Live Oak Travel Guide

Discover the hidden gem of North Central Florida with our Live Oak travel guide. Explore the natural beauty, cultural attractions, and food scene of this small town.

Introduction to Live Oak

Welcome to Live Oak, a charming town nestled in the heart of North Central Florida. Though small in size, Live Oak is a hidden gem with a rich cultural history, natural beauty, and vibrant food scene.

Named after the towering oak trees that can be found throughout the town, Live Oak is located in Suwannee County and is a part of the Inland Florida region. With its proximity to major cities like Tallahassee and Jacksonville, Live Oak serves as a peaceful getaway destination for both locals and tourists alike.

List of Places to Visit in Live Oak

Live Oak has something for everyone, from outdoor adventures to museum tours. Here are some of the top places to visit in Live Oak:

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Suwannee County Historical Museum: Take a step back in time and explore the rich history of Suwannee County in this museum. The museum displays a range of artifacts, documents, and interactive exhibits that tell the story of the county’s growth and development throughout the years.

  • Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park: This unique park is known for its live music events, but it’s also a great place to explore the natural beauty of Live Oak. The park is situated on the banks of the Suwannee River and offers activities like canoeing, fishing, and hiking.

  • Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park: Named after the composer Stephen Foster, this state park is a cultural hub that showcases the folk music traditions of the Suwannee River Valley. Visitors can enjoy live music performances, exhibits, and nature trails.

Natural Attractions of Live Oak: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Suwannee River State Park: This park is a nature lover’s paradise with its beautiful scenery, hiking trails, and fishing spots. The park also offers kayak and canoe rentals, perfect for exploring the river.

  • Big Oak Trail: This scenic hike takes you through Live Oak’s beautiful oak trees. At only 1.5 miles long, it’s a great activity for beginners or for those who just want to enjoy a leisurely stroll in the shade.

  • Anderson Springs State Park: Located just outside of Live Oak, this park is a great spot for a refreshing swim or a picnic. The natural spring provides crystal-clear water that’s perfect for swimming on a hot day.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Live Oak

Live Oak is known for its natural beauty and well-marked hiking and biking trails. Here are some of the best routes to explore:

  • Suwannee River Greenway: Tucked away in downtown Live Oak, this paved path follows the Suwannee River and is perfect for a leisurely bike ride. The trail is dotted with picnic tables and benches that offer great views of the river.

  • Florida National Scenic Trail: For a longer, more challenging hike, check out this trail which spans over 1,000 miles and traverses the entire state of Florida. The nearby Suwannee River section offers stunning views and is a popular spot for backpacking.

Best Things to Do in Live Oak: Activities and Tours

  • Canoe or kayak down the Suwannee River: Whether you’re an experienced paddler or a beginner, renting a canoe or kayak to explore the Suwannee River is a must-do activity in Live Oak.

  • Take a walking tour of downtown Live Oak: Learn about the town’s history and architecture with a guided walking tour of downtown Live Oak.

  • Sample local food and drinks: Live Oak is known for its food scene, so be sure to try some of the local favorites like biscuits and gravy, barbeque, and craft beer.

Week-Long Itinerary for Live Oak

Looking for a week-long itinerary for Live Oak? Here’s a sample list of activities that you can do:

Day Activity
Day 1 Suwannee River Greenway bike ride, followed by lunch at a downtown Live Oak restaurant.
Day 2 Hike the Big Oak Trail and enjoy a picnic lunch at the park.
Day 3 Take a guided tour of the Suwannee County Historical Museum, followed by a visit to the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park for a live music event.
Day 4 Explore the Anderson Springs State Park and the nearby Ichetucknee Springs State Park.
Day 5 Take a day trip to nearby Tallahassee and visit the Florida State Capitol, the Tallahassee Museum, and the Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park.
Day 6 Rent a canoe or kayak and spend the day exploring the Suwannee River.
Day 7 Visit the Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park and attend a live music event.

Food and Drink Scene of Live Oak

Live Oak’s food scene is a reflection of its Southern heritage, with an emphasis on comfort food, barbeque, and craft beer. Here are some must-try dishes and local beverages:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Biscuits and gravy: A Southern staple, biscuits and gravy is a breakfast dish that you can find at many restaurants in Live Oak.

  • Pulled pork: No visit to Live Oak is complete without trying some of the local barbeque. Pulled pork is a favorite, often served with a side of baked beans and coleslaw.

Local Beverages

  • Craft beer: Live Oak is home to several craft breweries, including Halpatter Brewing Company and San Felasco Brewery.

  • Sweet tea: A Southern favorite, you can find pitchers of sweet tea at most restaurants in Live Oak.

Where to Stay in Live Oak: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Live Oak offers a variety of accommodation options, from affordable hotels to upscale bed and breakfasts. Here are some of the top picks:

  • Suwannee River Eco-Lodge: Located on the banks of the Suwannee River, this eco-lodge features private cabins and tent sites that offer stunning views of the river.

