Lake Life in Winter Haven, Florida

An hour from Orlando, Winter Haven, FL, is home to 50 lakes, luring kayaking and waterskiing enthusiasts. Check out all of the fun and relaxing things to do around the area.

By: Frontdoor Dot Com
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Waterskiing in Winter Haven

Since the 1930s, Winter Haven has grown into a waterskiing mecca. Learn the sport, in all its pulsating variations, like barefoot skiing, at one of the local schools. Then try your luck out on Winter Haven's famous Chain of Lakes, the series of lakes that extends across this stretch of Central Florida. Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

Waterskiing in Winter Haven

Winter Haven is a sportsman's paradise with so many recreational options within easy reach for residents, and many times that fun takes them onto the water. Photo courtesy of Greater Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce

Lakefront Homes in Winter Haven

Most people who live and work in Winter Haven drive by waterfront every day, like Lake Roy lining one of the city's busiest roadways S.R. 540. Others may only have to look out the window of their home or office to see it. The city's landscape helps define Winter Haven's way of life. Photography by Chris Kuhn

Kayaking in Winter Haven

Kayaking is a popular sport in the Chain of Lakes City, and with Winter Haven's UPKEEP program, a public kayak use and educational tour initiative, everyone can get a chance to enjoy the lakes from this unique perspective. Photo courtesy of City of Winter Haven

Ski Shows

Doing their part to keep the rich history of Cypress Gardens alive and well, a group of volunteer water skiers, many of whom were past members of the attraction's popular ski shows, perform for spectators free of charge on a regular basis upon Lake Silver. Photo courtesy of the City of Winter Haven

Paddleboarding in Winter Haven

SUP's up in Winter Haven. Go stand-up paddleboarding on Winter Haven's Chain of Lakes. Local watersports companies offer 2 hours of SUP time, starting at Lake Summit, and passing through a canal into Lake Eloise, one of the larger lakes in Polk County, where Winter Haven is located. Photo courtesy of iStock

Paddleboarding in Winter Haven

The sport of paddleboarding has quickly grown in popularity with participants of all ages and fitness levels taking part. These participants at Paddleboard Winter Haven demonstrate the unique combination of serenity and gentle fitness requirements the easygoing water sport entails. Photo courtesy of Paddleboard Winter Haven

Camp Mack's River Resort

Before heading out on the water, use Camp Mack's River Resort as your headquarters. Located on a quiet stretch of the Kissimmee River, the resort is a great launching point for fishing excursions, with crappies, bluegills, shell crackers and Florida largemouth bass among the prized catches of the day. Photo courtesy of Visit Central Florida

Canals in Winter Haven

The City of Winter Haven is home to more than 50 lakes that either touch city limits or are located within them, with 24 of them connected by a series of canals. Thousands of water enthusiasts travel throughout this chain annually. Photo courtesy of City of Winter Haven

Chain of Lakes

Take a boat ride through Winter Haven's Chain of Lakes -- so named because of its many connecting lakes. In all, this "chain" of 9 lakes spans 6,000 acres, with plenty of lakeside areas available for onboarding; 22 boat ramps, 30 waterfront parks and 14 public docks are available to boaters. Photo courtesy of Visit Central Florida


For a hot, new -- and extreme -- watersport, try your luck at flyboarding. Suit up with a flyboard, an air-powered jet pack that was invented in spring 2011 by watercraft rider Franky Zapata. Local watersports schools should have you flying high in under 10 minutes, following your lesson. Photo courtesy of Visit Central Florida

Seaplane Flight Lessons in Winter Haven

This pilot from Browns Seaplane based at nearby Gilbert Field shows yet another way the Winter Haven community enjoys its wealth in waterways, by giving flight lessons and using the lakes for takeoff and landing practice, seen here on Lake Mariam. Photo courtesy of City of Winter Haven

Bass Fishing Capital of the World

Reel in the catch of a lifetime in the 'Bass Fishing Capital of the World.' Winter Haven is home to dozens of lakes, connected by navigable canals, where largemouth bass, well into the 10-lbs. range, swim. Photo courtesy of Visit Central Florida


Winter Haven is known as the 'Bass Fishing Capital of the World' for a reason. Going out on the lake can be a relaxing experience, and a fun one.

Circle B Bar Reserve

Explore wildlife photo ops just outside of Winter Haven. Circle B Bar Reserve in nearby Lakeland, FL, was named one of the top places in America to see wildlife by USA TODAY. Take in the vastness of the reserve's 1,267 acres, home to wildlife such as bobcats, snakes and alligators, which you can spot in the reserve's Lake Hancock. Photo courtesy of Ricymar Photography, flickr

Airboat Nature Tour

In nearby Lake Wales, FL, take an airboat nature tour. Hop aboard a 6-person airboat, and get ready for a tour through Central Florida's swamps and marshes, home to birds like egrets, cranes and hawks...and some very large alligators. Photo courtesy of iStock

Sunset in Winter Haven

A relaxing sunset awaits you after a day full of water sports, fishing and nature. It's just another typical evening vista in Winter Haven, taking in a sunset over one of Winter Haven's trademark Chain of Lakes with 16 interconnected lakes making up the Southern Chain and eight lakes that comprise the Northern Chain. Discover more about the area with info from Travel Channel. Photo courtesy of Greater Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce