Fun on the Water
Experience Our Water Wonderland
A Central Florida vacation wouldn't be complete without spending some time on the water. We have lots of ways for your to keep cool, and find ways to become one with the water in Polk County.
Spend the day splashing in the more than half a million gallons of water at LEGOLAND® Florida Water Park, kick back and catch some largemouth bass in the area's renowned fishing spots, or hold onto your hat on a thrilling airboat ride.
Get Back To Nature With An Airboat Ride
With their ability to navigate very shallow water and glide over vegetation, you can experience nature up close and personal on a refreshing airboat ride. Because this popular activity books up fast, visitors should reserve a spot early. There are a number of different companies that offer airboat rides throughout the wetland areas of Central Florida.
"Largemouth Bass Capital of the World"
If you'd rather spend your time on the water fishing, grab your pole and call one a local fishing guide to test your skills on some of the world's best largemouth bass. The temperate waters of Central Florida are perfect for growing and nurturing largemouth bass into record-breaking sizes, and with more than 500-lakes and 115-boat ramps, you'll have more access to quality fishing than you'll have time on your vacation.
The wealth of freshwater lakes here are also home to bluegill, crappie, bream, sunshine bass, catfish, gar, tilapia and chain pickerel. Different varieties are more abundant during different seasons, so if fishing is on your agenda, be sure to contact a fishing guide. A guide can tell you what is in season and the best bait and fishing methods to use to ensure a successful trip.
Canoeing and Kayaking
There is no better way to connect with nature and spend the day observing or photographing wildlife, or even casting a line, than while paddling the pristine waters of Polk County. In an area that has 554-lakes, opportunities to glide along the water by canoe or kayak are endless and always close by.
See more illustration videos at Drawn to Central Florida.
Most lakes have a public boat ramp, canoe launch or sandy shoreline that will provide your entry into the water and allow you to explore at a leisurely pace. For paddlers looking to log some serious miles with a multi-hour, or even multi-day on-the-water tour, many of the lakes on the Winter Haven Chain of Lakes and the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes are interconnected by canals, providing access to hundreds of miles of open waterways to explore. The Kissimmee Chain of Lakes sits along the Everglades Paddling Trail which provides access to the Kissimmee River, Lake Okeechobee, the Everglades and eventually the inter-coastal waterways of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico.
In the same area of Polk County you will find Lake Kissimmee State Park's Buster Island Loop Paddling Trail. The 11-mile trail runs through and along the boundary of the state park. Kayak and canoe rentals are available through the state park's store.
The Peace River Paddling Trail offers passes through 67 miles of moss-draped cypress swamp, hardwood forest and oak hammocks as it flows south to Charlotte Harbor and the Gulf of Mexico.
Boating and SUP
Take a boat out on one of the region's more than 500-lakes. Public boat ramps and boat rental providers allow you to explore on your own, or hop aboard an on-the-water ecotour and let the captain do the work for you. For the ultimate mix of nature and exercise, give your core a workout with Paddleboard Winter Haven.
Water Skiing and Wakeboarding
If you’re feeling more adventurous, test your skills at water skiing or wakeboarding. There are many local outfitters that can help newbies and pros alike have an unforgettable experience. To learn more about the long-standing history of water skiing in Central Florida, take a trip to the Water Ski Hall of Fame Museum in Polk City.