Florida Travel: Family Trip to Showcase of Citrus in Clermont

By Dalia Colón

The oranges are a given.

At Showcase of Citrus in Clermont, you’ll find more than 50 varieties of U-pick fruit. Prime picking season is wintertime, with January and February being the best months for a bumper crop of sweet citrus.

Beyond the grove, this working farm and cattle ranch offers family-friendly diversions any time of year.

“It’s a family-owned attraction, so it’s got that family feel. Everyone’s really laid back,” says tour guide “Gator Johnny” Matos. “Everything is designed with kids in mind.”

That includes a playground, petting zoo, gem mine, weekend circus show and the highlight for many visitors, an off-road tour of the 2,500-acre property.

“What kid doesn’t like a monster truck ride?” asked Matos, a former alligator wrestler.

Gators are one of the many animals you might see from your perch in the safari-style vehicle, which is actually a converted school bus. Keep your camera ready to capture water buffalo, zebras, watusi and other exotic and native wildlife, and listen out for citrus-related trivia from your tour guide.

After the hour-long excursion, return to the country store to cool off with the signature Creamsicle, a vanilla- and citrus-flavored frozen treat that hits the spot on a warm afternoon.

The store started in 1989 as a humble, family-owned orange stand and expanded into a cornucopia of products for all ages, from fruit wines to soaps to orange-themed souvenirs and local honey, so you can bring home a taste of Old Florida.

When you go: Showcase of Citrus is located at 5010 US Highway 27 in Clermont, about 30 miles west of Orlando. The attraction is open 365 days a year from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Leashed pets are welcome. Wear close-toed shoes. For monster truck tour reservations, call (352) 394-4377. Coupons are available at https://showcaseofcitrus.com/special_offers/.



Natural Springs

From tiny trickles known to deep backwoods explorers to mammoth gushers like Wakulla, Manatee and Silver Springs, Florida's 700 natural fountains...

Panama City Beach

You’ve heard of Panama City Beach, one of the coolest hotspots in northwest Florida. Here’s why it might be just right for you.

Panama City

Panama City is a four-season paradise for water sports enthusiasts. Kayaking, paddleboarding, sailing and kiteboarding are popular activities on...

Ybor City

A richly personable neighborhood of Tampa, Ybor City retains the Cuban, Italian and Spanish influences that remain from its heyday as the hub of...