About Kissimmee, Florida
Kissimmee is located in Central Florida about twelve miles away from the home of the most
famous rodent in the world. The lovable creature makes his home in Orlando at Walt Disney
World. Kissimmee makes access to Sea World, Cypress Gardens, Universal Studios and the
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center easy and fast.
Route 192 is lined with flashing billboards and high-tech signs, all beckoning
travelers to stop and stay awhile. Beyond the glitter and neon is a town with a purpose -
the purpose of entertaining. And Kissimmee lives up to that purpose. Kissimmee manages to
hold to the old ways of a small cattle town. The city was founded in 1878 and many
buildings in the downtown area have been well maintained. Markinson's Hardware claims to
be the state's first retail hardware store. Old Town is a living nostalgia. Outrageous
shops, restaurants, amusements and cobbled streets impress the travelers. Historic
downtown is the oldest and the largest shopping area.
Shopping in Kissimmee
Manufacturer's Outlet Mall, Parkway Pavilion, Osceola Square Mall are terrific
places to get a bargain. Osceola Flea & Farmers Market specializes in antiques,
collectibles, new merchandise, souvenirs and produce. Free parking, free entertainment and
free admission to the 900 booths in the marketplace. Travel back to the 30's at Capone's
Dinner 7 Show.
Saturday nights are hopping with live rock and roll bands and classic auto cruises. On
Wednesday, the Kissimmee Livestock Market holds a cattle auction. The roots of the city
began with beef and dairy farms, and the aura remains today.
Super attractions and famous characters surround Kissimmee, but it also has many special
places for nature lovers. Lake Kissimmee State Park, which is 5,000 acres, includes a
reconstructed cow camp of the 1870's. History comes alive with re-enactments
of cattle herding and the ways of life in the 19th century. There are hiking trails, a
fishing pier, observation towers and lakes which are home to ospreys, cranes and
alligators. Wild life, including the bald eagle, are easily spotted in the park.
Kissimmee Chain-of-Lakes is a fifty-mile long string of lakes with Lake Toho (Lake
Tohopekaliga) the largest. Boating, fishing, bird watching and numerous water activities
take place on this magnificent chain of lakes.
Lakefront Park is a city park on Lake Toho, a popular spot for canoeing, biking, fishing
and relaxing. Cypress Island is a 19th century Seminole fort located on Lake Toho, the
second largest lake in Central Florida. You reach the island by excursion boat with an
eco-tour narrative. Two miles of gorgeous nature trails lined with ancient live oaks and
cypress is habitat to hawks, owls, osprey, blue herons and a menagerie of critters. Emus,
peacocks, sheep, pygmy goats, and llamas graze throughout the island. Nightly gator
safaris take place through the marshy areas of the lake. Airboat rides, swamp-buggy rides,
horseback rides, skiing, tubing and water-skiing are available. A country store, snack bar
and picnic area completes the scene at the island.