THE GREAT AMERICAN VACATION
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This appealing small town in the Tallahassee Red Hills started out as an agrarian community like its neighbors. Cotton and other cash crops lined its plains and rolling hills, while large plantation homes and simple farmhouses graced the countryside. Unlike its neighbors, Thomasville did not see any battles during the Civil War, so much of the town’s antebellum architecture was preserved. After
the war—thanks to a local doctor’s claim that Thomasville’s warm winter climate and balsam breezes had curative effects—Thomasville reinvented itself as a health resort, a popular Victorian concept. Wealthy Northerners fleeing the cold wintered here in large luxury hotels. The wealthiest among them built elegant estates in town and hunting plantations in the farmland along the "Plantation Trace."
Although Thomasville's resort era has long since ended, the distinct pine-scented air remains, as does the Victorian elegance of the town's heyday. Known as the "City of Roses," it draws thousands of visitors each spring to its annual Rose Festival (the fourth weekend in April). And during the Victorian Christmas, locals turn out in period costumes to enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides, caroling, and street theater.
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