Like snowflakes, candy canes or presents wrapped up in a bow, beautiful trees are a symbol of the season!
Most often, these trees are traditional pines or firs decked out in twinkling lights and vibrant ornaments—but there’s more than one way to celebrate this festive symbol, especially in and around Gainesville where Florida’s lush corridor lends itself to beautiful vistas and ample arbor opportunities.
Just read on as we share a few fun activities to enjoy!
Pick the perfect tree
One of the most quintessential Christmastime activities is, of course, picking out the perfect tree. There’s nothing like the nostalgic charm of browsing the rows and rows of trees, only to find the perfect one (or a loveably imperfect one) and bring it home. Grab a Peach Valley hot chocolate to go, and make it an especially warm, festive adventure!
For Gainesville residents, a great local option is the Unicorn Hill Christmas Tree Farm. The area’s longest-running Christmas tree farm provides saws, a tree shaker and twine to help you cut the perfect tree when you find it—of course, you may find yourself staying a little longer than you planned when you discover the farm’s one-of-a-kind natural environment! A picturesque woodland setting awaits, featuring a stream and plenty of natural cover that serve as the home for deer, rabbits, possum, wild turkeys and more, so that you feel as though you’ve stumbled upon a true back-to-nature gem.
Take a sand pine staycation
If a conventional Christmas tree isn’t quite your style—or you simply want to opt for an eco-friendly alternative to traditional trees—then consider a trip down to Lake Wales Ridge State Forest to chop down your very own sand pine! According to an article from the University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension, cutting these whimsically shaped trees can help safely thin out the forest’s dense canopy, fostering fire safety and an improved home for native animals in the process! The University of Florida IFAS has more information on when sand pine removal is allowed, and how to get your permit from the forest. (As is the case with any tree, safe lighting and decorating is essential, so don’t store your tree next to a space heater or open flame; keep it watered; and use LED Christmas lights, but don’t leave them on unattended.)
Enjoy the view
Even if you don’t plan to pick out a tree this holiday season, you can still enjoy the view by exploring one of Gainesville’s many natural escapes! Devil's Millhopper Geological State Park is one especially beloved option, a place where you can explore a deep limestone sinkhole surrounded by lush trees all about. It’s a great destination to discover (or rediscover) year-round, but especially during the holiday season, when cool weather makes it a particularly enchanting escape.
Whether you’re picking out the perfect tree, or are headed on a road trip to discover the lush expanse that surrounds Central Florida, Peach Valley Gainesville is here to help fuel your foliage adventures. Visit us this holiday season for tasty treats like our Orchard Fresh Apple Fritters or Peach Cobbler. Just consider it a celebration of trees and the delicious fruits they deliver!