• Florida's Adventure Coast

Where to Find Fresh Florida Citrus

 

Fresh From the Grove: Where to pick and buy Florida citrus

Find out where to pick fresh Florida citrus or buy direct from the grove. Experience tasting and smelling Florida’s most famous icon while selecting your favorite fruit to take home.

Florida’s orange is one of the most recognizable symbols of our state. In addition to bright flavorful oranges, Florida has an abundance of ruby red grapefruit, sweet, tangy tangerines, succulent tangelos, lemons and limes. 

As kids growing up in Florida, we remember almost everyone grew citrus in the front or backyards. Traipsing through the neighborhoods, as kids do, we were never without a juicy, healthy snack. 

Now is the time to pick your favorite citrus or visit your local grove. Growers report a challenging year, but there’s still plenty left to fill your bag and enjoy Florida’s iconic fruit. If you want to experience this quintessential authentic Florida activity, we highly recommend visiting a Florida grove store whether you pick your own or not.


The Orange Shop, Citra

Years ago, orange groves and U-pick operations were more abundant. Nowadays, land development, insurance liability, foreign competition, citrus diseases and other agricultural woes have reduced the number of smaller family-owned businesses. But take heart, your citrus dreams can still come true. We have located a few remaining family operations that offer the U-Pick experience. 

Most U-Pick businesses are mom n’ pop outfits. The bonus is that your visit will involve a drive through the countryside, and the air will be fragrant with the scent of orange blossoms. You will feel as if you have been transported to “Florida’s past.”

Often, the orange grove and property double as home to the owners. You may have to ring a bell or greet the family dog to get anyone’s attention. Once the owner greets you, he or she will indicate where to pick, depending on the season and your preferences. Buckets (resembling pickle buckets) will be lined up outside, generally resting on a luggage tote rack, so you can pull it along as you pick. 

After receiving your instructions, you’ll walk up and down tree-lined aisles looking for the best fruit. For the harder-to-reach fruit, a pole with a hook on the end may be provided to make it easier. Just reach and tug. It falls to the ground with a “thump” and you’ll be one or two oranges richer.

Depending on the season and the grower’s selection, there’s plenty to choose from. Usually, from November through April, weather permitting, you’ll find a wide variety. During the holiday season, the navel oranges are your best pick. From November through April you can enjoy tangerines, tangelos and grapefruit. Valencia oranges are plentiful from March through April/May.


Bill Reed of Hilltop Groves picks citrus at his farm

Hilltop Groves, Weirsdale (Ocala)

South of Ocala in Weirsdale the 40-acre Hilltop Groves is owned by fourth-generation Floridian Bill Reed. Open daily, Hilltop Groves offers (in season) Navels, Satsuma, Ruby Red, Valencia Oranges and Tangerines. 

For those who want to u-pick, Bill will give you a bag and direct you to the grove. Fill your bag as you walk down the citrus grove aisles, picking your favorite fruit. Or you can buy direct from Bill Reed’s open air outdoor store. If you ask, Bill may even be willing to show you his old-time citrus packing plant where he cleans and packs the fruit. If he is not there, he leaves instructions with an honor system in place.


Bob Johnson, U-Pick Citrus, Ft. Myers

U-Pick Citrus, Ft. Myers

Owned and operated for over 37 years by Bob and Judy Johnson of Fort Myers, this family-owned U-Pick Citrus farm will delight your authentic funny bone.

Follow the funky road signs and dirt road, and you’ll meet Bob Johnson and Little Bob (his dog). You’ll soon be standing in a makeshift open-air eclectic garage and fruit stand. Bob has creatively decorated the corrugated building with a menagerie of collected road signs and license plates surrounded by rows of beautiful citrus.

Bob instructs visitors to fill a five-gallon bucket of oranges, charging $14 per bucket. Cash only. Customers can also purchase tangerines, grapefruit, lemons and limes individually.

Bob and Judy designate one-third of their proceeds to charity and have an honor system if they aren’t available. Special added note: No pesticides are used by the Johnsons.

Address: 18971 Misty Morning Lane, Estero (Ft. Myers)

Open: December- until the end of April

Hours: Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays 10:30-3:30 pm

Phone: 239.657.4996 – be sure to call first

Email: u.p.citrus@gmail.com

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Showcase of Citrus, Clermont

The Showcase of Citrus, Clermont

Located just 15 minutes from Orlando, try the Showcase of Citrus.  Owner John Arnold’s family has owned Florida citrus and cattle land since 1961. In 1989, John converted 70 acres of the family’s 2,500 acres to U-Pick, with nearly 40 varieties of citrus in addition to other fruit (blackberries, blueberries).

You can pick directly from the citrus grove –  by the pound, 1/4 or 1/2 bushel. 

The Showcase of Citrus also has an Old Tyme Country Store for fresh juice, BBQ, vintage sodas, ice cream and gifts – including an especially good marmalade.

The operation also offers an Eco-tour and Safari shuttling guests through the adjacent ranching operation. From the swamp vehicle, you’ll get an up-high overview of the groves, oak and pine scrub habitat, upland palmetto, cattle and wooded swamps, which serve as the headwaters of the Everglades watershed.

