There is More to Kissimmee Than Meets The Eye! (Travel) #kiss10

What do you know about Kissimmee?   Sure, it’s smack dab in the middle of Florida, near all the big theme parks.  You know the ones….Walt Disney World.  Universal Studios.  Sea World.  But Kissimmee is more than just theme parks, yes?

Oh yes!! 

I just returned from a bloggers media trip to Kissimmee, and I can tell you, firsthand, that Kissimmee is such more than just theme parks: it’s outdoor adventures, world-class shopping, arts and entertainment, sports, and tons of family fun. Everything you’d want in a vacation (including the fun theme parks) is all wrapped up in Kissimmee, waiting to be opened.   Are you ready for a peek?

(Photo courtesy of Visit Kissimmee)

While on my tour with Experience Kissimmee (the official Visitors and Convention Bureau for Kissimmee and Osceola County, Florida) we visited several different local attractions.  Some I will talk more about below (Premium Outlets, Arabian Nights Dinner Theater), but other adventures (Wild Florida, Forever Florida, Old Town Kissimmee, Chocolate Kingdom, Gatorland, and Boggy Creek Air Boats) I will share in the next few days.  First, let me tell you a few things I found out about Kissimmee.

(Photo courtesy of Visit Kissimmee)

Kissimmee is located in central Florida, in Osceola County.  Originally called Allendale, it was renamed Kissimmee in 1883.  Until 1971, ranching and citrus growing/packing were the mainstay of the economy, but when Walt Disney World opened, tourism and development took over as the major industries of growth.

Getting to Kissimmee is super easy.  Air service into Orlando International airport is 15 minutes away, and both Amtrak and Greyhound have service stops in Kissimmee.  Major highway road service via I-4, the Florida Turnpike, Rt192,  Rt17/92, Rt 441, and Rt 423 intersect the city, making it accessable from almost anywhere.

Golfers will be happy to know that there are many choices in the Kissimmee area, including the David Leadbetter Golf Academy, the Celebration Golf Academy, The Royal St Cloud Golf Links, and the  Harmony Golf Preserve.

(Photo coutesy of Visit Kissimmee)

 There is plenty of shopping in the Kissimmee area, including the Orlando Premium Outlets (International Dr. and Vine locations), Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores, The Florida Mall, as well as the downtown areas of Kissimmee and Town Center of Celebration.    I had a chance to visit the Premium Outlets on Vine, and what a beautiful mall it is!  With outlets such as Coach, The Disney Store, Barney’s New York, Reebok, and Nautica, there is something for everyone.

(Photo courtesy of Visit Kissimmee)

Is sports your thing?  Kissimmee is the home for the Houston Astros spring training, as well as the world famous Silver Spurs Rodeo.

(Photo courtesy of Visit Kissimmee)

Does all this activity make you hungry?  How about a bite to eat?   In addition to national family-favorite restaurants (Applebees, Chili’s, and Cracker Barrel), there are plenty of local restaurant choices. If your family is looking for something completely different, you can partake in unique dinner shows such as Medieval Times and Arabian Nights.   Our group of bloggers went to the Arabian Nights show, The American Princess, and enjoyed a beautiful night of horse pageantry, as well as a family-friendly dinner.  As a foodie, I wish I had more of an opportunity to check-out the local gourmet food scene, but our time was limited.


Tomorrow, get ready to see the wild side of Kissimmee, stay tuned…and don’t forget about the Decade of Kissimmee contest!

(Disclosure:  I participated in a paid bloggers trip to Kissimmee, sponsored by Experience Kissimmee.  I received no monetary compensation, and my thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.  All photos are property of A Little Bite of Life, unless indicated.)

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Julie is the Arizona-based lifestyle writer/editor of A Cork, Fork, & Passport. She is an accomplished chef, traveler, kid wrangler, dachshund chaser, and social media expert.
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