The Crossroads of Central Florida
Winter Haven was named for, you guessed it, the area’s pleasant climate during the winter months. The town’s famous Chain of Lakes canals were begun in 1915, connecting 24 of the area’s 50 lakes via man-made canals. Dozens of homes were built around this time in the colonial revival style. Today, more than 50 of these elegant homes are on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1930, George Jenkins opened the nation’s first Publix supermarket here. During the ‘30s and ‘40s, citrus magnate John Snively operated one of the largest fruit packing plants in the world. And in 1936, the husband and wife team of Dick and Julia Pope created Cypress Gardens. This legendary botanical garden with shows operated until 2009 and is now the site of LegoLand Florida — an interactive 150-acre theme park with more than 50 rides, shows and attractions. The entire Winter Haven area is a quick car ride to Tampa, Orlando and all of the area’s key family-friendly sites. If you’re looking for a close-knit community with a central location and a welcoming, inviting vibe, this is it.
Things To Do
With all those lakes, it’s only natural that Winter Haven is awash with water sports. Kayaking. Paddle boarding. Canoeing. And water-skiing like nowhere else! Picture a pyramid of bathing beauties on skis — that was the act developed at Cypress Gardens and it turned Winter Haven into a mecca for the sport. In fact, Winter Haven is connected to 10 members of the Water Ski Hall of Fame, more than any other city in the world. Hiking, fishing and golfing are abundant, too. For culture buffs, Theatre Winter Haven is Florida’s most honored community theatre, celebrating 45 years of continuous live shows. And every spring, the Main Street area goes to the dogs during the annual Bark In the Park event. Bow WOW!
Why Live in Winter Haven?
Sunshine, water and a warm and friendly vibrancy that’s welcoming to all. There are more than 25 schools in the area — a mix of public, private and charter schools — as well as Polk State College. Outings run the gamut from shuffleboard tournaments, ballroom dance socials and vintage flea Fridays to Smoke On the Water Barbeque Competition, farmer’s market and Cruisin’ Winter Haven. Plus, downtown’s beautiful Central Park offers cultural events throughout the year. Local industries include the CSX Central Florida Inter-modal Logistics Center, one of the most technologically advanced inter-modal shipping terminals in the country.
The non-profit Winter Haven Hospital part of BayCare Health System, was founded in 1926, boasts 529 beds, and is ready to address your health care needs.
Properties in Winter Haven
Link: City of Winter Haven