Downtown DeLand is America’s MainStreet™

One stroll through DeLand’s charismatic downtown and you’ll understand why it won the 2017 “America’s Main Streets” contest presented by Independent We Stand™ — a national movement of small business owners who advocate for the “shop local” ethos in communities throughout America. Downtown DeLand stood out as the top finalist among 10 other Main Street nominees after a nationwide vote.

And that’s not the first time DeLand has been recognized for its revitalized downtown. In 1997 it boasted the coveted national title of “Great American Main Street” awarded by the National Trust for Historic Preservation (Psst … Audubon Park in Orlando won this award in 2016), and since 1985 it has been voted Florida’s best Main Street five times.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation founded the Main Street program in 1980. As a privately funded non-profit, it works by partnering with community leaders to invest in reviving rundown historic downtowns all over America. Main Street accreditation is awarded to communities who meet performance standards and demonstrate commitment to preservation and growth year after year. Their work continues today with more vigor than ever.

Decades ago downtown DeLand was likely not a place you would want to spend a leisurely Saturday exploring. Thanks to the people who call DeLand home, these days when you visit you’ll find yourself immersed in a richly layered place of artisan culture woven together with classic Florida charm and a diverse, inclusive community.

Does DeLand sound like a place you would want to call home?

See the latest DeLand listings here.

DeLand Points of Interest

These are a few highlights from my own DeLand itinerary. Visit this vibrant area and see what speaks to you.

Stetson Mansion

Florida’s first and most renowned Gilded Age estate home, the Stetson Mansion, is the former winter home of John B. Stetson, the famous hatter. Tours are offered, click here for details.

Athens Theater

I recently enjoyed a spectacular production of “Little Shop of Horrors” at this historic theater in the heart of DeLand. The theater is located within walking distance of shops and restaurants and many offer a discount with your theater ticket stub.

Gillespie Museum

Located on the Stetson University campus, this science museum houses a historic mineral collection and unique Florida treasures. The hours are somewhat limited so be sure confirm that the museum will be open when you plan to visit.

DeLand Fall Festival of Arts

For 25 years DeLand has been home to this renowned arts festival. Lear more at

DeLand Museum of Art

Since 1951 the museum has served has the cultural hub of DeLand. I’m looking forward to viewing the Legendary Florida exhibition, which showcases the paintings of Jackson Walker that bring Florida’s eventful past to life.

Click here to read about other thriving Main Streets™ throughout Central and Southwest Florida.

Laura is a blogger and part of the marketing team for | She has spent most of her life in the Sunshine State and does her best thinking at the beach with a perfect cup of coffee. Outside of work, Laura loves adventurous road trips, gardening, and spending time with her husband and pets in their little bungalow in the Conway area of Orlando.

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