Clewiston is a small town in Hendry County about 80 miles (128 km) northwest of Fort Lauderdale and 60 miles (96 km) east of Fort Myers, smack dab in the middle of the state. You probably have never heard of this hidden gem unless you are from Florida. Because of the proximity to Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades, the land was initially used as a fishing and hunting camp by the Native American Seminole Tribe. Many of these wildlife areas are still preserved to this day.
Clewiston was incorporated as a city in 1925, which later brought on large sugar plantations. Clewiston was named “America’s Sweetest Town,” due to the abundance of sugarcane crops and the Sugar Festival. Today, Clewiston is a charming town that is perfect for raising a family. Although Clewiston is a quiet, modest town, there are still plenty of activities to participate in should you find yourself on vacation. Here are the top 20 things to do in Clewiston and a quick guide to America’s Sweetest Town.
- Clewiston, Fl
- 20 Things To Do In Clewiston, Florida
- 1- Take A Tour Of The Swamp At Billie Swamp Safari
- 2- Celebrate The Traditions Of The Seminole Tribe At Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum
- 3- Spread Your Wings And Fly At The Florida Ridge Air Sports Park
- 4- Have A Picnic At Civic Park
- 5- Sing Karaoke At Brenda’s Place
- 6- Take A Peek Into The Sugar Industry At Sugarland Tours
- 7- Get An In-Depth Look At The Development Of Clewiston
- 8- Go Bird Watching At Devil’s Garden Bird Park
- 9- Take A Ride On The Sugar Express
- 10- Rent A Boat From Jolly Rogers Marina
- 11- Explore Big Cypress Reservation
- 12- Ride Your Bike Through Dinner Island Ranch Wildlife Management Area
- 13- Play A Few Rounds At The Clewiston Golf Course
- 14- Park Your Recreational Vehicle At Okeechobee Landings RV Resort
- 15- Experience It All At Roland Martin Marina & Resort
- 16- Take In The Excitement At Hendry County Fair & Livestock
- 17- Get A Taste Of Florida At Clewiston Banana Farm
- 18- Book A Fishing Charter
- 19- See The Wonders Of The Everglades
- 20- Grab A Quick Bite At Main Street Subs and Pizza
- 20 Things To Do In Clewiston, Florida
20 Things To Do In Clewiston, Florida
Clewiston is in the middle of the Sunshine State and has been named a National Historic Site.
Between fishing in one of the largest freshwater lakes in the state to touring the remains of sugar plantations and connecting with the history of Florida, this small town has something for everyone.
1- Take A Tour Of The Swamp At Billie Swamp Safari
Billie Swamp Safari is one of the area’s top Everglade exploration parks in the state. Billie Swap Safari gives visitors a closer look at the plant and animal life species of the Florida Everglades through shows, tours, and exhibits.
The park offers a Swamp Buggy Eco-Tour, a Snake Show, and Everglades Airboat Rides.
A Swamp Safari Day Package is $50 per adult, including an airboat ride, a swamp buggy tour, a swamp critter and snake show.
You can easily spend a whole day having safari fun, so arrive early to experience everything Billie Swamp Safari has to offer.
Billie Swamp Safari is at 30000 Gator Tail Trail, Clewiston, FL 33440.
2- Celebrate The Traditions Of The Seminole Tribe At Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum
This one-of-a-kind museum is owned by the Seminole Tribe and is dedicated to preserving and teaching visitors about Seminole culture.
In the Seminole language, “Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki” means a place to learn and remember.
Visiting the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum is a fantastic way to experience the rich history of Florida through over 200,000 unique artifacts connected to one of Florida’s most notable Native American tribes.
The museum also offers special events such as The Earth Day Event, American Indian Arts Celebration, and Home Is Where The Heart Is, depending on the time you visit.
Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm and has a campus library open to members of the Seminole community.
Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum is at 30290 Josie Billie Hwy PMB 1003, Clewiston, FL 33440.
3- Spread Your Wings And Fly At The Florida Ridge Air Sports Park
This incredible air sports park is on 50 acres (20 ha) of land and offers some of the best unrestricted air space in the state.
“The Ridge,” as it is nicknamed, gives pilots of all abilities an unlimited opportunity to test their soaring skills and fly freely.
You can also take flight in tandem style in a hang glider, which lets you sail through the sky like a bird at up to 3,500 ft (1,066 m) in the air.
This park is also a United States Hang Gliding Association-certified school, so if you are an avid hang glider who wants to increase your skill, this is the perfect place to get schooled.
Visiting the Florida Ridge Air Sports Park is an experience you won’t forget.
