When you think about taking a trip to Florida, you’ve likely considered visiting somewhere along the coast. And while you can no doubt find a bounty of beaches and bustling metro areas by the sea, paying a visit inland is well worth it, especially if you’re considering Lake Placid, Florida.
Not only is this area of Florida one of the places with the least light pollution (and thus a great place to see stars!) but you can also enjoy plenty of outdoor and water-based recreation at the numerous lakes that surround the city.
So, are you ready to plan your trip to Lake Placid in Florida? Keep reading to learn more about where this city is located and things to do during your stay.
Let’s get to it!
Where is Lake Placid in Florida?
Located in Highlands County, Lake Placid is an easy day trip from several popular Florida metro areas. This city is located in Central Florida and is south of Orlando by about two and a half hours, two hours east of Tampa, and just an hour and a half away from Ft. Myers.
Its proximity to other popular Florida destinations makes this area a great place to visit for those looking to see as much of the state as possible. This is especially true for anyone who wants to get out in nature, as the Town of Lake Placid is surrounded by lakes. In addition to the aptly named Lake Placid, other lakes include:
- Lake June-in-Winter
- Grassy Lake
- Lake Huntly
- Lake Clay
These are the bigger lakes in the area, but the list above is by no means all-inclusive. In addition to being beautiful sites to see, many of these lakes are also near state parks or other recreational activities.
Things to do in Lake Placid Florida
Now that you know where Lake Placid is located in Florida, it’s time to plan your visit! Below are just a few ideas of things to do during your stay.
Get Outdoors at the Lake June-in-Winter Scrub Preserve State Park
The Lake June in Winter Scrub Preserve State Park is a popular area destination. This 845-acre preserve provides access to Lake June-in-Winter while also serving as an important wildlife protection area. In fact, this state park protects sand scrub habitat and endangered wildlife like:
- The Florida scrub-jay
- The Florida mouse
- The Eastern indigo snake
During your visit, plan to wear comfortable shoes, since one of the greatest ways to see the park’s native flora and fauna is by heading out for a hike. In addition to a longer trail, you can take a stroll on a half-mile nature trail if you’re short on time. After your hike, enjoy a picnic near the lake or bring your bait and tackle for a day of fishing.
This park is open every day of the year from 8AM to sunset and the cost to enter is $2 per vehicle. You can find the Lake June-in-Winter Scrub Preserve State Park at the address listed below:
630 Daffodil Street
Lake Placid, Florida 33852
Visit the Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park
Another great state park in the area is the Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park. This park is also home to rare and endangered wildlife and plant species and is particularly popular due to its lack of light pollution.
As such, this is a great park to camp at if you want to try your hand at seeing the stars (and maybe even the Milky Way!) during your visit. The park has 35 different campsites, each of which provides access to water and electricity. You can also bring your horse to one of the equestrian campsites if you plan to explore the park on horseback.
In addition to hiking and stargazing, you may also consider taking a ranger-led buggy tour of the park so you can learn as much as possible during your visit. These tours are offered from November through March on the weekend (Saturday and Sunday) at 9AM. It costs $20 per person to participate and the tours last between two to three hours.
Of course, you can also just explore on your own time! The park is open every day of the year from 8AM to sundown and the cost to enter is $4 per vehicle. You can find the Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park at:
33104 N.W. 192nd Avenue
Okeechobee, FL 34972
Take a Step Back in Time with the Lake Placid Historical Society
History buffs in particular will enjoy participating in this next activity: paying a visit to the Lake Placid Historical Society. This society maintains a museum so visitors can check out exhibits and learn all about the Lake Placid and North Elba area.
This includes exhibits like “Lake Placid Steamboats, Fancy Hotels, and the Gilded Age.” Individuals can also have the chance to see vintage signs that help tell the story of Lake Placid history, as well as other exhibits.
The museum’s schedule changes depending on the time of the year. When it’s open, the hours are from 10AM to 4PM. The days you can visit the museum are listed below:
- May 29 to June 20 open on Saturdays and Sundays
- June 23 to October 10 open from Wednesday to Sunday
To visit the park, plan to pay $5 for adults, $2 for seniors and students, and nothing for children and members of the society.
There you have it: everything you need to know about visiting Lake Placid, Florida. No matter how you choose to spend your time during your visit, you’ll no doubt come away with a deeper understanding of what makes this part of central Florida so special.