Activities to have fun on the water in Central Florida

With over 550 lakes in Polk County, there is endless potential for water fun!

(Source: Visit Central Florida)

Summer is almost here in North America and if what you are looking for for your next vacation are water activities to alleviate the high temperatures, think about visiting Winter Haven and its surroundings in Central Florida. Known as the Chain of Lakes for its network of interconnected lakes across more than 1,618.7 hectares, this city is affectionately nicknamed by residents as “The Chain.” This region is a haven of outdoor fun for families and friends all year round. It is considered the "Water Ski Capital of the World" for the large number of water activities available, making Winter Haven the ideal place for summer vacations. What water activities await you in Central Florida

1. Boat cruise

Book a Winter Haven Chain of Lakes excursion with The Living Water Boat Cruises. Watch the LEGOLAND Florida Resort water ski show from the boat, or take a sunset cruise and enjoy lakeside dining at Harborside.

2. Paddleboard Excursions

Paddleboard Winter Haven offers a unique paddleboarding experience, ranging from private parties and "onboard" corporate meetings, to exciting adventure tours and Paddle Fit sessions. Enjoy unique options like paddleboard yoga or a sunset excursion to watch a spectacular sunset that is the perfect evening activity before dining at one of Winter Haven's many lakeside restaurant options.

3. Water Sports in Winter Haven

Learn to water ski, go tubing with your friends, ride jet skis, rent a pontoon boat, or go paddle boarding at Winter Haven WaterSports. All of these activities can be done in the Southern Winter Haven Chain of Lakes.

4. Airboat excursion

Fly over Florida's waterways strapped to a giant propeller powered by a V8 engine. Florida is known for its exciting airboat tours, and Central Florida has a wide selection of great tours, with some boats up to 600 horsepower. Some favorite tours include Guy Harvey's Camp Mack, Alligators Unlimited Airboat Tours, and Westgate River Ranch.

5. Freshwater fishing

The sun always shining, pleasant temperatures and a network of more than 550 lakes make Polk County a premier fishing destination year-round. It's the perfect place for experienced anglers, outdoor enthusiasts and those looking to catch a 10+ pound bass for a trophy win. Click here for all the information you need to know about freshwater fishing in Central Florida.

6. Kayak rental

Rent kayaks from Off the Chain Kayak Company and explore the Winter Haven Chain of Lakes. OTC offers kayak delivery and pickup, so you can kayak on the lake closest to your hotel or vacation rental home.

And if you want to enjoy a wonderful show, we invite you to attend the Cypress Gardens water ski show presented at the newly remodeled Martin Luther King Jr. Park on Lake Silver in Winter Haven.

Members of the original Cypress Gardens water ski team continue to wow Central Florida audiences and work to pass on their skills to the next generation. The Water Ski Capital of the World celebrated the sport's 100th Anniversary in 2022. The show is always presented on the third Saturday of each month from 4 to 5:30 p.m., with additional attractions added throughout the season.

Fun fact: The age of this water ski equipment ranges between 40 and 60 years. The show features beginner and professional skiers, some young and some young at heart.

Cypress Gardens Water Ski Show Dates:

March 16, 2024
April 20, 2024
May 18, 2024
May 27, 2024 (Memorial Day Show)
June 15, 2024

If you are attending the show, be sure to bring a blanket or lawn chairs to sit on. Burgers, hot dogs, appetizers, drinks, t-shirts and hats will be available for sale. All sales benefit the Water Ski Team.

Source: Visit Central Florida

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