About The Community
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Nature lovers will never want to leave Dunnellon. Two beautiful rivers, crystal clear springs, scenic nature trails amidst lush native vegetation, fish, birds and other wildlife, vast open spaces and tranquil gardens make it a paradise for outdoor people. It’s no wonder why it is known as the “Treasure of Florida’s Nature Coast.” Home to a diverse population of around 2000 people, Dunnellon is appreciated for its variety and hospitality. Dunnellon in southwestern Marion County on U.S. 41 is proud of its heritage as a wild boomtown in the late 1800s.
Dunnellon began as a huddle of farming communities that prospered with the discovery of phosphate deposits in the area in 1889. The town developed with the building of a school, post office and railroad. A wooden bridge over the Withlacoochee River helped the town grow. Today the Old Florida character and charm is still preserved with pride. The oak-lined streets in Dunnellon’s nationally registered historic district feature authentically restored nineteenth century homes largely through the efforts of The Greater Dunnellon Historical Society.
The good old days have inspired a weekend-long springtime Boomtown Days Festival every year in April. Thousands of fun lovers are drawn to Dunnellon’s downtown area to witness a pageant in costumes, craft shows, antique car exhibits, music, beauty contests and of course to indulge in a lot of good food. This tribute to the town’s early phosphate mining beginnings is sponsored by the Dunnellon Area Chamber of Commerce.
Vicinity of Dunnellon
Visitors who have discovered Dunnellon return often, drawn by its myriad of attractions. People come from afar to tube on its beautiful Rainbow River; fish the Withlachoochee River; and visit Rainbow Springs State Park. Florida’s second largest artesian spring, Rainbow Springs in Dunnellon feeds crystal clear water into the scenic Rainbow River. Boating, tubing, canoeing, swimming, diving, snorkeling and other water-related sports are popular pastimes. The rivers offer excellent fishing, with largemouth bass, sunfish, bream and long nose gar.
The scenic beauty of the area is not restricted to its waters. The parks and reserves have much to offer to the hikers and bikers. Dense forests of oak, pine and magnolia trees appeal to the eye and heart as one goes through the pristine reserves. Birdwatchers have a field day in these areas following the local birds such as cormorant, blue heron, barred owl and anhinga. The Withlacoochee State Trail is the perfect place for bikers and roller bladers to enjoy Dunnellon’s section of Florida’s Rails to Trails program. It is possible for them to have access to Cross Florida at Pruitt Trail Head.
Dunnellon has several outstanding golf courses in the city. Many people who have come on a vacation have been so charmed by the scenic beauty, amenities and friendly local population that they have retired to the area. Consequently there are a number of popular retirement communities nearby. Local accommodation ranges from a charming bed and breakfast to the waterfront resort. Dunnellon is a perfect destination for a relaxed vacation. There are charming restaurants like Café on the river and Dinner Bell offering enjoyable fare.