Williston is located in Levy County, Florida, and had a population of 2,768 according to the 2010 census.
Some popular attractions to the Williston area includes Two Tails Ranch, an exotic animal refuge specializing in elephants and the Kirby Family Farm, an educational farm open to the public which features the Great America Railway, its own 3 ft. narrow gauge railroad for guests to enjoy.
Williston is also host to the Central Florida Harvest and Peanut Festival every October.
Devil's Den and Blue Grotto
Williston is home to Devil's Den and Blue Grotto, popular diving spots and part of the extensive underground spring system present in the area.
The annual Williston Ranch Rodeo, part of the Florida Cattlemen's Association's ranch rodeo circuit, features eight competitive events. Ranch rodeos, unlike typical rodeos, do not feature bull riding. The timed, competitive events do include wild steer roping and branding (using paint), team sorting, steer tying, saddle bronc riding, and wild cow milking, which has three team members attempting to hold an 1,100-pound cow, which isn't used to being milked, in place and milking it. You can imagine the fun!
Williston is also the birthplace of "Foolish Pleasure", winner of the 1975 Kentucky Derby. Fifteen horses competed in the 101st Kentucky Derby, which Foolish Pleasure won capably by 1-3/4 lengths. The game colt ran second in both the Preakness and the Belmont. In 1976, Foolish Pleasure went on to thrill racing fans again and defeated champion Forego before retiring that year with earnings of $1,216,705. He won 16 of 26 total starts and was the sport’s 11th all-time earner upon retirement.
Paynes Prairie State Preserve
Just north of Williston is located the Paynes Prairie State Preserve a 21,000-acre preserve, with boating, fishing, camping, nature trails, horse trails, visitor center, and picnicking. You can expect to see sandhill cranes, bald eagles, alligators, otters and more.
Dudley Farm Historic State Park
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this park demonstrates the evolution of Florida farming from the 1850s to the mid-1940s-through three generations of the Dudley family. An authentic working farm, the homestead consists of 18 buildings, including the family farmhouse with original furnishings, an 1880s kitchen outbuilding, a general store and post office, and a functional cane syrup complex. Park staff in period clothing perform daily chores, raise crops and tend to livestock. The farm features seasonal cane grindings, corn shuckings and heritage varieties of livestock and plants. Deer, wild turkeys, gopher tortoises and bluebirds are still seen in the fields. The park has a visitor center, picnic area and nature trail.
Today Williston is still predominantly rural and unspoiled, but things have changed a little. Downtown Williston is the hub of activity, with many property improvements, businesses have moved in and a rebirth has taken place.
Williston has several churches and currently has four public schools and one private school.
Williston has excellent police and fire protection, with sanitation, sewerage, and natural gas and electrical service supplied by the city. Cable TV is available in the city limits and adjacent areas.
Regional General Hospital provides emergency, quick care, and surgical and routine hospital care.
The local airport, owned by the City of Williston, is a growing and dynamic operation run by experienced professionals. It offers fixed base facilities and pilot training and hosts an active skydiving group.