Lake Okeechobee was found on a fathomable trough, which had an underlying compacted clay deposits. Until approximately 6,000 years ago, the trough was made up of dry terrains. Later, the sea level and water tables of Florida began to rise, and rainfall increased. From 6,000 to 4,000 years ago, the marshland formed the basic foundation of the present lake, which was eventually filled with flowing water. On the southern part of the lake, layers of peat were piled, enough to create a dam, which held back the water in the lake. Later, the water began to rise and flow to the shore into the Everglades. This lake became the headwaters of Everglades.
The name of the lake is derived from the Hitchiti words oki (water) and chubi (big), thus the derivation means “big water.” Mayaimi (also means “big water”) was the oldest name that Hernando de Escalante Fontaneda disclosed during the 16th century. A little later during the 16th century, Rene Goulaine de Laudonniere also had heard about a big lake in southern Florida which was named as Serrope. During the 18th century, the Hispanic name of the lake, Laguna de Espiritu Santo, was the name known to British mapmakers and chroniclers. Mayacco Lake or Lake Mayaca was known during the early part of the 19th century. That name was derived from the Mayaca people who migrated to the lake from St. Johns River in the early 18th century. In the early 19th century, Lake Macaco was the name given to the lake.
After the 1928 hurricane which trespassed the old dike and claimed thousands of lives, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built the Herbert Hoover Dike around Lake Okeechobee. The lake receives water from many sources, such as the Kissimmee River (the largest source), Lake Istokpoga, Fisheating Creek (second largest source), Taylor Creek, Nubbin Slough and Nicodemus Slough. Before the 20th century, Istokpoga Creek connected Lake Istokpoga and Kissimee River. Lake Istokpoga, however, did overflow during the rainy season, with the water flowing into the Lake Okeechobee.
Lake Okeechobee is divided between five counties: Glades, Okeechobee, Martin, Palm Beach, and Hendry. These counties, at one point, meet at the lake’s center.
To get in Martin County, one can take the I-95 route. For those on plane can arrive on the private airfield in Stuart, but there is a commercial airport in West Palm Beach, which is the nearest. One can walk around in the city, but the best way to get around the county is by car.
West Palm Beach is accessible thru I-95 and A1A for those traveling by car. For those who prefer planes, there are regular flights to Palm Beach International Airport.
Recorded low temperature is 19.4°C in January, and recorded high tempereature is 27.9°C in September.
What to Wear
During summer months, it is advisable to wear light-colored and cool clothing, especially those made from cotton. Women can wear skirts and cool sundresses. Flip flops are definitely something to bring. If you plan to stay outdoors for longer hours, bring along a hat, a pair of shades for eye protection, and apply a generous amount of sunblock with a high SPF, applying every 2 to 3 hours.
When on business meetings, wear appropriate clothing made of light-colored and cool materials. For night outs, it is advisable to wear appropriate outfits.
During the rainy seasons, be sure to have a jacket or sweatshirt. Same goes for non-rainy days but with cooler nights.
Lake Okeechobee is one of the fishing hotspots that anglers are willing to explore. Below are the most popular fishes that one can encounter while fishing in the lake.
BEST MONTHS TO FISH
Below are the best seasons to fish for these fishes.
*largemouth bass – late fall to early spring, can be caught all-year round
*crappie – January to March (though crappie can be caught on summer)
*bluegill – springtime
WHAT TO BRING AND WEAR WHEN FISHING
The following are the most appropriate outfit when going for a fish:
• light long sleeves, cool light-colored cotton outfits
• jacket or other rain gear
• boat shoes
• sun screen with high SPF
The following should also be in your A-list:
• water or your preferred beverages
• medicine kit
Attractions and Activities
Shopping, nature trip, golfing with friends, fishing tournaments, clubbing all night—the areas around Lake Okeechobee have it all! Check out some of these attractions which should be part of every tourist’s to-do list.
