This weekend I visited Historic Spanish Point in Osprey, Florida. Having grown up in this area, it’s not the first time. I must say though, this was one of the best visits. They have improved the site and their brand dramatically. The website is terrific and really makes you want to visit:
Once we got to the site we stopped off at the Visitor’s Center, where the friendly staff gave us a gorgeous map and told us about the tour starting soon. We then drove down to the beginning of the attraction. On the drive, I read about the four P’s at the site. (I think this is the best thing they have going now—it really cements the idea of the site and the way they have organized it makes lots of sense.) They have divided the site into four P’s: Prehistoric, Pioneer, Palmer, and Plants. This cohesive idea resonates on the maps, in the signage, and I’d assume on the tours. I’ve been there many times, but this time I felt like the P’s concept gave me a firm idea to grasp about what was going on at this historic place and why it was so important to the area. As you go along, you find out what all the P’s mean.
You can go two different ways once you get there. We opted not to take the tour this time and started on our way toward the Guptill House, part of the Pioneer section. This house has a gorgeous view and is staffed by a knowledgeable guide. Before you get there you run across the butterfly garden, one of the Plants sections of the four P’s. It touts itself as one of the largest in Florida and we saw lots of gorgeous butterflies. Spanish Point is great for plant lovers. We visited the aqueduct and the jungle walk in this area also. Down here you also see one of the prehistoric middens that gets explained more later. The Webb packing house is pretty cool–gives you a great sense of how orange grove commerce ran back then.
The Prehistoric section of the site was next. You actually step into the middle of a shell midden!!! How cool is that? They have a great video and display about the life of the early people in the area that is a must-see.
Moving on, we visited the Palmer part of the four P’s. Bertha Palmer is legendary in this part of Florida. The house is a museum and display area that really illustrates all she did for the area and how important she was.
We finished up our tour at Mary’s Chapel which is so quaint and has a really peaceful feel to it. You can walk around inside and visit the cemetery located right outside of it.
Historic Spanish Point is a gem of an attraction and perfect for families. It is a little warm there in the summer though, so stock up on water. Take your time traveling through, as there are some beautiful views to experience from the shade!
Historic Spanish Point made this video for YouTube: