Capture the Citrus Scene of Sarasota

Get hands-on with Sarasota's citrus history and try some orange varieties or freshly squeezed juice.

The Sunshine State has long been known for its connection to citrus fruits, and the Florida Gulf Coast area has played a part in that long, juicy history. In fact, Tropicana Products headquarters called Manasota County (just north of Sarasota County) its home from 1947 until 2004. 

So where can you go nowadays to experience citrus history and citrus culture firsthand in Sarasota? From Honeybells, Pomelo, and Mandarin to Navels, Valencia, and Grapefruit, we've got a few Vitamin C-filled recommendations for you and some history along the way.

Mixon Fruit Farms

Though the beloved fruit farm's retail store and market of 84 years recently closed its doors in Bradenton, you can still enjoy Mixon Fruit Farms' gift shipping and food truck, The Mixon Swirl. There, snag Mixon's famous vanilla and orange soft-serve ice cream swirl cone and various other snacks and sandwiches. The food truck is open to the public at Mixon Farms every Wednesday from 11am - 4pm as well as various locations around the area. You can check out the Swirl'd Tour schedule online or even book a private event. 

Hoping for some Florida citrus at home? Orange you glad you can order online and get fresh Mixon-grown varieties shipped right to your door?

farmers market stand

Brown's Grove

A part of the Sarasota community for more than 100 years, Brown's Grove began in Sarasota's Bee Ridge community and began to grow citrus. Now in its fourth generation, they grow more than 12 varieties of citrus, from Red Navels to Meyer Lemons to Pomelos (they're huge!) and many more. Brown's Grove has a seasonal U-pick that typically begins in mid-December and lasts a couple of months. Swing on by on days when the U-pick is open, and enjoy a grove tour. You can also find Brown's Grove at Phillippi Farmhouse Market on Wednesdays from December to April.

Fruitville Grove

In season, the fun Fruitville Grove sells certified and non-certified organic, farm-fresh citrus that's locally grown. You'll also find other local goodies, including produce, jams and jellies, and honey at its farm store. Fruitville Grove is also locally famous for special events like its annual Pumpkin Festival, the Berry Festival, and goat yoga.

Tips to Prepare for Your Grove Visit

nokomis citrus grove

Always check the business website or social media page before visiting for seasonality and hours to make sure they will be open. Many citrus groves are only open to the public seasonally. 

  • Wear supportive shoes and comfortable clothing when you go to a U-pick farm.
  • Always keep a close eye on your children when visiting farms.
  • Don't forget that you can order citrus online as a gift for others or for yourself!


Webb Packing House Recreation at Historic Spanish Point

spanish point packing house

Marie Selby Gardens' Historic Spanish Point location in Osprey is built on land that was the 19th-century home to the pioneering Webb family, which grew citrus and had a citrus packing house on site. Their citrus was sold around both Florida and the U.S., and they added an extra special touch in the way that they packaged their citrus, to make it more attractive. They used tissue paper wrapping and made shipping crates that were stenciled with, "John G. Webb, Osprey, Florida." 

When you visit the Historic Spanish Point campus nowadays, you can see a replica of the Webb packing house that includes the original support piles and an exhibit focused on washing, sorting, and packing citrus onsite.

Albritton Fruit Company

Albritton Fruit Company specializes in citrus gift baskets. Although there's not a retail store, you can help support a Sarasota-based business when you order from Albritton Fruit, right out of Sarasota. From Navel Oranges and Ruby Red Grapefruit to Honeybell Tangelos, Sweet Temptations and more juicy varieties, you can order just a taster, a basket or even a tub-full to be shipped to your desired address! 

Detwiler's Farm Market

With various locations throughout the Sarasota area, this locally owned grocer and indoor market remains a local fave for its emphasis on farm-fresh produce as well as fresh meat and fish and Amish goods. When citrus is in season in Florida, you're bound to find a large, enticing display of oranges and grapefruit out front at Detwiler's as well as fresh-squeezed orange juice in the store from Florida groves.

Visit Our Area Farmers Markets

When citrus is in season, typically from November to April, visit any of our area farmers markets and you'll likely find local citrus for sale. Whether you stop by the Sarasota Farmers Market or Venice Farmers Market on Saturdays, the Phillippi Farmhouse Market on Wednesdays, or the Englewood Farmers Market on Thursdays, you'll have no shortage of citrus, as well as other produce and fresh food, to try.

For more agriculture and local produce, check out our Sarasota Farm Guide for a complete list of local farms, farmers' markets, community gardens, festivals/events, and other farm resources.