Best things to do in Kissimmee and where to stay
Kissimmee, Florida is close to the Florida city that many know and love – Orlando, the city of theme parks. But Kissimmee offers visitors a sublime balance of relaxation, excitement and breathtaking moments.
Kissimmee offers a perfect way to end your Florida vacation. Its proximity to Orlando International Airport gives travelers the flexibility of multiple airlines and national and international gateways. Historic downtown Kissimmee is just a 22-minute drive from the airport, but it feels miles away.
1. Sunset walk
The Sunset Walk Promenade is a destination in itself. This expansive outdoor entertainment district is home to a profusion of tasty bites, multiple dining options ranging from casual dining to upscale fine dining. Add a large selection of stores for some retail therapy, and the Promenade is the perfect recipe for a fun night out.
Pro tip: Plan your visit to the Promenade. Head over to The Sunset Walk Promenade’s website, where you can see a list of all the shops, restaurants, and activities. From there, you can plan the places your party wants to explore.
2. Disney sources
Disney Springs is another shopping and entertainment destination, and honestly, it’s one of our favorite destinations. There are so many shops, confectioneries, restaurants, and activities that you’ll want to plan a full-day visit.
Florida is known for its vast collection of freshwater springs – approximately 1,000 dot the Sunshine State. These springs served many purposes: a home for the Spanish missions, landings of steamboats, crop irrigation tanks and flour mills.
Settlers began to flow into the warm tropical state of Florida and settled around the springs.
Natural springs like Silver Springs, Green Cove Springs, and De Leon Springs have given rise to growing cities. Freshwater springs have been natural water parks for locals and visitors for decades, and it’s the heart of all Disney Springs history.
The backstory developed by Disney Imagineers for Disney Springs is fascinating. The story of Disney Springs is created around Florida cattle ranchers Martin and Clara Sinclair, who discovered the springs’ natural source and settled there in 1850.
The history of Disney Springs dovetails with that of many small towns in Florida in the 1900s. As the town of Disney Springs continued to grow over the years, four distinct neighborhoods developed: Town Center, The Landing, Marketplace and West Side. Each of the four districts reflects the function and period of development.
For example, the city center features design elements of the Mediterranean revival, including Spanish tile roofs, tree-lined streets, and shell and stone pavement. The design elements were inspired by Addison Mizer in the Miami area and Henry Flagler in St. Augustine.
While visiting Disney Springs, stop by the LEGO Shop and Build-a-Bear – kids will love these stops! Of course, a stop for a selfie with the dragon is a must for the whole family! For a different perspective, see vintage amphicars and take a ride on the lake.
Pro tip: Be sure to plan a culinary adventure at Paddlefish and enjoy a delicious cocktail on the rooftop overlooking the waterfront. It’s an experience not to be missed!
3. Maverick Balloon Adventures
Seeing the world from above is an experience you won’t soon forget – it truly is a once in a lifetime experience. The views are breathtaking as you float in the wind.
Maverick Balloon Adventures offers sunrise hot air balloon flights over the Kissimmee / Orlando area. During your ride, you will have unique photo opportunities, both above and below you.
You will begin your adventure about an hour before sunrise and have the option of witnessing your balloon being set up. After your fantastic ride, you will celebrate with a toast of mimosa (champagne and orange juice).
Imagine climbing from the treetops to 2,500 feet! It is such an exciting experience that it will make you want more.
Pro tip: Dress for the weather outside. We have worn T-shirts with light jackets and jeans. Do not wear flip flops or open-toed shoes. We wore sunglasses but made sure we had them secure. Bring a camera strap.
4. Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek (Osceola Historical Society)
Learn about pioneer life in Florida at the Pioneer Village. The village tells the story of the first settlers of Osceola County. You will see original pioneer houses, a general store, a smithy, an original citrus packing factory, and a school.
