Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Clewiston, FL

  • Published 2023/02/24

Are you looking for a weekend adventure with natural beauty, outdoor escapades, and other fun activities?

Known for its sport fishing, breathtaking nature spots, and sugarcane industry, Clewiston, Florida, is an exciting and enchanting place where you can do endless recreational activities.

Clewiston was once a fishing camp of the Seminole tribes on the southwest shore of Lake Okeechobee.

In 1920, John O’Brien and Alonzo Clewis founded the town of Clewiston.

Today, the city’s preserved swamplands and everglades house the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation, where you will discover that Clewiston honors peace and balance as they work with the local Seminole peoples to preserve Florida’s treasured ecosystems.

Countless adventures await you in Clewiston, FL.

Discover the 20 best things to do in town.

Embark on a Wild Adventure at Billie Swamp Safari

Huts at Billie Swamp Safari

pleasecat /

Experience the untamed flora and fauna of the Florida Everglades at this top tourist destination where you can responsibly interact with animals and have exciting and educational outdoor activities!

Within the Big Cypress Indian Reservation at Gator Tail Trail, you can embark on different expeditions.

Try the Everglades Airboat Rides, where you can witness the wondrous Florida ecology such as alligators, birds, turtles, and other animals living in the “River of Grass.”

Don’t miss the award-winning Swamp Buggy Tour.

You splash through swamplands in a custom vehicle with tractor tires and get up-close with exotic animals such as antelopes, bison, rookeries, Florida panthers, black bears, and more!

After finishing your safari trips, meet and interact with the animal residents within the grounds, including tortoises, snakes, otters, alligators, skunks, capybaras, and Liberty the Florida Panther.

Finally, conclude your fun-filled day with your loved ones at the Swamp Water Café and grab some bison burgers and gator tail nuggets!

Immerse in Seminole Culture at the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum

Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki, meaning “a place to learn” in Seminole, is where visitors “learn and remember” the rich culture of the Seminole peoples.

Located within the Big Cypress Indian Reservation at West Boundary Road, this museum is home to 180,000 unique artifacts and archival items preserved in its galleries and exhibition spaces.

You will experience firsthand the traditions of the Seminole tribes as you tour their Seminole village and observe Seminole artisans demonstrate their arts and crafts.

Check out the enthralling scenery of the lush Florida Everglades in their mile-long boardwalk, which winds through a breathtaking 60-acre natural cypress dome.

A trip to this museum will leave you with a greater appreciation of the exciting culture of the Seminole peoples!

Ride the Thunder at Junior Cypress Rodeo Arena

Have you ever ridden a bucking bronco?

Then head to this state-of-the-art rodeo arena located within the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation at Josie Billie Highway, which can accommodate over 3,000 people and 86 horses.

Surrounded by thousands of acres of pristine natural scenery, this arena features rodeos, festivals, tribal activities, music concerts, tractor pulls, and other adrenaline-pumping events!

Bring your kids to learn how to board a horse and rope a bull, and become a worthy rider!

Fall in Love with Fishing with Lake Okeechobee Fishing Guide

Whether you are a fishing enthusiast or a first-time angler, you will experience a new adventure with professional and jolly fishing guides and friendly staff with Lake Okeechobee Fishing Guide.

This charter fishing is led by Captain Mark Shepard, a native of the lake and a top competitor in sport bass fishing.

It will teach you about different baits, navigating the lake, how Florida vegetation affects the fish, and other tips and techniques to improve your fishing skills.

You may also request to fish in the bountiful Florida Everglades and go for a four-hour or a half-day fishing trip.

Head to Ponce De Leon Avenue and begin an exciting fishing journey to the mammoth Lake Okeechobee or the unspoiled Florida Everglades!

Dive into Rich History at Clewiston Museum

Exterior of Clewiston Museum

Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Clewiston Museum is proof of this quote: “The history of Clewiston is as rich as the soil she sets on.”

The museum preserves and imparts the unique and exciting heritage of Clewiston and Hendry County.

You will rediscover the stories of the creatures, the people, and the conquerors that once set foot in these beautiful lands.

Cars parked beside the Clewiston Museum

Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Marvel at the fossils collection of extraordinary creatures that once lived in the Florida glades – such as giant tree sloths, mammoths, and giant land turtles.

Established in 1984, this museum contains artifacts from modern history: from treasures of Spanish conquistadors to medals and uniforms of soldiers during the World Wars.

Finally, the clothing and tools of Native Americans that thrived here and species of fish are displayed here.

The history of this place is just as vast as the Lake Okeechobee.

Explore Lake Okeechobee at Roland and Mary Ann Martin’s Marina and Resort

Nestled along the shores of Lake Okeechobee, Roland Martin’s Marina and Resort is a full-service marina ready to offer quality fishing guides, boat rentals, transient dockage, airboat tours, and many other accommodations and services.

