Frostproof is a small town (pop. 3,000) in southeastern Polk County, Florida. The town's name was coined as a marketing ploy to convince potential homesteaders that the town had never and would never see a frost. This turned out to be untrue, as the town did sustain relatively minor damage during an 1894 frost that destroyed much of Florida's citrus crops.
The first non-native settlement here was Fort Clinch, which lasted just a few months in 1850. The first permanent settlers arrived in the 1880s. The name of the town was Keystone City, which was later blocked by the postal service because of its similarity to Keystone Heights in northern Florida. The man who worked to apply for a post office settled on the name Lakemont. Another man, who had earlier suggested the name "Frostproof", volunteered to deliver the new application to the post office in Fort Meade and changed the name on the application en route.
Frostproof's climate is much the same as the rest of Central Florida (except coasts). Winters are mild, with highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s. Lows in the 30s are common after cold fronts and there are usually a handful of lows below freezing each winter, although that requires clear skies, so it usually warms very rapidly after sunrise (30 at 6am, 55 by noon is typical). Cold fronts occasionally pass by as squall lines, so tornadoes in December or January are not unusual. Snow is rare; the last measurable snowfall was in 1977, although sleet/wintry mix fell in an unusually cold January 2010. Summers are hot and humid, with highs around 95 and lows in the mid-70s. During the summer, onshore winds from both coasts travel inland, heat up, rise and build into thunderstorms, usually along a rough line. Lying in the center of the state, the line of storms (the "seabreezes") often collide and become severe, with tornadoes (small EF0-1s...not like powerful Plains ones), 50+mph winds, and hail possible. Strong storms are usually preceded by cooler winds caused by the rain-cooled air (cold air sinks) rapidly flowing away from the storm. The temperature after a strong thunderstorm passes can drop from 95 to 75 and since the storms can be fairly small, you can drive 5 miles and the temperature will drop from 95 to 75.
In 2004, Frostproof was hit by three hurricanes: Charley, Frances, & Jeanne. It was the first time in recorded U.S. history that 3 hurricanes passed through the same county (Polk County) in the same year, with Lake Wales and other southern Polk County towns lying closest to the path of these hurricanes' eyes.
Frostproof lies at the junction of State Road 17 (Scenic Highway) and County Road 630. The town lies just a couple miles east of U.S. 27, which heads south to Sebring and north to Lake Wales, Haines City, and Interstate 4. It is also near Frostproof where U.S. 98, which runs concurrent with U.S. 27 to the south, splits to head west to Fort Meade. C.R. 630 heads east to join S.R. 60 near Indian Lake Estates.
Winter Haven Area Transit (WHAT, +1 863-534-5500) provides public bus service in eastern Polk County. Frostproof is the southern terminus of Route 35, which runs north through Babson Park, Lake Wales, and ends at the Eagle Ridge Mall. Route 30 connects the Eagle Ridge Mall to southeast Winter Haven (including Legoland) and downtown Winter Haven. Route 25 runs from Lake Wales Plaza to Bartow. Adult/youth fare is $1.50/ride with no free transfers. Seniors (65+) and the disabled ride for $0.75, with proof and no free transfers. Children under 7 ride free with an adult. A day pass for adults costs $3 (or $27 for a 10 pack) and is good for 24 hours from activation on bus. Senior/disabled day pass costs $1.50 (or $15 for a 10 pack). Weekly ($12) & 31-day passes ($47) are also available. A bike rack located on the front is available to put your bike at no additional charge. All regular buses are equipped with a wheel chair lift.
Frostproof lies close to the Amtrak Silver Star & Silver Meteor routes, but does not have a station. The Amtrak station in Sebring (Code: SBG; 601 East Center Ave.) is the closest Amtrak station to Frostproof. It lies along the Silver Star & Silver Meteor routes.
