By  Mike Miller  Updated May 31, 2023

Bowling Green, Florida Things To Do, Lodging, Dining, & Real Estate At End Of Article

Bowling Green, Florida is in Hardee County and has a population of about 3,000. 

It is on US-17 between Fort Meade and Wauchula and about 55 miles east of the Bradenton - Sarasota area.

Old Hotel in Bowling Green, FloridaFormer Green Hotel in Bowling Green, Florida
Ebyabe, CC BY-SA 2.5 httpscreativecommons.orglicensesby-sa2.5, via Wikimedia Commons


One of the first settlers in the area was A. M. Chester, who was originally from Bowling Green, Kentucky and moved to this part of Florida in 1883. 

He homesteaded in the area and gave 40 acres to the Florida Southern Railroad, which came to town in 1886.

The local people planted citrus groves after the Great Freeze of 1894-1895 and the town became an important center for serving the large citrus industry that grew up in the area.

Bowling Green, 1925 - Florida MemoryBowling Green, 1925 - Florida Memory

Farming and cattle ranching also became major factors in the life of Bowling Green.

Phosphate mining was also an important economic driver in the county. You can see a lot of reclaimed phosphate mining areas surrounding the town.

The Florida real estate boom of the 1920s also touched Bowling Green. 

The Green Hotel was built in 1925 and is still standing but no longer used as a hotel.


Bowling Green is a quiet unpretentious community with most of its businesses located on US-17, known as Oak Avenue here. 

It is not a fancy upscale town with abundant shopping and dining, but has a typical small country town feeling with a large working class population.  

Bowling Green, Florida Post OfficeBowling Green, Florida Post Office

Some of the businesses are typical of many small Florida towns. 

There is a Dollar General, a pharmacy, various retailers and a couple of restaurants.

Historic Railroad Depot, Bowling Green, FloridaHistoric Railroad Depot, Bowling Green, Florida

The city has a City Hall for administration, animal control, and a police department. 

Bowling Green has more parks than most towns of this size. 

They have three major parks:  Centanino Park, Harrinton-Liston Community Park, and Pyatt Park.

Bowling Green, Florida City HallBowling Green, Florida City Hall

The parks have basketball courts, baseball fields, and picnic pavilions, and are open from dawn to dusk.  They also have a tennis court.

Paynes Creek State Park is nearby, along with Hardee Lakes Park and Pioneer Park.

Home in Bowling Green, FloridaHome in Bowling Green, Florida

The residential areas are a nice mix of Old Florida style homes and more modern versions. 

There are abundant trees and plenty of vacant land between the homes.

Pioneer Home in Bowling GreenPioneer Home in Bowling Green

Bowling Green has schools, churches, and at least two nice RV parks on the outskirts of town.


Hardee Lakes Park
5503 Ollie Roberts Rd, Bowling Green, FL 33834. (863) 767-1100 

Start your exploration at Hardee Lakes Park, a tranquil oasis for nature enthusiasts. Our favorite spot? The scenic hiking, bike or horse trails that wind through lush landscapes, offering glimpses of diverse bird species and native wildlife.

Bring a picnic, cast a line at the fishing spots, or simply bask in the serenity of this hidden gem. The park offers camping hook-ups at great prices, making it an ideal spot for a weekend getaway.   

Paynes Creek Historic State Park 
888 Lake Branch Road, Bowling Green, FL 33834. (863) 375-4717 

Step back in time to Paynes Creek Historic State Park, where history comes alive. Stroll through the park's historical structures, including a sugar mill and a reconstructed fort, as you immerse yourself in the fascinating tales of Florida's past.

The park's picturesque surroundings make it a perfect spot for a leisurely afternoon walk or a family picnic. Picnic tables are available. There is a playground. Dogs are allowed. 

Streamsong Resort
1000 Streamsong Drive, Bowling Green, FL 33834. (888) 294-6322 

Streamsong Golf Clubhouse defies the ordinary. Golf on a canvas of towering sand dunes, windswept prairie grasses, and unexpected elevation shifts.

Acclaimed architects have crafted two intertwining 18-hole golf layouts, Streamsong Red and Streamsong Blue. It’s golf like nowhere else. After your round, relax in the inviting lounge, grab a meal at Restaurant Fifty-Nine, and soak in the lakeside terrace views.

Streamsong is different, and that’s what makes it wonderful. 

Pioneer Park
231 Wilbur C. King Blvd, Zolfo Springs, FL 33890. (863) 735-0330 

Just a short drive away, you can immerse yourself in the agricultural history of Florida at Pioneer Park. Wander through the living history museum, featuring restored buildings and artifacts that transport you to the pioneer era.

Don't miss the interactive exhibits and demonstrations showcasing the traditional skills and crafts of the early settlers. The park offers camping, an animal sanctuary, playground, basketball court and restroom facilities.

It's a hands-on experience that appeals to both history buffs and families alike. 


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