A Citrus Safari

Being the owner of a food truck, we have had the opportunity to attend lots of different events then we would attend in our everyday lives. A few months back, we were invited to attend the Monster Challenge event which was located in Clermont. While we were there, we happened to see this amazing swamp buggy driving through the woods. Intrigued…we needed to find out what that was. We didn’t know that the property we were on belonged to the Showcase of Citrus. We just thought we were somewhere in the woods in Lake County!

This is a picture of the "small" swamp buggy.  Crazy!
This is a picture of the “small” swamp buggy. Crazy!

After a little research, we discovered all that Showcase of Citrus had to offer. To my pleasant surprise, a few weeks later, there was a Groupon for the Swamp Buggy ride! I knew I had to get this as a birthday gift for my husband. Finally, after purchasing the deal a few months back, we had a free weekend to enjoy the day at Showcase of Citrus.

Like everything that George and I do, we start with an end in mind and then build our trips and explorations around that. If we were going to head to Lake County for the day, we knew there was one other place we had to visit – Donut King! We had heard such amazing things about their donuts, so we had to try them ourselves. This place was bumping. It was very clear to us that this was the place to be if you wanted to indulge for breakfast. While the line was long, the service was super fast. While we didn’t “need” to order a dozen donuts, we did…because there were too many interesting flavors not to try them.

A huge variety of donuts are available...it is hard to pick just 12!
A huge variety of donuts are available…it is hard to pick just 12!

They also have donuts bigger than your head, but we refrained from purchasing one of those. While the selection of donuts is amazing, we decided that we are partial to the fluffy amazingness of Bakery Plus donuts in Orlando.

Yes, this is a donut that is bigger than my head!
Yes, this is a donut that is bigger than my head!

Once we had our sweet fix for the day, we headed over to Showcase of Citrus.

IMG_2413Our reservation was for noon, so we were asked to arrive around 11:30. After checking in, we wandered through their store and visited the farm animals out back. There were roosters, pigs, goats, and a turkey. After taking some pictures and “ooing and awing” about the little baby pigs, we headed over to the Swamp Buggy. Our tour guide was Chris. He was very knowledgeable and personable. He even let the kids on the tour drive the massive buggy.

The three little pigs!
The three little pigs!
This guy has so much personality!
This guy has so much personality!

There is one very important fact that you should know about me…I love cows! I am obsessed with trying to get the best pictures of these beautiful creatures! Whenever on a road trip, poor George has to be on alert to stop on a dime should we come across the perfect shot. With this in mind, this eco-safari marked a very exciting day for me! About half way through the tour, we ended up in the pasture surrounded in the distance by lots of cows. As soon as we stopped, the cows came running towards us! They knew something that I did not know, we were going to feed them oranges! While others were excited about throwing the oranges to the cows, I was mesmerized by the task of trying to take the best pictures capturing the sweetness of these beauties! Best day ever!

These cows were literally running towards us.
These cows were literally running towards us.
I am pretty sure this cow wanted to come home with me!
I am pretty sure this cow wanted to come home with me!
This one was posing  for the picture.
This one was posing for the picture.

After hanging with the cows for a while, we were taken to another field where there were water buffalo, donkeys and a zebra.

This sucker was a bully!
This sucker was a bully!

We had such a great time on our tour. Being a native Floridian, it makes me happy to see the Florida I remember…filled with orange groves! After the tour, we ventured back to the store. You can purchase fresh fruit from the store (either what is available or you can go pick your own).

You can pick your own fruit or fill a bag with what is available in the store.
You can pick your own fruit or fill a bag with what is available in the store.

In addition, they sell jams, sauces, and all sorts of specialty sodas. Most notably they have their famous orange juice slushy! George purchased a creamsicle slushy, and I enjoyed some boiled peanuts!

They offer free samples of their world famous orange slushy.
They offer free samples of their world famous orange slushy.

 

The Eco-safari costs $25 for adults and $15 for kids ages 4-12. It is scheduled for daily tours at 10, 12, 2, and 4. It is recommended that you make a reservation at 352-394-4377. Check them out online at http://www.showcaseofcitrus.com. They are also on facebook…where I believe they post coupons from time to time. This is a great day trip for the family!

IMG_2425

Thank you for exploring with us!
Thank you for exploring with us!

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