14 Best Things to Do in Minneola (FL)

Minneola is a city of approximately 7,300 residents located west of Winter Gardens in Lake County, Central Florida.

Located near the geographic center of the state, Minneola offers visitors a variety of day trip options, including world-class theme parks, stunning beaches on both sides of the coast, state and national parks, and a variety of historical and cultural attractions.

Central Florida and Lake County in general are dotted with lakes of all shapes and sizes; they are recreational centers for boaters, anglers, and kayakers.

Here are 14 things to do in and around Minneola that top many tourist itineraries.

1. Minneola Lake Lodge and Tiki Bar

Lake Minneola Inn and Tiki Bar

For those new to Lake Minneola who would rather forgo more tourist lodging and dining options, the Lake Minneola Hotel and Tiki Bar will be a great fit.

While the Tiki Bar portion of the inn is relatively new, the historic inn on South Street has been around for over 100 years.

Nestled on the shores of a scenic lake, the lodge offers visitors the old charm of the area, as well as delicious food and perfect views of the iconic Florida sunset.

Their rooms are comfortable and affordable, and the menu is filled with delicious classics like burgers and beer-soaked German sausages.

2. Castle Peak Observation Deck

Castle Peak Observation Deck

Perched on the cliffs on the north shore of Lake Apopka in Minneola, the Green Mountain Scenic Overlook offers visitors breathtaking views of the surrounding land and lake.

Many opt to snap a photo or two before embarking on other adventures, but for those who would rather get out and stretch their legs, the adjacent park offers a variety of recreational options.

From the overlooked trail leading inland and around the lake shore, a variety of wildlife such as snakes, turtles, foxes and many birds can often be seen.

A two-mile hike leads to the observation tower, and the lake is also a popular destination for bass fishermen.

3. Donut King

donut king

Former visitors to Donut King on Highway 27 in Minneola noticed that their selection of donuts was incredible.

They have lots of old classics and lots of new flavors that most guests have never tasted, and they also offer a wide variety of non-doughnut foods.

Donut King has been around since 2007 and has attracted quite a loyal following over the years. Many loyal customers love their burgers, jambalaya, breakfast burritos and gumbo as much as they love their doughnuts.

Everything is freshly made on-site every day, reasonably priced, and available for takeaway.

4. Florida Citrus Tower

Florida Citrus Tower

Just a short drive from Minneola in Claremont, the Florida Citrus Tower is one of the tallest structures in the area, rising more than 220 feet above the surrounding countryside.

Although its popularity has declined over the years as tourists are drawn to more commerce and larger attractions such as theme parks, the tower is one of the unique parts of local history worth seeing.

The tower and its exhibits are a tribute to the region’s rich citrus crop, which has been an important economic driver. From the top of the tower you can see downtown Orlando more than 20 miles away.

5. The Crooked Spoon Gastropub

Curved Spoon Gastropub

Crooked Spoon Gastropub in Clermont is owned and operated by a native New Jersey chef known for his traditional and contemporary dishes using fresh, local ingredients.

The Crooked Spoon is a locally owned family business and most of its competitors in the area are part of a national chain. They are known for their signature burgers, which come in a variety of mouth-watering and even heady flavors like coffee and cocoa.

They’re not the flavors usually associated with burgers, but guests love them; for those looking to expand their culinary horizons and save a few bucks, the burgers are on sale Tuesday night.

6. Kings Ridge Golf Club

Kings Ridge Golf Club

Kings Ridge Golf Club in Claremont offers visitors two different 18-hole courses, the longest and hardest of which is the par 71 Kings Course, which is approximately 6,300 yards.

It’s long enough to challenge most players, but short enough that it doesn’t take more than three or four hours to play. For those who would rather spend just a few hours, the shorter Ridge Course only hits 3,700 yards.

Suitable for golfers of all ages and abilities, both courses feature tiered greens, elevated tee boxes, and abundant sand and water hazards to keep things fun and challenging.

7. Orlando Cat Cafe

Orlando Cat Cafe

Located on Kagan Park Avenue in Clermont, Orlando Cat Café is a unique feline-themed restaurant and coffee shop that caters to a cat-loving crowd who don’t mind some wrong fur in their food.

