Plant City is a year-round destination

Strawberry season is approaching and we know, the best place for that is Plant City. But there's more to this eastern Hillsborough community than strawberry shortcake, sundaes, and pies.

Plant City has a rich history dating back to the mid-1800's. It's original name was Ichepuckassa after the Indian village that once stood here.

In 1884, Henry B. Plant extended the South Florida Railroad into town, and one year later, they renamed it "Plant City" in his honor.

Today those tracks remain, and so does that old town feel.

"Plant City is an all-American city. It has a tremendous heartfelt sense of community," offered Mike Herr, the city manager.

Strolling downtown is like walking back in time. The commercial district is on the National Register of Historic Places, featuring brick buildings are over 100 years old.

Many are now boutiques or antique stores.

The Whistle Stop is a popular restaurant where the cherry soda still costs a nickel.

"Other cities have grown into the 21st century. Plant City still maintains its own identity. It maintains a hometown charm, a sense of itself where people know each other," said the Whistle Stop's owner, Jerry Lofstrom.

Joseph Richter knows what it's like. He was born and raised here.

It's that small town feeling that keeps him around.

"People say, well when you retire, where are you going to move? I say, I don't intend to move. I have lived in three houses in my life and all three are in Plant City."