When we talk about Summer in Florida the first thing that comes to mind is the beach… and yes, Florida has beautiful beaches to enjoy but there is much more than that.
My first time in Central Florida was my visit to River Ranch, a family weekend and an unforgettable gampling experience.
There I realized that just 3 hours away from South Florida is another version of Florida that has a lot to offer, an ideal destination for a getaway weekend.
Recently we enjoyed another weekend in Central Florida, this time in Lakeland where we stayed at The Terrace hotel, a historic hotel from 1924 which has been recently remodeled offering a perfect location and a dream view.
The next morning, after a great rest, we woke up to the sunrise reflected off the lake, the view of our suite.
As soon as I arrived in Lakeland I fell in love, I noticed the kindness of the people and how beautiful its streets and lakes are … and perhaps even more, their food.
We went out for breakfast; they had recommended a local place called Born & Bread. We arrived early because due to its popularity there is always a line, but don’t worry because it’s worth it! Besides that, it runs fast. There we tried the famous crufins and crossaints of the founder Jennifer Smurr, featured in Forbes Next 1,000 List that were undoubtedly exquisite.
After breakfast we walked to the downtown Farmers Curb Market where I had the pleasure of meeting different places, having lemonade, buying some fruits for snacks, and introducing myself to their culture.
At mid-morning we walked around the mirror lake in front of the hotel where we arrived at Hollis Garden. What a beautiful place, obviously we took the opportunity to take photos, although we were not the only ones- 3 quinceaneras were taking photos there with their spectacular dresses.
For lunch we arrived at The Joinery, a modern food hall that offers a variety of food and beer. After touring and seeing each restaurant, we decided on bao buns and pizza. They were so delicious that I forgot to take pictures of them!
We walked around and found different murals and perfect instagrammable graffiti spots. (In the official Central Florida Ig you can find a guide with more details)
When we got back to the hotel, Brady in the bar prepared us some cocktails that we enjoyed with some tapas to relax a bit before going to change and go to dinner.
Dinner awaited us at Nineteen 61 where we enjoyed a bottle of wine, a charcuterie board and some Latin delicacies such as empanaditas.
To end the night we arrived at Revival, a craft cocktail bar in the heart of downtown with a beautiful decor and an ideal atmosphere to spend the night trying different cocktails and catching up with friends.
The next morning, we woke up and went down to enjoy a delicious brunch in the hotel restaurant, I love its high ceilings and windows.
Coffee, Eggs benedict, salad and to finish a beautiful and delicious orange dessert that left us in awe.
The day was just beginning, we spent the morning touring the lakes, seeing the swans, and taking photos before continuing on our way to Bok Towers gardens where we spent the afternoon, a fairy tale place.
Bok Tower Gardens is a 250-acre contemplative garden and bird sanctuary located atop Iron Mountain, north of Lake Wales, Florida. Formerly known as the Bok Mountain Lake Sanctuary and Singing Tower, the garden’s attractions include the Singing Tower and its 60-bell carillon, the Bok Exedra, the Pinewood Estate, the Pine Ridge Trail, and the Visitor Center.
We enjoyed walking the serene trails taking in some breathtaking views. Who would have thought a mountain like this exists in the normally flat Florida?
And then it was time to return home, however we were happy to have spent an incredible weekend, to have explored a new place to which we will undoubtedly return as it has many things to discover.
But now you can go to VISIT CENTRAL FLORIDA and enter to
The Summer Game Changer Challenge
With this summer scavenger hunt, you can win prizes ranging from Florida’s Sweetest Spot t-shirts to LEGOLAND® Florida Resort tickets for the whole family. Here’s what you have to do to get in on the action.
HOW THE CHALLENGE WORKS:
- Download the Visit Central Florida app
- Plan your Central Florida itinerary
- Visit as many locations as possible in Florida’s Sweetest Spot listed on the challenge
- Check-in via geolocation with the Visit Central Florida app
- Win sweet prizes
For more info visit https://visitcentralflorida.org/summer-challenge/