The city of Sebring, Florida, gets its nickname—“The City on the Circle”—from the center of its historic downtown, Circle Drive.
Sebring is also Highland County’s seat, and it’s known for its historical significance and outdoor attractions.
Speaking of history, Sebring is famous for the Sebring International Raceway. This track stands on the site of a former airbase circa 1950.
In 1959, the raceway hosted the Formula One United States Grand Prix, although it’s more famous for another racing event, the 12 Hours of Sebring.
This event is part of the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race, held every year.
In 1912, George E. Sebring, a pottery maker from Ohio, moved to the area and began developing it into a city.
The state of Florida turned it into a city in 1913 and became the county seat of Highlands County in 1921.
Likewise, George Sebring lends his name to the village of Sebring, Ohio.
Do you want to know more about Sebring, FL?
Here’s a list of the best things to do in the city:
Spend the Day at Highlands Hammock State Park
In 1931, Florida opened the Highlands Hammock State Park to the public, becoming one of the state’s oldest parks.
The park came to be thanks to efforts from local citizens who banded together to lobby for the hammock’s promotion to a state park.
Just before World War II, the Civilian Conservation Corps added park facilities and planted the roots of a botanical garden.
Today, you can bike around the beautiful 3-mile loop drive or hike one of the nine trails. You’ll cross an old cypress swamp through an elevated boardwalk.
If you want to ride a horse, bring them to the 11-mile trail for day use. The park rangers also offer guided tours.
You might even spot wildlife there, such as white-tailed deer, alligators, and red-shouldered hawks.
See the Cars Go at the Sebring International Raceway
The oldest race track still in action in the United States is in Sebring, called the Sebring International Raceway.
It has hosted major races since 1950, becoming one of the most famous classic tracks in North American racing.
Moreover, its most popular event is the 12 Hours of Sebring.
This racing series is an example of endurance racing, joining the ranks of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup and the World SportsCar Championship.
The racetrack was once a training base for the United States Air Force called Hendricks Army Airfield.
Today, the track shares a portion of the Sebring Regional Airport, which serves commercial and private air traffic.
Bring the gearheads in your life to this historic racetrack where they can live it up in this auto paradise.
Dig Up Buried Gems with the Lost Mines of Atlantis
Spice up your Sebring trip by trying something new.
If you want an example, head to the Lost Mines of Atlantis and learn how to pan for gemstones.
Who knows? You might discover hidden gems to fill out your crystal collection, to give your friends, or bring home as keepsakes.
The Lost Mines of Atlantis sells buckets you can use for panning. If you find anything, just wash them and they’re yours.
Finding majestic crystals and semi-precious gemstones is easy because the Lost Mines is Florida’s best spot for digging up these treasures.
For example, you can find emeralds, opals, amethysts, rubies, sapphires, and many others just by poking around.
However, finding these gems is not guaranteed, which means the hunt itself is a big part of the fun.
Bring Your Kids to the Children’s Museum of the Highlands
In December 1990, the Children’s Museum of the Highlands opened its doors to families and kids in the Sebring area.
The museum became an immediate hit, logging more than 9,000 visitors in its first year.
How did the museum find its stellar success?
This success comes from their emphasis on developing hands-on activities and exhibits for kids ages 1-12 to enjoy.
Likewise, the museum also provides ample space for kids to run around and play, enabling them to develop their social skills and imagination.
They also run field trips and learning programs.
General admission costs $7 per person, but it’s good for all-day play.
Smell the Flowers at the Historic Hobby Hill Florist
You’ll find the oldest florist in Sebring at the Hobby Hill Florist, which has sold beautiful bouquets since 1950.
The store gets its name from three ladies who lived on a hill, and who made flower arrangements as a hobby.
Today, one of the founders’ employees, Ladonna Paedae Rodriguez, runs the store, together with her parents.
Hobby Hill Florist offers only the freshest hand-picked flowers (which Ladonna chooses herself).
Besides flowers, the store also sells various types of locally grown blooming or green plants.
You can also grab a box of chocolates, candies, and fashionable jewelry there.
Why not surprise your partner with a bouquet of gorgeous flowers and a box of deluxe chocolates?
Dive in the Waters of Lake Denton
Located between the cities of Avon Park and Sebring, the 66-acre Lake Denton is a terrific site for both expert and beginner divers.
You’ll dive from the Lake Denton Church Camp standing on the lakeshore.
Several divers visit the lake every year, including newbie drivers who want to train.
You just need to bring enough sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun, since there is no shade around the lake.
What can you see under the clear waters?
You can spot bass, sunfish, catfish, and even turtles.
There are also three boats underwater that have become homes for various species of fish.
You can visit the lake to swim from summer to winter, too.
Just bring a hooded vest and gloves to keep warm.
Camp Out at the Lake Josephine RV Resort
If you want to immerse yourself in nature, why not spend the night in its company?
Just visit Sebring and check out the Lake Josephine RV Resort, a full-hookup RV campground that offers enough shade to keep you cool.
The resort offers over 175 RV sites that are both pet-friendly and cable-ready.
They also have WiFi hotspots so you don’t need to worry about logging off.
This campsite sits on the shores of Lake Josephine.
Besides their amenities, you can also enjoy direct access to the premier freshwater fishing spots in the entire southern Florida area.
If you don’t want to fish, you can simply paddle your kayak on the lake or chill in the outdoor pool.
Learn Marine History at the Military Sea Services Museum
During the early 90s, some members of Branch 173 of the Fleet Reserve Association in Sebring laid the foundations for the Military Sea Services Museum.
They had the brilliant idea of decorating the museum’s building with their memorabilia to promote the military sea services.
