Winter Haven, Florida at a Glance…

Nestled in the heart of Central Florida, Winter Haven is a hidden gem for those seeking a unique and enchanting winter getaway. Boasting a delightful combination of natural beauty, recreational activities, and a rich cultural heritage, Winter Haven provides visitors with an unforgettable experience. With its mild winter climate and a range of attractions to explore, this city has earned its reputation as the “Chain of Lakes City” and is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to escape the cold and enjoy the magic of Florida.

The Winter Weather Wonderland

Winter Haven lives up to its name by offering visitors a welcome respite from the harsh winter weather often found in other parts of the United States. The climate here is characterized by mild, pleasant winters that rarely see temperatures dip below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes it the ideal destination for those who wish to escape the snow and cold and instead bask in the warmth of the Florida sun during the winter months. With an abundance of sunny days, visitors can comfortably explore all that Winter Haven has to offer without worrying about bundling up.

Chain of Lakes

One of the most distinctive features of Winter Haven is its interconnected chain of 50 lakes, which are linked by a series of canals and navigable waterways. This unique feature provides ample opportunities for water enthusiasts to explore the stunning natural beauty of the area. Whether you’re into kayaking, fishing, or simply enjoying a leisurely boat ride, Winter Haven’s Chain of Lakes offers it all. Lake Howard, Lake Eloise, and Lake Cannon are just a few of the picturesque lakes in the area that are perfect for water-based activities.

Legoland Florida Resort

For families, Winter Haven is home to the renowned Legoland Florida Resort, an exciting destination that combines creativity, imagination, and, of course, Lego bricks. The park features an array of rides, shows, and attractions that cater to all age groups. From the thrilling roller coasters to the interactive Lego-themed experiences, this park promises a day of fun and adventure. Additionally, the Legoland Water Park is perfect for cooling off on a warm winter day. The resort’s charming hotel, Legoland Hotel, adds a touch of magic to the entire experience with its Lego-themed rooms and amenities.

Bok Tower Gardens

Nature enthusiasts will find solace in the beauty of Bok Tower Gardens. This tranquil sanctuary is home to a 205-foot tall singing tower with stunning carillon music that fills the air. The lush gardens feature beautifully landscaped grounds, walking trails, and a reflection pool. Visitors can immerse themselves in the serene atmosphere while taking in the awe-inspiring views from the tower. Whether you’re interested in botany, architecture, or simply escaping into a world of natural wonder, Bok Tower Gardens offers a remarkable experience.

Cultural Riches

Winter Haven also has a vibrant cultural scene. In nearby Lakeland, the Polk Museum of Art offers a diverse collection of artworks, showcasing a range of styles and time periods. Moreover, the city hosts various events and festivals throughout the winter, such as the Central Park Art Festival, offering a glimpse into the local culture and traditions.

Dining and Shopping

Winter Haven boasts a variety of dining options to satisfy your culinary cravings. From classic American diners to seafood restaurants with a view, there’s something for everyone. Local eateries serve up fresh seafood, farm-to-table dishes, and mouthwatering desserts. Additionally, downtown Winter Haven is a charming place to explore, with boutique shops and stores to find unique souvenirs or gifts to take home.

Winter Haven offers a warm and inviting escape from the cold and dreary winter months. With its pleasant weather, outdoor activities, world-class attractions, and a touch of culture, it’s a city that caters to a wide range of interests. Whether you’re seeking a family adventure, a romantic getaway, or a solo exploration, Winter Haven is a destination that promises a memorable winter vacation. So, pack your bags, leave your winter coats behind, and come experience the magic of Winter Haven– the true gem of Central Florida.

Places to Stay in Winter Haven…

Legoland Florida Resort - Winter Haven, Florida | I-4 Exit Guide
Legoland Florida Resort – Winter Haven, Florida | I-4 Exit Guide

When visiting Winter Haven, Florida, you’ll find a delightful array of accommodations to suit every taste and budget. Known as the “Chain of Lakes City” and offering a warm escape from winter’s chill, Winter Haven is a fantastic destination for both leisure and business travelers. Whether you’re seeking luxury, convenience, or something unique, this charming city has something for everyone. Here are 12 wonderful places to stay in Winter Haven, Florida:

LEGOLAND® Florida Resort

1 Legoland Way, Winter Haven, FL 33884
If you’re traveling with family and planning to visit Legoland Florida Resort, the Legoland Hotel is a fantastic choice. Themed rooms, interactive Lego experiences, and the convenience of being just steps away from the park make it an excellent choice for kids and kids-at-heart.