  • The Adams House Bed & Breakfast: This historic bed and breakfast offers six elegant rooms and suites, each with its own unique charm. The Adams House is located in downtown Live Oak, making it a convenient spot for exploring the town.

What to Buy in Live Oak: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Looking for a souvenir to bring back home? Here are some local products that you can find in Live Oak:

  • Suwannee River Candles: Handcrafted with natural soy wax and essential oils, Suwannee River Candles are a fragrant reminder of your time in Live Oak.

  • Pecans: Live Oak is located in the heart of Florida’s pecan country, so be sure to pick up a bag of locally grown pecans to bring back home.

Local Culture and Customs of Live Oak

Live Oak is a friendly and welcoming town, with a strong sense of community pride. Here are some cultural customs to keep in mind:

  • Respect for nature: Live Oak’s natural beauty is one of its greatest assets, so be sure to respect the environment and follow Leave No Trace principles.

  • Small-town hospitality: Live Oak residents are known for being friendly and hospitable. Don’t be surprised if you strike up a conversation with a local in the grocery store or coffee shop.

Best Time to Visit Live Oak

The best time to visit Live Oak is during the fall and winter months when the weather is mild and comfortable. Spring is also a great time to visit, especially if you’re interested in attending the local festivals and events. Summers can be hot and humid, but the nearby Suwannee River offers plenty of opportunities to cool off.

Do’s and Don’ts of Live Oak

To ensure a pleasant and respectful stay in Live Oak, here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind:


  • Respect local customs and traditions: Live Oak is a small town with a strong sense of community, so be sure to respect its local customs and traditions.

  • Explore the natural beauty: Live Oak’s natural beauty is its biggest draw, so take advantage of the many hiking trails, parks, and outdoor activities.


  • Litter or pollute: Live Oak’s natural environment is fragile, so be sure to dispose of trash properly and follow Leave No Trace principles.

  • Trespass on private property: Live Oak residents take pride in their properties and privacy, so be sure to respect their boundaries.

Safety and Health

Live Oak is a safe destination for tourists, but it’s always important to take necessary precautions. Here are some tips for staying safe and healthy in Live Oak:

Safety in Live Oak

  • Avoid walking alone at night: Though Live Oak is a safe destination, it’s always best to avoid walking alone at night.

  • Protect yourself from the sun: Florida’s sun can be intense, so be sure to wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses when spending time outdoors.

Health in Live Oak

  • Stay hydrated: Florida’s heat and humidity can be dehydrating, so be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.

  • Watch out for wildlife: Though rare, encounters with wildlife like alligators and snakes can happen in Live Oak. Be sure to stay alert and aware of your surroundings.

Getting to Live Oak: Transportation Options and Logistics

Live Oak is located in North Central Florida and has several transportation options for visitors. Here are some of the ways to get to Live Oak:

Airports Near Live Oak

  • Jacksonville International Airport: Located about 90 miles east of Live Oak, the Jacksonville International Airport is the closest major airport to Live Oak.

  • Tallahassee International Airport: Located about 67 miles west of Live Oak, the Tallahassee International Airport is another option for travelers.

Bus Stations Near Live Oak

  • Greyhound: The Greyhound Bus Station in Lake City is about 30 miles from Live Oak.

  • Amtrak: The Amtrak Station in Jacksonville is about 90 miles from Live Oak.

Other Options

  • Rental Car: Renting a car is a convenient option for exploring Live Oak and the surrounding areas.

  • Private Transportation: Private transportation options like taxis and ride-share services are available in Live Oak.

How to Get Around in Live Oak

Though Live Oak is a small town, there are several transportation options for visitors. Here are some of the ways to get around in Live Oak:

  • Car rental: Renting a car is a convenient way to explore the town and surrounding areas.

  • Bike rental: Live Oak has several bike rental options for visitors who want to explore the town on two wheels.

  • Walking: Many of Live Oak’s attractions are within walking distance of one another.

Where to Go Next from Live Oak: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Live Oak is located in the heart of North Central Florida, making it a great base for exploring the surrounding areas. Here are some nearby destinations and excursions to consider:

  • Tallahassee: Florida’s capital city is located about 67 miles west of Live Oak and offers a variety of cultural attractions, historic sites, and outdoor activities.

  • Saint Augustine: This historic city, located about 100 miles east of Live Oak, is home to some of the oldest settlements in the country and boasts a rich cultural heritage.

  • Gainesville: Home to the University of Florida, Gainesville is a vibrant college town located about 65 miles south of Live Oak.


Live Oak may be a small town, but it has a big heart and plenty to offer visitors. Whether you’re looking to explore the natural beauty, learn about the town’s cultural history, or simply relax and enjoy the local food and drink scene, Live Oak offers something for everyone. We hope that this travel guide has given you some inspiration for planning your trip and that you’ll have a wonderful time discovering all that Live Oak has to offer.