Just south of Orlando lies the city of Kissimmee, Florida. The city's year-round warm weather makes it a desirable destination for those looking to get away no matter the season.
Old Town is the perfect place to dine, shop and explore what the city has to offer. There are weekly classic car cruises and the streets are lined with hot rods dating before 1975 as well as the All American Muscle Car Cruise, featuring muscle and other classes that are from 1988 and older. In addition to the car cruises, Old Town is also home to kid-friendly rides such as go-karts, bumper cars, laser tag, a haunted house and an arcade. One of the most popular attractions in the district is the Old Town Slingshot, which sends riders into the sky where they'll get a breathtaking view of Kissimmee from above. You can meander through 75 specialty stores, eight restaurants and a total of 18 amusement rides.
Those in search of an amusement park that isn't Disney should try Fun Spot USA. This theme park is home to the world's tallest SkyCoast, which towers over 300 feet and sends riders on skydiving and hang gliding adventures. There are a number of other rides located in Fun Spot USA such as the Power Trip Coaster, Flying Bob's bobsled attraction and the Screamin' Eagles, where you can get a bird's eye view of the city. The Vortex is a multi-level go-kart ride that is four stories high. The Kid Spot is great for little ones that aren't up for thrill rides or are too small to ride.
The Kennedy Space Center Visitor's Complex is guaranteed to captivate the whole family. You'll see real-life rockets at the center, including the most recent addition, Space Shuttle Atlantis. This space shuttle orbiter entered the Last Frontier 33 times and symbolizes one of the most amazing feats ever accomplished by the human race. Kids will love the Angry Birds Space Encounter. This interactive attraction sends you through a labyrinth and teaches you about space exploration and physics along the way.
There are beaches just waiting to be explored that aren' too far from Kissimmee. The Atlantic Ocean is just a short drive from the city where you can hit top swimming and surfing spots while soaking up the sun. You can also head to the Gulf of Mexico for additional beach opportunities.
Those who want to explore nature can check out any one of the many trails in and near Kissimmee. Bull Creek Wildlife Management Area is an 8.6-mile loop that wanders through wetlands, streams and forests and part of the Florida National Scenic Trail. The Twin Oaks Conservation Area, Shingle Creek Regional Park at Steffee Homestead and Three Lakes Wildlife Management Area are ideal trails to enjoy.
Things to Do
Dining: You can go on a global culinary adventure when you dine in Kissimmee. You'll find restaurants serving up Chinese, Greek, Thai, Indian and Japanese cuisine as well as all-American favorites including steak, pizza, barbecue and seafood. Cafe D'Antonio has an Italian menu with a full bar, wine list and children's menu. Eat a pizza for dinner at Broadway Pizza Bar and App's St. Cloud Pizza & Subs. Black Angus Bar and Grill is the perfect place to go when you're in the mood for steak and barbecue, or grab sweets at Breck's Gourmet Cookies and Abracadabra Ice Cream Factory.
Shopping: You'll enjoy the shopping options available in Kissimmee including retail stores, boutiques and home furnishing shops. If you want to land a great deal, try Orlando Premium Outlets on International Drive as well as Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores for all the must-haves you've been itching to get into your closet. The Florida Mall is the largest of its kind in the region and boasts nearly 2 million square feet of 260 shops and stores such as Macy's, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and J.C. Penney. The Mall at Millenia is home to Bloomingdale's, Neiman Marcus, Chanel, Jimmy Choo, Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co.
Golf: The golf courses in Kissimmee are open year-round and the variety of greens available will have you wanting to visit them all. You can head to the city's most challenging courses or visit some of the most respected golf academies in the region such as the David Leadbetter Golf Academy, ANNIKA Academy and The Golf Academy at Celebration. Golf Courses in Kissimmee and the immediate area include Celebration Golf Club, Falcon's Fire Golf Club, Kissimmee Bay Country Club, Kissimmee Golf Club, Orange Lakes Resorts Golf, Champions Gate Golf Club, Remington Golf Club, Reunion Resort Golf Course, Roy and Kissimmee Oaks Golf Club.
Historic Downtown Kissimmee: Kissimmee's Historic Downtown offers dining, shops and an all-American experience. The Kissimmee Valley Farmer's Market is held on Dakin Avenue each week, while the Food Truck Bazaar takes place on the first Friday of every month. Lakefront Park in the city's downtown shows outdoor movies and is home to the Monument of States, a 50-foot tower made of rocks and pieces of buildings from all over the country. There's a playground for kids and a three-mile paved trail. If you're interested in a paranormal experience, check out the Kissimmee Ghost Tour, where you'll go on a 90-minute exploration of the city and hear stories that have lead others to believe that ghosts are haunting Kissimmee's streets. Boutiques in downtown houses as well as Lanier's Historic Downtown Marketplace are perfect for finding antique items and trinkets to bring home with you.