The cat cafe trend is a relatively new phenomenon, and the Orlando cat cafe is a first in the area.

They are known for their cool atmosphere and delicious food and drinks, and have an adjoining play area that serves as an adoption center for cats in need of home.

For those who leave their furry friends at home, this is a great place to stop and spend some quality time with the cafe’s lovely occupants.

8. Lake Louisa State Park

Clermont Lake Louisa State Park

With more than 4,500 acres of diverse natural habitat, Lake Louisa State Park in nearby Clermont offers a variety of recreational activities and is home to abundant wildlife.

Deer, foxes, bobcats and a variety of woodpeckers, wading birds and predatory birds are often seen, and the park is an easy drive from Minneola.

Although the park is named after Lake Louisa, its area includes parts of more than five other lakes that are popular with anglers, kayakers, and bird watchers.

The park can get busy during peak weekend hours, so to avoid the crowds, consider visiting on a weekday or early morning.

9. Icon Park

Icon Park, Orlando

Orlando’s 20+ acres of walkable ICON Park is home to a variety of trendy dining and retail that attracts locals and tourists alike.

One of the park’s main attractions is the Ferris wheel known as the Orlando Eye, which stretches nearly 400 feet into the sky.

For those who are not afraid of heights, taking the enclosed cable car to the top of the Ferris wheel is an amazing experience. Rumor has it that on a clear day, Cape Canaveral can be seen on the Atlantic coast.

The park’s restaurants and bars often offer specialty food and beverages in the afternoon and evening.

10. West Orange Trail

West Orange Trail

Summer Central Florida weather is downright brutal, but for most of the year, when temperatures and humidity levels drop, it’s almost perfect.

The West Orange Trail stretches more than 20 miles between Oakland and Apopka. There are various entry points for those who live in the middle of the trail.

The trail is open year-round and free to use. In addition to meandering through a variety of natural and developed areas, many nearby towns have dining, shopping and historical attractions.

Bicycles are available for short-term and long-term users to rent.

11. Universal Orlando Resort

Universal Orlando

The Universal Orlando Resort is a one-of-a-kind attraction that includes elements of a zoo, a theme park, and a movie-themed museum.

It’s a particularly big draw for families traveling with kids, and with its wealth of on-site amenities, it’s where many families end up spending most of their vacation.

The resort is designed to eliminate long waits for rides and attractions, which means happier kids — and thus happier parents.

There’s even an area for Harry Potter fans of all ages, as well as a variety of live entertainment, dining and nightlife options for adults without kids.

12. Orlando Museum of Art

Orlando Museum of Art

Orlando has a wide variety of art museums to choose from, and the Orlando Museum of Art is one of the most popular.

The museum was founded nearly 100 years ago by a group of art lovers who found the area lacking in arts and cultural attractions.

The museum’s collection includes works of old and contemporary art in a variety of mediums and from nearly every corner of the globe.

Their goal is to promote and preserve the wonderful world of art, giving visitors access to amazing works they might not otherwise have access to. They also often host special events.

13. Tibet Butler Nature Reserve

Tibet-Butler Nature Reserve

Tibet Butler Nature Reserve is a natural oasis in one of the state’s largest metropolitan areas. It’s a magnet for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers who don’t want to spend hours in the car traveling to other, better-known state and national parks.

The preserve is a short distance from Minneola and includes a variety of multi-use trails that meander through some of the most scenic, undisturbed natural areas in the region.

Hikers, cyclists and amateur nature photographers will have no problem finding tranquility away from the crowds, and the trails range from long and moderately difficult to short loops suitable for most ages and fitness levels .

14. Winter Garden Heritage Museum

Winter Garden Heritage Museum

Steeped in the charm of the town’s south, Winter Gardens is a popular destination in Central Florida, filled with quaint historic buildings and museums that reflect the rich history of the area.

Established nearly two decades ago, the Winter Garden Heritage Museum includes several exhibits dealing with the development, economy, and Native American culture of the area, which called the area home long before official settlement.

Railways have also played an important role in the development of the region, as has the citrus industry.

The museum is open daily from 1pm to 5pm, and most guests spend about an hour looking around.

Where to Stay: Best Hotels in Minneola, FL (FL)
Lowest Price Guarantee