POSTCARDS FROM FLORIDA
Fisherman or not, you can taste a bit of old Florida in Oak Hill
Fishing on the public fishing pier is part of the fun in Oak Hill. (Orlando Sentinel / July 31, 2007)
The guy who asked me that was laughing because I had walked past his fishing rod, perched against the wooden railing on the public fishing pier in Oak Hill, without noticing that it was bending slightly under the strain of a fish nibbling at the other end. My hands stuffed into the pockets of my jeans, I was busy looking at the birds across Mosquito Lagoon — when I wasn't staring at the endless blue sky.
Yeah, fishing is the main attraction in this tiny speck of a town in Volusia County, just a few miles north of the northern end of the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge along U.S. Highway 1. But while a fishing rod, kayak, canoe or other watercraft are recommended accessories for a road trip, you can still enjoy it with a book and an appreciation for a quiet skyline.
There aren't many touches of civilization here. No business district with antique shops.
But hit town early on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday and you can stroll the Oak Hill Flea Market (roaring-twenties.com/oak_hill_flea_market), which offers produce and secondhand surprises starting at 7 a.m. year-round.
I passed the market initially on the way to lunch and found that most of the vendors had left by the time I returned. One man loading plastic cases of CDs into his car told me it's best to get there at least by 11 a.m.
The lunch was a triumph. Goodrich's Seafood and Oyster House (goodrichseafoodandoysterhouse.com), along River Road on the Mosquito Lagoon, is a fine spot for breakfast or lunch by the water on the wooden deck out back. Breakfast is a specialty, but I opted for the fresh-caught flounder in an all-you-can eat special for about $10. The fish was delicious and so were the thick, golden-brown onion rings.
The restaurant is next to the pier, where I didn't help that angler reel in a big one. Go another 100 yards down River Road and walk off calories at Seminole Rest, home to Native American shell mounds dating from 2000 B.C. to A.D. 1565.