Travel Features in Central Florida

NatureFest Returns for 2014

Mark your calendars for October 23 – 26, 2014. The unlimited natural beauty of Polk County is yours to discover during Central Florida NatureFest 2014. NatureFest is built around discovering many of the unique opportunities that Polk County offers to outdoor enthusiasts. Daily excursions and field trips, led by experienced naturalists, provide up close and personal exploration of the area’s flora, fauna and wildlife. This year’s list of excursions for the four-day event offers something for everyone; including birding, hiking, kayaking, butterfly and wildflower viewing, nature photography, swamp buggy rides and airboat tours – plus exclusive behind-the-scenes access to Polk County’s most unique parks and natural lands. Read more…

For Summer Fun, Just Add Water!

Central Florida summers can be a bit on the “Balmy side.” That’s code for “Sheesh, it gets hot around here,” so it’s a good thing “here” offers you lots of fun ways to stay cool and refreshed while enjoying the Florida sunshine. With 554 fresh-water lakes in Central Florida’s Polk County, there are lots of ways to beat the heat and experience a great Florida vacation. You can learn to water ski, wakeboard or even barefoot ski with a champion ski instructor here. Polk County is the “Water Ski Capital of the World” so many experts have made this area their home. You can also do stand up paddle boarding on the Winter Haven Chain of Lakes, or go all “Iron Man” with the cutting edge extreme watersport of flyboarding. A little training (from certified instructors) in a water-powered jet pack will have you soaring over the lakes like an aquatic “James Bond.” Read more…

Local Flavors – Dining in Central Florida

fla•vor (n) a distinctive taste, atmosphere or quality.

Polk County’s locally owned restaurants truly epitomize the definition of flavor. From alligator tail and Oysters Rockefeller to flame-broiled steak and fresh seafood Polk County sizzles as a smorgasbord for dining pleasure. Each restaurant provides a unique dining atmosphere that can range from funky to elegant and diners are sure to discover a dining experience that suits your mood. Read more…

Celebrate Mother’s Day in Central Florida

May is just around the corner, and we all know what that means here in Central Florida; gorgeous sunshine, beautiful springtime blooms and, of course, a chance to celebrate mom. It’s no secret that honoring mom is something we do all year round, but that second Sunday in May has been her official U.S. holiday since 1914: Mother’s Day. If you’re looking for a way to make your mom’s May extra special, consider planning a Central Florida vacation with her. With so many festivities and activities scheduled throughout the month, it’s the perfect way to build mother/child memories that will last a lifetime. Read more…

Enjoy World-Class, High-Flying Adventure in Polk County

Polk County’s largest event of the year, the SUN ’n FUN International Fly-In & Expo, returns to Lakeland April 1-6, 2014 for its 40th year. SUN ‘n FUN is Florida’s largest convention and the second largest air show in the United States – turning the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport into the busiest airport in North America during the week of the fly-in. Event organizers anticipate 200,000 visitors from across the United States and more than 80 countries from around the globe. Read more…

Spring Training Hits a Home Run in Polk County

Coming off an unusually cold winter for most of the country, thoughts of a spring vacation in Central Florida are extremely enticing. The weather is mild, the fragrant scent of orange blossoms hangs in the air… and baseball fever is in full swing.

For the devoted baseball fan, it doesn’t get much better than spring training in Florida. It’s the chance to experience a different kind of Major League Baseball, the way it was decades ago — before the huge stadiums and inflated ticket prices. Spring training facilities are smaller, so every seat in the house provides a great view of the action. The atmosphere is more relaxed and the players are more accessible than at a major league stadium. In fact, fans are welcome to interact with the players and have been known to come home with an occasional autograph or two. Fans are even allowed to watch teams practice. Players will report to begin 2014 practice sessions in mid-February. Read more…

Polk County Bar-B-Que Festivals

Ringing in a new year in Polk County heralds the return of barbeque festival season. Residents and visitors alike will find ample opportunity to savor mouthwatering barbeque at well-known annual competitions such as the Lakeland PigFest, Smoke on the Water and Ribs on the Ridge; which jump-start the season in January and February. These events include live entertainment and nominal, if not FREE, admission. Come hungry, as many of the competing teams will be selling their savory fare for the public to enjoy. Read more…

