Are you looking for fun things to do in Lake City, Florida? This city offers a lot, from mini golf and arcades to nature trails and animal sanctuaries.
Lake City is a charming town located in north-central Florida. It’s the county seat of Columbia County and the capital of the region.
The city began as Alligator in 1821, near the Seminole settlement Alligator Village. It was the first to be established as the Columbia County seat in 1832 when it was founded from Alachua & Duval counties.
Lake City is known as “The Gateway to Florida” due to its proximity to Interstate 75 and 10. In 1858, the city was renamed Lake City.
The Battle of Olustee, the largest American Civil War battle in Florida, was held near the city in 1864.
Today, Lake City is a vibrant community with plenty of things to do. There are numerous parks, a golf course, an indoor pool, and a variety of restaurants.
The city is also home to the Columbia County Fairgrounds, which hosts several events throughout the year. Lake City is definitely worth considering if you’re looking for a fun weekend getaway.
Here are 20 great things to do in Lake City, Florida.
Things to Do in Lake City
1. Webbs Antique Mall
You’ll find just about everything in the 400 booths of this eclectic mall. They offer free parking, and the mall is air-conditioned.
You’ll find a wide array of antiques and collectibles and a selection of great affordable gifts ranging from coins to jewelry. New vendors are coming here every week, and it’s a very popular place to visit.
Some of the more interesting selections on their website include a collection of state license plates, a Native American statue saluting you as he offers you tobacco, and vintage advertising signs for the Sophie Tucker radio show (sponsored by Roi-Tan cigars!)
2. Lake City Columbia County Historical Museum
This two-story building originally belonged to a family named Vizant, during the 1870s. The museum is dedicated to telling the story of the fascinating history of Columbia County, Florida.
The museum displays artifacts from the area’s history, and one of the photos is alleged to be that of a ghost! Interested visitors can make an appointment to take a guided tour.
The museum hosts several historical re-enactments for the public, such as the annual re-enactment of the Battle of Olustee.
For history buffs, visiting the Lake City Columbia County Historical Museum is one of the best things to do in Lake City, FL.
3. Lake City Mall
Shopping enthusiasts will definitely want to plan a visit to this wonderful enclosed mall. There are stores of every kind, including TJ Maxx and J.C. Penney. It is a mecca for shoppers from several surrounding counties.
You can find great food there at the Ole Country Buffet or an Asian buffet called Sakura. There are two pizza restaurants: Piesano’s and 1000 Degrees. You can also pick up a coffee at Starbucks.
4. Lake De Soto Farmers Market
This beautiful area’s talented growers, bakers, and artisans bring their wares to this farmer’s market every Saturday.
You can find many delicious local selections here, as well as lush green plants, goat cheese, honey, free-range eggs, and handmade artistic creations. You can also buy homemade soaps and lotions.
Visitors to the area courthouse often find their way here since it is right next to the courthouse. There are also live music festivals and kids’ entertainment here.
5. Paint With A Twist
This gallery is where you can go with a friend or with someone special. You can drink a glass of wine while following the instructions of a professional artist as they teach you to make amazing art.
If you think you need more artistic talent, come here and be convinced otherwise. They have theme nights (bring your pet and paint them – or paint while you answer trivia questions.)
If you enjoy your experience here, you can buy one of the “Twist at Home” kits and enjoy the experience all over again – or give the kit as a surprise gift.
6. Parks Of Lake City, Florida
If you are looking for things to do in Lake City, FL, with kids, this is a great place to start.
Falling Creek Falls
This 204-acre park is home to a 10-foot waterfall. This area was the first place where the original residents settled in this area, and the trails here provide a lovely look at the creek and the waterfalls.
Part of the trail goes under the street and ends in a ravine near the foot of the falls. Some hikers here have reported seeing a ghost near the falls.
This local family park has a lovely trail that leads around a beautiful lake. It is a popular place for visitors to relax.
