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Waterfront Park Historic Kissimmee
As you pass under the arch for Historic Kissimmee you leave the tourist world behind and enter a Historic Town which was once a trading post on the shore of Lake Tohopekaliga, then known as Allendale. In 1883, 33 citizens voted to call it Kissimmee City. There is still a feel of trading post today. We find a welcome by all the traders who are glad to see that not all visitors are trapped in the theme park corridor. In our experience, there are no friendlier shopkeepers anywhere.
We usually park the car near Toho square which is clearly signed on Monument Avenue. They have a Farmers Market here every Thursday. You then cross the Amtrak lines on foot and pass by the amazing war memorial and old shuffleboard courts to arrive at the Waterfront Park.
We have seen weddings in the gazebo, Sunday Gospel services and many family group picnics. Last time we were there we watched an osprey fly down and steal fish from a fisherman’s bucket. He told us that this particular bird does that regularly. You see; this is an easy place to talk to local people, as the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly. It is also a great place to bird watch.
There is an ice cream shop and a little shack where you can get a drink but the ideal thing is to take a small picnic and sit at one of the picnic tables under the shade of a great tree and just enjoy the peace.
There is a short walk to the light house and it is close to there, that you can take a trip on to Lake Toho or launch a boat to go to one of the small islands nearby. Bass fishing is popular and excursions can be arranged from here.
We usually take a slow walk along Lakeshore Boulevard as far as the small marina and then turn round and take a slow walk back again. Yes that’s as exciting as it gets but what a welcome relief from all that is theme parks and Malls. If you have small children there is an area in which they can play but anyone from 9 to 19 will probably moan if you bring them with you so be warned.
A visit to the area of Historic Kissimmee would not be complete for us if we did not call in at Joanie’s diner for at least a cup of tea. It is a great place to people watch and listen to the locals. I always imagine that some of them may be the descendants of those 33 citizens who named it Kissimmee City. I wonder what they would have thought of Walt and Co.
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