There exists a place in Florida where you can cast a line in the morning and not see another person. It’s a placid piece of Old Florida, with rolling hills, natural beautiful surroundings, orange groves and charming small towns featuring old general stores. It’s also where 50,000 fans gather for internationally acclaimed racing events at the Sebring International Raceway.
Welcome to Sebring, about 65 miles south of Orlando, which offers visitors a very unique slice of the Sunshine State.
From February 23-24, attend a test run at Sebring International Raceway for the 65th Annual Twelve Hours of Sebring; the big event takes place March 15-18. The Spring Vintage Classic runs from March 2-5.
Also popular is the roster of annual events, such as the Heartland Triathlon in June, the Caladium Festival in July, the Grape Stomp in August and the Fine Art Festival in November, to name a few.
Highlands Hammock State Park features 15 distinct natural communities on more than 9,000 acres, with an elevated boardwalk from which you’ll likely spot alligators and other wildlife, as you bike the scenic three-mile loop or hike any of nine trails. There’s also a tram tour.
Enjoy fishing and recreational activities on any of Sebring’s 100 lakes and creeks. (Lake Istokpoga is ranked No. 6 in the southeast for trophy bass.) In addition, there’s hunting, hiking, cycling, kayaking, boating, tubing and Swamp Buggy Eco Tours at Buck Island Ranch—a real working cattle ranch.
Maxwell’s Grove House is a little country store in Avon Park, filled with local goodies ranging from fresh-squeezed orange juice and local honey to one-of-a-kind gifts and orange-flavored ice cream. Sit in one of the old rockers on the porch and just “chill.”
EAT AND PLAY
Culinary delights await you at McLane’s Garden Café, Chicanes, Cowpoke’s Watering Hole, Eighteen East Main, Good News Café, the Alumni Grill and others.
Lake Placid is known for its nearly 50 outdoor murals and for being the Caladium Capital of the World while Sebring features the Highlands Little Theatre, the Highlands Museum of Arts and more. And the Alan Jay Wildstein Performing Art Center in Avon Park brings in such talent as the Beach Boys and Jay Leno.
Bring your clubs! Flanked by citrus groves, moss-draped oak trees and nature preserves, Sebring’s Citrus Golf Trail offers special Stay & Play packages combining a room, breakfast and play at nine of the state’s most affordable golf courses.