Located in Lake County near the geographic center of the Sunshine State, Groveland is a city of about 8,800 residents that has experienced triple-digit population growth over the last decade.
Due to annexation, the city’s land area has grown to more than five times its original size as well. Its convenient location just northwest of Orlando makes it a popular community for those who work in the city but would rather live in a more rural setting.
Grove City is equidistant between the Gulf coast to the west and the Atlantic coast to the east, and it’s an easy drive to Tampa and Daytona Beach.
Below are 15 things to do in and around Groveland, Florida.
1. Lake David Park
Groveland’s Lake David Park was mostly constructed during the Works Projects Administration days in the 1930s, and it’s one of the city’s premier destinations for those who prefer to spend their free time in the great outdoors.
The park is particularly popular with mountain bikers, boaters, and fisherman, and with its easily-seen and abundant bird species, it’s also a favorite spot of binocular-wielding bird-watchers.
There’s also a skate park, volleyball courts, and a playground for the little ones – and for those up for a little fishing or pleasure boating, there are multiple docks and a boat ramp as well.
2. Lake Catherine Blueberries
Florida’s agriculture scene has been traditionally dominated by oranges, strawberries, and tomatoes, but blueberries have been gaining ground in recent years.
The Florida blueberry season isn’t very long and generally only lasts from April to May. If you’re interested in getting plenty of sun and fresh air, picking your own berries, and eating your fill of these vitamin and antioxidant-rich fruits, there’s no better place to do it than Lake Catherine Blueberries.
Picking blueberries is always a big hit with children full of energy. It’s also a great way to learn about farming and stock-up on healthy food without paying retail prices.
The farm is located on Lake Catherine Road in Groveland.
3. Swiss Fairways
Though its golf course is one of its centerpieces, Swiss Fairways is more than just a traditional golf club and draws visitors with a variety of activity interests.
The 18-hole, par-72 course at Swiss Fairways plays slightly longer than 6,700 yards, which means most rounds can be completed in about four hours.
Swiss Fairways is a family-owned business that also offers guests great food as well as waterskiing, fishing, and swimming. It’s located on the scenic southern portion of Summer Lake in Clermont.
Non-golfers may want to consider a Sunday visit to enjoy live entertainment and all-you-can-eat ribs and steak.
4. Florida Citrus Tower
Towering more than 200 feet over the rolling hills below Clermont, the Florida Citrus Tower is an impressive structure that was built in the mid-‘50s amid some of the state’s most productive citrus farmland.
The tower was built as a memorial to the citrus crop that has historically been a significant portion of Florida’s economy; it was a particularly popular attraction before the days of the large theme parks, which have largely drawn visitors away from small, local attractions.
The visitor center includes historic exhibits detailing the tower’s construction and the area’s history; those who choose to ride the elevator to the top will have amazing views.
5. Presidents Hall of Fame
Former President Ronald Reagan once described the Presidents Hall of Fame in Clermont as a ‘True national treasure.’
Though his opinion may be slightly unbiased, since he was actually a president, visitors agree that of all the stops made on their Florida vacation, the Presidents Hall of Fame was one of the most memorable.
The facility is full of exhibits featuring historic presidential paraphernalia dating all the way back to the founding of the country.
Perhaps the most popular attractions are the lifelike wax and animatronic figures of past presidents. There are also replicas of Mount Rushmore and a miniature White House model with working televisions and chandeliers.
6. The Energy Lab
Though its name may be misleading, The Energy Lab in Clermont is actually a coffee shop, which makes sense when you consider that few things provide instant energy like a shot of java.
The Energy Lab was established in 2016 and is definitely not part of a national chain. Their goal is to provide customers with a unique, European-style coffee experience that’s both trendy and affordable.
The Energy Lab’s claim to fame is grinding and brewing the world’s best beans in top-notch machines that will render such a smooth and potent brew that visitors won’t need to dump in tons of sugar and synthetic flavor additives to enjoy it.
Phone and computer junkies take note; it’s a Wi-Fi free zone.
7. Lake Louisa State Park
Lake Louisa State Park is comprised of more than 4,500 acres of varied natural environments and includes portions on nearly ten distinct lakes.
The park is located in Clermont just a short drive from Groveland and is open every day of the year from 8 AM until sunset.
With such vast tracts of land, it’s not difficult to set out on your own and find a remote area that’s not crawling with visitors. There are a number of campsites available for those interested in spending a night or two under the stars.
Hiking, wildlife viewing, mountain biking, and fishing are also popular park activities, and admission is dirt-cheap.
