If you travel to Highlands County, Florida, you'll run into the beautiful little town of Sebring. It’s often referred to as “The City on the Circle,” referring to the fact that the majority of the town sits directly in line with its iconic central downtown area. With a population of just over 10,000 people, it’s a small town with a big heart that will make you want to come back again and again. By the way, you shouldn’t be lulled into thinking that there isn’t anything to do there just because it’s a small town. The truth is, there is plenty to do and see, regardless of where your interests lie.
20. Highlands Hammock State Park
For $10, you can board a tram that will take you through some of the most spectacular areas filled with wildlife that you might not have seen before. For instance, there are all kinds of birds in the area. If that's not enough to tickle your fancy, then maybe this will. There are roughly 50 different specific species of alligators in the area, all of which can be seen on this single trip. That's definitely nothing to sneeze at. The best part is that you get to see all of them from the safety of the tram so you don't have to worry about potentially becoming dinner.
19. Sebring International Raceway
This is considered one of the most iconic race tracks in the entire state. As a matter of fact, some would say it's among the best in the entire region. If you love things that go fast, it would be a good idea for you to check their schedule and see what type of racing they're having on any given weekend. Even those who are somewhat apprehensive about the idea of visiting a race track seem to enjoy this place.
18. Lost Mines of Atlantis
There's no doubt that this particular attraction has one of the more iconic names that you're probably ever going to hear. Before you get too excited, they're not really talking about Atlantis, the mythological city that you've undoubtedly heard about your entire life. That being said, you do have the opportunity to go digging for precious gems and maybe even find some gold. It's a great way to get outside and enjoy doing something different. The best part is if you find something amazing, you get to keep it.
17. Lake Istokpoga
This is the quaint little lake with a funny name. In all seriousness, they have some great airboat tours in the area. If your idea of fun is riding on an airboat and simply taking in the scenery, it's hard to beat this kind of tour. On the other hand, you might be the type of person that likes to get just a little more involved. If that's the case, then you can go out for a fishing tour or even to catch frogs in the middle of the night.
16. Military Sea Services Museum
If you or someone in your family is current or former military, there's no doubt that you will enjoy a trip to this museum which honors all branches of the service. Even if you merely have an interest in things pertaining to the military, this is a good place to find out more information and get away from the hot sun for a while. All in all, it's an educational trip that you’ll be sure to enjoy.
15. Highlands Little Theatre
Who doesn't love going to the theatre? This is a great place to see local plays that feature some truly gifted actors. The theatre also has tables set up at the front so you can enjoy a refreshing beverage or even a light meal before you watch the play. These seats provide a bird’s-eye-view, so it’s definitely something that you should take the time to enjoy while you're there.
14. Sebring Downtown Historic District
As mentioned in the opening paragraph, this town is basically famous for its downtown area. Here, you have the chance to see it all for yourself, up close and personal. It’s also worth noting that a number of murals have been painted on various businesses throughout the area. This gives you the chance to enjoy the atmosphere, experience all that the local shops have to offer and take in some truly inspiring artwork as well.
13. City Pier Beach
This is a beautiful pier that overlooks Lake Jackson. It’s a place the locals love to go for a family picnic or even to enjoy some downtime. The pier is also known to provide near-perfect access for some of the most breathtaking sunsets you’ll ever see. As a result, there are a number of photographers of all skill levels that routinely come to get that perfect shot.
12. Children's Museum of the Highlands
If you have kids (or you’re a kid at heart), then you can’t hardly consider your trip to the area complete without stopping here first. They have all kinds of fun exhibits and activities designed specifically to keep your little one’s attention. As a matter of fact, there’s so much to do that you can easily spend an entire afternoon here.
11. Lucid Heart Gallery
Do you love art? If the answer is yes, then you shouldn’t hesitate to stop at this lovely gallery and enjoy the opportunity to take in some of the most amazing art the area has to offer. They update their gallery on a regular basis, so even if you’ve been there before, it’s always like you’re visiting for the first time.
