A Kissimmee, Florida vacation is a a great launching pad to explore all that the greater Orlando area has to offer. We’ve compiled a list of the 21 best reasons to plan a Kissimmee, Florida vacation.
Within a two-hour drive from Kissimmee, Florida, you’ll find Disney World, Legoland, SeaWorld, and Universal Studios, making Kissimmee the perfect launching point for theme park fun. Kissimmee is easy to access Orlando’s International airport. The Orlando airport is a short 17-mile drive to Kissimmee.
But there are even more fun reasons to plan a Kissimmee, Florida vacation: Bok Tower Gardens, hot air ballooning, a drive-through safari, golf, airboat rides, ATV adventures, and more! Kissimmee is close to the hottest attractions in Central Florida and offers plenty of beautiful places to stay, play, and eat.
Kissimmee is Central Florida’s gateway to theme park fun and adventure with its proximity to Disney World, Legoland, SeaWorld, and Universal Studios, less than two hours drive from Kissimmee. But there is much more to explore on a Kissimmee vacation!
In Kissimmee, you can choose a resort for a pampered experience or a vacation rental home for the entire family to hang out and experience all that Florida’s gateway to fun offers. But there is so much more to Kissimmee than theme park fun. The outdoor fun to be had on a Kissimmee Florida vacation will blow you away!
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When Is The Best Time To Plan a Kissimmee Florida Vacation?
There is really no bad time to plan a Kissimmee, Florida vacation so how do you choose when to plan your visit? Each season has their benefits.
Why Spring Is a good time to plan a Kissimmee Florida vacation: festivals, outdoor fun, mild weather
Springtime is festival time! With an average high temperature of 82 and an average low of 59, Spring is a great time to be outdoors. Be sure to pack a light jacket or sweater for the chilly evenings. Check out Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Show if you have a green thumb. Bok Tower Gardens has their Spring Bloom Festival, with thousands of gorgeous azaleas, camellias, and other flowers.
For foodies, Spring brings the Seven Seas Food Festival at SeaWorld Orlando. This is Kissimmee’s largest annual food festival, and it is a food lover’s nirvana.
Why Summer is a good time to visit Kissimmee: kayaking, waterparks, and lazy rivers
Summer in Kissimmee can be HOT!! From June through September the temperatures soar into the high 80s and 90s. These months are also the rainy season in Central Florida, with showers coming in the afternoons. Be sure to factor some time to hit a waterpark or two. Discovery Cove is a great activity for the hot, steamy summer months.
Plan your Fall Kissimmee Florida vacation with food, festivals, mild weather
Like Spring, Fall is a great time to plan your Kissimmee vacation! The temperatures are mild, with the average high being 79 degrees. Pack a light jacket or sweater for the cooler nights.
Festivals in the Fall include the Epcot International Food and Wine Fest. If you are foodie, you love taking a food tour around the globe, and viewing amazing culinary demos. Of course, if you love Halloween, Disney, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld all pull out all the stops, and Legoland has Brick or Treat, so plan accordingly.
Winter is for a Kissimmee Florida vacation escape: holidays at the theme parks, and the Gaylord Palms
This is high season for any visit to Florida! The temps are still mild, you can lay by the pool and relax, or hit an attraction or two. But the lines will be a bit longer, and the throngs of visitors a bit more. That said, it’s the holiday season, and there’s lots happening throughout all the theme parks and resorts.
Don’t miss a visit to the Gaylord Palms Resort during the Christmas season to view their amazing ice sculptures! This is a fantastic experience, you won’t want to miss!
What To Do On A Kissimmee Florida Vacation
Is Kissimmee worth a visit? Yes! It is the perfect destination to explore nature, head to a wildlife safari, get the adrenaline pumping with theme park fun and more. Most of the theme parks are located on the edge of Orlando, or just outside, and Kissimmee is just a short drive away. You have lots of options of where to stay in Kissimmee.
Theme Parks Kissimmee Florida
Walt Disney World
You can’t go to Kissimmee and miss out on the magic of Disney World, especially if you have kids! There are four main amusement parks to visit: Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Epcot. For food from around the world, make sure to take advantage of Epcot; it’s the ideal spot for foodies!
Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World
Are you an animal lover? Then Animal Kingdom is for you! Take a safari and see wild animals roam around you. Magic Kingdom is the park with the iconic Cinderella Castle. Fun for adults and kids, you can spend hours riding rides, watching parades, and eating delicious bites. Hollywood Studios will take on an adventure through your favorite movies, like Star Wars!