This idea led to the establishment of the only museum in the United States to pay tribute to the country’s Military Sea Services.
(You can count the Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and the US Navy under its umbrella.)
Today, the museum houses various memorabilia and artifacts related to the Military Sea Services.
Most of these objects are donations, too, comprising state flags, posters, uniforms, and many others.
Admission to the museum is free, so visit anytime you like.
See a Show at the Highlands Lakeside Theater
Enjoy a lively night in the theater at the Highlands Lakeside Theater in Sebring.
Formally, its name is the Highlands Little Theater.
This community theater engages citizens to help stage live theatrical productions.
Likewise, the theater celebrates the rich theater history in Sebring, dating to the 1930s.
The Highlands Little Theater opened in 1974, beginning a long and celebrated tenure in the Highlands County area.
The theater building itself opened in 1982, called the Lakeside Playhouse.
They still hold shows there.
If you fancy watching a play or a concert, visit the Highlands Lakeside Theater for a night you won’t forget.
Check Out the Masterpieces at the Highlands Art League
For a taste of Sebring’s fine arts and culture, head to the Highlands Art League at the Allen Altvater Cultural Center in the city’s historic downtown district.
You’ll never forget this museum because it’s the “Village Where Art Lives.”
They’ve influenced arts and culture in all of Florida thanks to their annual Fine Arts & Crafts Festival, which began in 1966.
Today, this festival has become one of Florida’s longest consecutive art festivals.
During your visit, you’ll find various exhibits and collections.
Enroll in their art classes for adults and kids and study photography, sketching, acrylics, and glass painting.
The museum also holds a Wine, Beer & Culinary Tasting Gala, so watch out for that.
Enrich your imagination by visiting this unique art gallery in Sebring.
Learn History at the Civilian Conservation Corps Museum
During your visit to the Highlands Hammock State Park, make sure to drop by the Civilian Conservation Corps Museum.
You’ll learn about how Civilian Conservation Corps helped lift the citizens of Sebring out of the Great Depression.
Likewise, museum docents give guided tours to guests, and they screen films per request on the stage.
You’ll also discover the history of the park, which the Civilian Conservation Corps helped to build.
There are interactive exhibits that feature events of 1930 until 1940.
Complete your visit to Highlands Hammock by learning all about the people who built it.
Enjoy a Night Out at the Faded Bistro & Beer Garden
In 2017, Bob and Tiffany Cazdow launched the Faded Bistro & Beer Garden, a new restaurant concept they had planned to bring to downtown Sebring.
They had wanted to create a relaxing bar where people could take their time drinking while eating delicious meals.
Over the years, the restaurant has found success.
Many customers come back again and again because they’ve felt the bar has become their second home.
During your visit, you might feel the same pull of the place.
You can order filling meals like Black Angus burgers at lunch and try their charcuterie boards or fresh seafood at dinner.
Besides drinks, they also serve fine coffee made from local ingredients.
The restaurant also happens to own a pre-Civil War bar made for Hall’s Tavern up in Washington.
However, you can also make yourself comfortable in a nook or bathe in the sun at their sun-kissed beer garden.
Learn Arts and Crafts at Alice Stroppel’s Studio 215
Alice Stroppel, the former executive director of the Highlands Art League, has created art from polymer clay since the late 1980s.
However, she began to “get serious” only after leaving the Art League in 2008.
Now, she is a full-fledged polymer clay artist with her own creative space, Studio 215.
Bring your family to Studio 215 on your Sebring trip and create memories and bring home newfound skills everyone will appreciate.
Alice offers workshops for beginners and experienced polymer clay artists.
Don’t worry about equipment or tools because Studio 215 provides everything for you.
What can you make at Studio 215?
You can make colored canes, wall pieces, and jewelry.
Several notable polymer clay artists have taught at Alice’s workshops, too, so you’re guaranteed to walk out with new knowledge and skills.
Other Things to Do Nearby
Expand Your Horizons at the Museum of Florida Art and Culture
In 2001, the Museum of Florida Art and Culture opened its doors to the public interested to learn more about Florida’s rich history, arts, and culture.
You can find this museum at Avon Park, Florida, just 14 minutes away from downtown Sebring.
For instance, you can find two works by the celebrated Florida artist Christopher Still hanging in the museum.
These works are titled “On Sacred Ground” and “Land of Promise.”
The museum’s main gallery features rotating exhibits running from October to May.
They do have permanent exhibits, which feature archaeology and history displays about Florida.
Likewise, Christopher Still created eight glichee panels covering 500 years of Florida’s history that are now inside the Concourse Gallery.
Enjoy a Show at the Alan Jay Wildstein Center for the Performing Arts
You’ll need to enter the South Florida State College campus in Avon Park, Florida, to reach the Alan Jay Wildstein Center for the Performing Arts.
However, the trip is worth it, especially if you love watching live shows.
The 1,460-seat theater hosts various performances and concerts from contemporary and classic acts in various genres.
Since 1984, the theater has also hosted performances from major acts like Kenny Rogers, The Beach Boys, Johnny Mathis, Lily Tomlin, and the St. Petersburg Ice Ballet.
Likewise, you can visit in the afternoon for more music.
The performers run the gamut from folk music, rock and roll tributes, to big band.
Sometimes, they even host a comedy show.
Your ears will thank you for visiting this theater, even at least once.
Sebring is an excellent place for visiting outdoor attractions, creative spaces, and historical landmarks.
Start your journey from the historic Sebring downtown district and don’t look back.
Visit other nearby towns to round out the experience.
What are you waiting for?
Book your Sebring trip today!