"One of the Winter Places in Florida" Top 5 Page for this destination Winter Haven by grandmaR

Winter Haven Travel Guide: 28 reviews and 153 photos

In the 1950s and 1960s, Winter Haven was the site of Cypress Gardens, the water ski capitol of the world. I visited with my parents in 1954. I visited again in the mid 1960's with my children.

The water ski shows started in 1943, while Dick was serving in WWII. When soldiers on leave saw a local newspaper photo of a water skier, they mistakenly believed Cypress Gardens featured a "water show." Mrs. Pope quickly assembled her children and friends to perform for the men, and word-of-mouth attracted 800 soldiers the following weekend. The show and Gardens flourished through the 1950s.

I remembered it so fondly that we came again in 2007, only to find that Cypress Gardens was no more. The classic Florida tourist attraction, is gone forever, replaced by a Legoland in 2011.

Now, Winter Haven is a community of more than 34,000 people, located in Central Florida between Tampa and Orlando. The gentle rolling hills of Polk County and 45 fresh-water lakes touch or are contained within the City limits. Twenty-four of the lakes are connected by a system of navigable canals better known as "The Chain of Lakes"

  • Last visit to Winter Haven: Aug 1967
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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“"..an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered." G.K. Chesterton”

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