A trip to Universal Studios in Orlando is always a fun time. You can spend hours just exploring CityWalk, Universal’s hub for fantastic food, shopping, and entertainment! The park is geared a bit more towards adults and has some fabulous restaurants and bars to check out.
This Central Florida interactive park brings Legos to life and makes every childhood dream come true. Kids can choose between 50 thrilling rides, interactive shows, and a water park. Stay tuned for fun seasonal events which are updated on their website.
If you are a fan of marine life, this is the place to be! Explore exhibits full of exotic sea life and enjoy shows with your underwater friends. You can even ride roller coasters inspired by sea creatures at SeaWorld Orlando.
Discovery Cove is a sister theme park to SeaWorld. This all-inclusive day resort experience will be memorable for the entire family! You can swim with the dolphins, snorkel in the cove and come face-to-face with colorful tropical fish and rays, or just relax on the cove’s beaches. Whatever you choose to do, Discovery Cove is the ideal place to unwind, relax, and experience all the cove has to offer at your own pace.
Shop, dine, and play at Disney Springs with countless shops, restaurants, attractions, and shows! Disney Springs is one of our favorite things to do in Kissimmee, Florida for couples.
If you are a foodie, you will absolutely love the incredible restaurant selection at Disney Springs. Take flight in the Aerophile hot air balloon; you can see for up to 10 miles above the gorgeous Disney Springs.
Get into Nature At The Hal Scott Regional Preserve
The Hal Scott Regional Preserve is a such a cool spot to spend some time in nature on your Kissimmee, Florida vacation. The Preserve has a well-known resident, the red-cockaded woodpecker. This woodpecker lives exclusively in live, mature pine trees. They peck out cavities in the pine tree, then the sap flows down the face of the face of tree, keeping predators away.
There are trails for hiking, horseback riding and biking. In addition you can fish, or just spend the day immersed in nature, and watching the wildlife. Primitive camping is available.
Lakefront Park is the perfect place to relax. It is located right on a beautiful lake. There are plenty of pavilions, and spaces to walk and enjoy a picnic in the sunshine.
It is also a great place to spot some wildlife like turtles, herons, and alligators. There is even a cute little lighthouse, perfect for taking photos!
Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek
The Pioneer Village at Shingle Creek is designed to immerse guests in the daily life of the early Florida pioneer settlers. The structures of Pioneer Village are authentic and have been gently preserved over the years.
The village includes a general store with a post office, a schoolhouse, church, train depot, settler cabins, blacksmith shop, citrus packing plant, barn, and a Seminole settlement. Pioneer Village is a great stop for a quarter-day trip.
Whether you are 5 or 50, you will fall in love with Wild Florida, Kenansville, Florida! Wild Florida makes a perfect day trip on your Kissimmee Florida vacation. They offer airboat rides, a gator park, and a drive-through safari animal park.
Though we’ve taken many airboat rides and tours throughout Florida, we were mesmerized by the raw natural beauty of the headwaters of the Everglades. We saw alligators of all sizes, birds, and bald eagles on our tour.
This was by far one of the best things we’ve done! The animals were able to roam freely through the safari park.
We saw so wildlife from across the globe…it felt like we were in the wilds of places like Africa! Don’t miss the opportunity to do a Wild Florida giraffe feeding! This was so much fun!!
If you’ve never seen an alligator up close, now is your chance! Get to know the animals up close and personal (safely), take photos with them, and learn more about exotic species like lemurs, sloths, and bobcats. Its a fun experience for the whole family that promotes wildlife education and conservation.
Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures
Take advantage of an opportunity to enjoy the best outdoor activities along the edge of a lovely lake where wildlife abounds! A “must-see” destination, a tour through nature, and a place where you can see wildlife on your Kissimmee Florida vacation getaway.
A Native American Village, a Gem Stone and Fossil Mine, an Alligator pond, Tiki bar, a swamp picture shack, and Boggy Bottom BBQ, a delightful restaurant, are all part of the experience. Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures showed us the REAL FLORIDA!
Discover the source of the Florida Everglades by taking a wild airboat trip! Airboats have transported millions of nature lovers into the stunning wetlands of Kissimmee.
View alligators, turtles, birds, and other wildlife in their natural habitat. As you enjoy one of Florida’s best airboat tours, you’ll feel like you’re flying through the wetlands.
Another fun activity! You can cool off with a nice drink and a snack at a lakeside Tiki Bar and watch the lovely sunsets across the lake. Take a memorable family photo by the old Swamp Photo Shack, pose with some fun, one-of-a-kind props, and you’ll have the shot of a lifetime.
