Travel Guide to Florida

2017 Travel Guide to Florida

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Page 87 of 163

D iscover the natural side of Florida in Okeechobee County, home of the second largest freshwater lake in the contiguous United States. A wonderland for outdoor enthusiasts and an area with a diverse event calendar, Okeechobee County is an ideal family getaway. DO Come and be part of history as Okeechobee County celebrates its centennial anniversary in 2017. There will be events throughout the year, beginning with the Centennial Kick-Off event on January 21 at the Historic County Courthouse. At least five bus tours during select months are on the agenda as well. Okeechobee means "big water" and in these parts of the Sunshine State, it's the main attraction. Lake Okeechobee's 730 square miles offer an array of boating and fishing opportunities. Discover the Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail, a 109-mile multi- use path around the lake. Looking for an exciting ride on the lake? Just call and schedule an airboat tour to experience the lake like never before. And don't miss the Bassmaster's Elite Series fishing tourna- ment at the end of February. While in Okeechobee, make time to shop the quaint boutiques along Park Street and Parrott Avenue to find that special gift for yourself or someone back home. SEE The Smithsonian is bringing its traveling Waterways exhibit to town December 17 to January 28, 2017, focusing on the relation- ship between people and water. Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park is a great place to hike, observe wildlife and even camp for the evening. EAT AND PLAY For a tasty treat, try any of the local family- owned and operated restaurants throughout the county. Get your groove on at the Second Annual Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival, beginning March 2 at Sunshine Grove. Experience five days of music, yoga, art, swimming and noshing in an idyllic outdoor setting. INSIDER'S TIP The shallow waters of Lake Okeechobee make it popular with first-timers. Fish bite more often during the winter months. Must-see attractions in the county include: Arnold's Wildlife Rehabilitation: Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail: OK Corral Gun Club: Quail Creek Plantation: Wagon Wheel Horse Farm: CELEBRATE OKEECHOBEE County BY KEVIN FRITZ O K E E C H O B E E CO U N T Y Okeechobee County Tourist Development Council: Bassmaster's Elite Series: Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park: Okeechobee Main Street Inc: Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival: FEATURED LINKS TOP: Bass fishing at dawn on Lake Okeechobee. CENTER: An anhinga on the Okeechobee waterway. 86 2017 TRAVEL GUIDE TO FLORIDA FROM TOP: PETER W. CROSS/VISIT FLORIDA; SHERRY YATES YOUNG/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

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