Lake Roy Beach Inn

1823 Cypress Gardens Blvd, Winter Haven, FL 33884
Located right on the shores of Lake Roy, this budget-friendly inn offers comfortable accommodations, lake views, and easy access to local attractions. The friendly staff and the quaint atmosphere make it a great choice for those seeking a relaxing stay.

Hampton Inn Winter Haven

202 Cypress Gardens Blvd, Winter Haven, FL 33880
Conveniently situated near Legoland Florida Resort, the Hampton Inn provides a comfortable and welcoming stay. Enjoy the complimentary breakfast, outdoor pool, and friendly service, all within easy reach of the city’s attractions.

Holiday Inn Winter Haven

200 Cypress Gardens Blvd, Winter Haven, FL 33880
Holiday Inn offers a range of amenities, including a fitness center, an outdoor pool, and on-site dining at the Cypress Grill. Its location, right next to Legoland, makes it a preferred choice for families.

Holiday Inn - Winter Haven, Florida | I-4 Exit Guide
Holiday Inn – Winter Haven, Florida | I-4 Exit Guide

Magnuson Grand Conference Hotel

5665 Cypress Gardens Blvd, Winter Haven, FL 33884
For a touch of elegance, consider the Magnuson Grand Hotel. This full-service hotel boasts a beautiful outdoor pool, an on-site restaurant, and well-appointed rooms. It’s a great choice for both leisure and business travelers.

Cypress Campground & RV Park

7400 Cypress Gardens Blvd, Winter Haven, FL 33884
If you’re traveling in an RV, the Cypress Campground & RV Park is a perfect choice. This pet-friendly park provides a serene setting, full hookups, and amenities like a heated pool, game room, and fitness center.

Econo Lodge Winter Haven Chain of Lakes

5651 Cypress Gardens Rd, Winter Haven, FL 33884
A budget-friendly option, Econo Lodge provides clean and comfortable rooms. The location is convenient, with many local attractions, restaurants, and shops within easy reach.

Quality Inn & Suites Conference Center

5665 Cypress Gardens Blvd, Winter Haven, FL 33884
The Quality Inn & Suites is ideal for travelers who want both comfort and affordability. It features an outdoor pool, fitness center, and spacious rooms, making it a great choice for a relaxing stay.

Staybridge Suites Winter Haven – Auburndale

305 5th St NW, Winter Haven, FL
Staybridge Suites is an excellent choice for extended stays. With spacious suites, a fully equipped kitchen, and complimentary breakfast, it provides the comforts of home while you explore Winter Haven.

Whether you’re planning a family vacation, a romantic getaway, or a business trip, Winter Haven has a wide range of accommodations to cater to your needs. From luxury hotels to budget-friendly inns, you’re sure to find the perfect place to stay while enjoying all that this charming city has to offer.

Places to Eat in Winter Haven…

Manny's Chophouse - Winter Haven, Florida | I-4 Exit Guide
Manny’s Chophouse – Winter Haven, Florida | I-4 Exit Guide

Located in the heart of Central Florida, Winter Haven is not only known for its stunning lakes and family-friendly attractions but also for its diverse and delightful culinary scene. Whether you’re a visitor looking for a memorable meal or a local seeking new dining experiences, this city offers an array of restaurants to satisfy your palate. From seafood shacks to fine dining establishments, Winter Haven has it all. Here are our top must-try restaurants in Winter Haven, Florida:

Harborside Restaurant

2435 7th St SW, Winter Haven, FL 33880
Harborside Restaurant is a beloved local favorite, offering a stunning view of Lake Shipp. The menu features a variety of seafood dishes, including their famous grouper sandwich. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy a delicious meal while watching the sunset over the lake.

Harborside Restaurant - Winter Haven, Florida | I-4 Exit Guide
Harborside Restaurant – Winter Haven, Florida | I-4 Exit Guide

The Fire Restaurant

325 W Central Ave, Winter Haven, FL 33880
For a cozy and upscale dining experience, The Fire Restaurant is a top choice. Their menu focuses on high-quality steaks, seafood, and a selection of fine wines. It’s an ideal spot for a romantic evening or a special celebration.

Andy’s Drive-In Restaurant

703 3rd St SW, Winter Haven, FL 33880
A local institution, Andy’s Drive-In Restaurant is the go-to spot for classic American diner fare. The nostalgic atmosphere, friendly service, and mouthwatering burgers, shakes, and fries keep patrons coming back for more.

Tanners Lakeside

1006 S Lake Howard Dr, Winter Haven, FL 33880
Tanners Lakeside offers a casual and comfortable dining experience with a beautiful view of Lake Howard. The menu includes a mix of seafood, steaks, and pasta dishes, making it a great choice for a laid-back meal with friends or family.

