First Coast Finds: Deleon Springs State Park

DE LEON SPRING, Fla. - Breakfast is served all day at the Old Spanish Sugar Mill at Deleon Springs State Park just north of Deland. A staple here since 1961, it's the ultimate serve yourself breakfast. You cook your pancakes and eggs right on your own tabletop grill.

"We bring everyone from out of Florida here when they come to visit," said Cindy Mollnow who drove from from Clay County to have breakfast here with her kids. "We left at 7:00 so we didn't have to wait."

The lines sometimes are three hours long on the weekends. You can choose from white buttermilk, whole grain or gluten free pancakes. Plus, you can mix in your own toppings like blueberries and chocolate chips. Patty Schwarze's parents opened the restaurant 53 years ago. She's the owner now and says word-of-mouth brings in the customers.

"The best thing about this restaurant is that it's about playtime. It's about good food and fun in a gorgeous setting," said Schwarze.

And gorgeous it is.

De Leon Springs is named after Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon who sought the Fountain of Youth in the 1500s. You can cool off in the clear spring pool that stays at a constant 72 degrees, picnic, hike the nature trail or take a tour on Captain Frank's Eco-Heritage boat tour.

So whether it's a sightseeing adventure, relaxing natural springs swim or a do-it yourself breakfast, De Leon Springs State Park has all the right ingredients for an exciting weekend trip.


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