Arts & Culture

Lake Wales Museum & Cultural Center

The Lake Wales Museum & Cultural Center will give you the inside track on this area’s history and heritage through exhibits set inside a building built by the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad in 1928.

Originally a train depot, the Lake Wales Museum & Cultural Center features exhibits beginning with the foundation of Lake Wales in 1911 as well as the formation of the city, industry, places of interest and developments in the 19th century that led to the settlement of the area.

Lake Wales Museum and Cultural Center
Lake Wales Museum and Cultural Center

Since the Museum opened in 1976, it has been a resource center for the public. It is a place where the public can enjoy educational programing, exhibits, and events that highlight the history of the area.

Lake Wales Museum and Cultural Center
Lake Wales Museum and Cultural Center

The museum includes both chronological and thematic exhibits. Chronological exhibits cover land development and the evolution of the city itself, while thematic exhibits highlight the cattle, citrus and turpentine industry, and tourism. 

Lake Wales Museum and Cultural Center
Lake Wales Museum and Cultural Center

This original oversized train master’s desk overlooks the Florida Midland Railroad which currently serves more than 25 businesses delivering food-related products, chemicals, lumber, stone, building products, fertilizer, citrus juices, pumice, and limestone.

Lake Wales Museum and Cultural Center
Lake Wales Museum and Cultural Center

One of the most beautiful pieces in the Lake Wales Museum & Cultural Center is a Prehistoric Dugout Indian Canoe. The 21-foot canoe was discovered in Lake Hancock in 1994. Carbon-dated by scientist at the University of Arizona, the Dugout Indian Canoe is more than 1,020 years old.

Lake Wales Museum and Cultural Center
Lake Wales Museum and Cultural Center

If you have questions, don’t hesitate to speak with Monica Drake Pierce, the museum’s director. She is a wealth of knowledge and clearly enjoys telling the story of how Lake Wales came to be.

Gift Shop

The small gift shop features a variety of traditional museum offerings as well as a hats, bags, t-shirts and citrus label merchandise. 

Lake Wales Museum and Cultural Center
Lake Wales Museum and Cultural Center

You may also be interested in Lake Wales, Bok Tower Gardens, or Crazy Fish

Address / Location

325 S Scenic Hwy
Lake Wales, FL 33853
Get Directions

Hours of Operation

Tuesday - Saturday 9:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Reviews

3 Star Rating

Not much to see but worth a stop. There is a weird smell so beware. Small place but has a few nice features. Read Full Review

5 Star Rating

Newly renovated and modernized, the museum presents the history of Lake Wales with excellent displays and informative narratives. Does a good job of explaining how the city developed and its role in... Read Full Review

5 Star Rating

The Depot has been through many phases, but right now it is GRAND! Wonderful history shown through photos. Executive Director is a font of information. Definitely go if you are in Lake Wales - don't... Read Full Review

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