5001 SW Rucks Dairy Road Okeechobee, FL 34974
*Wagon Wheel Horse Farm Day Rides
1225 NE 42nd Terrace Okeechobee, FL 34972
2355 SW 28th Street # 30d, Okeechobee, FL 34974
*Thornberry Concessions Inc
3975 Highway 441 SE, Okeechobee, Florida 34974-7219
*KOA Golf Course
4276 US Highway 441 S, Okeechobee, Florida 34974-6255
(863) 763 0531, (800) 562 7748
*Okeechobee Historical Society
1850 Highway 98 N, Okeechobee, FL 34972
*8 Seconds, Okeechobee
3751 NE 4th Trl, Okeechobee, FL 34974
*South Florida Bass Fishing
Okeechobee, Florida 34974
3246 Us-441 S, Okeechobee, FL 34974
Where to Stay
Whether you love camping or relaxing on a comfortable bed, accomodations and campsites are available around Lake Okeechobee. Just check out some of these amazing campsites and appealing hotels and inns which will surely make your Lake Okeechobee experience worth reminiscing.
*Travelodge Suites of Okeechobee
1527 SE Highway 441, Okeechobee, FL
201 S Parrott Ave, Okeechobee, FL
Highway 441 South Okeechobee, Florida 34974
Information: (863) 763-0231
Toll Free Reservations: (800) 562-7748
*Zachary Taylor RV Resort
2995 Hwy 441 S. E. Okeechobee, FL. 34974
*Buckhead Ridge Resort
2199 Hunter Road, Okeechobee, FL 34974
Local Phone: (863) 783-2826
Fax: (863) 763-0592
*Angler’s Waterfront Motel
1010 6th Street – B.H.R., Okeechobee, Florida 34974
Phone: (863) 763-4031
*Lakeport RV Resort
2800 Milum Dr. N.W., Lakeport, FL 33471
Local Phone: 863-946-1415
1st Street & Highway 27, Moore Haven, Fl 33471
Highway 27 Moore Haven, FL. 33471
*Canal Front Park, Inc.
415 C.R. 721 Loop Rd. N.E. Moore Haven, FL 33471
Local Phone: (863) 946-0559
Fax: (863) 946-1964
12525 Williams Rd. SW, Moore Haven, FL 33471
Local Phone: (863)-675-2243
Toll Free: 800-889-5636
Toll Free U.S./Canada: 800-889-5636
108 Royal Palm Avenue, Clewiston, FL 33440
*Plaza Travel Inn
621 E Sugarland Hwy, Clewiston, FL 33440
*Big Cypress Campground
HC 61 (PO Box 54 A), Clewiston, FL 33440
Voice: (863) 983-1330
Fax: (863) 983-3122
*Crooked Hook RV Resort
51700 US 27 Clewiston, FL 33440
Voice: (863) 983-7112
Fax: (863) 983-3022
255 Us Highway 27, South Bay, FL 33493-1817
*Royal Inn of Belle Glade
890 S Main St., Belle Glade, FL 33430-4225
*Pahokee Marina Campgrounds
190 N Lake Ave.
*J & S Fish Camp & Tavern
9500 SW Conners Hwy, Okeechobee, FL
*Southern Sun RV Park
665 State Road 78 W,
Where to Eat
Around Lake Okeechobee are places filled with good restaurants. Here are some of the restaurants and food joints that locals and guests would surely love to try while having a good time in Lake Okeechobee.
102 SW 14th st., Okeechobee fl 34974
608 South Parrott Avenue, Okeechobee, FL
*Brahma Bull Restaurant
2405 US Highway 441 SE, Okeechobee, FL
*Speckled Perch Steakhouse
105 Highway 98 N, Okeechobee, FL
*Clock Family Restaurant
1111 South Parrott Avenue, Okeechobee, FL
*Spring Garden Chinese Restaurant
3238 US Highway 441 S, Okeechobee, FL
*Lakeport Motel and Restaurant
1077 Lakeport Plz, Okeechobee, FL
2795 US Highway 441 S, Okeechobee, FL
*Moore Haven Restaurant
100 Highway 27, Moore Haven, FL
585 S US Highway 27, Moore Haven, FL
*Glades Golf & Grill
1682 Indian Hills Dr, Moore Haven, FL
*Dixie Fried Chicken
728 East Sugarland Highway, Clewiston, FL
*Black Gold Steakhouse
1100 North Main Street, Belle Glade, FL
*Poppa Jimmy’s Catfish & More
149 South Lake Avenue, Pahokee, FL