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Spotlight on:
Sebring

Set your sights for a thrilling Sunshine State escape

Race fans, start your engines and visit America's oldest road racetrack. Leisure-seekers, play some world-class golf and boat all day in the warm Florida sun. Sightseers, check out the City on the Circle. Visit a museum or two and stay at a first class RV park. If you're ready, ladies and gentlemen, start your RV and head over to Sebring, Florida.

Road Races
The city of Sebring is located in the center of Florida about an hour south of Orlando and is famous for the oldest road-race track in the nation. The Sebring International Raceway, home to America's oldest and most prestigious endurance races, the Twelve Hours of Sebring. Held every March, the Twelve Hours of Sebring brings race fans from all over the country to enjoy motor racing at its best. If you get your tickets early enough, you can even park your RV next to the racetrack. The gates for the race usually open a few days in advance so fans can park the RV and experience the race at their leisure.

Golf
You know, you don't have to be a race fan to enjoy everything Sebring has to offer. For instance, do you like to golf? Well, you're in luck because there are 15 golf courses available in Sebring that are inviting, challenging and awaiting your arrival. There are a few 9-hole executive courses, while the majority are 18-hole courses that will make you happy you came.

Lake Jackson
Located in the city of Sebring is one of its most beautiful recreational opportunities—Lake Jackson. Take the kids to the lake during the afternoon and let them swim and play on the beach or maybe you and your sweetie want to enjoy a romantic evening watching the water glisten and dance as the sun dips into the tropical waters of Lake Jackson. Perhaps you like to fish? There are a number of public boat launches where you can put your boat on the lake or there are a few areas that you can fish from a pier. No matter what you like to do on, in or near the water, you can find a place and time to do it at Lake Jackson.

Airboat Rides
When you consider central Florida, some of the first things that come to mind are airboats. Spend a few hours cruising in one of these water gliders to watch Florida wildlife like alligators, waterfowl and even American bald eagles. A few companies give tours of Lake Istokpoga as well as Arbuckle Creek. This once in a lifetime adventure will keep the kids talking about it for years.

Fishing
If you like to fish for large-mouth bass, then Sebring is your place. But fishing here isn't like fishing just about anywhere else. The warm tropical breezes blow across your face as the sun warms the morning air. You throw your first line of the day into the tranquil waters of Lake Jackson or up the road a few miles at Lake Istokpoga. There are moss-draped oak trees surrounding you as the bait parts the water and causes a tiny ripple. Suddenly you don't even care if you catch anything because it's just so darn pretty. But chances are you will catch something. Sports anglers regularly catch trophy bass of 8 pounds or more.

Shopping
After seeing so many of Sebring's attractions, it's time to kick back and see where it all started. Sebring is known as the City on a Circle and was built in 1911 by George Sebring, a pottery manufacturer from Ohio. Walk along the beautiful historic district and see 22 buildings built between 1913 and 1922 designed for a simpler time. Today, you can enjoy fine dining opportunities, browse antique shops and let your imagination leap in any of the amazing art galleries in downtown Sebring. Get a hand-dipped ice cream cone and take a walk through Circle Park. This eclectic downtown has something for everyone, from dyed-in-the-wool history buffs to casual travelers.

Hiking and Biking
Just a few miles west of Sebring is the Highlands Hammock State Park. This park was opened to the public in 1931, making it one of Florida's oldest. An elevated boardwalk gives hikers a safe environment to explore the forest. On a typical hike, visitors will see any number of species of wildlife including alligators, bald bagles, wild turkeys, and maybe even a bobcat.

If you'd rather stick to the paved path on two wheels, then you'll want to take the Hammock loop that offers lots of nature study. This loop is level and good for kids. More experienced bikers can try their legs on a six-mile off road.

Children's Museum
Still looking for something to do with the kids? You need to check out the Children's Museum of the Highlands. This hands-on museum makes learning fun. This museum encourages the kids to participate in the exhibits and actually become a part of the fun.

Some of the exhibits include the waterworks, where they use water shooters to move mobiles. Kids can also wander through an exhibit full of optical illusions, mirror images and hidden items designed to fool the eye.

For More Information:
Highlands County
863-402-6909
www.visithighlandscounty.com

Florida Department of Tourism
888-735-2872
www.visitflorida.com