Visit Nocatee Florida

There is a small town or you could say a crossroads in Southwest Florida called Nocatee. Not to be confused with the newly built master planned community of the same name in northeast Florida. The original Nocatee is located in DeSoto County, Southwest Florida. It is a Seminole Indian word meaning “What is it?” It is an interesting place to visit although you will not find a place to spend the night. There are no motels with styles other than luxury rooms and suites. You are definitely a day traveler when you visit Nocatee. A Mediterranean atmosphere with tropical pools and lush gardens will not be found in this town. Nocatee offers more of a Florida cookie type vibe. There are no beaches, but you can bring your bathing suit and swim at the county-owned boat ramp on the nearby Peace River.

If you’re interested in playing golf while visiting Nocatee, you can’t. Golf will have to take place on Arcadia Road, which is the county seat. Or you could go eight miles south of Nocatee to the Sunny Breeze Golf Club.

If shopping is your thing, you’re in luck. Just five miles down the road in Arcadia again there are several stores to choose from. And you can venture down Arcadia’s old Oak Street in the Antiques District.

On August 13, 2004, Hurricane Charley passed directly through Nocatee with winds that persisted for an hour, damaging most structures in the burg and causing some to be completely destroyed. You can still find many buildings with blue FEMA tarps still protecting the roofs.

Actually, the most interesting thing about Nocatee is not what’s there now, but what used to be there. I know of one person who said he was from Nocatee. The King Lumber Company, founded in the late 1800s, was DeSoto County’s leading industry and largest employer. It eventually became the Nocatee-Manatee Crate Company until it closed in 1951. The first settler was the Carlton family. Baptist and Methodist churches were founded there in 1890. There was once a stump plant that employed many people until it closed in the 1980s.

DeSoto County was initially a much larger county and was later subdivided to create five smaller counties in 1921. There was an election to determine where DeSoto County’s seat should be. Nocatee lost by one vote. Nocatee has never had much of a population to speak of. It has pretty much stayed the same size since 1900. It has never been an actual incorporated city.

Unfortunately, Nocatee doesn’t have much of a tourist draw, but there is an interesting Civil War history in the county. For the paleontologist, the county is located in what is known as the valley of the bones. It is a phosphate-rich area where many mastodon bones can be found.

For more information on the town of Nocatee, Florida, visit DeSoto County, Florida online. Also check out Howard Melton’s book, “Foot Prints & Landmarks,” which provides the interesting history of Nocatee and DeSoto County. You can also visit the Arcadia Antique District online. Better yet, take the opportunity and come visit us.

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