Winter Haven (Code: WTH; 1800 7th Street S.W.; +1 863-294-9203) is also relatively close, and can be reached by public transportation. If you plan to arrive by train, you should have friends/family at the station to pick you up or have the phone number for a taxi to call when you arrive. The station is a poorly-maintained covered platform with a small office and is in a fairly unpleasant area beside a warehouse. Fortunately the trains arrive during daylight, but it's not a very great place to wait for hours. To reach Frostproof by public transportation (WHAT, see "By bus" above), you can take the 22XW route south to Bartow, then switch to Route 25 to head east to Lake Wales, and pick up Route 35 south. You could also take the 22XW route north to the downtown terminal, then Route 30 to the Eagle Ridge Mall, and Route 35 to Lake Wales.
The nearest commercial airport is Orlando International Airport (MCO IATA) in Orlando, located about an hour away. Tampa International Airport (TPA IATA) in Tampa is located about an hour and a half away. Lakeland Linder Regional Airport (LAL IATA) in Lakeland was served by the small airline Direct Air for a time, but currently (as of February 2013) does not have any regularly scheduled commercial flights.
The town is fairly small, so getting around by car is easiest and really quick. To reach the nature reserves outside of town, a car is absolutely necessary. (While biking is possible, it's not very safe to bike on rural roads with no shoulder and a 55mph posted speed limit.)
Frostproof has a couple of stops along WHAT Route 35, but the distances are so short that it's rather impractical to use the bus to get around town.
- Checker Cab Co., ☎ . Serves all of Polk County.
- Yellowcab/Maingate Taxi, ☎ . Serves all of Polk County.
- Polk County Taxi, ☎ , toll-free: . Serves all of Polk County.
- O'Hara Restorations, 10 S. Scenic Hwy., ☎ . Mon-Fri 8AM-4:30PM; Weekends by appointment only.. Stop by for a glance at carefully restored classic & antique cars. Free.
- Ramon Theater, 15 E. Wall St., ☎ . Historic movie theater restored and host to various musicals, murder-mystery dinners, gospel recitals, and more throughout the year. Check website for current/upcoming events.
- Frostproof Art League & Gallery, 12 E. Wall St., ☎ . Tues-Fri 10AM-3PM (Sep-Apr), Tue & Thu 10AM-2PM (May-Aug). A local non-profit displaying members' works and offering art classes. Free.
Public boat ramps are accessible at Lake Arbuckle Park (off Lake Arbuckle Rd.), Lake Livingstone (off Lake Livingstone Rd.), and Lake Walk-in-Water (take Lake Walk-in-Water Rd. to Boat Landing Rd.).
There are several state parks, wildlife reserves, and other natural areas to the east of Frostproof. These lands are great for hunting, walking, mountain biking, riding All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs), and wildlife viewing. Lake Wales Ridge State Forest (+1 863-635-7801) can be entered off Lake Arbuckle Road. Great for hunting.
- 1 Crooked Lake Prairie, 985 Ohlinger Rd. 6AM-6:30PM Standard Time; 5:30AM-8PM Daylight Savings Time.
- 2 Crooked Lake Sandhill, 801 Hollister Rd. 6AM-6:30PM Standard Time; 5:30AM-8PM Daylight Savings Time.
- 3 Hickory Lake Scrub, 1658 Scenic Hwy (From U.S. 27, head east on S.R. 17 for 1.5 mi (2.4 km). Parking lot is on left.). 6AM-6:30PM Standard Time; 5:30AM-8PM Daylight Savings Time.
You know you're in Florida when such a small town as Frostproof has a golf course! Lily Lake Golf Resort (6603 U.S. Hwy. 27; +1 863-635-2676) is a 9-hole, semi-private course with a Slope rating of 102 and USGA rating of 61.8. Golf club rentals are available.
- 1 Four Seasons, 5298 U.S. Hwy. 27, ☎ . Breakfast, lunch, & dinner daily. Four Seasons is in the Sun Ray community, south of Frostproof. Serves American-style food. Inexpensive.
- Frostbite, 801 Scenic Hwy. N., ☎ . Lunch & dinner daily.. 50's-esque burger joint, serving up hamburgers, ice cream, & more.
