Being in the center of Florida, Haines City is nicknamed The Heart of Florida. It is one of the most populous cities in Polk County and is included in the Lakeland-Winter Haven Metropolitan Statistical Area. Originally known as Clay Cut, local history says that the city changed its name to its current name, in honor of a railroad official, Colonel Henry Haines, to persuade the railroad to build a station in the city. Some of the major local businesses that help put the city on the map include Donald Duck Citrus and Suni-Citrus Products Co.
Haines City is an area of low ridges of rolling hills and coastal flatlands and is home to many family-oriented destinations. One of these is Lake Eva Park. Walk around Lake Eva and enjoy its nice warm sand and the beautiful sceneries. At the north end, the park offers amusement to all family members. Expansive playgrounds are available for the little ones to explore. They have swings, slides and other amenities for activities that kids definitely love. Teens and adults can find great fun on the park’s bicycle and running trails or enjoy a game or two at their tennis and basketball courts. The Aquatic Center of this park is popular for locals and families where they can use a pool, a kid’s play area and splash pad. There are also picnic pavilions where the whole family can gather and savor a hearty meal together. If you are looking for some fishing experience, Lake Elsie is just around the corner. It is a public lake that allows fishing with proper permits. Fishermen will find delight catching crappie, northern pike, bluegill and other fish from its waters. Lake Tracy, on the other hand, allows boating.
Take the time to visit the most beautiful and challenging golf courses of Central Florida in Haines City. Southern Dunes Golf and Country Club takes pride in its 18-hole Steven R. Smyers-designed golf course. Other golf courses around the area you might want to check out are the Sweetwater course at the Sweetwater Golf and Tennis Club or the Providence course of Providence Golf Club.
Ridge Island Groves is another place to visit for a unique experience. This family operated grove grows fresh fruits and allows visitors to pick their own oranges. There are also tours available where customers will have a 3 lb bag to be filled with freshly picked oranges.
For the adventurous ones, why not take a look at a Florida State Park located in Haines City? Known for its rough and hilly terrain, Allen David Broussard Catfish Preserve is ideal for hiking and even horseback riding. The sand dunes are amazing, and wildlife watching is exhilarating. Those who clamor for more physical activities can always join the annual Ironman Triathlon.
Haines City’s geographical location makes it convenient to some other neighboring attractions. Its proximity to nearby popular tourist spots enables the city to be a welcoming point for those who plan to spend their vacations in the nearby destinations. One of these places is Legoland Florida in White Haven. Considered the second biggest Legoland Park in the world, the White Haven Legoland is designed especially for families with children between 2 and 12 years of age. The interactive park features more than 40 rides and an assortment of other attractions, including special shows, restaurants, souvenir shops and the spectacular botanical garden where parents and children alike can spend countless of hours getting in touch with nature.
While on vacation in Haines City, it will be worth anyone’s time to dine at Manny’s Original Chop House on Hwy 27, Yelp, or Urban Spoon, some of the most popular restaurants in the area. A walk around the Railyard Square will prove to be a very pleasant experience. Explore the variety of local citrus produce and the many products