeast of Lake City, you will come across Lake Butler, located off the rural route with a slow, easy, and calming pace.

You will realize this kind of atmosphere, especially on the shores of the town’s central point, Lake Butler. Another great destination, a primary source of attraction for the locals, is Lakeside Park.

Together with a handful of visitors, most locals gather by the waterfront of this park that harbors a community building, a playground, a swimming beach, outdoor grills, a boat launch, and a large park. It is a great location to have a family picnic for birthday celebrations and family reunions.

Perhaps the most striking feature at Lakeside Park is the mile-wide lake that supports what seems to be the town’s most famous pastime: fishing.

You are likely to spot anglers sitting in folding chairs nearly anytime of the day carrying out fishing. The lake’s calm feeling with the quiet, still waters make it quite impossible to resist the temptation to step onto the dock and join the people fishing.

There is so much more to catch your attention on a Union County Florida road trip, U-Pick farms, and Horseback riding notwithstanding.

The modest population of Union County is matched with one thing that is its size and areas with 240 square miles. It was formed in 1921 as the smallest county in the state from the old New River County. Therefore, if you like horseback riding, bicycling, canoeing, fishing, Kayaking, and other outdoor fun activities.

Then you have a great chance to visit this place. There are just three incorporated towns along the way. These are Raiford, Worthington Spring, and Union County seats.

Lakeside Park, Lake Butler, Downtown are the most famous place near Raiford, Florida (Union County).

These places are well known for their wood and waterfront lakeside parks, playgrounds, swimming beaches, outdoor grills, splash park, boat lunch, and dock.

You can celebrate family reunions, picnics, birthdays, and many more fun activities here. However, Downtown is known for its active businesses and restaurants. That can make you think about your livability here.

Santa Fe River:

Santa Fe River is a Florida river dotted with springs and offers kayaking and opportunities to view wildlife. This 75-mile river in northern Florida has a watershed area of approximately 1380 square miles. Santa Fe river begins its journey at lakes Santa Fe and Alto and their associated swamps northeast of Gainesville in North Florida.

The Santa Fe River is located in northern Florida that is a 75-miles river. It begins with Lake Santa Fe that has associated swamps northeast of Gainesville in North Florida.

This river flows west 44 miles with tributaries to this section coming from New River and Olustee Creek. The Santa Fe disappears for a little over 3 miles a half-mile downstream from the main parking area at O’Leno State Park before resurfacing at River Rise Preserve State Park. Of note is that the Santa Fe River is not actually disappearing. Instead, it flows into a sink in the karst limestone formation known as the Cody Scarp that underlies the area.

This River Sink/River Rise System in O’Leno is the most extensive swallet-to-resurgence system in Florida.

The submergence and re-emergence of the river create a natural bridge that humans have been using to cross the river for over 14000 years, including the native peoples, early Europeans, and Florida pioneers.

When the water levels are low in the park, the river looks like it just stops, still as a pond. On the other hand, when the water levels are high, it is quite the opposite, the water swirling around in a counter-clockwise direction.

Among the many rivers in North Florida, the uniqueness of the Santa Fe River stands out.

The river flows underground in O’Leno State Park through an intricate cave system only to emerge in River Rise Preserve State Park.

The Santa Fe River flows underground at O’Leno State Park. It reemerges as a circular pool over three miles distant in River Rise State Park before continuing to the Suwannee River.

If you love water sports, then this is the best place to come. You can enjoy Kayaking, canoeing, River Tubing, Ponton Boat, and camping here. If you have decided to see Santa Fe River.

Then O’Leno State Park, Downtown High Springs, Poe Springs Park, Ginnie Springs, and Ichetucknee Springs State Park are the real destinations to visit. These parks have the real venture for tourism. And many visitors have shared a great experience to visit Santa Fe River such as:

Beautiful spot on the Santa Fe River, we had an amazing time. One of the nicest & cleanest vacation rentals we have ever stayed in. Loved kayaking on the river, relaxing on the porch swing overlooking the river, & seeing all the deer feeding in the evening.

We had a wonderful time enjoying the Santa Fe River and the house. The house was very comfortable and the river was beautiful.

Union County Historical Museum:

Union County Historical Museum is a place where you can find a unique combo of past and present. On the historic Main Street in Union County, this Museum is housed on the first level of the renovated Flynn Office Building. For the city and County of Union, this historic museum is a source of great pride.

This museum now contains the county’s biggest source of genealogical material.

After its renovations, Union County Carnegie Library has donated over 2500 volumes (book) and microfilms. It is a great contribution to the Union County Historical Museum.

So, if you are a high-level entertainment seeker then Raiford, Florida (Union County) is the right choice. This amazing place offers you to enjoy delicious food, historic places, golf courses, libraries, parks, nightlife, shopping, and much more.

Then why wait? Fly for your right landing place and live it.

This bright and cozy museum is tucked away on the second floor overlooking W. Main Street. The Union County Historical Museum provides slices of the history of Union County in its most personal forms.

Here, you come across historical threads such as books, family photos, old documents, and keepsakes rescued from dresser drawers, attics, and old trunks donated to the Union County Historical Society.

It took years of work and effort from the society’s members to weave theses together to develop a coherent story that tells of the history of the county and its people.

The museum, housed in a beautifully restored 1923 building, contains a broad collection of the county’s history.

It includes artifacts amassed over more than one hundred years, such as furniture, pictures, personal items, glass, farm and textiles, extensive archival materials, portraits, and books.

In Conclusion…

All in all, Raiford is a great place to visit if you’re looking for a taste of true southern hospitality. The people are friendly and welcoming, the food is delicious, and there’s plenty to see and do.

Whether you’re interested in history or just want to enjoy some good old-fashioned southern charm, Raiford is definitely worth a visit. Thanks for reading! I hope this has been helpful in planning your next trip.

Safe travels!

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