By Kathy L. Collins

Whenever my family goes on a trip, whether it is in the United States or abroad, we like to find small towns and tour them. Lucky for all of us, we have historic downtown Plant City right in our own backyard.

Recently, I went exploring and used the Downtown Walking Map compiled by the Historic Plant City Downtown Business and Merchants Association. I found many gems and had a great time walking around the downtown area on a glorious Florida fall afternoon.

My journey started in McCall Park. I then walked over to the Historic Union Station and Robert W. Willaford Railroad Museum. From there, I walked down Palmer Street to Reynolds Street and stopped in The Corner Store located at 121 E. Reynolds St. I met Natasha who told me that they get a lot of visitors who use the map. The Corner Store is like a mini Whole Foods with local, organic and freshly made sandwiches, salads and delicious drinks.

Walk along Reynolds Street and come up to Collins Street. Here you will pass places like Camilla Rose at 120 N. Collins St. and antique shops such as Rocking Horse Antiques at 114 N. Collins St.

Continue venturing along Collins Street until you come to Plant City Mercantile located at 208 S. Collins St. This is a beautiful, family owned and operated curated shop with over 30 different vendors. Patricia Schultz, the Creative Director for Plant City Mercantile said, “We want to be a destination shop.” You will find many items including hand crafted and hand painted furniture, lovely crafts and vintage jewelry. It is indeed a place that you can visit over and over and find something new and different each time.

I then viewed the marvelous Plant City Mural and had a delicious mocha at the Krazy Kup, a really cool and authentic coffee shop located at 101 E. J. Arden Mays Blvd. Here you can unwind with a beverage and enjoy a quick snack.

Other points of interest include the Plant City Photo Archives at 106 S. Evers St., the 1914 High School and Museum at 605 N. Collins St., Plant City Entertainment Theatre at 101 N. Thomas St. and the Bruton Memorial Library located at 302 McClendon St.

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