Arcadia, Florida, is a sleepy little cow town. Come out of your discount hotel in Arcadia at high noon and walk onto the restored main street, and you might think you’ve stepped onto the set of a Western movie. Stores in Arcadia are well known for selling traditional, classic Western style wear; pearl buttoned shirts, fancy belts, Stetson hats, string ties and, of course, cowboy boots. Women can get an Annie Oakley style Western skirt. This Florida town even hosts a rodeo twice a year. There are several lovely old houses in Arcadia, but the most impressive building is the Desoto County Courthouse downtown.
Your budget hotel in Arcadia is not far from the Myakka River State Park. This is a vast tract of pinewoods, marshes and prairies. First go to the interpretive visitors’ center to register, get maps, and gain some insight into this unique and fragile ecosystem. Then head off down one of the many nature trails. You can walk, drive, ride a tram, or take a water route by canoe. Airboat tours are also available. This wilderness park abounds in wildlife. It is home to rabbits, wild turkeys, bobcats, deer and alligators. Log cabins are available for rent, and there is camping. However, it is best to book these in advance.