The Jacaranda Hotel of Avon Park: A Florida Original

    By Gary McKechnie

    Check your history books and you’ll see that during the 1920s a land boom was bringing tens of thousands of new residents to Florida.

    Dig a little deeper and you’ll see that America’s interstate system wouldn’t really be in place until the 1960s.

    Which means that in 1925, Avon Park, near the junction of U.S. 27 and Highway 64 was a perfect place to build grand Hotel Jacaranda.

    If you’ve never driven through Avon Park, the sight of Hotel Jacaranda, such a grandiose lodging establishment in an otherwise quiet, off-the-beaten-path town, can be quite surprising.

    jacaranda hotel avon park fl

    The Hotel Jacaranda was once along the main route to and from South Florida. Today, interstates have drawn away the traffic.

    - Gary McKechnie

    hotel jacaranda

    Hotel Jacaranda in Avon Park

    - Contributed Photo

    But not nearly as surprising as stepping into the lobby to find that the Jacaranda hotel in Avon Park, FL is still a gem. It’s a wonderful feeling to see a piece of Florida’s past so well preserved, and while some may think it can’t compare with the style and amenities of today’s four-star resorts, it was never meant to.

    Popular with race fans (Sebring’s just a few miles south), the Jacaranda hotel in Avon Park, FL also attracts people who love retro style, the fascinating photos and décor that fill the lobby, the buffet meals served in the dining room, and the sensation of getting into an old-fashioned elevator that still uses the old-fashioned crank (no buttons here!).

    Half the hotel’s 30 rooms are designated as dorm rooms for students attending nearby South Florida State College; others are for overnight guests. Room sizes run from standard to master suites.

    Sometime in your near future, you should take a trip to the past at the Jacaranda hotel in Avon Park, FL.

    If you go...

    Hotel Jacaranda
    19 East Main Street (Highway 64)
    Avon Park, FL
    (863) 453-2211
    www.hoteljac.com
     

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