Richard’s Fine Coffees

330 3rd St NW, Winter Haven, FL 33881
For coffee lovers and brunch enthusiasts, Richard’s Fine Coffees is a must-visit. Their artisanal coffee, freshly baked pastries, and a selection of hearty breakfast and lunch items make it a popular spot for a casual and delicious meal.

Richard's Fine Coffees - Winter Haven, Florida | I=4 Exit Guide
Richard’s Fine Coffees – Winter Haven, Florida | I=4 Exit Guide

Harry’s Old Place

3751 Cypress Gardens Rd, Winter Haven, FL 33884
Harry’s Old Place is renowned for its seafood offerings, especially the oysters and crab legs. The rustic, nautical-themed decor adds to the charm of this seafood haven. Don’t forget to try the famous clam chowder.

Nutwood

131 Avenue A SW, Winter Haven, FL 33880
Nutwood is a farm-to-table restaurant with a focus on fresh, locally sourced ingredients. The menu changes with the seasons, ensuring you get a taste of the best Florida has to offer.

Crazy Fish Bar & Grill

802 Henry St, Lake Wales, FL 33853
Located in nearby Lake Wales, Crazy Fish Bar & Grill lives up to its name with a lively atmosphere and an extensive seafood menu. Try their fish tacos and enjoy the live music on select evenings.

Manny’s Original Chophouse

1100 3rd St SW, Winter Haven, FL 33880

For meat lovers, Manny’s Original Chophouse is a carnivore’s paradise. Their steaks are legendary, and the rustic steakhouse atmosphere adds to the overall dining experience.

Winter Haven has a culinary scene that’s as diverse as it is delicious. Whether you’re in the mood for fresh seafood by the lake, a fine dining experience, or a classic American meal, you’ll find it in this charming city. So, make the most of your visit and explore these 12 must-try restaurants to savor the unique flavors of Winter Haven.

Places to Go in Winter Haven…

Legoland - Winter Haven, Florida | I-4 Exit Guide
Legoland – Winter Haven, Florida | I-4 Exit Guide

Winter Haven is home to the renowned Legoland Florida Resort, a paradise for families and Lego enthusiasts. This whimsical theme park features thrilling rides, interactive exhibits, and a water park to keep you entertained all day. The resort’s highlight is the stunning Lego-themed architecture throughout the park, providing a magical experience for all ages.

Legoland Florida Resort

1 Legoland Way, Winter Haven, FL 33884
Winter Haven is home to the renowned Legoland Florida Resort, a paradise for families and Lego enthusiasts. This whimsical theme park features thrilling rides, interactive exhibits, and a water park to keep you entertained all day. The resort’s highlight is the stunning Lego-themed architecture throughout the park, providing a magical experience for all ages.

Bok Tower Gardens

1151 Tower Blvd, Lake Wales, FL 33853
For a serene escape into nature, visit Bok Tower Gardens. This tranquil sanctuary features a 205-foot tall singing tower with carillon music that fills the air. The lush gardens offer walking trails, a reflection pool, and beautiful flora, making it a haven for nature lovers and those seeking a peaceful retreat.

Bok Tower Gardens - Winter Haven, Florida | I-4 Exit Guide
Bok Tower Gardens – Winter Haven, Florida | I-4 Exit Guide

Chain of Lakes

Winter Haven, FL 33884
Winter Haven’s claim to fame is its interconnected chain of 50 lakes, linked by a series of canals and navigable waterways. These lakes provide ample opportunities for water enthusiasts. Whether you prefer kayaking, fishing, or leisurely boat rides, the Chain of Lakes offers it all. Lake Howard, Lake Eloise, and Lake Cannon are just a few of the picturesque lakes worth exploring.

Polk Museum of Art

800 E Palmetto St, Lakeland, FL 33801
In nearby Lakeland, immerse yourself in the art and culture of Winter Haven by visiting the Polk Museum of Art. This museum showcases a diverse collection of artworks spanning different styles and time periods. From classical to contemporary, the exhibitions offer a glimpse into the world of visual arts.

Lake Eva Park

555 Ledwith Ave, Haines City, FL 33844
Located in nearby Haines City, Lake Eva Park is a hub of outdoor activities and family fun. The park boasts a swimming pool, splash pad, picnic areas, and playgrounds, making it a great place for a day of relaxation and recreation. It also hosts various events throughout the year, so be sure to check the local calendar for any special happenings during your visit.

Central Park Art Festival

55 5th St NW, Winter Haven, FL 33880
If you’re passionate about art, don’t miss the Central Park Art Festival. This annual event showcases the talents of local and regional artists, with a wide range of artistic styles and mediums on display. It’s a great opportunity to appreciate and purchase unique artworks.

