Se­bring: Travel at Your Own Pace

Travel Guide to Florida - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - BY STEVE WIN­STON

There ex­ists a place in Florida where you can cast a line in the morn­ing and not see an­other per­son. It’s a placid piece of Old Florida, with rolling hills, nat­u­ral beau­ti­ful sur­round­ings, or­ange groves and charm­ing small towns fea­tur­ing old gen­eral stores. It’s also where 50,000 fans gather for in­ter­na­tion­ally ac­claimed racing events at the Se­bring In­ter­na­tional Race­way.

Wel­come to Se­bring, about 65 miles south of Or­lando, which of­fers visi­tors a very unique slice of the Sun­shine State.

DO

From Fe­bru­ary 23–24, at­tend a test run at Se­bring In­ter­na­tional Race­way for the 65th An­nual Twelve Hours of Se­bring; the big event takes place March 15–18. The Spring Vin­tage Classic runs from March 2–5.

Also pop­u­lar is the ros­ter of an­nual events, such as the Heart­land Triathlon in June, the Cal­a­dium Fes­ti­val in July, the Grape Stomp in Au­gust and the Fine Art Fes­ti­val in Novem­ber, to name a few.

High­lands Ham­mock State Park fea­tures 15 dis­tinct nat­u­ral com­mu­ni­ties on more than 9,000 acres, with an el­e­vated board­walk from which you’ll likely spot al­li­ga­tors and other wildlife, as you bike the scenic three-mile loop or hike any of nine trails. There’s also a tram tour.

En­joy fish­ing and recre­ational ac­tiv­i­ties on any of Se­bring’s 100 lakes and creeks. (Lake Is­tok­poga is ranked No. 6 in the south­east for tro­phy bass.) In ad­di­tion, there’s hunt­ing, hik­ing, cycling, kayak­ing, boat­ing, tub­ing and Swamp Buggy Eco Tours at Buck Is­land Ranch—a real work­ing cat­tle ranch.

SHOP

Maxwell’s Grove House is a lit­tle coun­try store in Avon Park, filled with lo­cal good­ies rang­ing from fresh-squeezed or­ange juice and lo­cal honey to one-of-a-kind gifts and or­ange-fla­vored ice cream. Sit in one of the old rock­ers on the porch and just “chill.”

EAT AND PLAY

Culi­nary de­lights await you at McLane’s Gar­den Café, Chi­canes, Cow­poke’s Wa­ter­ing Hole, Eigh­teen East Main, Good News Café, the Alumni Grill and oth­ers.

Lake Placid is known for its nearly 50 out­door mu­rals and for be­ing the Cal­a­dium Cap­i­tal of the World while Se­bring fea­tures the High­lands Lit­tle Theatre, the High­lands Mu­seum of Arts and more. And the Alan Jay Wild­stein Per­form­ing Art Cen­ter in Avon Park brings in such tal­ent as the Beach Boys and Jay Leno.

TOP: Board­walk at High­lands Ham­mock State Park. CEN­TER: Join in the fun at the 12 Hours of Se­bring.

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