This small park has a very nice playground for the kids. There is also a tennis court there where they have weekly lessons for youth.
Rotary International Children’s Park
Another small park is maintained by the local Rotary Club. This park also has a great playground.
7. Ua Cinema 90 6
One of the fun things to do in Lake City is to enjoy movies with your friends and family here. There are six different screens to choose from.
Take a break from your outdoor activities and enjoy an entertaining show. The staff is friendly, the seats are comfortable, and the refreshments are delicious.
8 Gateway Art Gallery
If you are the type of person who loves to look at beautiful things, Gateway Art Gallery is one of the best places to go in Lake City, FL.
Local artists and artisans display their handcrafted creations here. There are sculptures, paintings, jewelry, photographs, and mixed media artworks.
They also offer workshops and art classes to both local residents and visitors. In addition to learning painting techniques, you can learn woodcarving, alcohol ink drawing, Turkish marble painting, jewelry making, and photography.
9 Country Club Golf Club
If you are looking for fun things to do in Lake City, FL, that involve golfing, this country club is the perfect place.
This course has 18 holes and a par of 72. Its grounds are meticulously cared for by the staff. This club was host to the Hogan Tour in 1990 and 1991. It was designed by area golfer Willard Byrd and boasts the most well-kept greens in North Central Florida.
They offer camps for young people who want to learn golf, and parts of the course can be booked for weddings or other corporate outings.
10 Dining In Lake City
Halpatter Brewing Co
This craft brewery got its name from the Seminole Indian tribe that was one of the first residents of this area; back when the name of this town was Alligator.
In addition to the variety of craft beers they brew, they also serve wine from the San Sebastien Winery in Saint Augustine. They have a welcoming fireplace in their beer garden and a friendly and attentive staff.
They also play live music, so sit back and relax with one of their “flagship beers.” You can choose a red Irish ale, an award-winning cream ale, a hearty brown ale, or a hoppy IPA. This bar is a popular place for adult birthday gatherings.
This family-owned business welcomes its guests and offers delicious food and a wide variety of beer and cocktails. There’s a pool table and a jukebox. They have a breakfast menu available and serve bar food – like fish tacos and queso – all day. This saloon is a favorite gathering place for the local citizens – and after a visit here, you’ll understand why.
This gathering place is great for enjoying music, drinks, and live music. Many people get up and dance; many others sit and enjoy conversations and delicious food with friends and families. Their outdoor dining plaza is popular with those who want to enjoy looking at the natural beauty of the surrounding area. They feature casual fare like burgers, but seafood platters are also available.
Cedar River Seafood
This restaurant is the place for upscale seafood. You can select from shrimp, lobster, clams, scallops, and calamari. All the dishes are prepared by trained chefs who prepare seafood. They also offer land dishes like steak and chicken, if you prefer.
Marion Street Bistro and Steakhouse
This bistro is another upscale restaurant and definitely worth a visit. Enjoy Wagyu beef, locally sourced seafood, truffle fries, or jalapeno poppers (to name only some of the more popular selections.) They also offer craft beers, wine, and cocktails and play live music to provide the perfect atmosphere.
11 Lake City Bowl
Your whole family can have a good time at this bowling alley. The bowling alley offers theme nights and a concession stand with a wide selection of snacks to enjoy while bowling.
Although they host several local bowling leagues here, there are plenty of lanes available for open bowling. The games and shoe rentals are reasonably priced, so you’ll enjoy the fun without breaking the bank.
12 Good Times At The County Line
Do you enjoy challenging your friends or family members to ping pong? If so, this is the place to visit. The food here is reported to be delicious.
On weeknights, they host karaoke evenings, and they have live music on the weekends. It’s a popular place for local people to visit, but visitors are always welcome.
There are also pool tables where you can enjoy a game or two. This makes it one of the fun things to do in Lake City, FL.
13 Quail Heights Country Club
The rolling hills of this 18-hole course are said to be a pleasant challenge at this course. The holes here offer five types of tees in order to offer a game enjoyable for any age or skill of golfer.
