Do Orlando North 

From unspoiled lakes and wetlands to historic landmarks, citrus groves and, yes, theme parks, there is a reason Floridians say that Central Florida’s Polk County offers everything.

Located between Orlando and Tampa, Central Florida’s Polk County — anchored by the cities of Lakeland and Winter Haven — offers more than a place to sleep between theme park visits. If you’d rather be outdoors, that’s easy thanks to the area’s more than 550 fresh water lakes and 25,000 acres of recreational parks. Here, you can enjoy anything from fishing to kayaking and water skiing. For your alligator fix, visit Circle B Bar Reserve, often dubbed one of the best places to see the variety of wildlife in Florida, or Lake Kissimmee State Park, featuring 13 miles of trails abundant with plant, animal and bird life.

For a placid outdoor stroll, Central Florida is home to two historic area at- tractions, Bok Tower Gardens and Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Child of the Sun” architecture at Florida Southern College. With 13 structures, “Child of the Sun” is the largest single-site collection of the architect’s work, as well as his most southern example. Bok Tower’s world-famous 205-foot art deco “singing” carillon tower is surrounded by gardens and features the highest elevation in peninsular Florida. Guests can stroll about the tower while listening to the carillon — a series of bells played by a keyboard — and viewing scenic Florida vistas. It is easy to see why Bok Tower has remained a popular attraction since the late 1920s.

Polk County is also home to Florida’s newest attractions: LEGOLAND® Florida Resort and Safari Wilderness Ranch. LEGOLAND is a theme park built around everything Lego, from roller coasters and a water park to 4-D movies, a hotel and beach resort, and plenty of opportunities to build. For a taste of Africa, Safari Wilderness Ranch offers visitors the opportunity to be amongst Asian and African wildlife roaming free. You can choose to ride in a canopied bus amongst the beasts, or opt of a more up-close experience by using a kayak, camel or llama.

For golfers, no visit to Florida is complete without a stop at bucket list worthy Streamsong Resort. The luxury property overlooks three highly A-list golf courses, Streamsong Red and Streamsong Blue and the newest jewel, Streamsong Black. These unique courses utilize the site’s natural contours, sand dunes and native grasses to offer a golf experience reminiscent of the links-style courses of the British Isles, not palm trees and water hazards.

So no matter what you have in mind for your trip to Sunshine State, a visit to Florida would be incomplete without a visit to Central Florida’s Polk County. Go to VisitCentralFlorida.org or call 1-800-828-7655 to plan your vacation in Central Florida’s Polk County.

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