10. Lakeshore Mall
Granted, malls seem like they are on their way out these days. That being said, this particular location is still thriving. There is always something new to experience and the mall has all of your favorite stores where you can shop to your heart’s content. If you’re looking for a place where you can stay out of the Florida heat and enjoy plenty of shopping and even a good meal, then this place is hard to beat. The best part is that it’s all in one location, so you don;t have to drive all over town to enjoy it.
9. Airboat Wildlife Adventures
Do you want to see alligators, snakes and an array of different bird species without actually putting yourself in harm’s way? This is the perfect way to do exactly that. The company that operates the tours has been doing so for three generations, so they definitely know the area well. They also know how to let you have a little fun and enjoy some adventure without allowing the danger level to get too high. Unless you live in the area, you may only have the chance to take an airboat tour once in your life. This is not something that you should pass up.
8. Secret Gardens Winery and Farm
Is there really anything else that needs to be said here? This is a truly beautiful location that has some of the best wines in the region. Take a tour and enjoy tasting as many as you like. You can also enjoy catered meals that are perfectly paired with your favorite wine. This is great way to spend a relaxing afternoon or evening, taste some of the best wine you’ve probably ever had, and maybe even enjoy some culture at the same time.
7. The Spa at Hammock Falls
Just as its name implies, this is a great place to get away from it all for a day. They offer all kinds of treatments that allow you to pamper yourself just a bit. Those treatments range from massage to facials and even salt scrubs. You can also get a manicure and/or pedicure here. If you want one treatment or all of them, this is a great place to be. They even offer you wine while you wait. It just doesn’t get any better than that.
6. Linda’s Books
These days, it’s hard to find a book store that’s still in business. While so many people are doing their reading on electronic devices or even ordering books from online retailers, this little shop is like the perfect throwback to a time when you could actually walk into a book shop and find great books that you couldn’t wait to read. That’s precisely why this store is still thriving. If you;re an avid reader, you’d be doing yourself a disservice not to visit the store and pick out a number of selections for your own collection.
5. Lakeside Stables
What if you love to ride horses? You won’t be disappointed if you come here. They have guided trail rides over some beautiful countryside that borders the lake. They are knowledgeable, friendly and they have well-trained (and well-behaved) livestock. If you’re still not convinced about the idea of riding on top of a 1,200-lb animal with a mind of its own, you can also take a boat tour here and leave the horseback riding to those who are more in tune with that sort of thing.
4. B&B Sebring Fairmount Square Cinema 6
Who doesn’t love seeing the latest films in the cinema? You definitely won;t be disappointed in this location. They have all of the latest releases and plenty of tasty snacks to enjoy while you watch. The cinema itself is comfortable, clean and well-kept. They may not have as many screens as some of the other cinemas in the area, but for a small town, this is a true find. One of the best parts about them being in a small town is that their prices are a lot cheaper than many of the larger chains, too.
3. Faded Bistro and Mon Cirque Wine Bar
The same people own both of these establishments and they’re only a stone’s throw away from one another. After enjoying a truly fantastic meal, why not go over and have some wine? There’s no doubt that you’ll enjoy your evening when it consists of these two activities. After all, who doesn’t love the idea of enjoying great food in a calm, relaxed environment and then following things up with drinks?
2. Intuitive Massage and Wellness
Everybody needs a good massage now and then. Even the most fit, relaxed individuals need to get one from time to time. It’s a great way to make sure that you don;t allow your workout (or your daily life) to get the best of you. It’s also a perfect way to relax and forget about everything else for a while. This establishment has a calming atmosphere that instantly puts you at ease. Many people who live in the area also regard it as the place where you can get one of the best massages you’ve ever had, so why not indulge and give yourself the gift of wellness?
1. Turn 2 Brewing Company
If you enjoy hand-crafted beers and a wide variety of other alcoholic options, this place is almost impossible to beat. They have a wide variety of drinks available for the beer lover in you. Of course, if that isn’t your thing, there are loads of other hand-crafted alcoholic drinks that you can sample as well. You’re sure to find something you’ll love.
Written by Liz Flynn
Read more posts by Liz Flynn