Clock with sunset in Old Town Orlando, Florida

If you want the atmosphere of the Main Street you grew up near, Old Town is a good option. (Image via Shuttertstock.com)

Most residents at Solivita, a 55+ community in Kissimmee, Florida, moved into the neighborhood to embrace an active lifestyle in the Central Florida sunshine. Luckily, the community has enough fitness centers, pools, galleries, and events to keep social schedules packed.

Sometimes, it’s fun to get away from home for a few hours or a couple of days. Local Orlando and Kissimmee hotspots offer a plethora of activities and recreation.

Florida Real Estate: Solivita by AV Homes

Solivita is a development of 5,900 new and resale homes that come in single-family models and attached villas. Buyers seeking customized homes for sale in Florida may want to consider this active adult community that covers 4,300 acres.

The amenities are difficult to match. Residents can play golf at Stonegate Golf Club, a semi-private facility with two 18-hole golf courses, practice facilities, restaurants, and an aquatic driving range.

Solivita also offers Freedom Park, an 18-acre sports complex that includes an outdoor pavilion and a softball field as well as bocce ball courts, pickleball courts, tennis courts, shuffleboard, horseshoes, and a dog park.

At the community’s Waterfront Galleries, there’s a place to let creative inspiration and competitive spirits take hold. There’s a library, an art and ceramics studio, computers, and a place for darts and billiards.

Residents can spend some time at the Riviera Spa & Fitness Center, which includes an indoor walking track, exercise and dance studios, and gym equipment. Piazzas, lap pools, and scenic walking and biking trails are found throughout the community, making it easy for residents and their guests to stay active and enjoy socializing.

What to Do in Kissimmee: State Parks and Old Town

With the town of Kissimmee right outside the gates of Solivita, it’s easy to spend time exploring some of Central Florida’s prettiest state parks. Bring your camera.

Visit the sweeping grassland vistas at Kissimmee Prairie State Park, where visitors can enjoy wildlife sightings, ride a bike or a horse, do a little hiking, or take a guided buggy tour. If you’re a fan of camping, consider staying the night. The prairie is known for its lack of light pollution, which means the stars will light up the sky after dark.

Lake Kissimmee State Park is about an hour away from Solivita, but worth the drive. Enjoy 19th century demonstrations and reenactments while taking pictures of white-tailed deer, nesting eagles, and roaming bobcats. Fishing, paddling, and horseback riding are popular in this park.

Old Town is fun for a stroll, a meal, or a Ferris wheel ride when you’re looking for something to do in Kissimmee. This Main Street throwback invites visitors to remember what life was like before cell phones took selfies and drones tracked packages. Enjoy a root beer float, buy some beef jerky, roll some skeeball in an old fashioned arcade, and catch a glimpse of muscle cars and classic cars on Friday and Saturday nights.

Popular restaurants in Old Town are Frogger’s Grill & Bar and Sun on the Beach where there’s also dancing.

What to Do in Orlando: Art, Culture, and Shopping

It’s hard to think about Orlando real estate without thinking about Disney World and all its corresponding theme parks. That can be fun, but save those trips for when people are visiting from out of town, particularly the grandchildren.

There’s more to Orlando than mouse ears, and one of the benefits of living close by in a community like Solivita is that you get to know the secrets of a growing city like Orlando.

For example, there’s lots of art. The Downtown Arts District just north of the city hosts events, exhibits, lectures, and other cultural happenings. The Orlando Museum of Art has been around since 1924, and permanent collections include contemporary art pieces as well as African art and art from the ancient Americas.

If you’re fond of Tiffany glass, don’t miss the Morse Museum in Winter Park, which houses the largest collection of work by Louis Comfort Tiffany.

Orlando is not without shopping opportunities. Whether you’re looking for something unique for your home or you need a new wardrobe, a little retail therapy is a great way to spend some time in Orlando. Especially in the summer, when air conditioning is compulsory.

Orlando International Premium Outlets has shops that aren’t easily found at other outlet malls, such as Lacoste, Ted Baker London, and Armani. There’s also the Florida Mall, with all of its department stores, boutiques, and restaurants. For antiques and galleries, take a drive out to Mount Dora or visit Deland, which is called The Athens of Florida.  

If you’re a fan of tacos, get to Hunger Street Tacos, which is as famous for its communal and mural-covered ambiance as it is for its brisket tacos. If you like a steak and a good bottle of wine, Spencer’s for Steaks and Chops is a local favorite, even though it’s found inside the Hilton on Destination Parkway.