Visitors are welcome. Relax in comfort after your game and enjoy the scenery.
14 The Mello Store
If you want to buy hemp or CBD, this is the place you can go here in Lake City. They have several types of hemp products, as well as CBD in many forms.
The owner of the store is quite knowledgeable about the benefits of CBD to health and well-being.
The store wants its customers to know these products can relieve pain, stress, and anxiety. Some people find it helps them sleep.
If you have ever used – or been curious about using – CBD products, be sure to add the place to your bucket list of things to do in Lake City.
15 Tnt Mini Golf And Games
This site is a great place to bring the whole family. You can enjoy mini golf, basketball, foosball, air hockey, and arcade games.
You can have a great day here and then kick back and enjoy the refreshments. You and your family will enjoy yourselves here, as the staff goes out of their way to be friendly.
16 Christ Central Ministries
If you’re looking for a place to worship or want to learn about this friendly church and its outreach to the community, you should visit this church ministry center.
Pastors Lonnie and Tammie will welcome you and learn more about their children’s ministries.
They also have sports activities available and have recently partnered with Southeastern University in Lakeland to offer college courses in church-related subjects.
If you have questions about faith or the church, they will be happy to talk with you.
17 Skating Palace Family Fun Center
This skating rink is another excellent place for the family to get together and have some fun. You can use roller skates on the wooden floor, enjoy the games in the arcade room and relax with refreshments at the snack bar.
The center hosts glow skating with black lights, which is a lot of fun to do. You can schedule a party or family gathering here, and all the participants will have a great time.
If you enjoy skating so much you decide you want to keep doing it, you can also buy roller skates here.
18. Skunkie Acres
One of the fun things to do in Lake City with family is to visit Skunkie Acres. Don’t worry; there aren’t only skunks here.
The founder of this animal rescue center loved skunks, but he offered a home to any animal who needed to be rescued.
You and your family will enjoy visiting the many animals here. Some are allowed to roam free, so don’t be surprised if you see a duck or peacock strolling by.
They have a separate area to care for baby animals, and they are wonderful to look at. The original owner’s family still runs the center and is dedicated to continuing his rescue mission for animals.
Animals like bunnies, ferrets, hamsters, chickens, and pigs are available for adoption. They have horseback riding trails, too. You can ride horses with a guide, or if you are experienced, you can ride without a guide.
19. Alligator Lake Recreation Area
This park is named after the city’s original name (Alligator City). It has a playground and some amazing hiking trails.
The trails are also constructed to allow bikers to make the trip too. There are wetlands here where you can paddle a canoe or take a kayak. Fishing and hunting are permissible here for those with licenses.
Blue Goose Gifts
Handmade gifts and gallery of local artist Janet Moses. She is also known for her re-purposed furniture
A shop primarily catering to younger shoppers. They specialize in jeans and casual styles. They are located in the downtown area.
Southern Sisters Boutique and Embroidery
This eclectic apparel store is home to clothing for men, women, and children and beautiful jewelry and home furnishings.
In the jewelry section, you will find a large variety of watches for men and women. There is also a section for baby gifts and baby clothing.
Plus-sized customers will also be glad to know there is clothing here for them. They are also a local host for the Bridgewater Candle Collection.
If you are interested in supporting local businesses, you should definitely add a visit to Southern Sisters Boutique and Embroidery to your list of things to do in Lake City, FL.
Plan your trip to Lake City
Lake City is a wonderful place to visit with friends and family. There is something for everyone in this city, from great food and drinks to shopping and entertainment.
The bars and restaurants are especially worth checking out, as they offer a wide variety of cuisines and atmospheres.
While you’re here, be sure to visit the antique district; you’ll find some amazing things!
And, of course, no trip to Lake City would be considered complete without playing a round of golf at one of the fabulous courses in the area.
We hope you enjoy the list of top things to do in Lake City, FL! What are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to this great city today!