The Florida Ridge Airsports Park is at 12671 East, FL-80, Clewiston, FL 33440.
4- Have A Picnic At Civic Park
Civic Park is filled with statues and plaques paying tribute to the men and women of the armed forces and is the site for Clewiston’s Veterans Day celebrations.
Other fun events include a City Market held the second Saturday of the month from November through April, Sugar Festival Arts and Crafts, and Concerts in the Park.
In addition to the sentimental historic monuments, Civic Park is also lined with amenities such as walkways, a playground, picnic tables, benches and a gazebo.
If you’re looking to spend an afternoon taking in the natural beauty of Florida, Civic Park is the perfect place to do so.
Civic Park is at 106 W Osceola Ave, Clewiston, FL 33440.
5- Sing Karaoke At Brenda’s Place
Brenda’s Place is a staple for locals of Clewiston and one of the area’s best nightlife options.
This charming, small-town bar resides in a building that used to be a bank. They even keep the backstock of liquor in what used to be the bank’s safe.
Brenda’s Place has a pool table, delicious drinks, sports on TV, and karaoke on Wednesday nights.
It’s a typical good-time bar with friendly faces and great service.
They do not serve food, but there are plenty of places to grab a bite nearby and bring it into the establishment if you’re feeling more hungry than thirsty.
Brenda’s Place is at 107 N Francisco St, Clewiston, FL 33440.
6- Take A Peek Into The Sugar Industry At Sugarland Tours
Touring the sugar facilities is something you have to see to believe.
Sugarland Tours guides take you through an in-depth look at the United States sugar industry as you watch tractors plough around the plantation hard at work.
This interesting experience lasts upwards of four hours and takes you through the planting, harvesting and production process.
Tour guides are exceptionally knowledgeable about the entire process and happy to answer any questions.
These tours can be booked through the Chamber of Commerce, costing $38 per person.
Sugarland Tours is at 109 Central Ave, Clewiston, FL 33440.
7- Get An In-Depth Look At The Development Of Clewiston
Shared in a building with the Chamber of Commerce is the Clewiston Museum.
Established in 1984, the museum serves as a place for visitors to discover the unique history surrounding this interesting area of Florida.
Exhibits in the museum include fossil collections, Spanish treasures, WWII artifacts, fish of Lake Okeechobee, and Native American stories.
The Clewiston Museum also offers a unique “Pickers Corner” for guests to take a piece of history home.
Antiques and vintage items from the museum’s archives are available for purchase as there is not enough display space for these unique treasures.
The museum is open Monday through Friday from 9 am to 4 pm, and adult tickets start at $10.
The Clewiston Museum is at 109 Central Ave, Clewiston, FL 33440.
8- Go Bird Watching At Devil’s Garden Bird Park
Devil’s Garden Bird Park is a national wildlife park just north of the Big Cypress Reservation.
This beautiful park spans over 7,000 acres (2,832 ha) and is home to over 100 species of native birds.
Because of Florida’s abundance of unique birds, bird watching is popular among locals who enjoy observing and identifying different species of birds using binoculars or a telescope.
Devil’s Garden Bird Park is at 33024 Co Rd 833, Clewiston, FL 33440.
9- Take A Ride On The Sugar Express
U.S. Sugar, a sugarcane farming company based in Clewiston, is the only sugarcane farm in the continental United States that transports all of its cane to a sugar factory by railroad.
After years of service, Engine No. 148 was restored by U.S. Sugar employees to share with the public and provide an in-depth look at the sugar industry.
The Sugar Express season usually runs from November to June, providing quick day trips or all-day excursions in and around the Lake Okeechobee region.
Depending on when you’re visiting, you can even book special event rides centered around the holidays but book your tour in advance to secure your space.
The Sugar Express is at 900 W C Owen Ave, Clewiston, FL 33440.
10- Rent A Boat From Jolly Rogers Marina
Lake Okeechobee has been world-renowned for some of the world’s best bass, blue gill and speck fishing.
If you visit Clewiston, you should consider hitting the open water to see what will be at the end of your line.
Jolly Rogers Marina is right off the main street in town and accessible by the lake.
They provide a full-service marina, bait and tackle shop, boat rentals, and fishing guide services to give you intel on the perfect spot to catch a trophy bass.
Jolly Rogers Marina is at 1095 US Hwy 27, Clewiston, FL 33440.
11- Explore Big Cypress Reservation
Big Cypress Reservation has enough excitement to keep you occupied for a weekend.
This Seminole-owned nature preserve is home to activities such as roadside craft shops, a rodeo arena, a wildlife park, airboat tours, cafes, nature boardwalks and Native Villages.
