Plant City, known as the “Winter Strawberry Capital of the World” by the Florida Strawberry Growers Association, is the perfect Florida town to visit.
Every year Plant City comes together as a community to host the infamous Florida Strawberry Festival and celebrate that year’s harvest. The festival has all the qualities a great fair should have, including funnel cake, eating contests, and rides. But what makes the festival unique from others are the concerts, livestock shows, and agricultural displays they have available.
Besides the Strawberry Festival, if you’ve ever driven on Interstate 4 toward Tampa then you’ve probably noticed the giant T-rex on the side of the highway, which is one of the Plant City’s greatest highlights.
Dinosaur World is an outdoor museum and theme park with over 150 life-size dinosaurs, each hand made by the Svensson family who owns and operates the park. The park is comfortably situated in the shade of oak trees and Florida fauna with a boardwalk trail to guide you on a prehistoric adventure, which makes it the perfect place for a relaxing walk complete with dinosaurs, and the best part is you can—and should—bring your dog with you!
Dinosaur World is a place of tradition for many families from all over the world, as it is welcoming to everyone from all walks of life with an encouraging environment to all the Dinosaur enthusiasts out there. I’ve been there many times myself, as I’m a former employee, and can say with confidence that it is worth the visit.
Not too far from Dinosaur World is the Parksdale Farm Market, the largest Strawberry, Citrus, and Produce Market in Florida. Parksdale is a lively farmer’s market that provides fresh produce, local plants and flowers all assembled in a beautiful garden.
A hot spot at the market is ice cream counter, an essential for hot summer days, that offers their World-Famous Strawberry Shortcake ice-cream. Accompanied on the menu are milkshakes, floats, and if you visit during the summer, the menu changes to include the Pineapple Dole Whip, a pineapple soft serve ice cream float.
Some other features of the market include a photo op atop a strawberry throne, a Florida gift shop with local preserves and jellies, and the ever-playing Elvis song flowing gently in the air. The overall ambiance of the market is a relaxing and refreshing garden, with decorations that make you feel like there should be fairies hiding somewhere.
Plant City has that southern, small-town charm that people fall in love with.