Situated in the area of the state often referred to as the Nature Coast, Chiefland, Florida is a lovely area with over 2,300 residents. Originally home to the Timucua Native American tribe, the town was named for the tribal chief who owned much of the land before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors in the mid-1500s.
The native Timucuans were farmers, and much of this tradition continued as European settlers came to the land. Some of the key crops that were farmed in Chiefland were peanuts and watermelons. These days, the town hosts a watermelon festival every June.
Like many parts of Florida and the American West at the turn of the 20th century, Chiefland really profited off of the introduction of the cross-continental railroad. The main depot, called the Chiefland Train Depot, was established in 1913 and allowed for the transportation of livestock, grain, food, and, of course, people into the area. This also allowed for the shipping of valuable Chiefland-area agricultural products to various parts of the country.
Chiefland benefited much from the population boom that occurred after World War II but still maintained its small-town charm. In the 1980s, the historic location that was responsible for the growth of the Chiefland population closed down. It was decided to move the Chiefland Train Depot to nearby Old Town, Florida, but thanks to an outcry by the citizens, the funds were raised to reopen the depot as the Chiefland Train Depot Museum.
Kanapaha Spring Garden Festival - This is a two-day festival that is held in Gainesville in March each year. This event features over 125 different plant exhibits. Arts and crafts, garden accessories, and food are also available for purchase.
Santa Fe Spring Arts Festival - This annual event is a great one if you love art. It takes place for two days each April in Gainesville, and it is held in a restored turn-of-the-century home in the historic downtown area.
Newberry Watermelon Festival - As a major one-day event in Gainesville, the Newberry Watermelon Festival in May is one that you will not want to miss. There are parades, competitions, beauty pageants, and more. Inflatable bounce houses are also available for kids to enjoy.
Just a little over 8 miles from Chiefland, Manatee Springs State Park is appropriately named since the area is home to large water-bound mammals. The water here is always warm; on average, its temperature is around 72 degrees year-round. Feel free to kayak here; you might even encounter a manatee as you paddle. There are also paddleboards and canoes available to rent.
Rainbow Springs State Park is 45 miles from Chiefland. The land this park occupies was once home to Native American tribes. Today, there are man-made waterfalls, natural springs, and ornamental gardens. This is a very temperate park that experiences heavy rain in the summer months.
Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park is about 42 miles from Chiefland, so it’s an easy commute. Like many other areas in this part of the state, Paynes Prairie exists on wetlands. Both wild horses and bison call the area home, so be on the lookout for their herds. The park comprises roughly 21,000 acres and has a picturesque temporary lake.
You will find the Mizell-Stephens House only about 38 miles from Chiefland. The home was built before 1904, and its original gas lighting system is still present. The house is part of the Main Street Alachua Historic Walking Tour if you are interested in learning more about the history of the area.
The Fort King National Historic Landmark is located about 55 miles away in the town of Ocala. Originally built in 1827, this landmark is a symbol of the Seminole War. Walk through the gardens or take part in some of the events throughout the year.
The Ray Charles Childhood Home is only 94 miles from Chiefland. It was constructed in the early 1920s and did not have indoor plumbing or electricity. This is the home where the musical prodigy lived until about the age of seven, when his mother decided to send him to a school for deaf and blind children in St. Augustine. Tours are available.
When exploring Chiefland, FL, there are several RV parks and campgrounds ready for your rest and relaxation. Gainesville, Florida is only 39 miles away, and you'll find many RV parks around that area. Options include Starke/Gainesville N.E. KOA, Williston Crossings RV Resort, and Grand Lake RV & Golf Resort. Each of these is pet-friendly, and Grand Lake RV and Stark/Gainesville N.E. KOA both have dog parks. Grand Lake RV & Golf Resort starts at $33 a day, $198 a week, or $621 a month.
Motorhomes are divided into Class A, B, and C vehicles. On average expect to pay $185 per night for Class A, $149 per night for Class B and $179 per night for Class C. Towable RVs include 5th Wheel, Travel Trailers, Popups, and Toy Hauler. On average, in Chiefland, FL, the 5th Wheel trailer starts at $70 per night. Pricing for the Travel Trailer begins at $60 per night, and the Popup Trailer starts at $65 per night.Do you need to be a certain age to rent an RV in Chiefland?
Yes. The minimum age is 25 to be eligible to get an RV Rental in Chiefland from RVshare.Does RVshare have emergency roadside assistance?
Yes. Every RV rental booked through RVshare receives 24/7 emergency roadside assistance.Does RVshare offer one way RV rentals in Chiefland?
Yes. Prior to renting any RV, check with the owner since not all will offer this particular option.