Sebring, a small town along the lovely Lake Wales Ridge in Central Florida, is staking a claim for something new — Florida’s first (and only) craft soda festival, the Sebring Soda Festival. Local small-batch sodas made with real sugar are making a comeback, partly as an outgrowth of the craft beer phenomenon. This Sebring festival is a good opportunity to taste what it’s all about.
Chinsegut Hill Historic Site in Brooksville is a rare Antebellum plantation in Florida. Beautifully preserved atop a high hill, it introduces you to remarkable people, black and white, who lived here over 180 years. What a great place to discover!
This region may be known for its theme parks, but it should really be famous for its springs and rivers. If you like paddling, you’ll find some of the Florida’s best kayaking in Central Florida.
A peaceful park shaded by magnificent live oaks is a good place to soak up some Florida history and take a walk or have a picnic. The battlefield tells a dramatic and thought-provoking story.
This 46-mile paved Central Florida rail trail is a smooth, safe ride. But what makes it special is the scenery, parks & towns to explore along the way.
The Withlacoochee River meanders through an unspoiled forest in rural Florida but still within an hour of Orlando and Tampa.
You’ll discover tons of things to do in Sanford, Florida, a historic waterfront town, now a foodie & craft beer haven. It’s close to top kayaking on the Wekiva and Econ and good bike trails.
The Econlockhatchee — Econ for short — is close to Central Florida cities, yet it offers vast wild areas to kayak and even camp along a beautiful river not overrun with people.
The Mount Dora Bicycle Festival attracts thousands for competitive rides over hill and dale. This is your guide to the festival with schedules, a list of nearby campgrounds and links to hotel and vacation home reservations.
This year-round surfing mecca has more to offer beyond the resort cluster near the pier. Discover these hidden things to do.
Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales will fill a day with exploration and beauty — manicured landscapes, history and trails atop a lofty hill in Central Florida. Here are our seven favorite spots.
Canaveral National Seashore is quiet and peaceful with bountiful wildlife, and you can always find your place in the sand.
Lakes Wales is blessed with the historic and grand Bok Tower Gardens, but there are other things to do, from funky ‘Spook Hill’ to a pretty pathway around the lake for biking or walking.
Camping, kayaking, hiking, biking and a humongous swimming pool are the top features of this state park that straddles the Hillsborough River.
Development is creeping up on Spruce Creek and Strickland Bay, but there’s still enough scenic shoreline left to enjoy an awesome day of kayaking.
The park, home to hundreds of manatees in the winter, is beautiful and paddling opportunities are numerous. There’s something special year-round. In summer 2024, however, habitat restoration will close all swimming.
If you haven’t experienced Florida’s most famous spring, you’re missing one of the most beautiful spots in Florida. This weekend, Ocali Country Days, a special living-history festival, will re-create the Ocala of the 1800s. Year-round, this park has it all: kayaking, hiking, glass-bottom boat rides, horseback riding and terrific cabins.
Lake Norris & Blackwater Creek are hidden gems of the Wekiva River system near Orlando. The dwarf cypress in the lake are like a gorgeous watery bonsai garden. It’s an easy paddle worth seeking out for its great beauty.
Tucked into the woods between two lakes and a wildlife preserve, this 54-site public campground is $18-$23 per night and only 20 minutes from Disney World.
The Van Fleet Trail into the Green Swamp is one of the most rural, isolated rides you’ll find in Florida. It’s flat. It’s straight. But if you want to truly get away from it all and encounter a little wildlife along the way, here’s the place.
Colt Creek State Park is one of Florida’s newest parks, part of the massive Green Swamp Wilderness near Tampa, with RV and tent camping, backpacking, kayaking, fishing, hiking and off-road bicycling.
Jetty Park, with a terrific beach, fishing jetty and a view of passing ships, has a campground and small cabins. It’s an appealing getaway, with a few catches.
Inexpensive and smothered in nature, these scenic campgrounds are the best for RV and tent campers within an hour’s drive of Disney World.
The 22-mile-long West Orange Trail stands out as an appealing bike trail, as it winds along Lake Apopka west of Orlando. This smooth paved trail gets it right, with scenery and excellent amenities.
Amateur astronomers love this place in the heart of Florida’s cow country — 54,000 acres of wide-open prairie, 25 miles from the nearest town, ideal for stargazing under a pure night sky.
Lake Wales Ridge State Forest is for explorers – folks who like to find places that aren’t in the guidebooks. Here you can hike for miles in the woods, hear only nature and have a chance to spot wildlife, including bear, bald eagles and endangered scrub jays.
We know what the big draw is in Orlando, and it’s not nature. But it should be! Even if your destination is a theme park, here are 9 natural experiences and places that are memorable additions to a visit to Central Florida
Chances are, you’ve never heard of Blue Cypress Lake near Yeehaw Junction. If that’s so, you’re missing a spectacular natural lake rimmed by old growth cypress trees and home to hundreds of ospreys and osprey nests. This lake is the headwaters of the mighty St. Johns River. What a great kayak destination!
You can experience four outstanding Florida rivers in one trip if you base yourself in the Ocala area. In four days of paddling, you have a good chance to see wildlife — from manatees to American eagles to alligators and even monkeys. Three of the four rivers are aquarium-clear spring-fed streams. The fourth is a wild and peaceful place where you can escape the modern world.
Camping in Florida State Parks offer scenic respite when traveling on Interstate 4 from Daytona Beach through Orlando to Tampa.