Visiting Central Florida
Things To Do in Central Florida
Whether you’re planning a visit locally or as part of a vacation during your stay in Orlando, Tampa or Winter Haven, you’ll find many things to do in Central Florida near Bok Tower Gardens.
A perfect day trip located within a fifteen minute drive of LEGOLAND Florida and an hour’s drive of other Central Florida theme parks such as Disney World, SeaWorld and Universal Studios in Orlando as well as Busch Gardens in Tampa, Bok Tower Gardens is just one of the many things to do in the heart of Central Florida. Here you’ll find many versatile activities that include outdoor recreation, unique Florida attractions, and cultural institutions that bring the rich heritage of Florida to life!
Looking for more suggestions? Visit the Central Florida Visitor and Convention Bureau for more!
Archbold Biological Station
Biological research organization located in Lake Placid. Used heavily for education including research training, visitors can also visit the facilities and surrounding preserve to learn about the Lake Wales Ridge and the plant and animal species that call it home.
Captain Fred’s Airboat Nature Tours
Get up close and personal with the wildlife of Central Florida during a guided airboat tour around Lake Hamilton near Winter Haven. During your one and a half hour tour, you might catch a glimpse of alligators, wild hogs, turkeys, deer or bald eagles!
Tiger Creek Preserve
Trek through the Nature Conservancy’s 4,869-acre preserve. This preserve shelters one of the highest concentrations of threatened and endangered plants and animals in the country. Three trails on property range from 30 minutes to 4 hours in duration.
Avon Park Air Force Range
Explore nearly 82,000 acres open for recreation including fishing, hunting, hiking and camping. Public recreation is generally available Thursday through Monday, but varies on military missions nearby.
Circle B Bar Reserve
This 1,267-acre reserve is home to a tremendous bird population. Alligators can often be seen from the trails adjacent to Lake Hancock. The Nature Discovery Center provides educational exhibits that display environmental functions of Florida’s natural resources.
Lake Kissimmee State Park
Located on the shores of lakes Kissimmee, Tiger and Rosalie, visitors can enjoy boating, canoeing and fishing in this picturesque environment. Over 13 miles of trails are open to the public to observe the abundant plant and animal life.
Jump Florida Skydiving
Take the jump from one of the most beautiful skydiving locations in Central Florida – the Chalet Suzanne. With less than ten minutes of training, you can be up in the plane with us, ready to step out into the wind and take the ride of a lifetime! Tandem skydives and skydiving training available.
This 150-acre interactive theme park is dedicated to families with children between the ages of 2 and 12. With more than 50 rides, shows and attractions, LEGOLAND is geared towards family fun. Located in Winter Haven, FL just 45 minutes from Orlando and Tampa.
Fantasy of Flight
Explore the facilities that house the greatest aircraft collection in the world. Immersion exhibits, flight simulators, unique tours, Fun with Flight Center, aerial demonstration, and over 40 rare aircraft. Balloon and biplane rides available.
Just down the road from Bok Tower Gardens this “pit stop attraction of the paranormal” gives drivers a spook as their car inexplicably rolls up the large hill now named “Spook Hill.” What do you think the mystery is behind his spooky attraction?
Lang Sun Country Groves
The “old Florida style” gift shop is filled with fresh-squeezed orange juice, jams, jellies, food items and many Sunshine state inspired treasures. Don’t forget to enjoy a slice of their grapefruit pie which is a favorite of many! Open seasonally, October through May.
Davidson of Dundee
Tour the citrus candy maker’s facilities and visit their gift shop to try the free candy and fresh fruit samples before making your selections. Davidson’s has been featured on the Food Network and many other national shows recognizing America’s most unique culinary treasures.
Florida’s Natural Grove House
Learn about the juice-making business and the rich history of the Florida’s Natural cooperative. A video tour will guide you through the Florida’s Natural facilities and show you how juice is squeezed.
Located just minutes fro Bok Tower Gardens, this family owned and operated this eclectic restaurant and country inn has been in operation since 1931 and offers fine dining in a lakeside setting for lunch or dinner. Tour the soup cannery and take home a can of “Moon Soup.”
Fred’s Southern Kitchen
Located in Winter Haven and Lakeland, this buffet features the finest homemade Southern fare and genuine hospitality. Their buffets feature fresh fruits, vegetables, homemade casseroles, chicken, slow-cooked barbeque ribs and hot desserts! Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
This steakhouse has locations in Lake Wales, Winter Haven and Haines City and is know to have “the best steaks in town.” Their menu features a variety of delicious selections from hand-cut steaks to fresh seafood. Their endless salad bowl is a must with dinner!