Providing professional services and southern hospitality since 1981, the marina will help you experience the warm weather and serene surroundings and fall in love with the captivating Lake Okeechobee.

Once you are done with your lake voyages, grab something to eat at The Galley Restaurant or enjoy liquor and entertainment at Scotty’s Tiki Bar.

You will surely experience the joy and beauty of boating and fishing here!

Fly at Skydive Spaceland Florida

Time to check an item off your bucket list and have one of the best days ever at Skydive Spaceland, Florida, one of the world’s most important and most progressive skydiving centers!

Head to Airglades Boulevard and let hospitable and qualified instructors in their Skydiving Training Program guide you.

With their guidance, you’ll get a skydiving license in as short as a week!

Hosted by Airglades Airport for over 29 years, the drop zone comprises two square miles of the airport and countless acres of sugar cane fields, so there will be little to no landing obstacles.

Admire the gorgeous Lake Okeechobee and the scenic everglades of Florida as your heart pounds and the wind blasts your face when you make the dive of your life!

You may even bring your friends and family or throw a big skydiving party here at Skydive Spaceland, Florida!

Take a Sweet Side Trip at Sugarland Tours

If you have little idea about the sugar industry in the US, then joining the Sugarland Tours will be an educational and exciting experience for you.

Book a tour at Central Ave and hop aboard the Sugarland Express, a 24-passenger bus that will take you back to the history of Clewiston, Lake Okeechobee, and Florida’s sugar industry.

This three-and-a-half-hour historical and agricultural tour will give you a fun and hands-on experience as you chop and chew sugar cane on a sugar cane farm and learn about farming techniques.

You will also journey to the Clewiston sugar mill, the sugar refinery, and the citrus-juice plant.

Check out the processes done in these state-of-the-art facilities.

Have a sweet and fun field day as you learn and watch harvesters and tractors do their thing!

Seek Everglade Adventures at Dinner Island Ranch Wildlife Management Area

Daytime view of Dinner Island Ranch

Shackleford Photography /

If you want to experience a camping adventure among the abundant wildlife of the Florida Everglades, then head to Dinner Island Ranch.

This 21.7-acre wildlife management area and ranch have 20 primitive campsites that can accommodate tents, campers, or RVs, best accessed during the dry season.

In this well-maintained nature spot, you can do many outdoor activities as you admire the beauty of your surroundings.

Open field of Dinner Island Ranch

William Silver /

Explore hardwood hammocks, prairie and pine Flatwoods, freshwater marshes, cypress dome swamps, and pasture.

Hike, bike, or take a scenic drive among endemic wildlife such as the Florida panther, Florida bobcat, the American alligator, and white-tailed deer.

This place is a birdwatching oasis where you can observe countless birds such as burrowing owls, sandhill cranes, snail kites, wood storks, loggerhead shrikes, and many more.

This hidden gem is undoubtedly a dream for campers, photographers, and nature lovers!

A butterfly at Dinner Island Ranch

Barry and Carole Bowden /

Enjoy Downtime at Civic Park

If you are looking to have an excellent relaxing time with your loved ones or with yourself, then this urban park in downtown is a great spot.

Located within the area of the historic Clewiston Inn, this park lets you stroll, sit with the majestic greenery, play with your kids, have a picnic, or join occasional events here.

Marvel at the beautiful statues and plaques that commemorate military men and the Civic Park Gazebo, which Clewiston built in 1987 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Hendry County.

Take a break from all your touristy activities here at Civic Park!

Camp in the Breathtaking Wilderness at Big Cypress RV Resort and Campground

Are you missing the wildness and refreshing atmosphere of the outdoors?

Then head to Josie Billie Highway at Big Cypress RV Resort and Campground, where you can enjoy many outdoor amenities.

Whether you like to camp outside, chill inside an RV, or relax in an air-conditioned cabin, this campground owned and operated by the Seminole Tribe of Florida will be an exciting place to stay.

Here you can find a heated outdoor pool, grill and picnic areas, a miniature golf course, a bocce ball court, a community clubhouse, and many more!

Conveniently located near the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum, Junior Cypress Rodeo, and Billie Swamp Safari, this 2,200-acre campground offers visitors the untouched paradise of Florida Everglades.

Let Your Spirits Soar at the Florida Ridge Airsports Park

Have you experienced the liberating feeling of soaring to the sky with hang gliding?

At The Florida Ridge Airsports Park, you have access to professional and comprehensive training programs to establish or improve your flying skills, whether you’re new to hang gliding or an expert.

Located at East State Road, this 60-acre open field with unrestricted airspace allows every pilot to test their soaring skills and indulge in their love of free flight.

Take a tandem flight package with an instructor where you can pick your desired altitude and then fly like a bird with their safe, versatile, and modern hang gliders.

You may also opt to have your gliding adventure documented in an HD video!

