Blake Walsh

16 Best Things to Do in Haines City, FL

  • Published 2022/09/07

Located in Florida’s Polk County, Haines City offers fun and exciting outdoor adventures.

Platted in 1885, the city was known as Clay Cut and was renamed Haines after Henry Haines, a senior railroad official and former Confederate States Army colonel.

The city was officially incorporated in 1914.

Its early settlers also planted citrus groves, which became the city’s primary industry.

To this day, citrus growing still greatly contributes to the state’s progressive economy.

Visitors will enjoy plunging into Haines City’s large swimming pools, taking scenic strolls on its gorgeous hiking trails, and basking in nature at the parks.

Over the years, the city has also seen substantial economic growth because of its easy access to Walt Disney World Resort and Orlando, Florida.

Here are the best things to do in Haines City, Florida:

Explore the Beautiful Allen David Broussard Catfish Creek Preserve State Park

Landscape of Allen David Broussard Catfish Creek Preserve State Park

Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Majestic views of sandhill, scrub, and Flatwoods cover the 8,000-acre Allen David Broussard Catfish Creek Preserve State Park.

These stunning landscapes offer visitors a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of the modern metropolis.

The state park’s well-maintained trails will give you access to the native wildlife in the form of bald eagles, Florida scrub lizards, cougars, Florida scrub jays, and more.

You can also enjoy horseback riding in its eight-mile equestrian trails to see some of the city’s most pleasing natural spots.

The park also offers two primitive campsites with a picnic table and a fire ring, which are only available by reservation.

Fishing and geo-seeking are also available in the state park.

Allen David Broussard Catfish Creek Preserve State Park is located on Firetower Road.

Stay at Rodeway Inn & Suites

When it comes to comfort, Rodeway Inn & Suites doesn’t disappoint.

Take a dip into the hotel’s huge indoor pool when the city’s subtropical humidity becomes persistent.

You can also have a picnic at the picnic area with grills, which is great for traveling families.

If tennis is your thing, the tennis courts are waiting for you to ace a serve.

Located on. B Moore Road, Rodeway Inn & Suites is close to famous tourist attractions like the LEGOLAND and Lake Hamilton.

To top it all off, the hotel’s commitment to environmental sustainability makes it even more attractive.

Spend a Fine Sunny Day at Lake Eva Community Park

Located on Ledwith Avenue, Lake Eva Community Park boasts huge open spaces, sweeping lake views, a nice outdoor pool, well-maintained trails, a fishing area, and many more amenities.

The whole family can enjoy the park’s aquatic center, where kids will particularly enjoy splashing around in the water.

Lake Eva Community Park’s grassy lakeside, shade trees, and paved trail are perfect for scenic strolls.

You can also fish at the lake, which is home to sunfish, large-mouth bass, bream, and more.

The park is also known as a host of the famous IRONMAN Florida.

Taste the Delectable Oak-Smoked Barbecue at Sonny’s BBQ

Head to Sonny’s BBQ for authentic smoked-over oak barbecue.

For over 50 years, the restaurant has not changed its style of making barbecue, to which it owes its fame.

With offerings ranging from mouth-watering slow-smoked wings, baby back ribs, pulled chicken, and beef brisket to its delicious desserts, your meals at Sonny’s BBQ will be second to none.

The restaurant’s Signature BBQs are to die for, so be sure not to miss out on those.

Sonny’s BBQ is along Highway 27 and has several other locations in different states.

Find Your Perfect Souvenir at Sisters Junktiques Vintage Market

There’s no better way to find gift items for your loved ones than checking out Sisters Junktiques Vintage Market on Highway 27.

Sisters Judy Brown and Julie Stalnaker opened the shop in 2015, starting with only 22 vendors; it has since expanded and serves Haines City and its neighboring areas.

This eclectic shop offers a vast collection of vintage finds, antique items, home decor, collectibles, and many interesting finds.

It has more than 40 vendors offering plenty of items that you may not be able to find elsewhere.

If you’re buying gifts for your friends and loved ones back home on this trip, Sisters Junktiques Vintage Market is worth a visit.

Play a Round of Golf at Southern Dunes Golf & Country Club

Signage of Southern Dunes Golf and Country Club

Bernard Gagnon, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Southern Dunes Golf & Country Club has consistently ranked as one of America’s best golf courses.

Here, you don’t just get to shoot a hole at its 18-hole golf course; you’ll also enjoy views of the hillside’s lush greens.

Beautiful ornamentals, high grasses, and remarkable bunkers form this award-winning golf course.

Golf course at Southern Dunes Golf and Country Club

Bernard Gagnon, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The golf course has a specialty restaurant with a full-service bar and a menu offering delicious meals.

Southern Dunes Golf & Country Club also hosts special events like weddings, birthdays, and more.

You can find this attraction on Southern Dunes Boulevard.

Ride through the Ridge Scenic Highway

One of the best ways to experience the old country Florida is to ride through the beautiful Ridge Scenic Highway.

If you’re driving from a big city, this route along Highway 17 will provide a lovely change of scenery.

You’ll see citrus groves along the way, and the Bok Tower of Lake Wales is visible from the road.

