Central Florida’s Lakes Country
‘Gardens and Groves’
January 7-11th, 2008

Hosted by
Central Florida Visitors & Convention Bureau

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Had breakfast in a wonderful local favourite this morning called the Cypress Café. Fresh orange juice, the best pancakes…delicious! The tables had all this advertising all over them, what a cool idea.

Then it was off to Cypress Gardens Adventure Park. This famed landmark put Winter Haven on the map many years ago. In fact Tom and I were last there in 1984 and remembered how nice the gardens were. Now you should see what the gardens look like…lush and beautiful. After many necessary and positive changes the attraction has retained the Ski Show, botanical gardens and Southern Belles that helped make it famous, while adding family fun rides, roller coasters and a new water park. Standing sentinel in the historic gardens is the giant Banyan tree, which was planted in 1939 from a seedling during the Gardens’ early years. While the adults are strolling along the quiet gardens the children can let loose in the more than three dozen rides! www.cypressgardens.com

Lunch was at Taste of Florida and where we also got to enjoy a tour of Lang Sun Country Groves. Now this was the first place that I have ever tasted the Honey Bell tangelo and we were sure lucky. They are only available for a very short time and Lang ships these oranges all over the U.S. I have never tasted anything so sweet or juicy. It has an easy to peel skin with very few seeds. Lang Sun Country Groves started in 1951 by Mary Lang, who is now 94 years old and is still family owned an operated today. Originally a small roadside citrus stand, the business expanded to include citrus shipping and packing and now a gift shop and restaurant. Taste of Florida has been featured on both the Food Network and Travel Channel for their unique, grapefruit pie but I must tell you that the fresh strawberries and ice cream was the best. www.langsuncountry.com  perhaps I should have skipped the sandwich and had three desserts instead because I also spotted Honey Bell pound cake!

If you have a sweet tooth, you must visit Davidson’s of Dundee. Not only do they grow, pack and ship Florida's tree ripened fresh fruit, but they also make these wonderful jelly candies (which you can sample and see what you like best) and jelly. Honey Bell marmalade…yumm! Established in the SunRidge area of Central Florida since 1967, they have been shipping the best Florida citrus to customers across the USA and Canada for over 35 years. Also featured on the Food Network! www.davidsonofdundee.com

This evening we were in for a very special treat as we were going to have dinner at Chalet Suzanne Restaurant and Country Inn. Step back in time when you arrive for dinner at the world-renowned Chalet Suzanne Restaurant and Country Inn. Owned by the Hinshaw family since the 30’s, this enchanting inn of 30 rooms nestled on 70 acres is an oasis welcoming guests with fine food, delightful guestrooms and quiet ambiance. Eating had to take a back seat to all the pictures we wanted to get before it got too dark outside. It’s a great place to stay in, the rooms are all different and welcoming…outside in the patio area they have tiles that people who have stayed there have signed – wonderful little memories of times past. Then it was time to eat and what a meal – Gourmet Magazine called the food ‘glorious’…I loved the fact that all the table place settings were set with mismatched china and glassware and even the cutlery…excellent meal and along with that the owner and head chef told us all kinds of wonderful stories while we ate…thank you! Did you know that their soup has even made a trip to the moon? www.chaletsuzanne.com


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  • Kids Garden
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