Lake Shipp Park

1649 Lake Shipp Dr, Winter Haven, FL 33880
Lake Shipp Park is a wonderful place for a leisurely stroll or a picnic. The park features a boardwalk along the lake, providing scenic views and opportunities for birdwatching. It’s a tranquil spot to connect with nature and relax.

Lake Summit

Winter Haven, FL 33880
Lake Summit is a hidden gem for those who enjoy a peaceful escape. Surrounded by beautiful homes and lush vegetation, the lake is ideal for a serene walk, kayak outing, or simply appreciating the lakeside scenery.

Downtown Winter Haven

Central Avenue, Winter Haven, FL 33881
Exploring downtown Winter Haven is a delightful experience. The area is home to boutique shops, restaurants, and local businesses. It’s the perfect place to stroll, savor a meal, and pick up unique souvenirs or gifts.

Winter Haven, Florida | I-4 Exit Guide
Downtown Winter Haven shops and restaurants | Photo provided by Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce

Winter Haven Public Library

325 Avenue A NW, Winter Haven, FL 33881
If you’re seeking a quiet spot to unwind, the Winter Haven Public Library is a welcoming place. You can browse books, use the internet, or simply enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. It’s an ideal retreat for bookworms and those in search of a tranquil environment.

Winter Haven offers a wide range of attractions and activities that cater to various interests. From the enchanting Legoland Resort to the serene Bok Tower Gardens, this city has something for everyone. Whether you’re here for a family vacation or a solo adventure, Winter Haven promises a memorable and diverse experience in the heart of Central Florida.

Getting Around Winter Haven…

If you’re planning to explore the charms of Winter Haven, Florida, getting around by car is a convenient and popular choice. Here’s a brief guide to help you navigate the city and its surroundings with ease.

Renting a Car

Renting a car is the most convenient way to explore Winter Haven. You can easily find car rental agencies at nearby airports like Orlando International Airport or Tampa International Airport. Be sure to book your rental vehicle in advance, especially during peak travel seasons.

Winter Haven’s road system is straightforward, featuring a grid-like layout. Numbered streets run east to west, and avenues run north to south. Major roads include Cypress Gardens Boulevard, US-17 (6th Street NW), and Lake Howard Drive.

Parking

Finding parking in Winter Haven is generally hassle-free. Look for on-street parking, public lots, and free parking in many areas. Paid parking is available in downtown districts.

Traffic and Safety

Traffic in Winter Haven is relatively smooth, with the exception of rush hours between 7:00 AM to 9:00 AM and 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM. Always observe posted speed limits, avoid texting while driving, and buckle up as Florida law requires.

Exploring Beyond

Winter Haven’s central location allows you to explore nearby cities and attractions conveniently. Orlando, Tampa, and beautiful Gulf Coast beaches are all within reach for day trips.

Navigating Winter Haven, Florida, by car provides the freedom and flexibility to enjoy this charming city and its surroundings at your own pace. Remember to follow local traffic laws, stay informed about road conditions, and make the most of your visit in the Chain of Lakes City.# Navigating Winter Haven, Florida by Car: A Visitor’s Guide

As a visitor to Winter Haven, exploring the city by car opens up a world of convenience and flexibility. Here’s a concise guide to help you navigate the city’s roadways and make the most of your visit.

Renting a Car

Begin your journey by renting a car from one of the various agencies at nearby airports, such as Orlando International Airport or Tampa International Airport. Booking in advance ensures you have the right vehicle for your needs.

City Streets

Winter Haven’s streets are well-maintained, and the city’s layout is straightforward. Major roads like Cypress Gardens Boulevard, US-17, Avenue T NW, Lake Howard Drive, and 3rd Street SW make navigation easy. Utilize navigation apps or the GPS in your rental for a smooth drive.

Parking

Discovering Winter Haven is a breeze with abundant parking options. On-street parking, public lots, and free parking in many areas cater to visitors. When visiting attractions like Legoland Florida Resort or Bok Tower Gardens, dedicated parking is usually available.

Tips for a Smooth Drive

  • Avoid Rush Hours: Plan your travels to steer clear of peak traffic hours between 7:00 AM to 9:00 AM and 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM.
  • Weather Awareness: Stay informed about Florida’s unpredictable weather, especially sudden rain showers. Exercise caution during adverse weather conditions.
  • Traffic Updates: Utilize navigation apps for real-time traffic updates and plan your routes accordingly.

Enjoy the freedom of navigating Winter Haven at your own pace, discovering its attractions and scenic spots hassle-free. Safe travels!


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One of the most complete road travel resources of its kind on the Internet! The Interstate 4 Exit Information Guide features exit service listings for the entire length of I-4 from Tampa to Daytona! Food, gas, lodging, rest areas, attractions and more…