There is also a Big Cypress RV Resort & Campground, so you can truly stay the whole weekend without leaving.
Big Cypress Reservation is at 30290 Josie Billie Hwy, Clewiston, FL 33440.
12- Ride Your Bike Through Dinner Island Ranch Wildlife Management Area
Just north of the Big Cypress Reservation is the Dinner Island Ranch Wildlife Management Area.
This nature preserve is a great way to connect with nature and native wildlife in the area.
The preserve has a primitive campsite, trails, and animals, such as deer and alligators.
Dinner Island Ranch Wildlife Management Area is at 2 s0105, Co Rd 833, Clewiston, FL 33440.
13- Play A Few Rounds At The Clewiston Golf Course
The Clewiston Golf Course is a beautiful, 18-hole championship golf course open to the public.
The course is along Lake Okeechobee and offers beautiful views and challenging obstacles to keep the game interesting.
If you’re not a pro golfer, sign up for lessons with their resident PGA Professional.
The Clewiston Golf Course is at 1201 San Luiz Ave, Clewiston, FL 33440.
14- Park Your Recreational Vehicle At Okeechobee Landings RV Resort
If you want to soak in Florida’s beautiful weather and surroundings, there’s no better way to travel than in an RV.
Okeechobee Landings RV Resort provides a peaceful and safe place to park your RV while you adventure through Clewiston and has fun amenities that will keep the good times going.
Their campground has bathhouses, a clubhouse, a solar-heated swimming pool, laundry facilities, and a 7-acre (2.8 ha) lake.
Okeechobee Landings RV Resort is at 420 Holiday Blvd, Clewiston, FL 33440.
15- Experience It All At Roland Martin Marina & Resort
Roland Martin Marina & Resort is a way to experience just about everything Clewiston has to offer in one convenient location.
Whether you need a hotel room or bring your own place to sleep in an RV, this resort has you covered.
You will find restaurants, boat rentals, fishing guides and a swimming pool on the family-owned resort.
Roland Martin Marina & Resort is at 920 E Del Monte Ave, Clewiston, FL 33440.
16- Take In The Excitement At Hendry County Fair & Livestock
Each February, Hendry County has a week-long celebration with rides, events and competitions.
This county fair has been a tradition for over 70 years.
If you are visiting Clewiston during this time, plan a night to attend the fair and buy tickets in advance.
Some of the most popular events are pageants and livestock sales.
Hendry County Fair & Livestock is at 710 S Francisco St, Clewiston, FL 33440.
17- Get A Taste Of Florida At Clewiston Banana Farm
Trying the local delicacies of a location is a great way to get in touch with the culture.
You may have heard that fruit grown in Florida is some of the most delicious.
It’s true, as Florida’s unique climate and growing conditions produce fruit like no other region.
Getting the chance to taste organic fruits such as bananas, coconuts and papayas is an experience you won’t forget.
Clewiston Banana Farm is a small, family-owned grocery store that sells a variety of natural, organic fruits.
Clewiston Banana Farm is at 1550 Old U.S. Hwy 27, Clewiston, FL 33440.
18- Book A Fishing Charter
Mark King is one of the most sought-after Lake Okeechobee fishing guides.
Based out of Roland Martin Marina & Resort, he is truly dedicated to providing his clients with the best experience when it comes to putting them in the busiest fishing waters to get the perfect catch.
Mark King offers personalized trips, planning your fishing itinerary, and airboat tours so book early as slots fill quickly.
To prepare before your visit, listen to Mark King’s fishing report on 99.3FM Reel Talk Radio.
His rates start at $350 for a half day of fishing and $550 for a full day of fun.
Mark King Bass Fishing Guide is at 339 Holiday Blvd, Clewiston, FL 33440.
19- See The Wonders Of The Everglades
The Everglades and Francis S. Taylor Wildlife Management Area spans over three counties in Florida, including Hendry County.
For hundreds of years, this preserved area has provided visitors with fun activities such as hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing, and miles of trails for hiking and biking.
The Everglades is a unique ecosystem open year-round to the public.
Everglades and Francis S. Taylor Wildlife Management Area is at US Hwy 27, Tamarac, FL 33321.
20- Grab A Quick Bite At Main Street Subs and Pizza
After a long day of taking in all that Clewiston has to offer, why not eat as the locals do?
Main Street Subs and Pizza is highly regarded not only for its exceptionally friendly customer service but also serving up super fresh, heavily portioned delicious sandwiches, soups, salads and pizzas.
The dining room at Main Street is a little small, so most people get their meals to go.
Main Street Subs and Pizza is at 344 E Sugarland Hwy, Clewiston, FL 33440.
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