Come to Plant City for the strawberries, stay for the camping, rivers, mountain biking, and wildlife.
Plant City is a small Central Florida town famous for its annual Florida Strawberry Festival held in March. But with proximity to diverse parks, natural springs, river rapids, and even beaches, there are reasons to visit Plant City year-round. Situated between Tampa Bay and Lakeland, Plant City is characterized by rolling hills, lakes, farms, and oak trees draped in Spanish moss, with numerous ranches offering horseback riding, plus some of Florida’s best mountain biking trails at nearby Alafia River State Park.
Alafia River State Park, about 30 minutes south of Plant City, is a forest and flatwood preserve on a former phosphate mine with hills, climbs, and descents that break from the typical Florida flatlands. That’s why the International Mountain Biking Association built a trail system here, making the park one one of the most popular mountain biking sites in the state. The park campground even has a full-service bike shop with rentals, in addition to fire rings, picnic tables, and water and electric hookups. Hikers and horseback riders can also enjoy the landscape on over 20 miles of trails.
Also 30 minutes from Plant City, Lithia Springs Park is a county-run park where visitors can take a dip in a crystal-clear, 72-degree pool fed by a natural spring. The park has a campground as well as day-use access.
Just north of Plant City lies the Hillsborough River State Park, one of the only places in Florida with Class II river rapids. Kayak rentals are available on-site, as are seven miles of hiking trails and a campground.
Book early if you’re planning a visit that overlaps with the 11-day long Florida Strawberry Festival here in March. Otherwise, Plant City is delightfully uncrowded for the rest of the year. The winter weather in Plant City is mild and pleasant, while summers tend to run hot and humid. Summer campers may be most comfortable in lodging with a fan or AC from June to August. Rain is possible year-round, but the summer season tends to bring heavy afternoon showers.