Central Florida Tourism Oversight District: Sunshine State’s Hidden Gems

Central Florida Tourism Oversight District

Are you ready to explore the heart of Florida? Central Florida, often overshadowed by the bustling tourist hubs of Orlando and Miami, offers a unique and charming experience that’s sure to leave you spellbound. In this article, we delve into the captivating world of the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District and the hidden gems that await you. So, let’s embark on this journey to uncover the best-kept secrets of Central Florida.

What is the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District?

The Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, also known as CFTOD, is a dynamic organization dedicated to promoting and overseeing tourism in the Central Florida region. Established with the primary goal of enhancing the visitor experience and promoting economic growth, CFTOD plays a crucial role in the development of Central Florida’s tourism industry.

Exploring Central Florida’s Diverse Landscape

Central Florida is a true treasure trove of natural beauty, history, and cultural richness. Let’s take a closer look at some of the unique attractions you can find within this remarkable region.

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Rich History and Heritage of Central Florida Tourism Oversight District

1. St. Augustine: The Oldest City in the U.S.

St. Augustine, located in Central Florida, is the oldest continuously inhabited European-established settlement in the United States. As you stroll through the charming streets of this historic town, you’ll encounter Spanish colonial architecture, centuries-old forts, and enchanting tales of the past.

2. Bok Tower Gardens

For a serene escape into nature, visit the Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales. This lush and tranquil oasis offers visitors an opportunity to explore the stunning gardens, observe rare wildlife, and listen to the melodic sounds of the Singing Tower carillon.

Natural Wonders of Central Florida Tourism Oversight District

3. Wekiwa Springs State Park

Wekiwa Springs State Park is a haven for nature enthusiasts. With crystal-clear springs, pristine waterways, and a variety of outdoor activities, this park is perfect for kayaking, hiking, and picnicking. Dive into the refreshing spring waters to escape Florida’s heat.

4. Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

Situated on the Atlantic Coast of Florida, the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge is a paradise for birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts. With over 140,000 acres of estuaries, marshes, and hardwood hammocks, it’s an excellent place to spot manatees, alligators, and numerous bird species.

Unique Culture of Central Florida Tourism Oversight District

5. The Villages

The Villages is an age-restricted community like no other. This vast retirement community offers a vibrant and active lifestyle for its residents. Visitors can explore the town squares, enjoy live music and dancing, and witness the unique charm of this senior paradise.

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6. Leu Gardens

Harry P. Leu Gardens in Orlando is a botanical wonderland. It features over 50 acres of stunning gardens, including rose gardens, butterfly gardens, and palm collections. A visit here will leave you inspired by the beauty and tranquility of nature.

Culinary Delights of Central Florida

7. Culinary Scene in Winter Park

Winter Park boasts a burgeoning culinary scene that will tantalize your taste buds. With a wide array of restaurants, cafes, and gourmet dining options, this city is a food lover’s paradise.

Planning Your Visit to Central Florida

To make the most of your trip to Central Florida, consider the following tips:

1. Accommodations

Central Florida offers a range of accommodation options, from luxurious resorts to cozy bed and breakfasts. Be sure to book your stay in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons.

2. Transportation

Renting a car is the most convenient way to explore the region, as it allows you to access various attractions at your own pace.

3. Weather

Central Florida has a subtropical climate, so prepare for warm weather throughout the year. Don’t forget sunscreen, comfortable clothing, and water to stay hydrated.


Central Florida is a hidden gem that deserves recognition. The Central Florida Tourism Oversight District plays a crucial role in preserving the region’s charm and promoting it as a unique travel destination. With its rich history, natural wonders, unique culture, and culinary delights, Central Florida has something for everyone.

So, what are you waiting for? Plan your trip to Central Florida and discover the beauty and magic of the Sunshine State’s hidden gems today.

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