Come aboard! Put on your hat and throw away your cares. Let's float down the most important river in Florida: the mighty St. Johns (though for this north-flowing river, down is up!). We'll start where the river starts, in the marshes west of Vero Beach, and end up 310 miles later at the Atlantic Ocean.
This guide describes the history, major towns and cities along the way, wildlife, and personages associated with the river. You'll go by Sanford and Georgetown, Palatka and Orange Park. And at the mouth of the river, you'll encounter the metropolis of Jacksonville and the Naval Station in Mayport.
You'll meet some of the most important people in our state's history: Jean Ribault, John and William Bartram, Zephaniah Kingsley, Harriet Beecher Stowe; as well as many important groups: Timucuan and Seminole Indians, runaway slaves, British and Spanish settlers, and missionaries.
You will see manatees and jumping fish and lots of species of birds. Away from the big towns on quiet weekdays, you will experience a solitude and closeness to nature that may surprise you in this very populated state.
This new edition has completely updated traveling information, including websites and phone numbers.
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Kevin McCarthy is professor emeritus and a distinguished alumni professor of Florida studies and English at the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he taught for 33 years. He has written many books for Pineapple Press.