- 2 Citrus Cafe and Pizzeria (Home of the 28" party pizza!), 18 W. Wall Street (From Lake Wales, drive U.S. 17 South/Scenic Hwy South to Wall St, turn RIGHT onto West Wall St., Cafe is on the RIGHT side. From Lake Wales, drive U.S. 27 South to CR 630A, Turn LEFT onto CR 630A, drive to intersection of CR 630A and CR 630. Continue straight on CR 630A to U.S. 17/Scenic Hwy, turn RIGHT onto U.S. 17 North/Scenic Hwy North, drive to Wall St., turn RIGHT onto West Wall St, Cafe is on the RIGHT. From Avon Park, drive U.S. 27 North to CR 630A, turn RIGHT onto CR 630A, drive to intersection of CR 630A and CR 630. Continue straight on CR 630A to U.S. 17/Scenic Hwy, turn RIGHT onto U.S. 17 North/Scenic Hwy North, drive to Wall St., turn RIGHT onto West Wall St, Cafe is on the RIGHT.), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Breakfast daily, Lunch & Dinner. Mon - Sat 6:30 AM - 8:00 PM; Sun 6:30 AM - 3:00 PM.. Cafe outside: Red brick building, two large picture windows. Cafe name on window. Potted plants on both sides of door. Large diamond pizza sign on the wall to the right. Business on left side, Anytime Fitness. Business on right side, Watson's Pharmacy. Cafe inside: bright, cheerful, casual, informal, relaxing atmosphere. Very friendly staff. Attentive service. Delicious home cooking with a large variety menu, including pizza up to 28" size. Very reasonable prices. Meals under $10.00. Pizza from $7.00 and up. Come in and experience small town BIG hospitality. You will want to return many times!.
- Frostproof Family Restaurant, 133 S. Scenic Hwy., ☎ . Breakfast, lunch, & dinner daily..
- Orange Box Café, 7315 U.S. Hwy. 27, ☎ . Breakfast, lunch, & dinner daily..
- 3 Johnny's Egg Works, 133 S. Scenic Highway (On Frostproof's main street), ☎ . 6:30 AM - 2:30 PM Tu - Su. Serves American-style food for breakfast and lunch daily. Food served in large portions of fair to very good quality.
There is just one hotel in town.
- Sun Ray Motel, 5290 U.S. Hwy. 27, ☎ , toll-free: . Kitchen/efficiencies available. Pool. Pets allowed. Free wi-fi internet access.
- Camp Inn RV Resort, 10400 U.S. Hwy. 27, ☎ , toll-free: , fax: . 796 sites. Hookups, dump station, laundry, & showers available. Pool. Pets allowed. Handicapped accessible. Wi-fi internet access available (for a fee).
- Southern Pines Resort, 1622 County Road 630 W., ☎ . 315 sites. Hookups, dump station, laundry, & showers available. Pool. Pets allowed. Handicapped accessible. Wi-fi internet access available (for a fee).
- Babson Park Post Office, 1200 N Scenic Hwy, ☎ . M-F 9:30AM-12:30PM & 1:30PM-4:00PM; Sa 9:30AM-11:30AM. Post office located in small community of Babson Park, a couple miles north of Frostproof.
- Frostproof Post Office, 1 W 1st St, ☎ . M-F 8:30AM-4:30PM; Sa 9AM-noon.
- Latt Maxcy Memorial Library, 15 N. Magnolia Avenue, ☎ . M/Th 8:30AM-8PM; Tu/W/F 8AM-5PM; Sa 9AM-noon. Small library. Not clear from blog whether computers and/or wireless internet access is available to the public (but very likely).
Frostproof Police Department: +1 863 635-7849 (Emergency: 911)
Polk County Sheriff: +1 863 533-0344 (Emergency: 911)
|Routes through Frostproof|
|Ocala ← Lake Wales ←||N S||→ Avon Park → Miami|
|Lakeland ← Fort Meade ←||N S||→ Avon Park → West Palm Beach|
|Haines City ← Lake Wales ←||N S||→ Merge → Avon Park → Sebring|