Just minutes south of the Georgia state line and 14 miles north of Tallahassee is the small town of Havana. Incorporated in 1906, Havana was known during the first half of the 20th century for its major crop – shade tobacco used in fine cigars.

After the town’s tobacco industry fizzled out in the 1960’s, the buildings and warehouses near North Main Street sat empty and many of the residents moved away to find work elsewhere.

Then, in the 1980s, Havana experienced a renaissance. Enterprising merchants opened antique shops, art galleries, interior design studios, and eateries in the quaint old structures.

Today, “Florida’s friendliest small town” boasts a population of just under 2,000 people and is considered a mecca for its specialty shopping. During select weekends in the spring and fall, bead dealers from all over the nation set up shop in Havana for a colorful trade show. The town’s signature annual event, Pumpkin Fest, happens in October and features street vendors, pumpkin painting, costume contests, and carnival rides.

Where to StayWhite Dog Plantation, a 60-acre retreat just outside of downtown featuring seven boutique guest rooms in a village of historic buildings.

Where to ShopPlanters Exchange; Traditions Antiques & Gifts; Havana Trading Co.; Weezie’s Cottage Living; Wanderings; H&H Furnishings & Design; Antique & Design Center

Where to EatJoanie’s Gourmet Market and Fabulous Cafe; The Tomato Cafe & Tea Room; Magnolia Cafe & Coffee House; Oscar’s Pizza