EXPLORE. EXPERIENCE. ENJOY.
From Spring Traning to skydiving, there’s something for everyone in Central Florida.
Polk County has emerged as one of the best places in the state to experience the beauty of natural Florida. Nature preserves like Circle B Bar Reserve give locals the opportunity to hike and bike alongside bald eagles, great blue herons and alligators. If urban environments are more your thing, a BeFly bike tour of Lakeland’s historic districts and thriving downtown is a great way to connect with your community.
Watersport enthusiasts have always been attracted the Polk County, thanks to the region’s 554 lakes. From water skiing to paddleboarding to fishing, there’s no shortage of ways to enjoy Polk County’s liquid assets (and no shortage of time either, thanks to our year-round mild and sunny climate.)
Are you at your happiest on the green? There’s no better place to satisfy your golf fix than on one of Central Florida’s beautifully manicured courses. Local favorites include Lakeland’s Grasslands Golf and Country Club, recognized as one of the Top 50 country clubs in the nation, and the champion greens of the Country Club of Winter Haven’s scenic course surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty. Golfers are also scrambling to the southern part of the county to experience Streamsong, Florida’s newest premier golf resort featuring two 18-hole golf courses designed by industry-leading architects Doak, Coore and Crenshaw.
Check out a few of our picks for outdoor adventure:
- Circle B Bar Reserve
- Streamsong Golf Resort & Spa
- Florida Skydiving Center
- USA Water Ski
- Absolute Aqua Sports
- Paddleboard Winter Haven
Florida’s newest theme park, LEGOLAND Florida Resort, has been thrilling the younger set and lego lovers alike since it opened the gates in Winter Haven in 2011. At 150-acres, it’s the largest LEGOLAND park in the world and one of the most popular attractions for children ages 2-12.
For those in search of something off the beaten path, Lakeland’s Safari Wilderness Ranch gives visitors the opportunity to experience a real African Safari Experience without leaving the county. Tranquility seekers will fall in love Lake Wales’ Bok Tower Gardens—a gorgeous national historic landmark thas has been a favorite escape from life’s hectic realities since the 1920’s. Of course, there’s always “The Classics.” Disney World, Busch Gardens, Universal Studios and other big name attractions in Tampa and Orlando are all less than an hour’s drive away.
Whether you’re hunting for vintage goodies in our antique districts or combing through the local boutiques in our thriving downtowns, it’s easy to satisfy your shopping cravings in Central Florida.
Put these stops on your shopping list:
What are you in the mood far? Gather with friends at a downtown sushi bar, feed your soul at one of Polk’s longtime BBQ joints or treat your sweetheart to an elegant night out. From trendy lakefront bistros to down-home fish camp fare, Polk County has it all.
Ready to immerse yourself in the local flavors of Central Florida? Here’s our menu of must-visit restaurants:
- Scarpa’s Italian Restaurant
- Tsunami Sushi
- Peebles Bar-B-Que
- The Red Door Wine Market
- Cherry Pocket Steak & Seafood Shak
- Tanner’s Lakeside
- Arabellas Ristorante
Major Annual Events
Whether you like to hear the crack of the bat during Spring Training or peruse the latest creative offerings from area artisans during Mayfaire, almost every local has a major event they anxiously await all year. We’ve listed out a few of our favorites below. For even more information, check out Central Florida’s event calendar for a complete list of our the region’s popular seasonal activities.