Florida Welcome Centers

By: VISIT FLORIDA staff

ADD TO FAVORITES
Planning a visit to Florida? Be sure to stop by one of the state's Welcome Centers for information, maps and a free glass of Florida citrus juice.

Since 1949, millions of auto travelers entering Florida along the major thoroughfares have found a warm greeting at the Official Florida Welcome Centers. In addition to the traditional cup of complimentary Florida citrus juice, these visitors have found friendly, informative staff people and a vast assortment of brochures promoting all that the state has to offer.

Today, that half-century-long tradition continues at the Official Florida Welcome Centers located on I-10 west of Pensacola, U.S. 231 near Campbellton (also near Marianna), I-75 at Jennings (near Lake City) and I-95 north of Yulee (near Jacksonville). A fifth center is located at the west entrance of the State Capitol Building in Tallahassee. Each center is staffed by personnel who have undergone rigorous training to receive national Information Specialist certification. Along with in-person information, Welcome Center visitors learn about the state’s diverse destinations.

In an effort to build on the success of our hospitality and demonstrate our desire to further welcome visitors traveling with small children, each of the four highway Welcome Centers has a designated area for visitors traveling with children. Some of he VISIT FLORIDA Kid's Corner offers a "play" area to educate and entertain the children while the parents get the travel information they need from the Welcome Center staff.

The Official Florida Welcome Centers also provide Official Florida Transportation Maps to all visitors (or click here to order a map and VISIT FLORIDA Magazine in advance of your visit). 

Our highway Welcome Centers offer clean, well maintained restroom facilities and all are handicapped accessible. Vending machines and payphones are on-site. Designated areas in each parking lot accommodate large bus, RV and truck parking.


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91 comments
Dan Hattaway
Dan Hattaway May 8, 2013 1:00 PM
As a lifelong resident for Florida, I have had occasion to stop at the Welcome Stations at the Fl. line. What we've been giving these visitors is "OJ from CONCENTRATE".

This is a bitter tasting (may be from peelings or something else), and I've always thought we should show visitors what REAL, Fl OJ tastes like.

Florida Natural should contact the STATE to get them to use YOUR Not From Concentrate OJ and really get it COLD (about 33 degrees)!

I remember traveling to south Fl as a child and getting the OJ so cold I could hardly drink it.

Isn't THAT the type of LASTING impression WE want to leave travelers with. Natural, NOT FROM CONCENTRATE, so cold you can hardly drink it?

I plan to send the State this same message.

Dan Hattaway


From David Dodd, Vice President, Visitor Services for VISIT FLORIDA.

VISIT FLORIDA and before that the Florida Department of Commerce have enjoyed a relationship for more than 65 years with the Florida Department of Citrus, serving free Florida citrus juice to visitors who stop in at the Florida Welcome Centers.

Last year, more than 2.5 million visitors stopped into our five Welcome Centers, and we served them 44,014 gallons of fresh Florida Citrus juice (that’s equal to 6 swimming pools or 12.5 tanker trucks) in 4 oz. cups. We serve the juice at 37 degrees.

Previously, we did serve concentrated juice, but no longer is that the case.

For the past 12 years, we have been serving fresh, pasteurized juice. It is not from concentrate. It comes from Florida's Natural Growers, a cooperative of citrus growers and juice producers. Ours is 100 percent Florida juice, the same juice available in local grocery stores.

We invite you – and all visitors to and residents of Florida – to please stop into the Florida Welcome Center on I-10 in Pensacola, ask for Karen or Brenda and we will be happy to pour you a cold cup of Florida citrus juice and show you our facility.

Thank you for your comments.


I love the Florida Welcome Center. It is the only state welcome center worth stopping at, unless you just need to stop.
The OJ is so nice of Florida to give to its visitors. I have often wondered why other states did not have such a treat.
Georgia could have peanuts or peaches. Other states could come up with something.
Thanks Florida.
what is a cheap beach in florida to take kids on for a 2day vacation
I am looking at moving in 5-6 months. I am on a fixed income, and have a 2004 Flagstaff forest river even. I am trying to find information on a full time, scent lot rental in the Florida area, and if there is any group or organization that can help with information on Palm springs, or other nice area's that can I really do not haveas anybody, and need help getting this done. help me. It is just me and my dog, and I like non denominational churches.
Hi Heather,
I just now saw your comment.
The beaches in Florida are free admission, though you may have to pay for parking at some of them. And you do have to pay to get into State Parks, which is something like $6 a car.
Destinations that tend to be really affordable include ones with a lot of beachfront lodging, like Panama City Beach and Daytona Beach, and places that are a little out-of-the-way, like Port St. Joe, Mexico Beach and Englewood Beach. Let me know what you're looking for and I can help you narrow it down.
Hope you get to the Sunshine State soon!
Hi Brenda,
Thanks for reaching out.
I tell you, in the dead of winter, you’ll be glad you’re in Florida!
Check out this info from the State of Florida on relocating here: http://www.stateofflorida.com/moving-to-florida.aspx
Also, check out this info from the Palm Beaches’ visitors’ services: http://www.visitpalmbeachfl.com/
Now, that being said, the Palm Beach area tends to be expensive, so if you’re on a fixed income, it might not be the best bet for you.
Finally, here’s info about RV Parks in Florida from the Good Sam Club: http://www.goodsamclub.com/travel/campgroundsandrvparks/searchresults.aspx?city=&state=FL
There are a ton of parks, and many offer year round rentals.
I hope this helps.
Lauren Tjaden for VISIT FLORIDA
I read that when he approved the new FY 2016 State budget, Governor Rick Scott line-item vetoed funding for free orange and grapefruit juice at the Welcome Centers. Is this true? How much was that appropriation? I support the Governor but I do not believe that was a good item to remove from the State budget.

Answer: That line item is part of the Florida Department of Citrus budget, the entity that provides VISIT FLORIDA with the citrus juice we share at the Official Florida Welcome Centers. Our counterparts at Citrus assured us they will continue to provide the Welcome Centers with juice. f you have questions about their funding, you may wish to contact their Communications Director. Here is his contact info:

Andrew Meadows
andrewm@flcitrusmutual.com
863-682-1111 ext. 211

I'm looking for a private cottagetp rent directly on the Gulf somewhere along the Panhandle

Hi John,
Thanks for reaching out.
There are so many places on the panhandle, with so many vibes, that I’m not sure where to start.
Do you want some place with a lot of action, like Panama City Beach? Do you prefer a quiet escape with white sand beaches, like Mexico City Beach? Or do you want an upscale, eclectic getaway like you’ll find in South Walton? Northwest Florida has so many offerings in so many varieties.
Here are a links to a few destinations from their visitors’ services. Follow the links for places to stay to get an idea of what they have:
• Gulf County (quiet, beautiful beaches): http://www.visitgulf.com/
• South Walton (upscale, charming, unique): http://www.visitsouthwalton.com/
• Pensacola (all kinds of offerings; laid back but also a lot to do): http://www.visitpensacola.com/
• Panama City Beach (27 miles of beaches; downtown is a real city; tends to have a lot of bargains): http://www.visitpanamacitybeach.com/
Let me know what you think. If you decide on a specific area, or let me know exactly what you’re looking for, I’m happy to give you personal advice too.
Sunny regards!