DeLeon Springs State Park is located in DeLeon Springs, FL approx. 50 miles from Orlando. This wonderful state park was a tropical frontier rich in mystery and romance for guests in the 1880s. The legends of early explorers were still alive. In a 1889 advertisement guests were promised "a fountain of youth: impregnated with a deliciously healthy combination of soda and sulfur." The health benefits aside the springs were a natural wonder and is still a place for healthful outdoor recreation in a beautiful, natural setting. Native Americans occupied the area periodically from as early as 8000 B.C. A 6000 year-old dugout canoe, one of the oldest ever found in America, was discovered here. This area is still rich in history dating as far back as the early 1500s when Spanish forces, possibly led by Juan Ponce de Leon, may have passed through.
The Old Spanish Sugar Mill and Griddle House is located in the park. This unique restaurant was opened in 1961 by Peter and Marjorie Schwarze. Each of the tables are equipped with a griddle and guests are brought pitchers of homemade pancake batters (both a stone ground mixture of five different flours and an unbleach white) and can prepare them theirselves. Guests can also order blueberries, bananas, peanut butter, pecans, chocolate chips, apples or applesauce to create whatever sort of pancakes they choose. They also offer sausage, bacon, ham, eggs, homemade breads and an assortment of other treats to accompany the pancakes. Breakfast is served daily until 4pm.
This state park is a great place to spend a relaxing day away from the fast-paced Orlando theme parks.