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(2021 - Winter Issue)


Between Orlando and Tampa is Polk County, a swath of land filled with wide-open spaces, sparkling lakes, fragrant orange groves, exciting attractions and unique downtown areas. The region’s unmatched beauty blended with abundant culture and history makes it an ideal location for a quiet retreat or family vacation … or, perhaps a mix of both. Plan to visit Central Florida and see for yourself why this part of the Sunshine State is known as Florida’s sweetest spot.

Explore Awhile

The largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture in the world is on the campus of Florida Southern College in Lakeland. Be sure to plan for a docent-led tour of the 13 structures, including the Usonian House, which was completed in 2013, based on Wright’s 1939 design.

Snowbirds and their friends in flight flock to one of the most impressive bird habitats in Central Florida. Located in Lakeland, the Circle B Bar Reserve has a landscape that teems with Floridian touches: freshwater marshes, hardwood swamps, oak hammocks, creeks and lakes. It’s the ideal setting to spot abundant wildlife, including waterfowl, ospreys, eagles and more. You might also spy sunbathing gators if you hike along Alligator Alley.

Play Awhile

Polk County is known as the “Water Ski Capital of the World,” so what better place to celebrate the sport’s 100th anniversary in 2022? Head to Winter Haven, and watch free water ski shows performed on Lake Silver, the third Saturday of every month. To boot, the new USA Water Ski and Wake Sports Foundation Hall of Fame museum recently opened in nearby Davenport.

Come February 24, 2022, children can join Peppa Pig and her friends at the world’s first Peppa Pig Theme Park. Part of the fun at LEGOLAND Florida Resort in Winter Haven, families will be able to  gather as everyone plays their way through the new stand-alone park.

Stay Awhile

In Central Florida, you’ll be on island time at Camp Margaritaville RV Resort and Cabana Cabins. Debuting early next year, Parrotheads (a friendly moniker for Jimmy Buffett fans) will find Cabana Cabins and over 175 RV and Super Premium RV sites at Buffett’s latest piece of paradise. Expect a catchy Margaritaville vibe throughout the park with a resort pool, playground, dog park, and yes, a Tiki Bar, plus more.

If you’re a cowpoke rather than a Parrothead, check out the 688-hectare Westgate River Ranch Resort, the largest dude ranch east of the Mississippi. Stay in a glamping tent, teepee, or new Conestoga wagons. For a more traditional sleepover, there are lodge rooms or cabins.

For longer stays, make reservations at Camp Mack, a Guy Harvey Lodge, Marina and RV Resort or the new Resort at Canopy Oaks, which offers first-class amenities with a mix of RV spaces and luxury rental cottages.

Whichever way you spend your time in Central Florida, you’ll quickly discover how sweet it is.

Travel Planner

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