What started as a fruit stand more than 55 years ago has evolved into a classic Florida roadside attraction that still draws visitors today. Located on the top of a hill in Brooksville, Boyett’s Grove and Citrus Attraction not only offers delicious citrus fruit, but also a nostalgic look at Florida oddities, along with a walk on the wild side.
From the outside, Boyett’s Citrus Attraction looks like any other old Florida kitschy gift shop and is filled with everything “touristy” imaginable, from the typical shell gift items to T-shirts and other Florida souvenirs. Make sure you take your time through the store, as you are likely to find some old treasures you haven’t seen in a while. Not to mention an ice cream parlor that offers 24 flavors!
A big part of this attraction is the wildlife park. To get outside, stop by the register at the back of the store to purchase tickets and a bag of food for a more interactive experience. Use the map provided or wander on your own. No matter which way you go, you will get a chance to see Wally the dromedary camel, Stripes the zebra, or any of the other goats, sheep, geese, and monkeys. Concrete pathways wind through another part of the park and take you by deer, pigs and Elvis the alligator.
If you pay for the zoo experience, you also get to walk through the dinosaur cave, which is sure to please the young dinosaur lovers in your family. Get next to a T. rex. Look up for the pterodactyls and don’t forget to say hi to Chompers – if you dare get close enough!
History of the Attraction
Folks in citrus know the industry peaks at certain times of the year. Because of a few years of freezes and to combat the slow summer months, Boyett’s decided to make additions to the business. The gift shop was added in 1975 and about 10 years later, they started taking in donated and rescue animals. Even if you walk through the entire attraction, you will probably miss something here and there.
Location and Hours
Boyett’s is located between Brooksville and I-75 on Spring Lake Highway and is open Monday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. There is no charge to look around inside the store, but if venturing out into the wildlife park, mini golf, dinosaur cave or aviary will cost a fee. There are a variety of price packages to choose from.
Just remember, if you plan to take that walk on the wild side, you should plan on two hours or so to get through it all.
Doris Keeler is a freelance writer and blogger from Orlando who travels the state on weekends searching for people and places that represent “old Florida.” If you’re looking for things to do, or just want to see some of the unique things around the Sunshine State, visit her blog at www.FloridianaMagazine.com.