Make a stop at the Gator Pond, where you’ll have a close-up look at Florida’s favorite reptile. You can either watch them bask in the sun or feed these mini dinosaurs.
You get to keep whatever you find in the 70-foot mining trough of genuine precious stones and rare fossils waiting to be panned! Who knows what you’ll find!
The mine has a variety of gems, including emeralds, rubies, and amethyst, as well as numerous fossil groups, including invertebrates, terrestrial plants, fish, and petrified amber. All ages can participate in this activity, and even adults will become addicted to looking for hidden goodies! Hurry! You are allowed to retain your buried valuables; finders keepers!
Native American Village
“The Forgotten Tribe of Florida” – You can visit the authentic Native American village replica, which includes chambers for each member of a typical Native family, and learn how they survived on the marshes.
Towering chickee huts protect genuine artifacts and hand-crafted creations of the Big Mountain Native American family. The village is a living history museum that people of all ages will like!
Take a moment to stop, and enjoy a bite at Boggy Bottom BBQ restaurant.
Boggy Bottom offers both indoor and outdoor dining on West Lake Toho. Try their fried pickles, gator tail, beef brisket, hamburgers, pulled pork, and nachos. Don’t forget to finish your meal with dessert and a glass of Florida wine or beer!
I was not able to participate in this adventure due to my injuries, but Jim had an absolute blast! He will definitely want to repeat this elevated “off-road mudding” experience!
Zooming down trails and through muddy water-filled ruts is definitely an adrenaline-pumping rush! Revolution Adventures in Kissimmee is a must-experience for a thrill ride on a Kissimmee Florida vacation.
Bok Tower Gardens
Peace personified is what you’ll find at Bok Tower Gardens in Central Florida! For those who have a green thumb, which I do not, you’ll be fascinated by the collection of native flora and fauna that the gardens encompass.
Bok Tower Gardens was the brainchild of Edward W. Bok, publisher, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, and humanitarian. He would winter in Florida near Lake Wales and fell in love with the area that is now Bok Tower Gardens.
His vision was to create a bird sanctuary and lush gardens, with the centerpiece being a 60-bell carillon tower. He wanted this pastoral setting to “touch the soul with beauty and quiet.”
Mr. Bok, however, wanted to avoid keeping this slice of quiet paradise to himself. He wanted to share it with others. So on February 1, 1929, Edward Bok opened the gardens to the public as a gift to the people of America.
With 60+ golf courses in the Kissimmee area, there are plenty of challenging courses. Choose one golf course or several to play over your Kissimmee Florida vacation escape.
Other Kissimmee Florida Vacation Fun
Kennedy Space Center
Approximately an hour by car from Kissimmee is Kennedy Space Center. Take advantage of the chance to experience space travel like never before with a visit to the renowned Kennedy Space Center while you are in Florida.
The Space Center has contributed significantly to the development of American space technology; it is more than just a theme park. Visitors can watch rocket and space shuttle launches and see spacecraft, rockets, and space rocks. You’ll leave with an appetite to learn more about space exploration and the universe.
You can choose your own experience, so look around! Enter the futuristic spaceport and select one of the following space voyages: Red Planet, Daring Explorers, Cosmic Wonders, or Uncharted Worlds.
Explore the wonders of space by touching a piece of moon rock and feeling as if you’re lifting off into space on the Shuttle Launch Experience! Don’t miss your trip to the stars!
Hit The Beach
Cocoa Beach is the closest beach to Kissimme. Plan a day of fun on these gorgeous beaches. Cocoa Beach was made famous by the 1960s sitcom, “I Dream of Jeannie”.
Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament
This experience is fun for the whole family! When you arrive at the castle, you’ll be given a crown with the colors of your kingdom, and the fun begins!
Before the tournament begins, explore the castle. Walking thru Her Majesty’s hall, you’ll come face-to-face with suits of armor. Of course, there is a gift shop to purchase souvenirs from your visit.
As you eat dinner, you’ll be well entertained by a stellar group of knights jousting for the winning title. Get your cheering voice ready to cheer the knights of your kingdom on to victory at Medieval Times!
Old Town Kissimmee
Let’s time travel back to when times were simpler, and families spent time together just hanging out. That is what Old Town Kissimmee embodies – good, old-fashioned authentic fun that is family-friendly and where memories are created. Sure, there is shopping fun to be had, and good food to be eaten, but more than that, you’ll be spending time together, which is priceless!
