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A gateway to Florida’s famous theme parks, hundreds of vacation homes, hotels and resorts in Kissimmee serve as a perfect base for a holiday centered on the big attractions. All roads lead to Walt Disney World Resort, which includes four theme parks and two water parks (plus hotels that are practically theme parks themselves). Head to Universal Orlando Resort, a four-part park inspired by the movies, and enter The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Have a dolphin encounter at SeaWorld Orlando, or stick close to home base and visit Fun Spot America, a family-owned theme park featuring roller coasters, go-karts, an arcade and kiddie rides.

Just as compelling as the area parks is Kissimmee’s great outdoors. Climb 15 meters up into the treetops and grapple with 97 high-ropes challenges at Orlando Tree Trek (Tarzan swings and zip lines included). If you’re ready to see the native alligators, Wild Florida Airboats & Gator Park will zip you through the Northern Everglades’ headwaters on an airboat tour. Bring a camera; you’ll want to capture the eagles, turkeys, roseate spoonbill birds and wild boars you’ll see along with the gators. For a unique perspective, Bob’s Balloon Rides offers 100 take-off and landing spots throughout the area, as well as a champagne brunch on land after your hot-air balloon tour. Fly an old military plane with Warbird Adventures to stay in the sky. You can also kayak, horseback ride, or fish Lake Tohopekaliga (Toho for short), regarded as one of the best bass-fishing spots in the world.

Shopping here is its own attraction. Disney Springs, an outdoor shopping and entertainment center, offers unique shops such as the Coca-Cola Store and Cirque de Soleil Boutique, Disneyquest Emporium, Pearl Factory and Pop Gallery, as well as classic upscale stores and themed restaurants. At Old Town, an amusements and shopping mall, you’ll find kitschy shops, fun dining and even a Great Magic Hall to explore. Bike around Celebration, the nostalgic Walt Disney-designed town. With 16 kilometers of paths, Disney intended this scenic community to be bicycle-friendly.

Fun Fact

Twin Eagles luxury vacation home in Kissimmee, Florida
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Kissimmee calls itself “The Vacation Home Capital of the World” for its abundance of luxury vacation homes.

Bald eagle in Kissimmee, Florida
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Kissimmee has the second largest population of nesting bald eagles in the USA.

Hot Air Balloon over Asheville, North Carolina
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