Strawberry Fields Forever: A Very Berry Guide to Florida

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When it comes to strawberries, Florida is a berry lover’s paradise. Home to Plant City, the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World, the Sunshine State offers ample opportunities to indulge in this ruby red fruit. Of course, strawberry season isn’t confined to just one city. Check out this guide for all things strawberry in Florida, from berry picking to festivals and crave-worthy desserts.

Best Berry Picking

The family-owned Three Son Farms in Dover is open daily, inviting visitors to explore the wildflower-covered fields and pick fresh produce. Under the covered farm stand, check out homemade goodies like raw honey, jam, pickles, and baked goods. There’s ample parking on the property and plenty of seating for guests who want to indulge in treats like the strawberry shortcake milkshake or strawberry pizza (don’t knock it until you’ve tried it). 

A mother and daughter strawberry picking in the fields.

In Thonotosassa, Strawberry Organic Passion Farms invites you to bask in the sweetness of nature by picking your own strawberries and browsing the seasonal selection of organic fruits and veggies. Whether you’re seeking a delightful u-pick experience or stocking up on produce for an authentic farm-to-table meal, this is some of the freshest produce you can find. Browse the farm’s social media to find out when their next u-pick day takes place, or stop by the market stand, which is open daily.

Come find out why Pappy’s Patch is a family favorite in the rural town of Oviedo. Located less than a thirty-minute drive from Orlando, this family-run gem offers daily strawberry-picking opportunities that allow you to stroll through endless rows of ripe, juicy berries and fill up by the pound. The farm is open to the public daily (until they’re all picked out for the day) between December and April, weather permitting. While in town, visit the historic downtown area to see the famous chickens that roam freely throughout.

Berry-Themed Festivals

Every spring, visitors come to Plant City from far and wide to embrace the best of the season at the famous Florida Strawberry Festival. As the largest strawberry festival in the state, the eleven-day extravaganza features live entertainment, thrilling rides, contests, and tons of strawberry-themed treats. Soar high above the festival on the Ferris wheel, rock out to the tunes of live music acts and check out the vendor tents for handcrafted jewelry, clothing and home goods. Feeling competitive? Enter one (or all) of the eating competitions where you’ll race to finish strawberry shortcake, strawberry spaghetti, or strawberry mashed potato pie before your opponents. 

The Florida Strawberry Festival. Photo Credit: Marc Barrison.

Hosted by Habitat for Humanity of Marion County, the one-day Ocala Strawberry Festival is a great way to enjoy family-friendly fun while giving back to those in need. Explore over 230 unique local vendor tents featuring hand-made candles and baskets. Jam out to live performances by local artists. Bring your little ones to the kid’s petting zoo, and of course, chow down on all the strawberry-themed foods you can eat (yay, strawberry turnovers). Be sure to stop by the pie-eating contest. And don’t leave without checking out the epic car show!

Bring on the fun at the Clay County Strawberry Festival in Green Cove Springs, a strawberry-themed wonderland with everything from berry-shaped bounce houses to interactive crafts and educational exhibits on farm life. Enjoy sweet treats like cotton candy and strawberry shortcake, catch the frisbee dog show, and make furry friends at the petting farm. There’s no shortage of free entertainment here, from sack races and train rides to live music and hula hoop contests. 

Every year, the Bradford County Strawberry Festival transforms the charming town of Starke into a berry-inspired playground. Dig into delicious treats like strawberry shortcake. Purchase fresh strawberries by the flat. Check out the stalls selling artisan-made crafts (have you ever seen a strawberry-shaped mailbox?), jewelry, and glass-blown baubles. There’s even a circus, blacksmith demonstrations and carnival rides for the kids!

Dig into Strawberry Treats

If you’re looking for the best strawberry shortcake in the state, head to Plant City’s historic Parkesdale Farm Market. Visitors come from all over the world to get their hands on the dessert, which features berries served fresh from the fields. After indulging in a shortcake or strawberry milkshake (or both), explore the plant nursery and gift shop for gourmet jellies and jams, seasonings, and fresh produce. 

When it comes to pie, Yoder’s Restaurant & Amish Village in Sarasota brings up the flavor. Known for its award-winning desserts, this restaurant has become one of Florida’s top spots for pie and good ‘ole Amish comfort food.  Try the freshly made strawberry cream pie or strawberry rhubarb pie. And be sure to stop by the Amish gift shop for souvenirs like candles, jewelry, artwork, and baked goods.

For over fifty years, Charlie’s Bakery & Creamery has served up delectable desserts to the Orlando area, from cookies and cakes to pies, pastries, and ice cream. In 2023, the bakery won the Conecon Award for having the best strawberry ice cream in the USA. Get it in a cone, bowl or a banana split!

Having The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar at Orlando’s Universal CityWalk in a strawberry guide may seem odd, but don’t let the name fool you. This joint has an incredible Strawberry Fig cocktail. The refreshing beverage is made with St. Augustine vodka, fresh lime juice, agave syrup, and jam made with figs and strawberries. Served over the rocks, this drink is the perfect way to toast Florida’s strawberry season!

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