Beautiful orange groves of Florida on a sunny day. Photo: Jason Patrick Ross/Shutterstock.com
If you’ve ever seen a Florida orange Juice commercial, you’ll know that Florida produces the best oranges and therefore, the best orange juice in the country. Year after year Florida provides America with the most of its orange juice. Freshly squeezed and ripe from the best oranges anywhere in any state in the country.
The Grove House Visitor’s Center at Florida’s Natural offers a unique chance for visitors to see how Florida’s orange juice is made. The Center itself is surrounded by orange groves and has a gift shop with tons of citrus-themed products and souvenirs. There is even a mini movie theatre and a juice bar. It is quite the place to check out if you’re ever in Lake Wales, FL.
Fun fact: Florida’s Natural grapefruit juice was the first premium not-from-concentrate juice on the market. Not-from-concentrate means that no water was added to the juice and the juice has also not been reconstituted (built up again or tampered with) in any way, in case you’re wondering. We’ve always wondered what “not-from-concentrate” on the carton means so we had to do some research!
The Center also has a nice feel to it, inside and out. Just by taking one look at it from the outside, you can see it is not your average visitor’s center. Apart from the pleasing aesthetics of the orange grove that surrounds the property, the Visitor’s Center looks like an old country home, a quaint and inviting little place in the middle of a forest of oranges. You’ll feel right at home and surrounded (and we do mean surrounded) by citrus products once you head inside and see the interior for yourself.
Speaking of the inside of the Center, let’s take a virtual (or written?) tour of the front and back, shall we?
The Gift Shop
First, let’s start with the gift shop itself. It’s the first thing you’ll notice when you walk in through the door. Usually, visits to places end at the gift shop, but this visitor’s center is unique because it is already one big gift shop, to begin with. As we previously mentioned in the second paragraph, the shop has citrus-themed products you may purchase inside. They have vintage citrus crate labels, orange-flavored popcorn, citrus candles (that can be used as lotion). The Center also has lemon, lime, orange and grapefruit ornaments in case you’d like to make a citrus-themed Christmas tree this year, as well as children’s books, jewelry and much more. We recommend purchasing at least one of these items as a way to remember your visit to Central Florida.
The Juice Bar
Secondly, we have on our written/virtual tour the Juice Bar at Florida Natural’s Visitor Center. At the Juice Bar, you may sample a taste of a small batch of fresh citrus juices made from whatever varieties are available when you come to visit. Located near the juice bar is a lot of candy, so plan accordingly in case you already had a large dose of sugar in your system before you try the juices.
Watch the Virtual Tour!
The third and final stop on our written tour is the actual virtual tour at the visitor center. There is a mini movie theater at the Center where you can have a seat and watch a 14-minute video that gives you a brief history of Florida’s Natural, of how the juices make their way from Lake Wales grove to the actual carton. The informative film also lets you learn how Florida’s Natural orange trees are a combination of two trees, how the fruit is selected, squeezed and where it is distributed.
Bonus fun fact: There are no words that rhyme with orange in the dictionary.
There is so much more to do and see at this beautiful visitor’s center. Please visit the Grove House website to learn more about visiting the center and where it is located. You can also find out more about Florida Natural’s history on Florida Natural’s website We hope you enjoy the Center if you ever do go visit it and make sure to drink some of the healthy, fresh-squeezed Florida Natural’s orange juice!!!
Melissa’s career in writing started more than 20 years ago. Today, she lives in South Florida with her husband and two boys.