We may have found one of the best Florida tourist attractions just south of Clermont. Oh yes, we had seen the Showcase of Citrus countless times as we have driven on Highway 27. But we stopped in recently and realized how much we had been missing.
This place is a look at the real Florida and then some. There are monster truck tours through the 2,500 acre property. We also could pick all manner of citrus fruit in season. And the best part is The Old Time Country Store, where there are literally thousands of locally sourced products from which to choose.
The Old Time Country Store
We really enjoyed browsing the store. There we found a wide array of jams and jellies. There were different kinds of honey, peppers, roasted peanuts, beef jerky, wine & beer and even bath products.
One of our favorite parts of this place is that it’s absolutely littered with selfie spots. When we went over to look at the fried peanuts and jerky, there was a place for us to have our pictures made.
Then over by the peppers, there was a place where we could become a hot couple. We could just stick our faces through the holes and become instant peppers. My wife demurred, but here’s what it looks like.
During season, The Old Time Country Store also serves up some hot food. Options include grilled cheese, hot dogs and some yummy gator chili. Sadly, they were not serving the day we were there.
Out behind the store is a little playground. It’s well stocked with things for the kiddies to enjoy. We saw several families who were attempting to wear out their little ones before getting back on the road.
Out behind the playground we discovered a couple of paths. One led to the U-pick citrus. The other path led to the Monster Trucks. Being a guy, I naturally was drawn to that area. We walked out around and discovered one of these huge machines.
We would have had to walk up onto a second story deck to even get on the machine. Once onboard, we could have taken a ride through pastureland, swamps and native woodlands. All these ecosystems dot this 2,500 acre property.
They told us that during the roughly hour-long ride, we would have had a chance to see alligators, snakes, water buffalo and watusi among other things. Personally, I’m holding out to go back on my birthday with a gang of my closest friends.
There are other areas we did not have a chance to visit. There is a U-pick which features a wide variety of different kinds of citrus groves. As the season progresses from November thru May, we’ll have the opportunity to get varieties of oranges and grapefruit. There’s also lemons, limes and specialty fruits.
We noted a “gem mine” on the property. Purchase a bag of “ore,” then use a real sluice box to go in search of treasures. Among the things to be found are arrowheads, crystals, fossils, emeralds, amethyst, sharks teeth and shells.
Another feature we didn’t have time for was the animal farm. We saw the feed in The Old Time Country Store. Out back there are chickens, goats, pigs, a miniature horse, kangaroo, donkey, and other friendly critters waiting to be fed.
Those who follow us know we like the fun and funky. This qualifies on both counts. And why do we think this is one of the best tourist attractions in Florida? It’s all of the best parts of the state all in one place. And the best part is most of it comes at no additional charge. The Monster Truck tours cost and we’d have to pay for the produce we purchased or picked.
But we were able to park for free and roam around just about at will. Plus, this place is rife with opportunities for photographs and memories that will last a lifetime. It’s all the best parts of real Florida wrapped up in a 2,500 acre package.
In any event, we believe that the Showcase of Citrus is a hidden gem and one of the best tourist attractions in Florida. When you’re in central Florida near Clermont, you owe it to yourself to make it a stop.