Stroll through 18-acres of brick paved street lined with trees, with live entertainment and events, and of course rides! There is even a ferris wheel that gives riders a birds-eye view. On the weekends, Old Town becomes a magnet for vintage classic cars and trucks, and the iconic muscle cars. So if you are a car lover, you’ll want to hit the area on a weekend. To perfectly sum up a visit to Old Town Kissimmee, it is classic American fun that is family-friendly!
Take To The Skies For Soaring Balloon Trip
Soar high in the sky with Maverick Hot Air Balloon Adventures and see the magnificent view below spread out like a carpet. Floating quietly in the skies, you may see the wildlife below you – and grab a snap of view with your camera from this unique viewpoint.
Maverick Hot Air Balloon Adventures offers several choices of rides. One of the top choices is their Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Adventure. They also provide private charter rides and shared-basket flights.
The Sunrise Adventure starts about an hour before sunrise. For those who want a hands-on experience, you can assist the flight crew in setting up the colorful balloon for the flight. The team will check the wind direction, and then you’re off to one of the launch sites.
Once the balloon is ready for take-off, it’s time for a few photos before you are up, up, and away soaring into the heavens! Once you return from your sunrise adventure flight, celebrate with a glass of champagne or orange juice and a pastry.
PRO TIP: Be sure your camera has a wrist or neck strap – you don’t want to lose your camera!
Where to Eat On A Kissimmee Florida Vacation
If you love Spanish/Cuban cuisine, the Columbia Restaurant is for you. Decorated in an “old-world” style, you’ll love this famous restaurant’s ambiance and impeccable service.
Try their amazing 1905 salad- the servers make it tableside, and add a Cuban sandwich for an authentic Columbia Restaurant experience!
Island Grove Wine Company
Stop by the Island Grove Wine Company for delicious bites and excellent wine. What’s unique about this winery is that they specialize in fruit wines, especially blueberry!
Their family has been growing Florida blueberries for over 30 years, and they’ve used this fruit as the hero in their business. It is a taste experience you will want to experience! Other fruit wines available include mango, apple, peach, and blackberry.
The gorgeous garden is the perfect place to indulge in their brunch specials. Pair their house benedict with a refreshing glass of sangria or a bottle of one of their Florida Fruit wines! Plus, they are pet-friendly, so bring along your furry friends! No need to leave your pup at home; they can enjoy the sun and company with you.
Where To Stay On Your Kissimmee Florida Vacation Getaway
Vacation Home Rentals with VHC Hospitality
Kissimmee is known as “The Vacation Home Capital of the World”, so consider a customized experience during your Kissimmee, Florida vacation. VHC Hospitality offers a large inventory of vacation home rentals. They have vacation homes to match any trip. Are you vacationing with family, by the beach, or near a theme park? They have something for every occasion. Choose your destination, and a large selection of gorgeous homes awaits you!
We stayed in a lovely Disney-themed home. Everything was beautifully styled and clean. It gave so much personality and whimsy to the trip! Homes like these are perfect for a theme park getaway with the kids.
Omni Championsgate Resort
This gorgeous resort is ideal for everyone- couples and families alike. It has a wide range of restaurants, pools, and other amenities that let you relax in luxury. The staff treats you like family, ensuring that all of your needs are met and you start and end your day with a smile.
Play a round of golf on one of their two championship golf courses, get pampered at the spa, or float down the lazy river. There is something for everyone at the Omni Resort.
Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center, Kissimmee
The Gaylord Palms Resort is a true experience. An incredible resort, the Gaylord has everything you could possibly need for a fantastic vacation.
Explore the resort and find a water park and multiple resort pools where you can rent a cabana for private lounging, nine onsite restaurants and sports bars for delicious bites, an award-winning spa to be pampered in, and so much more. The rooms and suites are spacious and clean, ensuring you have a restful stay every night. While you aren’t out exploring Kissimmee, you can tour the expansive resort and learn about the towns they highlight in their resort!
There are endless possibilities when it comes to a trip to Kissimmee, but these are our BEST reasons why you should plan your next Florida vacation destination in Kissimmee, Florida. With close proximity to the hottest attractions and plenty of beautiful places to stay and eat, there’s no reason why you won’t love a trip to this lovely Florida town.
To make your Florida vacation planning easier, check out The Ultimate Florida Vacation Planning Guide! This guide helps tame the overwhelm that comes when planning a Florida vacation.
Experience Kissimmee hosted our stay and visit, all opinions remain our own.