Feel the Thrill of the Hunt at Everglades Adventures

Whether you want to hunt like a lone wolf or take a hunting party to catch your prey, Everglades Adventures offers hunting safaris for Osceola turkeys, wild boars, waterfowls, whitetail deer, mourning doves, and even alligators!

Captain Mark Clemons, a native of South Florida, established this hunting service in 1989.

He has hunted here for over 30 years.

Everglades Adventures offers an authentic and fair chase hunting experience where hunters are not given a “guaranteed kill.”

Operating in over 75,000 acres of private ranches, wetlands, and public lakes in South Florida, they currently handle over a thousand hunters yearly.

Depending on the game you want to hunt, this safari place in Obern Road offers different packages, whether half or a whole day of hunting, including lunch and drinks.

Their hands-on and helpful staff will also assist you with bringing your hunt home.

Go Golfing at Clewiston Golf Course

Are you an avid golfer or an aspiring one?

Head to San Luis Ave, and stop by this beautiful historic 18-hole golf course which is an excellent place to tee off, drive around in a golf cart, sign up for lessons, or teach your kids how to golf.

Opened in 1930, this classic golf course will give you the pleasure of challenging play among the beautiful scenery of regal palm trees and the elegantly manicured landscape that golfers experienced in the 1930s.

Now with a handful of amenities and services such as a pro shop, driving range, golf cart rentals, and many more, this place will show you a good time.

Watch Cool Cars Race at Hendry County Motorsports Park

This park opened in 1977 and has gone by many names, such as Clewiston Speedway and Sugarland Raceway Park.

Here you can watch several classes of stock cars and modified race cars compete in thrilling races.

On this ¼ mile oval dirt track, you may watch weekly and special racing events with ticket prices differing depending on your age; kids five and below can enter for free.

Spectators will enjoy year-round racing events, including car bowling, demolition derbies, street class, enduro class racing, and more.

Feel the thrill of watching fantastic racers speed their way to victory!

Go on a Ride at the Sugar Express

The train of Sugar Express

Sanibel sun, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

One of Clewiston’s unusual attractions is the historic Sugar Express train.

This 4-6-2 type steam engine train served the community in 1920—its year of establishment.

It took passengers and freight trains, as well as being the massive transporter of sugarcane goods, during its time.

After countless ownership changes and donations, the train officially started taking on its tourist line service in 2020.

This was also the train’s 100th anniversary.

Now, the train opens its doors for tourists and those interested in the history of Clewiston and the US Sugar at certain seasons.

Feel like you’re back in history as you ride on board Sugar Express on West C Owen Ave.

Start an Adventurous Hike along Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail

Walkway of Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail

Felix Mizioznikov /

Your nature exploration in Clewiston is never complete without a stop at Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail.

This trail runs along Herbert Hoover Dike and spans over 100 miles.

It offers open-view vistas of Lake Okeechobee along its route.

With more than half of the trail paved for bikers and pedestrians, it is a fairly moderate hike.

Along the way, you might even find sugar cane fields and orange tree-filled forests.

Its vast variety of wildlife also makes the site an ideal spot for some wildlife spotting and birdwatching.

Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail has several access points, including one at Ridgelawn Road and Hoover Dike Road.

Attend the Clewiston Sugar Festival and Watch a Car Show

The Clewiston Sugar Festival is one of the most famous festivals in the city.

Its origins go way back to the 30s.

It’s a celebration of a successful harvest and continues the legacy of the United State Sugar Corporation’s end-of-harvest festivities.

Part of the festival’s attractions includes an antique tractor display, a car show, and a gator show.

There will also be performances from world-class acts, including bands, artists, and taekwondo showcases.

The Clewiston Sugar Festival happens every March, so set your calendars ready.

Celebrate with the community on Royal Palm Avenue.

Gather the Whole Family for a Grand Time at Hendry County Fair and Livestock Show Inc.

If you’re up for a bit of family fun with lots of entertainment, Hendry County Fair and Livestock Show Inc. is your best bet.

This annual event includes tractor displays, circus performances, and family game shows.

There’s also a pageant that you can watch.

For the little ones, there’s a magic show and stunning fair displays in its Home Exhibit Tour.

Celebrated every February, it offers free admission, so what are you waiting for?

Hendry County Fair and Livestock Show Inc. is on South Francisco Street.

Spot Native Birds at W.C. Bo Pelham Park

W.C. Bo Pelham Park promises an exciting time outdoors.

This park sits at about 2.71 acres with a wide range of recreational opportunities for everyone of all ages.

Among its amenities include a play area for the kids, picnic tables for your group and family gatherings, and an exercise trail for stretching your muscles.

The park is also popular for its Purple Martin boxes for spotting and studying these frequent bird visitors.

W.C. Bo Pelham Park is on Evercane Road.

Final Thoughts

Southern Florida is rich in culture and pristine wilderness, which provide the best conditions for recreational opportunities and adventurous experiences.

Visiting the charming town of Clewiston will give you access to all of these attractions, so book your trip now!

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