If you pass by during citrus season, you may be lucky enough to catch a whiff of the orange blossoms’ strong and lovely aroma.

Traversing the Ridge Scenic Highway is a great way to see the old, beautiful Florida countryside!

Grab a Cold Beer or Two at Shady Cove Bar & Grill

A hot day and a cold beer from Shady Cove Bar & Grill make the perfect pairing.

The bar is one of Haines City’s mainstays, where locals come to kick back and relax whenever cold beer beckons.

Besides beers, the bar’s menu offers delicious food items like burgers, hot wings, barbecue pizza, and more.

You’ll also experience sweet Florida vibes at the bar!

Shady Cove Bar & Grill is located on State Road 544.

Play Paintball at RJ Hinson Sports

A paintball center on East Hinson Avenue, RJ Hinson Sports is perfect for an adrenaline-pumping excursion with your travel companions.

Play the game at this sports center and experience why locals and tourists rave so much about it.

If you have kids, they should be at least eight years old and above to be able to play.

RJ Hinson Sports offers different paintball packages for any event, such as team building, graduation parties, corporate parties, bachelor and bachelorette parties, and more.

Watch Live Performances at Haines City Community Theatre

Watching live theater performances is one of the best activities in Haines City.

At Haines City Community Theatre, you’ll witness live theater shows by the city’s great stage actors and actresses.

It was established in 1981, with its first stage play at Haines City High School.

The performing arts theater offers fall, winter, and spring shows in an intimate setting that you’ll surely enjoy with family and friends.

If you want to spend your night watching impressive live performances, this place is a must-visit.

You can find Haines City Community Theatre on Ledwith Avenue.

Buy Beautiful Flowers at Haines City Flowers

Flowers are an expression of love and respect, and if you want to go the extra mile for a loved one, Haines City Flowers is the place to go.

If you’re traveling to the city to celebrate something special, you’ll surely find the perfect bouquet here.

The flower shop offers handcrafted flower arrangements for all kinds of occasions.

Haines City Flowers is located along Highway 17.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Haines City is a haven of fun and exciting adventures in Central Florida, and with only a few minutes’ drive, you can experience more thrills!

Get past the city borders and create more memories.

Experience the Magic at Walt Disney World Resort

Beautiful view of Walt Disney World Resort

Mia2you /

It’s always magical in Walt Disney World Resort.

Celebrate a day at the resort complex and experience how the magic happens just as you see it on TV.

Explore Disney World’s four theme parks, shop at Disney Springs, and watch your favorite Disney characters dance right in front of your eyes.

Entrance to Walt Disney World Resort


It’s a family-fun adventure, especially for kids!

Walt Disney World Resort is located in Orlando, just 20 minutes from Haines City.

Purchase Discounted Travel Tickets at Visit Central Florida Welcome Center

First-time visitors always go to Visit Central Florida Welcome Center for brochures, vacation guides, maps, and the like.

Best of all, it offers plenty of discounted tickets for attractions all over Central Florida.

The center comprises a small playground for kids, porches, a small fish pond, and a gift shop.

Visit Central Florida Welcome Center is located in Davenport on Adventure Court.

It’s only 15 minutes away from Haines City.

Take Your Kids to LEGOLAND Florida Resort

Entrance to LEGOLAND Florida Resort

EQRoy /

Your kids will love LEGOLAND Florida Resort for its Lego-themed park, water park, and full-service entertainment.

It also features carnival rides, a botanical garden, and a new Peppa Pig Theme park that children will surely enjoy.

Display at LEGOLAND Florida Resort

EQRoy /

Merlin Entertainments owns LEGOLAND Florida Resort, which opened in 2011.

It’s conveniently nestled in Winter Haven, only 20 minutes from Haines City.

See the Monument of States

Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Monument of States was born through the efforts of Charles W. Bressler-Pettis, a retired doctor who served during World War I.

Volunteers helped build the monument in 1943.

It was made with rocks from all 50 states as a sign of American unity.

Former President Franklin D. Roosevelt also donated a rock from one of his estates.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Monument of States is one of the most unique and famous tourist spots in Central Florida.

It takes about 30 minutes to drive to Kissimmee on East Monument Avenue from Haines City.

Get a Closer Look at a World War II Fighter Jet at Fantasy of Flight

Display of aircrafts at Fantasy of Flight

Greg Goebel, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Many of the aircraft housed in Fantasy of Flight has been restored from their countless flights.

This includes the Mustang fighter jets that made historic flights during World War II and Korean War.

Triplane at Fantasy of Flight Museum

Greg Goebel, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

You’ll also see other aircraft, including the heavy bomber Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress.

Fantasy of Flight is located in Polk City on Broadway Boulevard Southeast, about 20 minutes from Haines City.

Display at Fantasy of Flight Museum

Greg Goebel, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Final Thoughts

Haines City is a gem in Central Florida, offering almost all kinds of tourist attractions and outdoor adventures.

With all these gorgeous spots, it’s undeniable that the city is worth a visit.

Travel to this beautiful destination and experience the best things to do in Haines City, Florida!

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