By  Mike Miller Updated November 27, 2023

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

Ocoee, Florida is a city of more than 48,000 on the east side of Winter Garden.  It is on State Road 50 west of Orlando. 

It has evolved over the years into a bedroom community for Orlando.

The Withers-Maguire House, Wikipedia, Photo by EbyabeThe Withers-Maguire House, Wikipedia, Photo by Ebyabe


It was founded by Dr. J. D. Starke in the 1850s.

Dr. Starke brought his slaves into Central Florida and established a camp on the north shore of a lake that later became known as Lake Starke for obvious reasons.

Starke and most of his group had contracted malaria, and were looking for a healthier environment when they came upon the lake.  They got healthier and settled permanently in the area. 

After the Civil War, several Confederate veteran soldiers settled in the area with their families.  These settlers included General William Temple Withers.

The town was originally called Starke Lake, but changed its name later to Ocoee. 

The Florida Midland Railroad came to town in the 1880's, and the little village began to boom. 

After the American Civil War, a former confederate soldier named Captain Bluford Sims from Tennessee moved to the area and began planting citrus. 

Nobody is sure where the name of the town came from, but some have speculated it is named after an Ocoee in Tennessee.

The name of Ocoee became associated with a horrible incident that took place in 1920 involving two black men who attempted to vote and encouraged other blacks to vote.

We won't go into details here.  More can be learned at Wikipedia by searching for Ocoee Massacre.


State Road 50 was extended west from Orlando and reached Ocoee in 1959.  Soon after in 1964 the Florida Turnpike was opened  just south of downtown Ocoee.

These two road projects made Ocoee more accessible to the rest of Central Florida. 

It began to grow quickly, especially after Walt Disney World opened in 1971 and housing began to be needed in the area.

Ocoee City HallOcoee City Hall

Ocoee became a bedroom community for metropolitan Orlando.

One of the major centers of commercial activity is the four corners of State Road 50 and Maguire Road.  This intersection has shopping centers, motels, restaurants, and a theater.

There are also several distribution centers and warehouses in the city, and it has become a large center for storage and distribution of used and new cars.

Ocoee Christian ChurchOcoee Christian Church

One of the still existing structures from the glory days of Ocoee is the Ocoee Christian Church, an example of Carpenter Gothic architecture at 15 South Bluford Avenue. 

Built in 1891, it is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.  


The Withers-Maguire House 
16 E Oakland Ave, Ocoee, FL 34761. (407) 656-2051.  

The Withers-Maguire House is a historic landmark in Ocoee, dating back to 1888. It’s one of the oldest and most beautiful homes in the city, bult in the Queen Anne style.

You can take a guided tour of the house and learn about its history and the people who lived there. You can also see some of the original furniture, artifacts, and photos.

The house also hosts various events throughout the year, such as tea parties, concerts and weddings. The lush gardens surrounding the house are perfect for a leisurely stroll, making it a charming stop for history enthusiasts.  

Lake Meadow Naturals 
10000 Mark Adam Rd, Ocoee, FL 34761. (321) 206-6262.  

For a farm-to-table experience, visit Lake Meadow Naturals. Indulge in fresh eggs, organic produce, and explore the farm's charming market.

Take a guided tour to meet the friendly animals, creating lasting memories for visitors of all ages of where their food comes from. It's a wholesome, family-friendly spot with a touch of rural charm. 

Ocoee Village Center 
10801 W. Colonial Dr., Ocoee, FL 34761. (407) 656-4141.  

The Ocoee Village Center is a shopping and dining destination in Ocoee, with a variety of stores, restaurants, and services. You can find everything from clothing, jewelry, and gifts, to pizza, burgers, and ice cream.

You can also enjoy the friendly and welcoming atmosphere of the center, which has a fountain, a gazebo, and a clock tower. It's the perfect blend of relaxation and entertainment for a laid-back afternoon.  

West Orange Trail 
501 Crown Point Cross Rd, Winter Garden, FL 34787. (407) 533-4732.  

Calling all outdoor enthusiasts! The West Orange Trail offers a scenic adventure on 22.26 miles of paved trail for those looking to explore the natural beauty surrounding Ocoee.

Whether biking, jogging, or simply walking, the trail provides a breath of fresh air and a chance to appreciate Florida's lush landscapes. You can stop and visit the butterfly garden at the Tildenville outpost.

Bill Breeze Park 
125 N Lakeshore Dr, Ocoee, FL 34761. (407) 877-5803.  

Bill Breeze Park is a scenic waterfront park on Starke Lake, the heart of Ocoee. It’s a great place to relax, picnic, fish or boat. The park has a boat ramp, a fishing dock, a fountain, and several pavilions. Dogs are allowed.

It also hosts annual events like the Ocoee Music Festival, which features live music, food, and fireworks. The park is open from dawn to dusk and is free to enter.


Our Facebook page has more than 130,000 followers who love off the beaten path Florida: towns, tourist attractions, maps, lodging, food, festivals, scenic road trips, day trips, history, culture, nostalgia, and more.  We post articles every day.  Please check it out and if you like it, we would appreciate a "like" from you.