It might not look like much on a map, but Plant City, Florida, is an ideal day stop for Florida vacationers interested in getting a slice of old Southern hospitality. Known for the annual Florida Strawberry Festival, the community is home to a number of other attractions. The biggest draw, however, are its old southern roots and its charming historic district.
The small city is located in between Orlando and Tampa is considered a fantastic change of pace for those who have made the trek to the larger metro areas’ theme parks and heavily trafficked tourist spots. An easy drive from either location off Interstate 4, Plant City offers some interesting stops. They include:
* Strawberry Festival. Although only in session for 11 days a year, generally during late February or early March, this attraction draws thousands and thousands. It started as a celebration of the winter berry harvest and continues in that function today. At the festival visitors will find lots of berries along with rides, live country music shows from big-name headliners and more.
* 1914 Plant City High School Community Center. Within this building in the heart of the historic residential district visitors will find a museum to the city’s past. They will also be able to visit a rail road museum on site and check out what a historic high school looks like.
* Florida Opry. With concerts several times a year at the old high school building, this attraction draws some pretty well-known names from the country, gospel and bluegrass fronts. A small, local undertaking, the Opry has fans all over the state and country, as well.
* Downtown historic district. Here visitors will find tree-lined streets, many of which still have their original brick. They’ll also find a number of buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, shops, antique stores and more.
* Sporting events. The city has its own stadium and plays hosts to a number of national and international games, including softball championships and collegiate events.
* Classic car/motorcycle rally. The city plays host to its own classic car show and monthly motorcycle event each month. The two take place on separate Saturdays in the downtown historic district.
A bit different from its two neighbors, the Plant City community holds tightly to its southern roots. Hospitality and history go hand in hand here where the berry fields still rule the outskirts and farmer and politician alike can be found dining together in local eateries. It’s generally worth a few hours or more on a stop in between the big attractions of Central Florida.