"Growing up in Lake Wales, Florida" Top 5 Page for this destination Lake Wales by sunlovey

Lake Wales Travel Guide: 34 reviews and 87 photos

On Small town Florida

Lake Wales... a small little blip on the map of Florida located between Tampa and Orlando.

What it's like there...
Lake Wales has one high school, two colleges, two McDonalds, a mediocre mall & a gigantic Walmart.

The people are of the small town, conservative, Southern mentality mindset. Like country music with a passion. Love going to Lake Wales High School Football games. Are about two years behind in fashion. Know everything about everybody else. Drink Bud light a lot. Go to church on a regular basis. Voted for George W. Bush. I'm not saying all of these things are bad per say, but they give you an idea of where I'm coming from.

Fun things:
Lake Wales Mardi Gras & high school keg parties in the orange groves

Nice things: The smell of said orange groves when the orange trees are blossoming, it's heavenly.

Surprising things:

The Lake Wales Art Center, formally the town Catholic Church with beautiful architecture of the Spanish Mission period, great musical performers from all over the world and rotating art exhibits worthy of visiting.

Chalet Suzanne, an enchanting and high-priced Inn-type hotel that attracts the rich and famous with its own landing strip. Great restaurant, really funky cool architecture.

Places to eat:
Taco Bell
Burger King
Mall food court

Better places to eat:
Cherry Pocket Fish Camp
Lake Ashton

Kitschy tourist trap:
Spook Hill- Ancient Indians cause your vehicle to roll backwards up a hill....ooooooooh!

Interesting little stop:
Florida's Natural Orange Juice Visitor Information Center- sample their various juices, watch a movie about the groves, growing oranges, producing orange juice. Buy orange related souvenirs.

Eventually I will transfer and expand a lot of this into tips. Not that you'll ever go here, but if you do, I want to help you see/do/eat what you need to see/do/eat OK?

I should add that living in a small town like this was a big inspiration for me when it came to getting out there and seeing the world. Living here as a young person, you just had to know there was so much more...

If you are in Lake Wales during the Christmas season by any chance you simply MUST visit Pinewood. Pinewood is a historic home on the grounds of Bok Tower that is decorated to the hilt. The house is very Mediterranean/Spanish mission in architecture. It's gorgeous. When it's open to the public at Christmas there are usually live musicians or carolers.

This is the fountain at Pinewood. Took this picture as inspiration for a fountain I hope to one day have myself!

  • Last visit to Lake Wales: Nov 2004
  • Intro Updated Mar 8, 2005
  • Add to Trip Planner (?)
  • Report Abuse

Reviews (2)



“Girl in Need of a Vacation”

Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 8 7 0

Badges & Stats in Lake Wales

  • 2 Reviews
  • 10 Photos
  • 0 Forum posts
  • 1,249PageViews

Have you been to Lake Wales?

  Share Your Travels  

Travel Interests

See All Travel Interests (5)