Taking its name from Melrose Abbey in Scotland, Melrose, Florida is a small Victorian town awash with quiet, peaceful ambiance. It’s nestled at the intersection of State Roads 21 and 26, about halfway between Gainesville and Jacksonville.
Originally a citrus town in the 1800s, Melrose has since grown into a place travelers stop at during their journeys thanks to a smattering of locally owned restaurants and small businesses. It also holds a special place in history; in 1990, the Melrose Historical District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The district features 72 structures, the most notable being the gothic-styled Trinity Episcopal Church.
Melrose homes for sale range from cozy cottages to dapper single-family houses in a variety of settings: lakefront, on wide open lots, surrounded by towering oaks draped with Spanish moss, and more. Many homes here are affordable, ranging from $150k to low-to-mid $300k; lakefront homes, however, tend to fetch anywhere from $500k to $900k. Especially when you consider the quiet tranquility you’re buying with a Melrose home, you can find incredible bargains on a property here.
Melrose may be a small town, but you can still find plenty to do. Visit the Historic District for a walk back in time. Hit the water at the Santa Fe Canoe Outpost or Santa Fe Lake Park. Enjoy the local arts at the Shake Rag Art and Cultural Center, a community organization promoting atmosphere for the creation and appreciation of arts.
Melrose is also home to several locally owned eateries that residents and travelers alike love. Topping that list is Blue Water Bay, famous for its seafood and Cajun cuisine. There’s also homemade pizza at Betty’s Pizza and Subs or mouthwatering sandwiches piled high with meat and toppings at Barn Goddess BBQ. And you haven’t lived until you’ve tried the fried chicken and corn fritters at Fryer’s Chicken.
New residents are more than welcome to this small town, and the subdued pace of life here is the perfect counterbalance to big city living. Melrose is a great place to raise a family; it’s located in the Putnam school district, home to a handful of well-scoring public schools from grades K-12.