Located just outside of Lake Wales on Lake Pierce, this this family-friendly “Old Florida” restaurant serves up the best made-to-order Florida dishes daily from their famous dockside atmosphere. We recommend the gator bites, seafood nachos and oysters!
Crazy Fish Bar & Grill
Despite being landlocked in central Florida, you’ll feel as if you’re on the beach where you can relax and enjoy the only the freshest seafood selections. They’re rated the most popular restaurant in Florida by the readers of Urban Spoon.
This casually elegant restaurant serves up Italian and Mediterranean cuisine including pastas, Paninis and pizzas. A chic atmosphere for lunch or dinner. Enjoy a cocktail before or after dinner at the chic Ave Bar, and choose the perfect wine to accompany your meal.
Culture & Arts
Polk Museum of Art
Located in Lakeland, discover one of Florida’s top ten art museums. With a diverse exhibition schedule, dynamic event calendar, and comprehensive educational programming, you will find the Polk Museum of Art is truly more than an art museum.
This formal 1.2-acre botanical garden is located near downtown Lakeland. The garden contains several water features, exquisite architectural details and displays of thousands of flowering plants, ornamental shrubs, historic trees, herbs and vegetables.
Historic Polk Theatre
A historic vaudeville and movie palace, the theatre was built in 1928 and has long been an integral part of the arts community in Polk County. Today, the venue is home to an annual performing arts series, screenings of various independent films, and special events.
Explorations V Children’s Museum
Three floors of mind-stretching, kid-powered exhibits featuring art, science, literature, math, health, life skills and cultures from around the world! The fun-filled, interactive museum will reach all five of your senses.
The Florida Air Museum
Aviation history reaches new heights with a rich variety of aircraft and artifacts covering the history of flight. Step back in time with an extensive collection of Howard Hughes memorabilia including rare artifacts such as models of the “Spruce Goose” and some of Hughes’ flight suits, medals and trophies.
Frank Lloyd Wright Archtecture
Florida Southern College is the site of the largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture in any single location. The buildings have been restored to match Wright’s initial vision. Guided and self-guided tours available.
Dundee Depot Museum
Located on the original site of the first depot on the Haines City to Sebring line of the Atlantic Coast Line, this museum features original architecture, houses historical artifacts, and gives visitors the chance to explore an authentic 1968 caboose.
Chalet Suzanne Country Inn & Restaurant
This enchanting Inn of 26 rooms is nestled on a 100 acre estate. One of the highlights of the property is the five-star restaurant. A getaway here is makes for an oasis amidst the excitement of the Central Florida attractions.
Holiday Inn – Winter Haven
The Holiday Inn Winter Haven is an award winning hotel where you can experience a relaxing atmosphere and staff dedicated to providing excellent service. The Holiday Inn is a Bed & Brick preferred hotel for LEGOLAND Florida.
Hampton Inn – Winter Haven
Awake to fresh brewed coffee and a hot breakfast each morning at The Hampton Inn Winter Haven. Friendly service, clean rooms, comfortable surroundings every time that is our promise to you. Bed & Brick preferred hotel for LEGOLAND Florida.
Three Oaks Bed and Breakfast
Enjoy time with your loved one to relax, recharge and reconnect at this quaint bed and breakfast near downtown Lake Wales. Each guest room is equipped with an en suite marble bathrooms with jacuzzi whirlpool tubs.
Capernaum Christian RV Park is a 20 acre Christian Retreat Center in Lake Wales. The property contains 17 RV sites with full hook-ups, a Club House, Free WI-FI, Laundry, Prayer Garden and Nature Prayer Walk, Boat Launch and 120’ fishing dock, Horseshoe pits.
Hampton Inn & Suites – Lake Wales
Relax in a haven of natural beauty and historic charm at the Hampton Inn & Suites hotel in Lake Wales. The city of Lake Wales offers small-town serenity with easy access to the world-famous attractions of nearby Orlando, Winter Haven and Lake Wales.
Holiday Inn Express
The Holiday Inn Express – Lake Wales is a brand new 82 room, interior entrance, hotel that offers a hassle-free guest experience, that will make you feel like you are visiting home instead of being on the road. A short-drive from the attractions of nearby Orlando, Winter Haven and Lake Wales.
The Stanford Inn is a lovely Victorian retreat for travelers offering six comfortable guest rooms; each with it’s own private bathroom, cable television and wi-fi access and a daily gourmet breakfast.