Florida: Six Good Reasons to Visit Sebring
All true car enthusiasts know Sebring, this town south of Orlando surrounded by ranches, orange groves and bordered by Lake Jackson. Every year in March, the very famous “12 hours of Sebring” takes place, an endurance race between Porsche, Ferrari, Audi and many others. Moreover, this year, Jacques Villeneuve took part at the wheel of his Vanwall. During this event, the small municipality of Sebring, which is home to a population of 10 000 inhabitants, attracts year after year 100 000 spectators from all over the world. But Sebring offers more than chariot racing. Its sparkling Sebring Soda Festival, offers tasting soft drinks of every flavor imaginable and is the only festival of its kind in Florida. It'll appeal to budding foodies, while nearby Highlands Hammock State Park appeals to outdoor enthusiasts with its hiking trails and flora and fauna. And the list of Sebring attractions doesn't stop there. Here are six good reasons to visit this part of the country that is likely to enchant you. A side note: don't forget your cowboy hat, they're very fashionable here.
Highlands Hammock State Park
An alligator and her babies encountered at Highlands Hammock State Park.
Nature lovers will delight in exploring Highlands Hammock State Park near Sebring. This is Florida's first state park, opened in 1935.
This expanse of 3640 hectares made up of pine forests, marshes, cypresses and thousand-year-old oaks is the refuge of a wide variety of animal species. This park is particularly pleasant to visit thanks to its raised walkways, thus facilitating the observation of the surrounding fauna. The tram ride also gives visitors the chance to see birds, alligators, turtles, deer and other wildlife up close, in areas that are off-limits to the public.
< p>With a bit of luck, you might even come across bears, lynxes, and even panthers!
You can also explore the park by bike and on horseback and a campsite is also available visitors.
Sebring Soda Festival
The Sebring Soda Festival will be held on April 7th and 8th.
Sebring is famous for its Sebring Soda Festival which takes place every April. During this big party that takes place in the heart of the small historic city center, you will be able to test no less than 200 soft drinks from all over the world. You will be delighted, because in addition to traditional soft drinks, you can taste sodas with surprising combinations such as those with butterscotch (butterscotch) with bacon (yes, you read that right!), lime, cucumber, espresso and even creamsicle. All these creations will satisfy your desire for exoticism. Canada is even represented there with its famous Ginger Ale Canada Dry! You will probably have time to stroll and admire the works of local artists, dream in front of old cars, attend concerts, and then, why not, for the happiness of the children, you will have to make a stop at the inflatable games of where they will emerge exhausted, but happy! And to end on a high note, you won't want to miss the iconic Sebring Soda & Ice Cream Work, with its 300 different soft drinks, 40 seductively flavored ice creams, and its fast food menu, including its famous Montreal Steamie hot dog.
One of the flower terraces in the charming little town of Lake Placid .
Lake Placid, about twenty minutes north of Sebring is one of the most charming small towns in all of Florida. Its downtown area with its restaurants and shops is visually pleasing mainly because of the 50 murals that adorn its buildings. It is also in this municipality that the annual Caladium Festival is held every July, Lake Placid being considered the caladium capital of the world. Its muddy soil with an extremely acid pH and its adequate temperatures favor flowering. Finally, in season, every Saturday, don't miss its Farmer's Market, a meeting place for locals and visitors where you can find excellent local products.
Airboat Wildlife Adventures
Airboat Wildlife Adventure runs hovercraft rides on Lake Istokpoga and lovely Airbucke Creek.
Another way to observe the biodiversity of the surroundings is to take the hovercraft. Contrary to popular belief, this type of craft isn't just found in the Everglades. Airboat Wildlife Adventures organizes exciting 1.5-hour excursions on Lake Istokpoga, the fifth largest lake in Florida, and charming Airbucke Creek. Hold your phone tight! These speedboats often charge at high speed, and since these waters are populated by alligators, it is the last place you want to escape!
A historic city center
The small historic downtown of Sebring.
Another draw of Sebring is its charming little downtown, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Take the opportunity to appreciate the period architecture dating from the 1920s with its pretty shops, cafes, art galleries and small bars. This is where the famous phrase “Old Florida” makes sense ! Note also its remarkable circular urban plan. It is for this reason that Sebring is nicknamed “The City of Circle”.
Maxwell Grove Country Store
The divine cream orange soft serve ice cream sold at Maxwell Groves Country Store, Avon Park.
A must in the region is the Maxwell Grove Country Store, in the municipality of Avon Park, about fifteen minutes from Sebring. This small store with rustic charm brimming with nostalgia, with its large veranda and rocking chairs, is known for its fresh citrus products. Here, you can stock up on honey, wine, marmalade, and even taste soft ice cream made with real orange juice! An exceptional taste experience!
Population and Geography
Sebring is a city of 10,000 people in rural Highland County, one hour south of Orlando. Specifically, it sits near the southern end of the Lake Wales Ridge, a chain of ancient islands that are the natural habitat of many rare plants and animals. Sebring is bordered by Lake Jackson. In fact, Highland County has nearly a hundred lakes.
Where to stay and eat
Without a doubt, at the Inn on the Lakes , a charming hotel with Mediterranean décor overlooking Lake Jackson. The establishment has 155 cozy rooms, magnificent flower gardens and a large terrace with swimming pool. The rental price includes breakfast served in your room. Special mention for its restaurant La Chicane. A tempting menu awaits you. Cowpoke's Watering Hole is another must for steak and seafood lovers, not to mention of course their legendary orange cake made with 100% fresh Florida oranges, which tastes like heaven! < /p>