HENDRY COUNTY


County Offices
25 E Hickpochee Avenue
LaBelle 863-675-5220
www.hendryfla.net

Chamber of Commerce
125 E. Hickpochee Avenue
LaBelle 863-675-0125
www.labellechamber.com

“Right smack dab in the middle of Florida” is one of the slogans adopted by Hendry County, nestled in the Florida Heartland Region. Ideally situated along Lake Okeechobee’s southwestern shore, this sparsely populated rural area boasts the largest number of citrus trees of any Florida county. Hendry County is also intersperses vast acres of citrus groves with the open space of sprawling cattle ranches. Newcomers will discover small, friendly communities like LaBelle, Clewiston, and Felda surrounded by picturesque countryside.

Offering a slice of pastoral paradise, panoramic Hendry County manages to strike a fine balanced between historic charm and contemporary convenience. Complementing the area’s relaxed atmosphere and rural pleasures is the bustling City of Fort Myers. The Southwest Florida International Airport is just 40 miles west of LaBelle and 70 miles west of Clewiston. Major shopping centers, educational advantages, and world-class cultural and entertainment attractions are easily accessible from Hendry County.

Services
The pastoral paradise of Hendry County manages to strike a fine balanced between historic charm and contemporary convenience. Because of its centralized location in the Heartland Region of Florida, the county provides easy access to first-rate services in nearby metropolitan areas like Fort Myers. Newcomers to Hendry County will find both public and private schools, where innovative programs create unique opportunities. For example, qualified graduates of LaBelle High School enjoy two years of free tuition, books, and mileage to attend Edison Community College. Opportunities for higher education are abundant in this region, from two-year institutions like Edison Community College and West Palm Beach Community College to major universities and private colleges. Florida Gulf University, one of the newest additions to the respected state university system, combines with Florida Atlantic University and the Fort Myers branch of Nova Southeastern University to offer a wide range of undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate programs. Vocational and career training is also available at the Education Center for Southwest Florida in LaBelle.

Excellent heathcare facilities and services are available close to home for Hendry County residents, anchored by the Hendry Regional Medical Center. For more than 50 years, this county tax-district hospital has been providing a wide spectrum of healthcare services and medical specialties. Skilled physicians and technicians, a competent staff, and many volunteers have contributed to the hospital’s reputation for quality care. Lee Memorial Health System also provides patient care throughout Southwest Florida, from traditional in-patient services in major hospitals to outpatient facilities, physician offices, and walk-in centers. Other regional healthcare centers include Glades General Hospital in Palm Beach County, East Pointe Hospital in Lehigh Acres, Highlands Regional Medical Center in Sebring, and Southwest Florida Regional Medical Center in Fort Myers.

Lifestyle
Ideally situated along Lake Okeechobee’s southwestern shore, the sparsely populated rural expanse of Hendry County features the state’s largest citrus groves with sprawling cattle ranches. Surrounding small, friendly communities like LaBelle, Clewiston, and Felda with picturesque countryside, this area borders Lake Okeechobee and the Okeechobee Waterway for unsurpassed fishing and water-sport recreation. Closely associated with Lake Okeechobee’s world-famous reputation for bass fishing, Clewiston has emerged as a nationally renowned sport-fishing center. Hendry County is also home to the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation, maintaining a private airport and inviting visitors to enjoy overnight accommodations for hunting and fishing trips. Residents and visitors alike enjoy a variety of annual events and celebrations, including LaBelle’s famous Swamp Cabbage Festival in February, the Hendry County Fair in March, and the Clewiston Sugar Festival in April.

For centuries, a freshwater network of creeks, rivers, and lakes provided the only route to the enigmatic Florida interior known as Hendry County. By the 1930s, federal government projects ended flooding disasters and created the Okeechobee Waterway, connecting the lake to the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. Over the decades, Hendry history and beauty have endured, showcased along Sweet Route 80. The “sweetest distance between two points,” this scenic byway passes through postcard-image towns, pastures, orange groves, and sugar cane fields. Images of farm stands, historic ridges, and roadside attractions greet residents and visitors around every corner. Wonderful museums and historic districts combine with LaBelle’s Firehouse Cultural Center and local performing arts groups for a cultural rich atmosphere. Miles of trails including the Big Water Heritage Trial and the Clewiston Golf Course are just two of the many attractions in this natural wonderland.


