Special Note about Cypress Gardens:
The following information is about the closed Cypress Gardens.
Cypress Gardens LocationWinter Haven, Florida. About halfway between Orlando and Tampa, app. 60 minutes from both cities.
Directions to Cypress Gardens:
From Tampa: I-4E to Polk Pkwy East. Exit State Road 540E, Winter Lake Road. Follow to the end and turn left on Highway 17. Turn right at State Road 540/Cypress Gardens Boulevard. Park is 3 miles on right.
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Cypress Gardens Featured Attractions:
- Extraordinary botanical gardens
- Famous water ski show
Cypress Gardens Splash Island Water Park:
Cypress Gardens Splash Island Water Park Photo Gallery
More Cypress Gardens Info:
Cypress Gardens Coaster and Ride Photo Gallery- Note that Cypress Gardens no longer offers coasters or rides. These photos were taken before the park eliminated them.
Official Web Site:
Cypress Gardens Overview:
The owners of Georgia's Wild Adventures came to the rescue, added the "Adventure Park" tagline, and introduced coasters and other amusement park staples into the mix. However, they declared bankruptcy. New owners eliminated the coasters and rides during the 2008 season.
The gardens themselves are truly stunning. Framed by the majestic cypress trees that line the banks of Lake Eloise, the sprawling and immaculate Botanical Gardens are bursting with color. Surprises loom at every bend in the path: A ring of beautiful, yet faintly ominous, banyan trees provides a canopy of shade; impossibly beautiful, flowing flowerbeds converge at a white gazebo and cascade down a hill. The Topiary Trail features oversized whimsical creatures fashioned from hedges and plants. A butterfly conservatory, which sits at the entrance to the lovely, formal Plantation Gardens, offers a hushed sanctuary.
The food is mostly uninspired, typical park fare. Why not add some vegetable gardens to the grounds, and prepare meals using the freshly picked crops? With its old-Florida heritage, perhaps Cypress Gardens should incorporate citrus into some dishes or at least feature citrus drinks.
Had the wrecking ball leveled Cypress Gardens, it would have been a shame. Now that it's been saved, it merits a visit.