Family Fun for the Holiday Season

Jack Frost might not exactly be nipping at our noses here in Central Florida but the upcoming holiday season offers many great events to cool off, and light up, Polk County. LEGOLAND Florida celebrates the holiday season with their Christmas Bricktacular, every December weekend until Christmas. Festivities include the daily lighting of a 270,000 LEGO brick Christmas tree – and new this year, families will have the opportunity for photos with a life-size LEGO Santa Claus. LEGOLAND Florida will also host Countdown to Kid’s New Year’s Eve from December 26-30, featuring nightly fireworks displays to be watched with special 3D viewing glasses that make the fireworks look like millions of tiny LEGO bricks are falling from the sky. The fun continues with Kid’s New Year’s Eve on December 31, including a live DJ Dance Party in Miniland USA before the countdown to the giant LEGO brick drop at a kid-friendly 7 pm and the fireworks grand finale. Read more…

The Perfect Location for Your Next Family Reunion

Why not hold your next family reunion in one of the world’s most popular vacation destinations? Whether you are visiting Central Florida’s Polk County for the first time, or call the area home, keep it in mind when planning your next family reunion. Polk County is convenient to the nearby major attractions in Orlando and Tampa, and the Gulf and Atlantic beaches, while also offering plenty of activities, attractions, amenities and accommodations for your family members to enjoy right here. It’s not too early to start making plans for next summer. Make it a Reunion to Remember and create memories that your family will cherish for a lifetime. Below you’ll find a sampling of things to consider for your reunion itinerary. Read more…

Streamsong Resort

If you haven’t had the opportunity to play the two spectacular courses at Streamsong Resort now is your chance to play the #1 and #2 ranked courses on Golf Magazine’s Best New Courses in America list, for a steal. Since their opening six months ago, Streamsong Red and Streamsong Blue, has not only been receiving rave reviews from golf publications worldwide, but they have also received accolades from highly respected mainstream publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and… Read more…

Vacation Rental Homes

Polk County vacation rental homes are located in residential just minutes from all of the top Central Florida attractions, restaurants, shopping, golf courses and outdoor recreation areas. With over 8,000 rental homes available in Central Florida’s Polk County you are sure to find one that will be a perfect fit from your vacation getaway. Homes range from modest two-bedroom one-bath villas to opulent seven bedroom homes with floor plans that include multiple full bathrooms. Upon your return from a long day at the theme parks you will appreciate that most Central Florida vacation rental home have a private pool. Read more…

Creating Memories On A Budget

Five Central Florida Attractions That Are Absolutely Free

It’s no secret that planning a vacation can put quite a dent in the family budget, but what you may not know is that there are plenty of exciting things to do in Central Florida that are absolutely free. Whatever your interests may be, you can find an endless array of free Central Florida attractions to suit every member of your family. From the natural beauty of Hollis Garden to the scientific playground of the Mulberry Phosphate Museum, you are sure to enjoy an experience that is both memorable and within your budget. Read more…

Fishing in Polk County

If Florida is the Fishing Capital of the World then Central Florida’s Polk County should claim the title as the Freshwater Fishing Capital of the Fishing Capital. Abundant sunshine and pleasant temperatures allow for year-round fishing in Polk County’s more than 550 lakes, rivers and manmade reservoirs. One of the key reasons that fishing in Central Florida is such a popular pastime is the variety of freshwater species that inhabit area waterways. With access to more than 135 square miles of fishable waters, the variety of fish inhabiting those waters and the diversity of Polk County’s freshwater fisheries, it is no wonder that Central Florida consistently ranks as one of the top freshwater fishing destinations in the World. Read more…

Back to Nature

With an abundance of sunshine, fresh air, more than 550 lakes and wide open spaces, it’s no wonder that Polk County is a top destination for those looking to enjoy Central Florida’s bountiful outdoor opportunities. For one to truly experience nature first hand, at your own pace, just lace up a pair of your most comfortable hiking boots and take to the trails. There are a multitude of parks and nature preserves located throughout Polk County, and the scenery and difficulty of available trails is as varied as the wildlife you will observe along the way. Read more…

“Playing Through” Central Florida

As the golfers who live here in Polk County already know, and visitors are beginning to learn, we are very lucky when it comes to golf opportunities in Central Florida. Not only are we blessed with beautiful weather year round, but we also live amongst one of the top collections of golf courses in the nation. With more than 40 golf courses in Polk County no matter how often you play, or what your handicap is, you can easily find a number of courses that suit your playing ability. All you need to do is grab your golf bag, jump in your car and within minutes you will be teeing off on one of Polk County’s great golf course offerings. Read more…