Locates in the Polk County, Florida, Winter Haven is best known as home of the Cypress Gardens. Cypress Gardens is a theme park that has undergone renovations. It was closed and is currently going upgrades again; the park is expected to open by the end of 2011. Winter Haven is referred to as a place to play, explore and reflect. The 33,000 strong community has had a population growth of more than 25 percent in the last decade. The city is still growing as more Winter Haven moving companies bring in more and more people who dream to live here.
The healthcare and other service sector industries are the main employers in Winter Haven. The median household income per annum is estimated to be $35,740 in 2009. The house prices in the city peaked in 2006 and then have kept a downward trend. The reasonable house prices have brought in a lot of people as the prices in other cities increase. Many people prefer moving to Winter Haven instead and start work or business here. The retail industry is particularly strong and employs 17 percent of the male population and 12 percent of the female population. Other string sectors are construction, healthcare, accommodation, manufacturing and educational services.
The first family to move into the area is known to be The Thornhills. They moved to this area in the 1860s. Many other families soon followed and began moving to Winter Haven. The area was plotted in 1884 by Blount and Whitledge and was known as Harris Corners. A few years later the name Winter Haven was suggested because of the pleasant weather that the city had. The name also acted as a marketing tool and attracted a number of people, investors and businessmen into the area. The city was incorporated in 1911 and had a population of about 400. Construction for the Chain of Lakes canals was started in 1915. The economic boom occurred in the 1920s as numerous towns sprung up all over the peninsula. Many people preferred Florida for living and working. Economic prosperity followed but suddenly stopped when the Great Depression struck. The opening of Cypress Gardens in 1936 was a historic event. It ensured the city's future success at that time.
Winter Haven is home to numerous lakes and is home to numerous ski schools both for barefoot and water skiing. There are 41 lakes in and around the city which has earned the city the name of "The Chain of Lakes". All these lakes are linked by canals and the system is one of its kind in the world. The world's largest Legoland theme park is currently under construction here. It is due to open by the end of 2011. The opening of this park will bring in a lot of tourists and will change a lot in the city of Winter Haven. Currently there are numerous good places to stay. There is the Holiday Inn, Hampton Inn, Budget Inn and Best Western Admiral's Inn.