Places to Go and Things to See in Winter Haven
Winter Haven has many meanings to many people. For some it’s as literal as it sounds . . . it’s the perfect haven from the harsh Winter months up North. To others, Winter Haven means experiencing the lakeside lifestyle – pontoon boat tours, paddle-boarding, wake-boarding, water skiing, kayak tours and fishing.
Then there’s the more relaxed way of enjoying our lakes – watch vibrant orange and pink sunsets from a dock while sipping on a glass of wine or a Winter Haven brewed craft beer.
LEGOLAND Florida Resort
To children, or even just the child within, Winter Haven is home to the most beautiful, entertaining and interactive theme park, hotel and beach resort in the world, LEGOLAND Florida Resort, Pirate Island Hotel, LEGOLAND Hotel and LEGOLAND Beach Retreat. And just opened in 2022 steps from LEGOLAND is the ultimate theme park for pre-schoolers, the Peppa Pig Theme Park.
Arts & Culture
To others, Winter Haven is a place of varied arts and cultural experiences from multiple art galleries and interactive artistic experiences, locally-owned artisan restaurants and shopping, a restored historic downtown business district and the revival of locally-grown music at Gram Parson’s Derry Down and the historic Ritz Theatre. It’s also home to the one of Florida’s best community theaters, Theatre Winter Haven. One great way to experience the city is by booking a culinary experience with Winter Haven Food Tours.
Winter Haven can truly become the “something-for-everyone” destination to visit, play and stay!
The Water Ski Capital of the World
For water skiers, no location is as storied as the banks of Lake Eloise, the home of Cypress Gardens in Winter Haven. It is fitting that the central point in the sport’s centennial celebration is here in Florida’s Sweetest Spot. Learn all about how we are celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Sport of Water Ski throughout 2022!
Winter Haven Activities
1. Experience Winter Haven’s Chain of Lakes during a pontoon boat cruise with The Living Water Boat Cruises.
2. Watch the original Cypress Gardens Waterski Team perform on Lake Silver on the third Saturday of each month.
3. Rent kayaks from Off the Chain Kayak Co. and explore the Chain of Lakes.
4. Go to the theatre! Nationally and internationally acclaimed, Theatre Winter Haven has been called “one of the best community theaters in America.” Stars have been among their ranks including Tony Award winner Karen Olivo. Their season runs from September through April.
5. Take flight in an open cockpit biplane with Waldo Wright’s Flying Service. You can even take control and fly the plane yourself if you dare – no flying experience required.
6. Tour the Chain of Lakes with Paddleboard Winter Haven. Owner Kami will meet you at the lake of your choice with boards, paddles, personal flotation devices, instruction, interesting information about the area, and BIG SMILES.
7. Learn to water ski with Winter Haven Watersports.
8. Watch your kids splash around all day at LEGOLAND® Florida’s Water Park, a water park designed specifically for kids ages two to twelve.
9. Sit under the Banyan tree originally planted as a seedling in 1939 in Cypress Gardens at LEGOLAND® Florida Resort.
10. Rent a pontoon boat from Marine Supply and cruise many of the lakes on Winter Haven’s Chain of Lakes.
12. Destress mentally and push your body physically with a class at Inside Out Yoga Studio.
Places to Eat
13. Enjoy an afternoon of lakeside dining at Harborside Restaurant. We dare you to eat their entire Harborside Fish Sandwich in one sitting.
14. Enjoy some of the best craft beer Central Florida has to offer at Grove Roots Brewing Co.
15. Take the entire family to Andy’s Igloo for burgers, fries and a Garbage Can milkshake.
16. Join the locals for dinner at Harry’s Old Place and chow down on pecan-crusted Grouper – find “Harry’s In a Bag” on the menu.
17. Visit Polk County’s first self-pour taproom featuring 40 taps of rotating craft beer, cider, wine, cold brew coffee, and kombucha at Union Taproom.
19. Find a unique gift for yourself or a favorite BFF at The Shop.
20. If you have a few HOURS and love to shop, head straight to Sherman’s Antiques. Open seven days a week, Sherman’s Antiques has 5,000 square feet of antiques AND a doll hospital.
21. Shop for a pair of Chaco’s or a new Orvis fly rod at Andy Thornal Company, which happens to be the boutique version of REI right in the heart of Downtown.
22. Get the latest fashion trends at Winter Haven’s newest boutique 417 Boutique by Cate.
The Greater Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce can provide additional information about the area.