Dade City
Population (2016)
Area (Square miles)
Year founded
Abt 1870
Year incorporated
As early as the 1840's, during the Seminole Wars, this area was home to a military outpost named Fort Dade that was established to deal with Indian affairs. In the 1870's, the area began to be settled, and the businesses and main population center located further east to be closer to the newly planned railroad line and the Withlacoochee River. In 1884, Dade City was incorporated.

Shortly after Pasco County was created from the southern half of Hernando County in 1887, Dade City was declared the county seat and construction began on a new courthouse. The historic courthouse still exists, and can be found at the corner of 7th Street and Meridian Avenue.

Dade City today retains much of its old town atmosphere, with many historic buildings, houses, and antique shops. The downtown area is home to a variety of special events including the Annual Kumquat Festival, held in late January, and a Christmas Parade. Christmas is an especially nice time to visit since local merchants and restaurants sponsor a "Christmas Stroll" where businesses stay open late, and residents dress in turn of the century period clothes.

In addition to the historic downtown area, Dade City visitors will enjoy the Pioneer Florida Museum & Village, which offers a variety of special events along with arts and crafts demonstrations and lessons. The Giraffe Ranch, and Dade City's Wild Things, each provide unique experiences you won't find in other zoos.

Just east of the Dade City limits, the Green Swamp West Tract and Withlacoochee River Park provide lots of hiking trails, camping facilities, and access to the Withlacoochee River for kayaks or canoes.
Getting there ...
Additional resources