Clewiston
Municipal Offices
863-983-1484
www.clewiston-fl.gov

Chamber of Commerce

863-983-7979
https://www.facebook.com/clewistonchamber/

“America’s Sweetest Town” lies on the southwestern shore of Lake Okeechobee, home to thousands of acres of sugar cane fields. Clewiston provides a friendly hometown to local residents, but also a sun-drenched and peaceful haven for seasonal visitors.  Equidistant from Fort Myers and Palm Beach, this rural community provides marinas, boat ramps, and excellent lake fishing. The municipal 18-hole golf course is seldom crowded and beautifully maintained. Because Clewiston welcomes so many tourists and visitors, the amenities and services are highly developed. In addition to lighted tennis courts, Sugarland Park provides an impressive recreational facility with several ballfields, racquetball courts, and soccer fields. New attractions include a water-spray park and skateboard park. Other city-owned facilities include a recently renovated and greatly expanded public library. In spite of a half-century of steady growth and development, Clewiston has managed to preserve its charm and beauty. The city is proud of its recognition as a Florida Main Street Community and the quality of its predominantly rural lifestyle.

Felda
County Offices
863-675-5220
863-983-1585
www.hendryfla.net

Chamber of Commerce
863-675-0125
www.labellechamber.com

Nestled in southern Hendry County, the unincorporated community of Felda offers a rural haven just 20 miles south of LaBelle on State Road 29. Characterized as the “third” leading residential community of Hendry County, Felda joins the county seat of LaBelle and the largest city of Clewiston. One of the unique attractions in Felda is the well-known barbecue and restaurant, famous for its home cooking. In fact, the community welcomes visitors as it celebrates a barbecue festival each January. Residents of Felda enjoy quick and easy access to the services and amenities of larger nearby towns like LaBelle, from library resources to performing arts and shopping. Lake Okeechobee is the focal point of outdoor recreation, although abundant waterways and woodlands are available throughout the region for hiking, biking, canoeing, kayaking, boating, water sports, camping, and horseback riding.

Harlem
County Offices
863-675-5220
863-983-1585
www.hendryfla.net

Chamber of Commerce

863-675-0125
www.labellechamber.com

The small rural village of Harlem is proud of its emerging identity as a first-class community, an image that was reinforced when Florida’s governor honored Harlem as Florida’s Outstanding Rural Community of 2001. Harlem received this recognition for its focused and unrelenting efforts in converting an unused former school building into a vibrant library and multi-purpose community center. This unincorporated community obtained a matching grant to renovate and convert the historic Harlem Academy built in 1920, working for more than four years to raise the additional funds and resources to attain the goal. Newcomers to Harlem will find a close-knit, intimate spirit and a friendly welcome in tree-shaded, established neighborhoods. Further growth and development is a certainty in the Harlem area, fueled by ambitious and dedicated planners and residents who are determined to balance rural tranquility with quality services and conveniences.


LaBelle
Municipal Offices
863-675-2872
www.citylabelle.com

Chamber of Commerce

863-675-0125
www.labellechamber.com

Situated in a vast oak hammock on the sparkling shores of the Caloosahatchee River, the county seat of LaBelle is 26 miles east of Fort Myers. Along with the unincorporated communities that lie within a 15-mile radius of the town, the area claims a winter population that exceeds 13,000. Greater LaBelle includes North LaBelle on the northern side of the Caloosahatchee River and Port LaBelle, which is three miles east of the downtown district. Although cattle ranches dominated LaBelle and nearly all of Henry County until the late 1940s, the citrus industry and vegetable farming dominate the modern economy. In spite of the area’s rural heritage and emphasis on outdoor activities, cultural appreciate is strong. Music plays a particularly important role in daily life, exemplified by the local jazz ensemble and the fine bluegrass and country musicians that entertain in local restaurants and at special events. LaBelle’s schools are also noted for their outstanding music programs and the large number of students who play in the school bands. At the LaBelle Middle School, nearly 40 percent of the student body participates in band.

Port LaBelle
County Offices
863-675-5220
863-983-1585
www.hendryfla.net

Chamber of Commerce

863-675-0125
www.labellechamber.com

Characterized as a 31,000-acre planned community just three miles east of downtown LaBelle, the residential village of Port LaBelle brings a country-club atmosphere to rural living. First developed in the 1980s, Port LaBelle features a golf course, a marina, tennis courts, a hotel, and a growing population of permanent and seasonal residents. The picturesque marina in Port LaBelle combines with opportunities for horseback riding, picnicking, hang gliding, water skiing, jet skiing, and camping. This modern enclave provides a beautiful contrast to the historic charm of nearby LaBelle, where oak-canopied streets are lined with stately old homes — some meticulously refurbished and others quaintly rustic. Port LaBelle is ideally located along State Road 80, which connects the East and West coastal shores of Florida. A short drive from Port LaBelle you will find the attractions of Fort Myers and the sandy beaches of the Gulf Coast.

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