Kissimmee, have you heard of it? No, nor have most people. Well, it’s a hidden gem, so here is why you should get to know it…
Great for a family holiday this Easter (averaging temperatures of around 22 degrees in April) or for a summer holiday family treat!
Yet, Kissimmee is great for couples of all ages as well, year-round-sunshine and luxury living – oh, and let’s face it, the big kids in us secretly fancies the theme parks too!
Firstly, some geography, the city of Kissimmee is in central Florida’s Osceola County, about 35km south of Orlando.
Imagine a place where thrills and fun are plenty, luxuries are many and there is an abundance of ways to explore nature and all that a Florida vacation has to offer. Ideally located in Central Florida, Kissimmee’s holiday accommodation options (a vast array of hotels, motels, apartments and luxury villas with private pools) are an idyllic place to return to after a day of soaking up the fun and thrills of world-famous theme parks.
So, the first reason to take note of this city, is its proximity to the region’s multitude of amusement parks (mostly set in Orlando), which we are certain you will have heard of, including the massive Walt Disney World Resort complex (about 19km from Kissimmee ) and Universal Studios (about 25km from Kissimmee).
1) Theme Parks
Walt Disney World
Orlando is well-known for its vast array of spectacular theme parks; Walt Disney World, Universal Studios Florida, Epcot, Sea World, Discovery Cove.
Plus, LEGOLAND, Busch gardens, Gatorland and Island of Adventure, to name just a few! and, Kissimmee offers an affordable alternative to staying in Orlando.
Roller coaster at LEGOLAND
But there is much more of Florida than just Orlando’s theme parks, if you want your one or two weeks in the Florida sun to be a little more varied, then kissimmee is a great base for it all.
2) Lake Toho
The city lies along the north-west shore of Lake Tohopekaliga (nicknamed Lake Toho), native name meaning ‘we will gather together here’. Toho is the largest lake located in Osceola County, Florida, and encompasses walking paths, playgrounds and a fishing pier – it is particular beautiful during a sunset walk.
While in Kissimmee you must visit Lake Toho for amazing wildlife and picture postcard scenery, because it is nice to get out and enjoy the counties sunshine, and Kissimmee’s carefully preserved natural environment and various outdoor attractions offer visitors a chance to reconnect with nature!
Being by the waters deep blue depths, feels as though you are on a tiny ocean, and there are plenty of things to do on and around the lake, if you’ve never experienced an airboat ride, this is the perfect place to do it – a truly fantastic Floridian experience.
3) Legendary Golf Getaways
With year-round Florida warmth,the golf season is 365 days of tee time, and there are so many courses that there is a perfect green one for everyone – whether you’re a scratch golfer or an admitted duffer!
Spend a day on the greens at one of the many championship courses; Harmony Golf Preserve, Reunion Resort and Champions Gate Golf Resort, Mystic Dunes, Falcon’s Fire Golf Club and Celebration Golf Club are just a few
Zip lining is gaining popularity, with courses popping up all around the United States and Kissimmee has its fair share!
At Zip Orlando you are so close to Walt Disney World that you can actually see the Magic Kingdom fireworks if you zip at night. “At night?” you say. Absolutely! The only thing better than zipping through a canopy of trees by day, is doing it after dark! at Zip Orlando there are eight different lines to try out!
Or take a zip-lines over alligators at Gatorland, on the Screamin’ Gator Zip-Line, where your journey will take you along 1,200 feet of high flying, heart pounding adventure.
5) First-Class Entertainment
The Silver Spurs Arena hosts a variety of entertainment acts from world-class headliner pop-stars and comedy shows, to championship sports tournaments.
Catch a game of baseball at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, home to the Atlanta Braves. Another”all American” activity is rodeo – and you can enjoy it for yourself with a rodeo experience, today’s rodeo is a modern link to the cowboys of the past and our western heritage. The KSA Rodeo takes place at the Kissimmee Sports Arena on Friday nights. Riders and ropers come from all over the south-eastern United States. Arrive early and enjoy a steak dinner before the show.
For more excitement, enjoy a dinner show where visitors can cheer for their favorite knight at Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament or take in the speakeasy sounds and sights at Capone’s Dinner and Show – all good American entertainment for all the family (well maybe not the speakeasy!)
6) Exceptional Shopping and Relaxed Dining
Ok, there are no limits to the shopping options available in Kissimmee, and with the favorable rate of the pound against the dollar bargains can often be had. The Loop and The Loop West, offers more than 400,000-square-feet of retail options in pedestrian-friendly, open-air atmospheres, or for further bargains, outlet shopping is also available at Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores. While designer treasures can be discovered at boutiques along the downtown streets of Kissimmee, and The Florida Mall and the Mall at Millenia offer a mix of familiar favorites and high-end shops. You see – you can shop till you drop.
The USA is home to some serious culinary delights, and Florida is no exception, in Kissimmee enjoy relaxed al fresco dining all-year-round, with many outdoor cafes.
7) Beach Time
Although Kissimmee sits pretty central to Florida, it is within an easy drive to some beaches – meaning you can also enjoy some wonderful Florida beach time!
To the west is stunning Clearwater beach – a barrier beach, this white sandy bar is surrounded by water, backed by luxury hotels, bars and restaurants it offers that chilled-out Golf of Mexico lifestyle. Bus and lunch packages are available to make it super easy to enjoy a day at the beach, a break from the theme parks.
Or, Cocoa Beach is an hours drive to the east, and is often called the quintessential beach holiday of Florida. Sandy beaches meet the warm Atlantic for swimming and water sport opportunities.
If you are happy to drive just a little further, about and hour and 15 minutes north-east is the world-famous Dayton Beach! proclaimed by locals as the best beach in the world, this typical Floridan beach is bustling and still steeped in its ‘playground to the world’ roots and motor sports history!
With all this and much much more, Kissimmee is a hidden gem if ever we saw one! So if your’e thinking about a trip to Florida, don’t just head straight for Orlando explore Kissimmee we say.