Hawthorne started as a railroad town that grew around the 1879 junction of the Florida Southern and Peninsula lines. The Hawthorne Historical Museum and Cultural Center stands near the site of the original train depot, and is a good spot to begin any tour of the town.

Hawthorne also marks the end of the Gainesville-Hawthorne Trail, a paved walkway stretching 16 miles from Boulware Springs Park in Gainesville through beautiful woodlands, past deep lakes and prairie vistas, finally coming to head just two blocks from the aforementioned museum. Mostly though, Hawthorne is a place to visit where you can experience original Florida circa 1900.

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