Dade City is the seat of Pasco County, with an iconic historic courthouse and the east side Government Center. It has approximately 7,000 residents and is growing. The City is 6.183 square miles in size with rolling hill topography. Dade City is popular with tourists for its antique stores, restaurants and historic architecture including the Pasco County Courthouse, Hugh Embry Library, and Edwinola. The annual Kumquat Festival is hosted downtown. It is home to the Pioneer Florida Museum, a historic train depot and an industrial center.
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Is your Rottweiler rambunctious? Is your poodle depressed? Perhaps they just need to “paws” and reflect. Dogs put on a happy face for their owners, but experts say they are actually more vulnerable to mental or emotional stress than humans, triggering any number of physiological ailments. One method of… Read More
Have you ever wondered what a garden club does? The Dade City Garden Club states it is dedicated to the education of its members and the public in the fields of gardening, horticulture, landscape design, floral design, and environmental awareness. They are a 501c3 nonprofit organization whose members noticed that… Read More
Kumquats are fun to eat, and the word kumquat is fun to say, so it stands to reason that the Kumquat Festival January 25 in Dade City is going to be a fantastically fun event for all! Promoted as a family-friendly alternative to Tampa’s Gasparilla, the Annual Kumquat Festival… Read More
Contributed by Sally Redden During National Garden Week, June 2 – 8, 2019, the Dade City Garden Club delivered floral bouquets and sweets to 27 Dade City businesses, and each month from October 2019 through May 2020, “Thank You flowers” will be presented to one of the community’s businesses. … Read More
The Pasco County Planning Commission (PC) Meeting Thursday, September 9, 2021, at 1:30 p.m. in the Historic Pasco County Courthouse, 2nd Floor, Boardroom will be streamed online and broadcast live on Pasco Television. Members of the public can take part in the… Read More
Let the good times grow with healthy habits and food! The UF/IFAS Pasco County Extension Community Garden Program is now leasing FREE garden plots to Pasco residents. Free Community Garden Plots in Dade City Pasco Extension pairs applicants with an appropriate community garden location in Dade… Read More
Local legends, The Bellamy Brothers, will bring their traditional style of country music to the stage in Dade City for a fundraiser to support the Thomas Promise Foundation. Howard and David Bellamy will perform a concert for “An Evening With The Bellamy Brothers,” August 26 at the Dan Cannon Auditorium… Read More
In-person and online public participation options July 6 Pasco BCC Meeting will be Hybrid Virtual Format Due to the coronavirus pandemic the Pasco Board of County Commissioners (BCC) Meeting Tuesday, July 6, 2021, at 10:00 a.m., in the Historic Pasco County Courthouse Boardroom in Dade City,… Read More
Changes at Hugh Embry Library will better serve our customers Downtown Dade City Library Closing June 26 for Remodeling The Hugh Embry Library is turning a page! Pasco County Libraries is pleased to announce an exciting, new chapter for the downtown Dade City library, which includes… Read More
~~June program includes insect education, gardening, planting and much more!~~ Pasco Extension Hosts Community Gardens Summer Camp Dig in with down and dirty fun for the kids this summer! Join UF/IFAS Pasco County Extension for our Community Gardens Summer Camp Program June 14 to June 18,… Read More
Public information session to be held evening of May 6 Morningside Drive Extension Open House Pasco County Engineering Services is hosting an open house-style meeting Thursday, May 6, 2021, for anyone who would like to learn more about the plans to extend Morningside Drive from Fort… Read More
~~May 4 in-person event will offer on-the-spot interviews~~ Pasco County Government to Host East Side Job Fair Pasco County Government is hiring, and we want to meet you! Pasco’s Human Resources Department is hosting an in-person job fair Tuesday, May 4, 2021, at the UF/IFAS Extension… Read More
Pre-registration required for April 30 class Green Industry Best Management Practices Training The UF/IFAS Pasco County Cooperative Extension Service is offering Green Industry Best Management Practices training Friday, April 30, 2021, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the UF/IFAS Pasco Extension Office in Dade City. This program… Read More
659 volunteers pick up trash at 37 locations throughout Pasco 2021 Great American Cleanup Collects 37K Pounds of Trash Pasco County volunteers collected 36,920 pounds of trash throughout the county during the 2021 Great American Cleanup on March 3, 2021. 659 volunteers cleaned up public spaces, roadsides and waterways –… Read More
UF/IFAS Pasco Extension offers full-day class, exam April 28, 2021 ServSafe Manager Certification Class and Exam Session The UF/IFAS Pasco County Cooperative Extension Service is offering a ServSafe Manager Certification Class and Exam session Wednesday, April 28, 2021, at the One Stop Shop Stallings building. ServSafe… Read More
Wide selection of Florida-Friendly plants available for purchase with ticket Pasco County Master Gardener Volunteer Spring Plant Sale Spring is a great time to spruce up your landscaping with new plants. The UF/IFAS Extension Pasco County Master Gardener Volunteers are hosting their 2021 Spring Plant Sale,… Read More
In the rolling hills of eastern Pasco County, is a place where Southern hospitality can be felt: Dade City. Established in 1889, this Nature Coast gem is the seat of Pasco County. Its downtown restaurants, antique, and specialty shops are fun to visit – you may want to stay – and you will probably return.
