This Underneath-the-radar Florida Metropolis Has a State Park, Previous-school Appeal, and a 26,000-acre Lake

From the western Panhandle all the way down to Miami, the Sunshine State has been experiencing unprecedented improvement. But one central Floridian metropolis has achieved a steadiness between the previous and new: Sebring.

With its pristine old-growth forests and its historic downtown, Sebring serves as a surviving oasis of old-school attraction. And planning a visit right here means that you can immerse your self within the dwindling Florida of yore.

In terms of lodging, Inn On The Lakes, perched on the southern fringe of Lake Jackson, is an idyllic base. Throughout sunlight hours, company are welcome to benefit from the outside pool, seize a drink on the terrace, or make the most of one of many property’s customized golf packages. However as soon as twilight rolls round, Chicanes is the place to be. This restaurant has mastered the artwork of hearty American fare, providing dishes like shrimp scampi, smoked fish dip, and rollovers — a Chicanes signature that includes filet mignon, bacon, and pepper jack cheese. There’s additionally no scarcity of wines to pair every dish with.

Inn on the Lakes presents unbelievable alternatives for birders however there’s one other vacation spot that’s an absolute can’t-miss for nature lovers. Roughly 20 minutes from downtown, Highlands Hammock State Park showcases the pure splendor of Highlands County at its best, outfitted with 9,000 acres of old-growth bald cypress swamp and different native Floridian ecosystems. Formally designated a state park within the Thirties, it’s one of many oldest state parks in Florida and at present hosts an enormous array of susceptible species starting from Florida scrub-jays and gopher tortoises to the Florida panther.

Guests also can e book an tour with Airboat Wildlife Adventures, a longstanding tour firm that highlights the spectacular pure great thing about Lake Istokpoga. This 26,000-acre lake presents ample alternative to identify a few of the state’s most well-known fauna. Throughout a 90-minute tour, passengers can marvel on the towering cypress timber lining Arbuckle Creek earlier than setting off on the open lake, with loads of nice blue herons, bald eagles, and alligators to identify alongside the best way.

The city additionally presents a glimpse into one in every of central Florida’s most celebrated sports activities within the type of Sebring Worldwide Raceway. This storied house, which opened in 1950, is among the oldest racetracks within the nation. The course earned a formidable popularity because of its bumpy roads and 17 tight turns. To expertise this legendary monitor in particular person, there’s no higher occasion than 12 Hours of Sebring. Launched in 1952, this occasion attracts spectators from all throughout the globe to witness a few of the most gifted drivers tackle the problem.

Visiting Sebring is incomplete with out exploring the world’s bars and eating places. For a deep dive into the traditional delicacies of Previous Florida, Cowpoke’s Watering Gap is a must-visit. (The restaurant first opened in 1930 as a fruit stand, in line with Florida Nation Journal.) Now adorned with taxidermied alligators and an open-air tiki bar full with stay music, this spacious restaurant presents hearty native dishes, like complete fried snapper, nation fried steak, and fried gator tail.

Sebring can be growing a thriving scene for modern wholesome delicacies. There’s Organically Native, the place sandwiches are the staple — suppose Thai peanut rooster wraps and bacon apple gouda grilled cheese. There’s additionally The PARC, which has tasting dinners that showcase native produce.

Whereas Sebring is a treasure trove for each traditional and modern Floridian delicacies, the city isn’t any stranger to worldwide flavors both. Mon Cirque Wine Bar, for instance, ushers in some critical Parisian aptitude to the world. Upon arrival, company are greeted with a wealthy tapestry of vintage furnishings and decorations, whereas the outside patio is ideal on a heat night time. There’s a world of alternative for wine followers at Mon Cirque because of its big cache of bottles sourced from all throughout France, whereas beer followers can pattern traditional brews from Florida and past.

For those who’re seeking to fulfill your candy tooth, Chez Mireille is a high vacation spot for making an attempt one in every of Belgium’s culinary crown jewels — the waffle, to be exact. With a menu starting from blueberry-loaded Liège-style waffles to the chocolate-dipped galette, this cozy venue is ideal for a foray into the flavors of Belgium.

Within the coronary heart of city, Sebring Soda & Ice Cream Works has been an area favourite since 2015, outfitted with greater than 200 totally different styles of classic and craft mushy drinks to pattern. Merchandise span from traditional Coca-Cola to candied bacon cream soda. After a go to to the soda store, company can swing by Sugar Sand Distillery for some added sweetness in spirit kind. Whereas gin, moonshine, and vodka are all accessible round right here, rum reigns supreme.