FL agritourism

Dooley Groves; Photo by Michael Tedesco

From fair to festivals to family farms, Florida offers a vast array of activities for residents and visitors that spans the entire calendar year. The state’s warm and temperate climate means you can cast aside the big winter coats and spend the seasons enjoying all that Florida agritourism has to offer.

Citrus Picking in the Spring

Dooley Groves is a third-generation family citrus farm established in the 1960s with deep roots in tradition and superior-quality fruit.

Citrus lovers can enjoy the flavor of Dooley Groves through their citrus boxes, where the farm offers everything from temple oranges to honey tangerines. But if you’re in the area, their pick-your-own citrus experience needs to be on your to-do list.

The day after Christmas typically signals the beginning of Honeybell season. A cross between a Darcy tangerine and Duncan grapefruit, a Honeybell is easy to peel, sweet and juicy. Dooley has more than 6,500 Honeybell trees that attract pickers from 100 miles in all directions.

From mid-November through April, Dooley also has U-pick opportunities for Sugar Belles, navel oranges, Christmas tangerines, Tango seedless tangerines, oratanique, honey tangerines, pineapple oranges, Red Rio grapefruit and kumquats.

FL agritourism

Dooley Groves; Photo by Michael D. Tedesco

Dairy Farms in the Summer

A trip to Dakin Dairy Farms is a summer must. The cows at the family farm produce some of the finest milk that visitors can purchase as fluid milk, cream or half-and-half.

Dakin Dairy also provides tours, where visitors can get a firsthand look at how a cow is milked and learn all about the processes of pasteurization, bottling and cheesemaking. Guests can even take a hayride around the property, sample the farm’s chocolate milk and feed the livestock.

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If your stay lingers into the afternoon, you can pick up lunch at their on-site café and enjoy a picnic under the pavilion while the children play on the playground and enjoy a fossil dig.

Corn Mazes in the Fall

With average temperatures in the low 70s, autumn in Florida is the perfect time to wander the corn maze at Conner’s A Maize-Ing Acres.

Conner’s A-Maize-Ing Acres hosts thousands of people each year on their farm, where all-day admission includes an elaborately designed cornfield maze – complete with a wagon ride there and back – tumble bug races, the barnyard alley, build-your-own-scarecrow activities, corn hole, train rides, duck races, life-size Lincoln logs, pedal carts and more. They even have a pumpkin patch and on-site eateries.

“Visitors can expect to enjoy a day out in the country away from the hustle and bustle of the city,” says owner Eddie Conner. They have special events on Saturdays in October. “We have different themes each week such as Hillbilly Olympics, Fall Festival and Celebrate America.”

FL agritourism

iStock/Christopher Robbins

Winery Tours in the Winter

While the rest of the country buttons up their parkas, winter in Florida means ample time to explore local vineyards. With wines made from Florida products like grapes, berries, citrus, honey and even vegetables, there are a number of options to please all palates.

Florida wineries range in style and product offerings – from a storefront that grows berries in nearby fields to a winery that sits next to the vineyard where the grapes are grown – and the diversity showcases the ingenuity of Florida winemakers.

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Depending on the season, guests may walk through the vineyards and learn about pruning or propagating the grapes for upcoming seasons. Either way, the tasting rooms are open all year long – and are sure to please.

For more information about Florida wineries, visit www.freshfromflorida.com/consumer-resources/buy-fresh-fromflorida/wineries-and-vineyards.

FL agritourism

Photo by Michael D. Tedesco

Agritourism Across the State

Florida agritourism destinations are fun stops for the entire family. Check out some places to visit and learn more about the state’s agriculture industry.

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Dooley Groves, Ruskin

This third-generation farm grows a variety of citrus fruits, including Honeybells, navel oranges and more. They allow guests to pick their own fruits throughout the year.

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