Winter Haven, FL Yellow Pages - Find local businesses, map, and more

Winter Haven, FL

Winter Haven, Florida, certainly lives up to its name. With an average temperature of 62 degrees, this city is a haven during any season but certainly during the winter, when much of the country is shrouded in snow and ice. Winter Haven is also conveniently located within an hour of Orlando and Tampa, which are both home to major tourist attractions. Winter Haven's 33,000 residents can enjoy a plethora of nearby art, culture, and entertainment activities. Visitors to Winter Haven can take advantage of the lower cost of accommodations and make Winter Haven a home base for travels in the area.

ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES

Winter Haven, like many parts of the country, has been afflicted by rapidly rising unemployment and job losses. Winter Haven's unemployment rate soared from 7.3 percent in July 2008 to 8.7 percent in December 2008; although job loss was spread throughout every sector, construction and manufacturing were hit hardest.

Despite the slowing economy, Winter Haven did make some strides, including the construction of a $40 million addition to Winter Haven Hospital, the opening of a new airport terminal, and the opening of the Inland Fiber and Data Technology Park. The city is also slated to be the home of a new intermodal rail terminal built by CSX Transportation.

Winter Haven's major employers include:

  • Mid-Florida Medical Services
  • Winter Haven Hospital
  • Cypress Gardens Adventure Park
  • Polk Community College
  • City of Winter Haven
  • Indian River Transport Company
  • Stock Building Supply
  • Gessler Clinic Professional Association
  • Centerstate Banks of Florida
  • Bond and Steele Clinic

NEIGHBORHOODS AND DISTRICTS

Winter Haven is a small city, but it has several ethnically diverse neighborhoods, including:

  • Eloise Woods: This affluent neighborhood is well established and includes three of Winter Haven's many lakes: Lake Otis, Lake Miriam, and Lake Ring. Though quiet, Eloise Woods does have several meeting places that lend a vibrant atmosphere to the neighborhood.
  • Cypress Gardens: Home to several lakes, including Lake Roy, Lake Eloise, Lake Dexter, and Lake Witerset, this area south of Eloise Woods features an interesting mix of owner and rental occupation, as well as varied cultural influences.
  • Downtown: This neighborhood emanates from the eastern shore of Lake Howard; it is filled mostly with apartment complexes and high-rise buildings that are populated by a range of ages. Because many young professionals live downtown, the area has a vibrant social scene and eclectic dining and shopping options.
  • Jan Phyl Village: This neighborhood is situated to the south and west of downtown Winter Haven. This affordable, pedestrian-friendly neighborhood is home to Sears Lake and Lake Shipp.

SHOPPING

Winter Haven boasts plenty of independent shops that carry a variety of merchandise. There are also a few shopping centers, including Spring Lake Square, Winter Haven Citi Centre and Winter Haven Mall.

FAMILY FUN

Winter Haven is known as the "Chain of Lakes City" because of 16 interconnected lakes in the area. The lakes are connected by navigable channels, a feature that makes the area immensely popular with boating and fishing enthusiasts. The largest of these lakes is Lake Eloise, which covers 1,160 acres. Along the lakes are public boat ramps, beaches, fishing areas, picnic areas, and recreational facilities. Some lakes in the area double as Winter Haven city parks, most notably the 18-acre Lake Shipp Park, which boasts a boat ramp and picnic tables as well as park structures. Water skiing is also popular in this area, including barefoot water skiing. Lessons are offered by some area enterprises.

Cyclists and pedestrians in Winter Haven enjoy the Chain of Lakes Trail, a 3.2-mile trail that winds through the city from north to south. The area also abounds with other outdoor sporting opportunities, including facilities for golf, tennis, baseball, basketball, football, horseshoes, swimming, shuffleboard, and running tracks.

Winter Haven's popular attractions include:

  • Cypress Gardens: This water park recently underwent a major expansion; in addition to the water park, Cypress Gardens boasts botanical gardens, a ski show, and a museum that traces the history of this landmark.
  • Historic Bok Sanctuary: This 157-acre sanctuary features vibrant and peaceful gardens surrounding a carillon tower that rings its 57 bells every 30 minutes in an intricate symphony.
  • Fantasy of Flight Air Museum: Vintage aircraft are on display at this museum. When weather permits, demonstrations are given using the restored vintage planes; tours are offered daily.

EVENTS

Winter Haven offers plenty of entertainment and cultural events:

  • The Cruisin' Winter Haven Car Show is a monthly exhibition of vintage autos.
  • Theatre Winter Haven stages nine productions each year, as well as classes for young adults.
  • Chain of Lakes Festival is a week-long festival held each April that features cardboard boat races, live music, games, and food.
  • The Festival of Trees is an annual holiday celebration that includes a Christmas tree lighting.
  • The Greek Festival of Polk County offers authentic Greek food and pastries, as well as a Greek Boutique with imported gift items.