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Plant City

Although it is the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World, Plant City is not named for its agricultural output but for railroad developer Henry Plant. When you’ve eaten your fill of fruits and vegetables at farm gates and country markets, the historic downtown offers a glimpse of this central Florida town’s industrious past.


Place: Plant City, Florida
Month: December
25°C, sunny
Traveller: Lloyd French

Cop This ‘Cue

The line of sheriff’s cars parked alongside Smokin Joe’s BBQ stand on County Road 39 is a sure sign that this is one badass rib joint. Place your order at the window and join the local law on picnic benches during their lunch break. Awesome ‘cue with the boys in blue — er, brown.

10252 S County Rd 39, Lithia



History Lesson

On an unassuming side street downtown, Bing Rooming House, built in 1928, was the first lodging for people of colour in Plant City during segregation. Now a museum, it celebrates the culture and history of the city’s African American community.


Citrus Swirl

Stock up on strawberries, citrus fruit and other fresh produce at Parkesdale Market, one-stop shop for local fruits, veggies, pickles and jams. In season (January to April) the strawberry shortcake is legendary. Year-round the folks line up at the ice cream counter for tangerine swirl soft serve, parfaits, fresh fruit milkshakes and ice cream sundaes, including an awesome banana split.


Safe Keeping

At Tin Roof Trading you’ll find all kinds of unique gifts, antiques, vintage knick-knacks and décor items. Each room in this former bank building –including the strong room – is decorated in funky, rustic style. Coffee and treats are available while you browse.

Bird is the Word

Oh Lordy! Southern fried chicken never tasted so good. Get thee to Maryland Chicken and feed your soul with the juiciest chicken, coated with special spices and seasoning, pressure cooked in pure peanut oil. Potato salad, slaw, baked beans, mash with gravy, okra, mushrooms, hot bread rolls and more on the side. Serving Plant City since 1969.