Address: 5010 US Highway 27, Clermont

Open: 7 days a week (when citrus season is over, other fruit will be available)

Hours: 8:00 am – 7:00 pm

Phone: (352)394-4377

Tips for going to a U-Pick Grove

Consider wearing closed shoes and slacks or jeans. Ants are part of Florida’s countryside, so avoid sandals. I recommend wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes from branches and of course, always wear sunscreen.  Have fun, you’re in for a “real” Florida treat.

Purchasing Fresh Citrus from the Grove

If you’re not interested in the U-Pick experience but want to purchase fresh fruit, consider visiting a retail establishment connected to a Florida grove. Most are family owned and operated. Below is a list of businesses and growers offering Florida citrus.

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Picture courtesy of Albritton Fruit Co., Sarasota

Florida Citrus Groves

(Note: See the above map for a grove and supplier near you)

Alex’s Flamingo Groves & Gift Shop, Dania Beach

(954)921-7600

236 North Federal Highway #102, Dania Beach

Albritton Fruit Company, Sarasota 

(941)923-2573

5430 Proctor Road, Sarasota

Al’s Family Farms, Ft. Pierce 

(800)-544-3366  or (772)-460-0556

2001 N. Kings Hwy., Ft. Pierce

Bedner’s Farm Fresh Market, Boynton Beach

(561)733-5490

10066 Lee Road, Boynton Beach

Boyett’s Citrus Attraction, Brooksville 

(352)796-2289

4355 Spring Lake Highway, Brooksville

(see: http://www.authenticflorida.com/articles/where-to-go/a-day-trip-to-florida-s-kitschy-adventure-coast/)

Brown’s Grove, Parrish

(941)776-2710

12255 U.S. 301, Parrish

Cee Bee’s Citrus, Odessa

(866)248-7870

16907 Boy Scout Road, Odessa

The Citrus Place, Terra Ceia (no website)

(941)722-6745

7200 US 19th North, Terra Ceia

Countryside Citrus, Vero Beach  

(772)581-0999

6325 81st Street, Vero Beach

Crisafulli Groves, Merritt Island 

(321)452-8110 

5515 N. Courtenay Parkway, Merritt Island

Davidson Brothers, Daytona Beach

(386)252-7462

248 So. Beach Street, Daytona Beach

Dooley Groves, Ruskin

(813)645-3256

1651 Stephens Road, Ruskin

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Ferris Groves, Floral City 

Ferris Groves, Floral City 

(352)860-0366

7607 So. Florida Ave., Floral City

Hale Groves, Wabasso

(772)581-9915

9250 US Highway 1, Wabasso

Hancock Groves, Dade City

(352)588-3801

31107 Blanton Road, Dade City

Harvey’s Groves, (3 locations) Rockledge, West Melbourne, Cocoa Beach

3700 S. US 1, Rockledge, (321)636-6072

1215 W. New Haven Ave., West Melbourne, (321)952-0994;

3811 N. Atlantic Ave., Cocoa Beach, (321)783-8640; (800)327-9312 

Hilltop Groves, Weirsdale

16661 S.E. Hwy. 42

(352)427-7794

Joshua Citrus, Arcadia

800-749-8219

4135 SE County Rd 760, Arcadia

Maxwell Groves, Avon Park

(863)453-3938

607 E. Circle Street, Avon Park

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Mixon Fruit Farm, Citrus Packaging Area

Mixon Fruit Farm, Bradenton 

(941)748-5829

2525 27th St. East, Bradenton

Neukom Groves, Zephyrhills

(813)782-5596

5409 Gall Blvd., Zephyrhills

Nelson Family Farms, Fort Pierce

(772)464-2100

875 W. Midway Road, Fort Pierce

New River Groves, Davie

(954)581-8630

5660 Griffin Rd., Davie


Wall art, Nokomis Groves, Nokomis

Nokomis Groves, Nokomis

(941)488-5274

111 So. Albee Farm Rd., Nokomis


Many citrus groves allow you to select your fruit

 

Orange Shop, Citra

(800)672-6439

18545 U.S. Highway 301, Citra

Orange Barn, Lady Lake

(352)753-3101

301 U.S. 441, Lady Lake 

Peterson Groves, Vero Beach 

(772)562-6900

3375 66th Ave., Vero Beach

 
Florida orange groves offer citrus tastings, Policicchio Groves

Policicchio Groves, Merritt Island

(321)452-4866

5780 N. Courtenay Parkway, Merritt Island

Poinsettia Groves, Vero Beach

Toll Free 1-800-327-8624Local 772-562-3356

1481 US1, Vero Beach

Ridge Island Groves, Haines City & Clermont

Two locations:

Haines City: (863)422-0333

6000 Polk City Road, Haines City

Clermont: (352)242-1511

320 Highway 27 South, Clermont

Robert is Here, Homestead

19200 SW 344th Street

(305)246-1592

(see: http://www.authenticflorida.com/articles/where-to-go/exploring-the-extraordinary-florida-everglades/)

Soggy Acres, Winter Park 

(407)443-3808

100 Tuskawilla Rd., Winter Park

(soileau.mj@gmail.com, honor system)

South Naples Citrus, Naples

(239)774-3838
 
341 Sabal Palm Rd

Sun Harvest Citrus, Ft. Myers

(239)768-2686

14601 6 Mile Cypress Parkway, Ft. Myers

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Note: This list is not intended to be inclusive of all Florida citrus retail stores. Please email us your favorite citrus outlet to melanie@authenticflorida.com 


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