8. Winter Garden Farmer’s Market
The Winter Garden Farmer’s Market takes place every Saturday from 9 AM until 2 PM in historic downtown Winter Garden.
Like many farmer’s markets, it’s as much a social occasion as it is a purely shopping one. Guests come from near and far to stock up on fresh, seasonal produce as well as arts and crafts and locally made prepared food items like honey, yogurt, and pasta sauce.
The market also features live music, freshly baked goods, and coffee, so it’s a great place to eat breakfast inexpensively.
Their hours change seasonally, so check their website before making a special trip.
9. Crooked Can Brewing Company
The Sunshine State has experienced an explosion in micro-breweries in the past decade. They’ve become popular social attractions for those interested in supporting the local economy and imbibing high-quality beers made by friends and neighbors instead of factory workers thousands of miles away.
Crooked Can Brewing Company is located in Winter Garden and is open from 11 AM to 11 PM every day, with slightly extended hours on Friday and Saturday.
They feature a variety of brewed-on-site beers in an impressive array of flavor profiles – from dark stouts to hoppy IPAs. Unlike many of their contemporaries, they offer a full menu of tasty food like pizza, burgers, and wings.
10. Harry P. Leu Gardens
Located on 50 scenic acres in Orlando, the Harry P. Leu Gardens feature tropical and semi-tropical plants, trees, and flowers, and several themed areas that are connected by a network of winding trails.
The gardens are located on North Forest Avenue along the shores of Lake Ivanhoe near downtown and include some of the oldest stands of oak trees in the area. Though the gardens are beautiful year-round, they’re particularly enchanting in the spring months when things are in bloom.
Rose bushes, citrus trees, and camellias are perennial favorites, and there’s a butterfly garden that’s always a big hit with children.
11. Kennedy Space Center
The Kennedy Space Center isn’t the most convenient attraction to visit from Groveland, but for those with access to wheels or willing to dedicate an entire day to visiting this one-of-a-kind attraction, a trip to the Space Coast would be time well spent.
A variety of professionally guided tour options abound, and many of them originate in Orlando and include roundtrip transportation.
Guests will have access to the Astronaut Hall of Fame, IMAX movies, the Shuttle Launch Experience, and some real rockets and spacecraft.
Tours make for a long day, but often include stops for food and shopping at outlet stores.
Located on Orange Blossom Trail in Orlando, Gatorland is one of Central Florida’s most iconic wildlife attractions, and is particularly well-known for its white alligators.
Thousands of gators and crocs call Gatorland home; they’re viewable from a variety of boardwalks and observation towers – and even a zip-line for adventurous souls.
Regularly scheduled feedings are big hits, and the staff offer a variety of special programs that include guided tours, some of which are at night.
The park features a petting zoo and an aviary as well, and much of it is mostly accessible for those using wheelchairs.
13. West Orange Trail
West Orange Trail stretches its way more than 20 miles from Killarney Station in Oakland to Apopka.
There are a variety of access points in between, and the trail is open to walkers, runners, bikers, and those on horseback.
The trail winds its way through a variety of natural and developed habitats and includes built-in exercise stations, covered seating areas, and even restaurants and shops near the towns.
Bikes are available to rent at Killarney station and may be rented on an hourly, daily, or weekly basis, making them convenient and inexpensive modes of calorie-burning transportation for those traveling with energetic little ones.
14. LEGOLAND Florida Resort
LEGOLAND Florida Resort in Winter Haven was designed for toddlers to children in their early teens, but most visitors are pleasantly surprised to discover that there are a number of attractions and activities appropriate for older kids and adults too.
The resort’s primary goal is to engage children through a variety of activities and exhibits that promote creativity, but there are also dozens of amusement park-style rides, live entertainment, and a botanical garden as well.
LEGOLAND also features on-site lodging and dining options; for many guests who’d rather not waste valuable time traveling from one site to another, it’s a place they choose to spend the majority of their time in the state.
15. The Florida Mall
Malls everywhere get a bad rap, and many visitors to the Sunshine State would rather not forego beach and theme parks to shop, but the Florida Mall is one of those underrated gems that’s a great escape destination when the weather outside isn’t cooperating.
Unlike many other malls in the state, The Florida Mall isn’t all exclusive brands that cost a fortune; for savvy, value-minded shoppers, there are good deals to be had.
The Florida Mall is close to Orlando International Airport and Disney World and features tons of retail space, as well as abundant dining and entertainment options.