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A SWEET SPOT IN CENTRAL FLORIDA
 
(2016 - Winter/Spring Issue)

Writer: STEVE WINStON



What’s interesting about Kissimmee is that it’s a slice of “Natural Florida” right in the middle of the theme-park capital of the world . . . giving visitors a taste of how Florida used to be, filled with natural beauty and a ton of outdoor adventures to enjoy.

“We’ve got the world-famous theme parks right in our backyard,” says Nori Rodriguez, Communications Manager at Experience Kissimmee. “But we also have the headwaters of the Everglades. So, just minutes from the parks, you can canoe or kayak under a canopy of cypress trees.”

Nature’s Bounty

View exotic animals at Wild Florida Airboats & Wildlife Park, or take a “Swamp Buggy” ride through land on which cattle grazed until recently. Ride the wind with Orlando Balloon Rides. Then explore still waters with the Paddling Center at Shingle Creek.

At Warbird Adventures, experience Central Florida from yet a different perspective—the cockpit of a World War II fighter plane. Or glide along the ground with ZE Segway Tours. 

Fishing? Kissimmee’s renowned for its largemouth bass. Nature trails? Osceola County offers excellent hiking, biking and horseback-riding trails through tropical hammocks and landscapes not found elsewhere. Outdoor relaxation? Dozens of beautiful lakeside parks, such as the Kissimmee Lakefront Park or Shingle Creek Regional Park, make the rest of the world seem a million miles away. Want to hit a few golf balls? You’ll find more than a dozen courses here.

Cowboy Country

Get a taste of local history at the Welcome Center and History Museum, where the area’s cattle-ranching legacy comes alive again. It wasn’t too long ago Kissimmee was the home of “Cracker Cowboys” and enormous cattle ranches; twice yearly, it still stages the Silver Spurs Rodeo, the largest rodeo east of the Mississippi. And both Kissimmee and St. Cloud feature interesting historic districts. 

If you’re here in springtime, watch modern history being made at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex, where the Atlanta Braves train. And, in this region that attracts more tourists than anywhere else in the world, you can dine among a vast selection of restaurants and shop at some great retail complexes.

Upcoming events include the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, March 2–May 30; the Runaway Country Music Fest, March 18–20; and the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo, April 7–10.

Yes, Kissimmee does, indeed, have the world’s greatest theme parks—just minutes from all that is natural in Florida.

Travel Planner

Explore all Kissimmee has to offer at ExperienceKissimmee.com.

 
 
 
 
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