In recent years, Dade City has become synonymous with its largest event, the Kumquat Festival. Kumquats are a marvelous fruit that is both sweet and sour. The whole town joins in this annual celebration held the last weekend of January, and there are many reasons to visit this Nature Coast town any day of the week.
The historic architecture.
On September 14, 1885, the first regular train of the Florida Central and Peninsular Railway passed through Dade City. A historic brick rail station, originally built in 1912, is on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, it houses a Heritage and Cultural Museum.
The iconic Pasco County Courthouse was built in 1909, and a thriving downtown radiates from it. Designed by noted architect Edward Columbus Hosford in the Classical Revival style, it is also on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Visitors can view the common areas inside. The craftsmanship is impressive.
Dade City Educational Institutions and Attractions
Two excellent educational institutions, St. Leo University and Pasco-Hernando State College, are located in the Greater Dade City area, as is the Pioneer Florida Museum. On the outskirts is an exotic animal attraction, Giraffe Ranch, a Tree Hoppers adventure park, SnowCat Ridge, and the Joy-Lan Drive In Theater, where you can see first-run movies or attend a swap meet on weekends.
But the real magic of Dade City, in my opinion, is the charm of its residents and proprietors.
Dade City Shopping & Dining
This is a place with local shopkeepers offering service and selection. Choose from several antique stores in the downtown area offering selections from primitive to ostentatious at all price points. It is really fun to go from shop to shop and see what is new in the “old stuff” while reliving memories from finding a toy, tool, or piece of art reminiscent of one’s youth.
There are many specialty shops with a little of this and a little of that, including home décor and furniture, fashion and jewelry, whimsical gifts and cards, art and wine, an authentic Mexican market and taqueria, grocery items and more. Most of these shops offer modest prices and excellent service.
Plan to stay for a meal because there are at least twenty restaurants to choose from! Sandwich shops and bakeries lead to fire-grilled gourmet and restaurants owned and run by top-chefs – all located within historic and sometimes eclectic buildings. A tea room decorates for each season located next to a quilt shop that offers classes.
The variety of choices ensures that you will find what suits your palate and your wallet right in the courthouse square. Lunch on Limoges is famous for its servers wearing starched white uniforms and its open kitchen – but I always remember their Fairy Cake.
Dade City is a pet-friendly place and some restaurants offer outdoor seating and even a menu for your canine companion. A huge pet store offers everything from healthy treats to custom specialty items to visitors. The owners welcome your pets in the store and love to help solve diet and skin problems with their extensive line of products.
There is a true community atmosphere here. Originally a farming community, you will find ranchers and farm workers traveling through or stopping in for a meal while visiting Dade City.
Parks and Gardens
Several parks are located in the downtown area, including Hibiscus Park where a farmers market is held the first Saturday of every month from September through May, and Price Park, which offers more traditional city recreation including playground equipment, racquetball and tennis courts, and picnic tables with barbecue grills.
There is a strong Garden Club in Dade City, contributing to the City’s beauty and charm with certified Butterfly Gardens. Additionally, the Dade City Garden Club has put on a Monarch Butterfly Festival and Dade City is a Monarch City USA.
Enjoy the historic buildings as you meander around. Historic storefronts abound. It can be fun to discover what’s inside, such as exposed brick walls from the early 1900s.
Sometimes one visits a place and not everyone wants to shop; Then what? Dade City has a nice cigar bar, sports bars, coffee shops, and a Brass Tap location featuring several locally crafted brews for refreshment, including seasonal kumquat flavored brews.
Plan to attend the Kumquat Festival
Dade City plays host each year to a large number of popular community-sponsored events, including the Kumquat Festival, Church Street Christmas, and the Country Christmas Stroll. A former Main Street organization, the Dade City Merchants Association puts on several events throughout the year, including Antique Faire & Markets in the spring and fall and a monthly Car Cruise In around the Courthouse Square. There is a strong Chamber of Commerce that provides visitor information and business promotion.
A nice Hampton Inn is south of downtown if you decide to stay overnight because you simply want to see more than one day will accommodate. Stop in and visit Dade City.
Plan to visit for an event and stay to enjoy the leisurely pace and friendly residents. You’ll be glad you did.