Lake Placid, Florida is an attractive place to visit with a population of around 21,000 people. This inviting little town features wonderful freshwater lakes and 29 of them surrounding the area. It was founded in 1925 as Lake Stearns and has since become known as the Caladium Capital of the World as well as ‘The Town of Murals’. Here’s an overview of this charming town located 15 miles north along US-27, its history and things to do during your stay.
HISTORY OF LAKE PLACID, FLORIDA
The town of Lake Placid began with a large citrus operation managed by A. H. Devane, Ernest Morrow and E. E. Stewart. It was then adopted by Dr. Melvil Dewey, the inventor of the Dewey Decimal System and changed from its original name of Lake Stearns to Lake Placid. He is also credited for coming up with a simplified spelling system, although it never gained widespread popularity. As for his own surname, he briefly went by Dui but finally decided against it. Dr. Dewey was also the founder of the Lake Placid Club in New York and encouraged the town and state to use his version of the lake’s name.
WHAT LAKE PLACID, FLORIDA IS LIKE TODAY
Today, Lake Placid is renowned for its citrus production and the Tower, which provides a fantastic view of thousands of acres of groves and many lakes. Although no longer open to the public, the Tower serves as a reminder of the area’s past. Then there are the colorful murals found on buildings and storefronts throughout the town which attract art lovers. Visitors can purchase a mural guide to gain even more insight about the area’s history and culture. As for their nickname as the Caladium Capital of the World, Lake Placid celebrates this distinction with their Annual Caladium Festival complete with live entertainment and an antique car show.
THINGS TO DO IN LAKE PLACID, FLORIDA
Start off your day by exploring the region’s 29 freshwater lakes for some of the best fishing and water sports available. Lake Placid and Lake June-In-Winter are especially popular spots. There’s also the Greater Lake Placid Chamber of Commerce, the American Clown Museum and School, where 1800 clowns have “earned their noses”, and the Lake Placid Historical Society and Depot Museum with four galleries of local historical artifacts.
Nature lovers should also make their way to Lake June-In-Winter Scrub State Park, a sand scrub preserve with a half-mile nature trail perfect for bird watching, hiking and fishing. Its visitors may get a glimpse of gopher tortoises, Eastern indigo snakes and Florida scrub lizards. Meanwhile, Henscratch Farms offers a more delectable experience with their winery.
In conclusion, Lake Placid, Florida is a spectacular place to explore with family and friends. From its namesake lake, to its agricultural roots and the many murals that adorn the town, one will never run out of things to see and do. Don’t forget to take advantage of the chocolate shops, ice cream parlors, drive-through theatres, and even an old-fashioned soda fountain that can easily be found here!
Of course, if you’re looking for an even more unique experience, Lake Placid offers that, too. For example, ‘Crocodile Crossing’ allows visitors the opportunity to explore some of Florida’s natural wetlands and get up close with some of the area’s large crocodiles. More daring guests can take a dip with the creatures, wading in the shallow waters and interacting with the many species in their natural habitat.
In addition to wildlife encounters, visitors will also find plenty of opportunities to engage with the cultural highlights of the town. The Historic Market Square, located downtown, is a great spot to pick up some local souvenirs like mementos made from the caladiums grown in the area. Additionally, folks may want to invest in the many local products, such as jams and jellies made with the delicious citrus fruits grown in the area.
Another way to make your Lake Placid vacation special is by visiting some of the charming local restaurants. With their focus on seafood, this small town has a wide variety of options ranging from traditional coastal favorites to more unexpected options like sashimi and poke bowls. There are also plenty of unique bars scattered throughout the city, offering up craft cocktails and local beers.
Those looking for a bit more adventure can find it in the nearby towns. Sebring, for instance, is home to the Sebring Raceway and features monthly vintage car races. For something slightly less dangerous but still thrilling, try out Bok Tower Gardens in nearby Lake Wales. This stunning area features a 60-foot tower along with acres of beautiful gardens and trails to explore.
Other nearby towns such as Avon Park, Frostproof, and Wauchula are all worth checking out, too. Each of these towns offers its own unique attractions, including nature preserves and historic sites. Additionally, they also provide a great option for day trips away from Lake Placid.
Of course, no trip to Florida is complete without a relaxing beach day or two. Luckily, some of Florida’s best beaches are only a short drive away from Lake Placid. Whether you’re looking for the lazy vibes of Siesta Key or the bustling energy of Clearwater Beach, there’s something for everyone.
After all that exploring, you’ll likely be in need of some rest and relaxation. Unwind with a massage or spa treatment at one of the area’s many spas and wellness centers. Or, take advantage of the region’s natural setting with a tranquil yoga class. With so many different options, visitors can easily find a way to recharge while they’re here.
For a fun evening out, catch some live music at one of the local venues. The downtown area offers plenty of cheesy country bars and honky tonks, while other spots feature jazz, blues, and acoustic sets. Similarly, there’s no shortage of delicious restaurants and lively bars — the perfect way to end the night.
All in all, Lake Placid offers an array of activities for travelers of all ages and interests. From relaxing days at the lake to unique art experiences and adrenaline-filled adventures, the possibilities are endless. Whether it’s your first visit or your hundredth, you’re sure to find something to do in this charming Florida town.