Central around Orlando, Florida Attractions
Inland Florida was once best known for the cattle ranches and the industrious folk or "crackers" who worked them. The vegetation in the area is mostly low scrub, perfect for livestock, first brought over by the Spanish in the 16th century.Settlers came to try their fate in the citrus industry and tourists arrived on steamboats that plowed through the region's rivers but it wasn't until 1971 that central Florida gained worldwide recognition.Walt Disney opened his famous amusement park in Lake Buena Vista in that year and the nearby cities of Orlando and Kissimmee felt the huge impact. Today, Orlando and environs is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the planet.Downtown Orlando is bordered by South Street to the south, Robinson Street to the north, Garland Avenue to the west and Rosalind Avenue to the east. The north-south dividing line is Central Boulevard and the east-west is Orange Avenue.
Fantasy of Flight, Polk City, Florida
Fantasy of Flight features 40 vintage aircrafts housed in an art deco building. Film and audiotapes provide an opportunity to experience a WWII bombing mission in a full-scale diorama. Visitors can take a guided tour of the restoration workshop, climb inside the cockpit of a Corsair fighter or enjoy the state-of-the-art hang glide simulator.
Bushnell features many small lakes that were once fished by American Indians and Spanish explorers. Lake Panasoffkee is still popular with anglers today.The Florida National Military Cemetery, one of the largest in the U.S., is also located here.
Dade Battlefield State Historic Site
Dade Battlefield Historic State Park commemorates the battle between Maj. Francis L. Dade and his troops, and the Seminole Indians. This marked the beginning of the Second Seminole War.An annual re-enactment of the historic battle is held on the weekend falling closest to the actual battle date.
Hernando - Ted Williams Retrospective Museum & Library (closed)
ATTRACTION IS CLOSED - NOW LOCATED IN ST PETERSBURG.Eighteen galleries house a collection from Ted's life and career including the first contract Ted signed with the Boston Red Sox, his two Triple Crowns, actual Red Sox Stadium Seats, and a collection of Ted Williams baseball bats.
Central Florida Railroad Museum, Winter Garden, Florida
Located in the old Tavares and Gulf railroad depot, the museum displays the history of railroading in Central Florida with artifacts and photos on exhibit to explore the past. A collection of railroad china, a 1938 Fairmont Motor Car and a restored caboose are on display.
Winter Haven, Florida
Winter Haven, surrounded by citrus groves, is located 75 miles from the Atlantic Ocean and the same distance from the Gulf of Mexico. Fishing is a very popular activity on the spring-fed lakes and canals that contain many types of game fish.The Cleveland Indians have exhibition games in March at Chain of Lakes Stadium.
Cypress Gardens (closed)
ATTRACTION IS CLOSED.Cypress Gardens features botanical gardens with 8000 flower varieties from more than 90 countries It was established in 1936 and still presents some of the "old-style" amusements from the early days of tourism in Florida. There are ice skating shows like "Fairy Tales on Ice", a butterfly project and aviary with more than 1000 free-flying butterflies, a reptile farm. It is perhaps best known for its daily water-ski demonstrations. The first ski show took place in 1943 and the park claims it is "the longest continually running entertainment production in the world." A 153-foot observation tower provides views of the gardens, and Chain of Lakes.
Water Ski Museum and Hall of Fame
The history of water skiing is portrayed through video presentations, that feature Cypress Gardens and barefoot skiing at the Water Ski Museum and Hall of Fame. Photographs, artifacts and equipment relating to the sport are on display.
Marion Nature Park, Belleview, Florida
Founded in 1989, the Marion Nature Park has a diverse collection of 200 animals, reptiles and birds. The Park specializes in unique animals and offers programs through the Animal Science School for hands-on training.
In the hilly country of central Florida is Sebring, a town well known to motor-racing enthusiasts for the races held at the end of March and in October on the old military airfield. To the west of Sebring lies the Highland Hammock State Park.
Highlands Hammock State Park
Highlands Hammock State Park features 4,896-acres of dense forest and swampland with opportunities for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. As well, there are paved roads and campgrounds within the park. Highlands Hammock opened in 1931 and is one of Florida's four original state parks. The Florida Civilian Conservation Corps operates a museum on the history of the local Civilian Corps as well as local plant and wild life.
Address: 5931 Hammock Road, Sebring, FL 33872, United States
Opening hours: 8am-Sunset
Entrance fee in USD: Camping fee $22.00, Vehicle plus all occupants $6.00
Useful tips: Pedestrians and cyclists: $2.00 Bike rentals are available at the ranger station.
Guides: Interpretive sessions sometimes available.
Facilities: On-site accomodations, Restaurant or food service
Sebring International Raceway
The Sebring International Raceway is a 3.7 mile (5.9km) circuit that hosts a variety of sports car racing events throughout the year. It is perhaps most famous for the grueling "12 Hours of Sebring" race. The first race was held here in 1950 and has been the location of several important events in U.S. racing history. In 1959, it was the site of the first Formula One race in the U.S.
Children's Museum of Highlands
The Children's Museum of Highlands invites children to learn about the world around them through play. Interactive exhibits and "hands-on" displays include miniature supermarket, a bank, a television station and more.
Address: 219 North Ridgewood Drive, Sebring, FL 33870-7204, United States
Opening hours: 10am-5pm; Thu: 10am-8pm; Closed: Sun, Mon
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), Thanksgiving - USA (4th Thursday, Nov), Christmas Eve - Christian (Dec 24), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25)
Entrance fee in USD: $3.00
Useful tips: Children must be accompanied by an adult.
Guides: Interpretive sessions sometimes available.
Typical Visit: 1 hour 30 minutes
Orange City - St Johns River EcoTours
St Johns River Cruises provides narrated cruises and nature tours along the St. John River on the Naiad, a sightseeing cruising catamaran.