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Wewahitchka in Gulf County is the perfect place to get away from it all. The region is part of the self-proclaimed Forgotten Coast of Northwest Florida and is still very much what Old Florida was. Home to fewer less than one thousand nine hundred people, the community of Wewahitchka is also known as Wewa by locals. Wewahitchka is supposed to have got its name from the Indian term meaning ‘water eyes’. The sleepy little community in the northeastern section of Gulf County lies inland off the Gulf Coast, midway between Tallahassee and Panama City. Wewa is on Highway 71, north of coastal Port St. Joe, and south of I-10.
Wewahitchka is rich in natural resources with extensive farmland, timber, and excellent freshwater fishing lakes. It is well known for its tupelo honey and the Dead Lakes. The Dead Lakes were formed where the Apalachicola and Chipola Rivers met on a cypress swamp and resulted in flooding a low-lying area. The lake encompasses 80 square miles. Years ago a temporary flood of saltwater killed the cypress trees leaving only their stumps; hence the lake acquired the name Dead Lakes. It provides some of the best freshwater fishing in the country. The Dead Lakes State Park around the area of the Dead Lakes dam has beautiful trees and plants including the Florida green fly orchid and ball moss and is home to numerous species of birds, amphibians, and animals.
There are several scenic parks in Wewa. Lake Alice Park in the heart of the city is home to the famous Tupelo Elvis Festival. An ideal spot for a family picnic, with its elaborate playground and picnic area, the park borders Lake Alice and offers scenic walking trails through moss-covered trees and excellent fishing as well. Lake Julia Park is the sister of Lake Alice Park, both being named for twin pioneers Alice and Julia Keyes. There is a motel in town for visitors who want to spend a vacation in a rural setting, communing with nature. There are several popular campgrounds and the local restaurants offer home cooking. The city is surrounded by wooded areas that provide hunting opportunities.
Vicinity of Wewahitchka
Wewa is known for its liquid gold, Tupelo honey. This highly coveted honey is derived from the local Tupelo gum tree that blossoms in the spring. Wewa is the only area in the country in which this non-granulating honey is commercially harvested. For more than a century generations of its residents have been involved in gathering Tupelo honey.
North Florida Motor Speedway is a 5/8 mile clay oval located near Wewahitchka. It is the location for Saturday Racing from February to November with Sportsman, Enduros, Super Streets, Hobby, and Pure Stocks. Formerly the track was also known as West Florida Speedway, Wewa Motor Speedway, and Dead Lakes Speedway.