Florida Natural Visitor Center

Florida Natural Visitor Center

Nestled in the orange groves of Lake Wales, Florida lies Florida Natural’s visitor center. I first became aware of Flordia Natural’s visitor center when my family moved to Florida for my husband’s new job at a local Florida Railroad. Florida Natural cooks the leftover peel and pulp and turns it into animal food which is shipped via my husband’s Railroad. Organized in 1933, Florida Natural is one of the largest cooperatives of citrus growers. Across the street from the visitor center is the Florida natural juice plant where the actual orange juice process takes place. Even though visitors cannot tour the plant,  a video is shown in their theater detailing the history of the citrus growers cooperative and the process of juice making from the farm to the table, including footage from the juice plant. In a world of imports, it is reassuring to have a product that is grown, made and distributed in our own state. The visitor center also boasts a  modest museum which describes the process  more in depth. Videos, pictures and hands on displays provide a look into Florida’s citrus history and the making of orange juice. I enjoyed learning about the orange juice process, however the highlight for me was the gift shop and free samples. The fresh orange, grapefruit and orange juice blends were refreshing after seeing and watching so many oranges. The gift shop sells Florida products and everything orange related, from beauty products, jewelry, accessories, books, office products, cleaning products, edible products, gift baskets, house wares and decor to actual orange juice. It is a great place to pick up a souvenir or gift for a friend or out of town relative. At the visitor center you can expect to spend approximately 1/2 an hour to an hour, it is a nice add on trip to Lake Wales if you are visiting one of the nearby attractions like Legoland or Bok Tower Gardens. If a visit to Lake Wales isn’t in your plans, be sure to check out their website to learn more about their company, orange juice, and to shop for some unique and fun products. http://www.floridasnatural.com/

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