5. Bok Tower Gardens
Bok Tower Gardens is a must-see when visiting Kissimmee. Located between Tampa and Orlando, Bok Tower Gardens was created by Frederick Law Olmstead, Jr., a famous landscape architect. You’ll want to plan your visit to the Bok Tower Gardens for 3-4 hours to include the Gardens, Singing Tower, Hammock Hollow Children’s Garden (hint: it’s not just for kids!) Pinewood Estate is closed. due to COVID-19).
With a myriad of paved and mulched paths winding through the gardens, you will find serene places to enjoy the natural beauty of the magnificent wild gardens. In the Bok Tower Gardens, there are over 126 species of birds, making the gardens a bird lover’s paradise. Bok Tower Gardens is a designated site on the Great Florida Birding Trail.
The 205-foot singing tower is a central attraction of the Bok Tower. Don’t miss the spectacular reflective swimming pool! Inspired by Aesop’s fables, reliefs set in marble represent “The tortoise and the hare” and “The fox and the stork”.
Seven levels make up the singing tower. The levels are the Founder’s Room, the Chao Research Center Archives, Storage and Mechanical Equipment, the Maintenance Workshop, the Anton Brees Carillon Library, the Carillonneur’s Office and Workshop, the Carillon Bells and the play furniture.
The tower lasted 2 years and construction began in 1927. On February 1, 1929, President Calvin Coolidge dedicated the tower and shrine “for the visit of the American people”.
Pro tip: Visitors are required to wear face coverings in all interior spaces of the Bok Tower Gardens.
6. Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures
When you think of the Florida Everglades, your mind automatically goes to the Everglades near Miami. But the source of the Everglades begins in Orlando. We’ve done many airboat tours throughout the Sunshine State, and our favorites are still the off-the-beaten-path tours like Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures.
During your airboat adventure, you’ll explore the wilderness of the Central Florida Everglades. You’ll see alligators, turtles, birds, and more wildlife in their natural habitat as you fly over the wetlands. And if you’ve never ridden an airboat, brace yourself because this is one of the most exhilarating, adrenaline-filled aquatic adventures you’ll ever experience!
Kissimmee is known as the vacation home capital of the world, making it an ideal destination for exploring all of Central Florida. Airbnb regularly ranks Kissimmee as one of the top destinations for travel in the United States.
A vacation rental home is perfect for couples, families, and friends traveling together. And Kissimmee offers so many options, from the extreme to the romantic and cozy. Vacation rental homes allow you to cook at home and sit by the pool and relax after a long day of exploring.
VHC Hospitality is the largest vacation home management company in Florida, offering exceptional rentals, from condos to homes to mansions. Imagine renting a 15 suite house for 30 people – this is just one of the vacation homes available through VHC Hospitality in the Kissimmee area!
I have an extended family of 92 and we meet every two years. It’s so hard to find enough vacation homes. But with the selection of homes with VHC, it will be a snap to plan our next meeting, and with a lot less homes!
Reunion Resort & Golf Club spans 2,300 acres and is one of the most sought after destinations. The resort is a fantastic choice for multigenerational travel – there is something for everyone. The Reunion Resort & Golf Club has a water park, 10 swimming pools, six restaurants, three exclusive golf courses, a spa and a lounge. There are also tennis courts, pickleball courts, bike rentals, and mini golf.
For vacation homes, they offer two choices: villas for small families and vacation homes that offer up to 14 bedrooms, many with private pools.
Magic Village Views is a perfect hybrid between a hotel stay and a vacation rental home. Located in an elegant gated community, you can choose between three or four bedroom villas, each fully furnished. Luxury Villas include full kitchens, washer and dryer, and outdoor living space with barbecue grills.
I love that you get all the privacy and security of home and all the amenities of a hotel stay including housekeeping, fitness center, tennis courts, volleyball courts -ball and, of course, a wonderful resort pool.
These are just a few of the many things to discover while visiting Kissimmee. Once you’ve discovered one of Florida’s little-known gems, you’ll want to come back again and again. It’s our benchmark for the perfect vacation pick – a choice that sinks deep into our souls and reminds us to revisit time and time again.
While you stay and play in Kissimmee, be aware that Orlando and its mega attractions are close by. For more: