On the back side of Sun City Center plaza, lies Nearly New. This is where one can find inexpensive clothes of every variety packed inside. Around every corner is a great deal on something you didn’t even know you needed. There are several rooms containing goods such as clothing, bedding, shoes, books, decorative figurines, jewelry, appliances, and clocks. Outdoors on nice days along the back side of the building there can be found furniture and sometimes other items such as golf clubs or walkers. There are blouses and jeans for three dollars and chairs for twenty-five dollars.
Nearly New keeps its prices so low by using volunteer staff and all merchandise is donated. They provide value to the community in multiple ways. They provide low-price goods that help struggling families afford things they need. They provide a place to get rid of excess items for those that don’t need them. They also provide a friendly place to volunteer. Finally, the money raised funds the Interfaith Council of Sun City Center, an alliance of nine local houses of worship that grants money to various charitable causes in Hillsborough County (almost half in the form of scholarships).
Nearly New is open every Saturday from eight until noon. During the winter months, it is also open Wednesdays during the same hours. Donations can be dropped off any weekday between eight and three.
1515 Sun City Center Plaza, Sun City Center, Florida
Written by Daniel Noe, WayOutLife.com
Not every adventure has to be big or far away. In most communities there are small hidden places of solace if you know where to look, both official and unofficial. In Sun City Center is the Window in the Woods, a bird observation shelter sponsored by the Eagle Audubon Society, an organization formed in 1982 dedicated to preserving wetlands and conservation education. They often do field trips. The unmanned shelter has windows on all sides as well as a deck with benches. It is surrounded by various birdfeeders and birdhouses among the trees. A short distance away lies a pond where I have seen in past visits a turtle, an alligator, and an anhinga. On my most recent trip I only saw blue jays, cardinals, and a bright red dragonfly.
The trail to Window in the Woods begins next to the RV storage place in back of the community garden off Del Webb. It runs along a raised bed of sand and shell fill next to swamps and along a golf course for part of the way. Continuing past the bird observation shelter, there are a few benches alongside on which to rest. One overlooks another pond. One sits in the shade of moss-covered trees. The trail finally ends behind the health center of Freedom Plaza, an assisted living community. If you live in Sun City Center and just need to get away for a couple hours, this is the place to do it.
1516-A Del Webb, Sun City Center, Florida
Written by Daniel Noe, InkDoodler.com
Nestled unobtrusively among the other shops in the Home Depot/Beall’s plaza at the intersection of Cypress Avenue and SR 674 like a panther ready to pounce, Elite Donuts is one of the hidden treasures of Sun City Center. Somehow they have managed to survive in an age when sugar is thought unhealthy and a Dunkin’s lurks just a thousand feet away. I recently went to go check it out. Upon first entering, I was struck with the intense smell of donuts. This is always a good sign. I knew I was in the right place. The interior has a style a bit reminiscent of an oriental restaurant, with the trickling fountain, swirled metal works on the walls, and the small, decorated tree in the corner. There are a variety of seats and tables in the cozy dining room to choose from, allowing one to pick what suits them. On the menu can be found a variety of sandwiches and subs, and below it sits a full donut display, including cinnamon, cream, peanut, apple, and even cronuts – though being cross-shaped makes me wonder if the “cro” stands for cross or chromosome instead of croissant. It’s a quirky place, and that’s why we love it and the friendly staff.
3824 Sun City Center Boulevard, Sun City Center, Florida
Written by Daniel Noe, InkDoodler.com