By  Mike Miller  Updated November 7, 2022

Fruitland Park, Florida Things To Do, Lodging, Dining & Real Estate At End Of Article

Fruitland Park is a small town of about 8,605 people north of Leesburg, Florida on US-441/US-27.  It is just south and east of the sprawling retirement community of The Villages.

Holy Trinity Episcopal Church Fruitland ParkHoly Trinity Episcopal Church, Fruitland Park, Florida


Fruitland Park is on the western side of Lake Griffin in an area known as Dead River.  Lake Griffin is the northernmost of the Harris Chain of Lakes.

The area of the town was originally settled before the American Civil War.

It's location on Lake Griffin provided a route for the shipment of goods and people via the Ocklawaha River to Palatka on the St. Johns River and the world beyond.

The first settler was Calvin Lee, who set out the area's first citrus grove. 

Another early settler was a horticulturist named Major Orlando P. Rooks.  He and his wife built a house on Crystal Lake in 1877.

Fruitland Park, Florida Had Many Nurseries & Groves

Major Rooks came up with the name Fruitland Park because of all the nurseries and groves that had sprung up in the area.  There is an Orlando P. Rooks buried in Lone Oak Cemetery in Leesburg.

The gravestone identifies him as a veteran of Co. D, Kansas Infantry. 

Maybe it's the same Mr. Rooks;  we don't know.  If not, it's a pretty large coincidence.

One of the oldest buildings still in use in the town is Holy Trinity Episcopal Church at 2201 Spring Lake Road. 

This church is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, and is an example of Carpenter Gothic architecture.


Fruitland Park is a tranquil contrast to the bustling activity in The Villages. 

Once you get off the busy main highway, U.S.-441, you will find yourself in nice quiet neighborhoods shaded with canopied oaks and well maintained yards.

There are many well preserved older houses and a sprinkling of more modern ones.

Lake County Public Library, Fruitland ParkLake County Public Library, Fruitland Park

Fruitland Park received a brand new Lake County Library in 2019. 

It is a beautiful structure that captures the Old Florida feel both inside and outside.

The structure is built on the site of The Casino, a historic community center built in 1914. 

It was demolished and removed from the site in 2017 and replaced by the library.

Historical Marker, The Casino, Fruitland ParkHistorical Marker, The Casino, Fruitland Park

The library will give you a nice pamphlet titled "Fruitland Park Historic Trail" that lists 43 historic sites you can see on a self-guided tour.


The Rose Plantation
200 Rose Avenue
Fruitland Park, Florida 34731
Tel: 352-805-4340

An interesting place to dine in Fruitland Park is The Rose Plantation.  It is in a historic home that was built in 1917 by a wealthy Massachusetts newspaper publisher.

It overlooks Fountain Lake on a four acre parcel with beautiful landscaping.  The mansion has been turned into a fine family owned restaurant.

The Rose Plantation, Fine DiningThe Rose Plantation, Fine Dining

This is not a fast food place.  It is elegant dining with fine china and silverware, with meals served on linen tablecloths.  The fare is American food and wine.

The restaurant has a fine selection of seafood and steak.  Their filet mignon is excellent.  They have a wide choice of salads and appetizers.



Lake Griffin State Park
3089 US-441, Fruitland Park, FL 34731. (352) 360-6760 

Nature enthusiasts, rejoice! Lake Griffin State Park beckons with its serene beauty and abundant wildlife. Our favorite activity? Take a leisurely stroll along the scenic trails, where you might spot a variety of birds and perhaps even a gator or two.

It is home to one of the state's largest live oak trees. Pack a picnic and unwind by the lake, absorbing the tranquility that makes this park a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle. The park has picnic tables, a playground, and barbecue grill.

The Rose Plantation 
150 Rose Avenue, Fruitland Park, FL 34731. (352) 805-4340 

There is an excellent description of this restaurant above, as well as my personal restaurant review. 

Whispering Oaks Winery 
10934 S Highway 475, Oxford, FL 34484. (352) 748-0449 

Just a short drive from Fruitland Park, you can indulge in a sip of local flavor at Whispering Oaks Winery. Sample their exquisite wines crafted from Florida-grown grapes while enjoying the rustic ambiance.

The friendly staff offers insights into the winemaking process, making your tasting experience both enjoyable and educational. It's a fantastic way to unwind and savor the flavors unique to this region. 


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