Minorcan Mama Remembers Ravine Gardens in Palatka

Minorcan Mama has a Springtime Throwback Thursday for us today! Jennifer is a life-long local a blogger friend… I always love reading her memories like this one about healing waters in St. Augustine and this one on Christmases past in St Augustine. Today, travel with her via this story as Minorcan Mama Remembers Ravine Gardens in Palatka… and if you’ve been there, share your favorite memory in the comments!

It’s Thursday!  Time for a Throwback, y’all!  This month I am celebrating one of the first signs of Spring here in North Florida.  Even in warm winter years like this one, this flower is our first sign that Spring is on the way.  This beauty comes in shades of pinks and whites and can be found in yards, in parks, and at Historic Sites all over our area!  Have you guessed it yet? 

If you guessed azaleas, then you are correct!

Minorcan Mama Remembers Ravine Gardens in Palatka

I just love the name azalea {pronounced uh-zale-yah} it sounds so Southern, yet so exotic… perfect for our Florida paradise!  I have memories of springtime flowers that stretch back decades. Introducing my children to my favorite bushes that put on a springtime show is priceless.

Take a trip with me through time as we celebrate this fine Florida flower and enjoy photos from Florida Memory, Minorcan Mama readers and yours truly!
Minorcan Mama Remembers Ravine Gardens in Palatka

Minorcan Mama Remembers Ravine Gardens in Palatka
Minorcan Mama on the left, her daughter on the right making a “serious face just like Mama”.

Minorcan Mama Remembers Ravine Gardens in Palatka

If you love azaleas as much as I do, then you’ll wanna head on over to Palatka’s Ravine Gardens during spring.  Early in March every year, Palatka hosts the Florida Azalea Festival, which just celebrated its 71st year! Minorcan Mama remembers Ravine Gardens in Palatka but not that many years! It’s one of the oldest festivals in the state & predates me by quite a bit!  The Florida love affair with this beautiful flower has been going on for a while, y’all.

Minorcan Mama Remembers Ravine Gardens in Palatka
The photo on the left is from decades ago… the ones on the right are sweet Chloe enjoying the same azaleas today!

Minorcan Mama Remembers Ravine Gardens in Palatka

The Festival takes place along the beautiful St. Johns River in downtown Palatka but the best place in the area to take in a spring show is at Ravine Gardens State Park. It boasts a gorgeous display of azaleas and other flowers and foliage and you can enjoy this all spring long!  Developed by the Works Progress Administration in 1933, Ravine Gardens has two large ravines for hiking and exploring, two suspension bridges, and a 1.8-mile circular paved path around the ravines for motorists and cyclists to enjoy.

See ya out there!
~Jennifer, Minorcan Mama

Ravine Gardens State Park
1600 Twigg Street, Palatka, FL

p.s. If you’re a Palatka regular, leave a comment with suggestions for where to eat while we’re out there! I’ve been to Angel’s Diner- the oldest diner in Florida- and to Corky Bell’s Seafood, which has a great view of the water. There have to be other options… but it’s too far for me to adventure very often. Help! ~Allie O.

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