APA FL's People's Choice Winner: Downtown Winter Haven
One element that all downtowns have in common is that their character will change over the course of time. Downtown Winter Haven, APA Florida's 2019 Great Places in Florida People's Choice Winner, is an example of this phenomenon.
Central Park has served as the heart of the city since 1884 and is the epicenter of the Downtown Winter Haven Historic District (designated in 2002). Initially the location of the city’s first passenger railroad station, the park is now a trailhead for the Chain of Lakes Trail. Occupied restored historic buildings, including the location of the first Publix store, surround the three block park today.
The Winter Haven Public Library anchors the northeast corner of Central Park. The building includes a coffee shop with an independent entrance from the library. This allows the coffee shop to remain open outside of library hours.
This building at 58 4th Street NW was the original location of Publix in 1930. The restored historic space is currently a pub featuring craft cocktails and lize jazz that spills out into the sidewalk.
137 5th Street NW was originally the Lake Region Hotel. Today, it serves as an office building.