Winter Haven

Winter Haven

Winter Haven, resort city (1990 pop. 24,725), Polk co., central Fla; settled 1883. It is a marketing, processing, and shipping center for one of the state's chief citrus-fruit regions, with fruit-canning plants and packing houses. Tourism is also economically important. There are 97 lakes within a radius of 5 mi (8 km) and a boat course of some 17 connected lakes. Of interest is an annual citrus festival. The nearby Cypress Gardens, a famed water-skiing center, closed in 2003.
Winter Haven is a city in Polk County, Florida, United States. The population was 26,487 at the 2000 census. According to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2007 estimates, the city had a population of 32,577, making it the second most populated city in Polk County. Winter Haven is best known as the home of Cypress Gardens, a theme park which has recently gone through renovations to add thrill rides. Country musician Gram Parsons was from a wealthy family in Winter Haven. Winter Haven was also home to the first Publix supermarket circa 1930.


Winter Haven is located at (28.034314, -81.721680).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 65.8 km² (25.4 mi²). 45.8 km² (17.7 mi²) of it is land and 20.0 km² (7.7 mi²) of it (30.45%) is water.

Winter Haven, is called "The Chain of Lakes City" because of its numerous fresh water lakes which touch or are contained within the city limits. 24 of the lakes are connected by a system of navigable canals better known as the "Chain of Lakes". Winter Haven has Florida's first theme park, (Cypress Gardens Adventure Park). It is also the home of Winter Haven Hospital and Winter Haven's Gilbert Airport. Winter Haven also contains many buildings designed by Gene Leedy, one of the founders of the Sarasota School of Architecture. The Chain of Lakes City used to be the Spring Training home to the Boston Red Sox and the Cleveland Indians. The Red Sox moved to another Florida city in 1992, and the Indians left after the 2008 Spring Training Season for Arizona.

The city gets its name from it obvious lack of colder weather with a warm tropical climate throughout the majority of the year. The average temperature is 73.2 degrees Fahrenheit.


As of the census of 2000, there were 26,487 people, 11,833 households, and 6,934 families residing in the city. The population density was 578.4/km² (1,498.3/mi²). There were 13,912 housing units at an average density of 303.8/km² (787.0/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 71.51% White, 23.16% African American, 0.19% Native American, 1.02% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.87% from other races, and 2.22% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.94% of the population and 0.001%.

There were 11,833 households out of which 21.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.1% were married couples living together, 12.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.4% were non-families. 36.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.17 and the average family size was 2.81.

In the city the population was spread out with 20.9% under the age of 18, 6.8% from 18 to 24, 23.5% from 25 to 44, 21.4% from 45 to 64, and 27.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 85.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $31,884, and the median income for a family was $39,657. Males had a median income of $30,943 versus $21,812 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,383. About 10.5% of families and 15.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.2% of those under age 18 and 7.9% of those age 65 or over.

Notable people



Winter Haven, having many small lakes, is home to many ski schools, both for water skiing and barefoot skiing. The Major League Baseball Cleveland Indians (1993-2008) and Boston Red Sox (1969-1992) used to have a spring training site in Winter Haven.


Winter Haven has an Amtrak train station and a Greyhound bus station. Local commuter bus service is provided by Winter Haven Area Transit and the Citrus Connection.

Winter Haven's Gilbert Airport and the adjacent Jack Browns Seaplane Base are located 3 miles northwest of the central business district.


K-12 Schools

The school district that serves Winter Haven is the Polk County School District

  • Haven Christian Academy
  • Elbert Elementary
  • Garden Grove Elementary School
  • Garner Elementary School
  • Inwood Elementary
  • Jewett School of the Arts (Elementary)
  • Lake Shipp Elementary
  • John A. Snively Elementary School
  • Westwood Middle School
  • Jewett Academy Middle School
  • Denison Middle School
  • Winter Haven Senior High School
  • Lake Region High School
  • Brigham Academy Elementary School
  • All Saint's Academy
  • Rachel's School for the Custodial Arts.
  • Mark Wilcox Center
  • Winter Haven Christian School
  • Grace Lutheran School
  • St. Joseph Catholic School



  • Winter Haven is now without a Spring Training team. The Cleveland Indians have moved to Arizona after using the Chain of Lakes Park for spring training games since 1993. 2008 was the Indians' final year in Winter Haven.
  • From 1966 through 1992, The Boston Red Sox used the Chain of Lakes Park for their Spring Training location.
  • The Florida Regional Office for State Farm Insurance is located in Winter Haven.
  • Rock band Anberlin originates from Winter Haven.


External links

that encourages economic development within the context of historic preservation. The Main Street Program was originated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1980

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