Kissimmee, FL

Kissimmee's Main Street a Treasure of Hidden Gems

Gayle Kurtzer-Meyers

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Welcome to Kissimmee train depot/Photo Source: Wiki public domain

Kissimmee’s Main Street: Take a look at Kissimmee's hidden gems

Although most people are familiar with Orlando, few are familiar with the hidden gem called Kissimmee Florida. Going to Main Street downtown is one of the best places in the city. Best of all, there are many things to do within walking distance, so you and your loved ones can take a stroll and enjoy the beautiful weather. Life in Kissimmee is good.

The thing about hidden gems is that you can’t enjoy what you’re not aware of them. As a native Floridian, I’m happy to share my journey with you. Visitors and residents alike are encouraged to explore this hidden gem city.

The history of downtown Kissimmee

Centuries ago, the Native American tribe Jororo was predominately dwelling in the Central Florida Valley until the early 1500s. Then, in 1513, the Spanish settled on this land. After the influx of disease and slavery, the native population of 350,000 began to decline drastically.

Eventually, European settlers gravitated towards Central Florida. As more people began settling here, this once swampy area became a tamed, livable piece of land. Then, a little while after the Civil War, a wealthy man began changing the landscape of Central Florida. Hamilton Disston bought four million acres of Floridian land and began clearing the swampland.

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Broadway Avenue, Kissimmee, FL; from a c. 1912Photo Source: Wiki Public Domain

Three years after purchasing the land, Disston set up Allendale, which served as his pioneer headquarters. He also expanded the water system. Once officially incorporated, the name changed to Kissimmee. The city’s name comes from the Jororo native word meaning long water.

Over time, this small town became one of the most significant trading ports in Florida. Now, over two centuries later, the land is affectionately known as Kowtown; with a vast native cultural influence, it became the excellent tourist site you see today.

Exploring Main Street

There are so many events that happen on Main Street. With so much cultural diversity in Central Florida, you can see some alligators, eat some great food, and attend a local fruit market within one day.

If you enjoy fine art, consider joining the sculpture experience. Resident creators and professional artists alike submit artwork to showcase on Main Street. From wooden pieces to metal sculptures, this is a cultural experience that should make your to-do list. They have both permanent and rotating experiences, so you get the best of both worlds.

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Art show/Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Another popular event on Main Street is the Red, Blue, and BBQ. This BBQ competition between the town Police and Fire Department is a long-time tradition. So purchase your meal tickets for a great cause while the people who dedicate their lives to protecting others serve up some great food.

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Red, Blue, and BBQPhoto Source: Around Osceola

There is also a myriad of local businesses you can visit while you’re downtown. For instance, Better U Dining is a Jamaican restaurant that offers all of the Caribbean classics. So whether you want to stop in for a round of beef patties and curried chicken or a vegan platter with freshly made ginger pineapple juice, this is the place for you. Better U Dining also has a breakfast menu that they serve all day, so you can stop by after hitting the snooze button a few times.

If you’re looking to go out without your children and grab some drinks, go to Miguelo’s Ultra Lounge. This lounge allows you to listen to live music while you eat a delicious meal. This restaurant has both traditional options like chicken wings as well as cultural food like mofongo. They’re open until 2 am so that you can party the night away, dining and dancing.

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Dancing the night away/Photo by Ardian Lumi on Unsplash

If shopping is on your Downtown Kissimmee Florida wish list, there are some local shops you can visit. Whether you’re looking for unique souvenirs or furniture for your home, you can go downtown and find what you need. There are antique shops like the Echos of Yesterday Antique Mall. You can also find some beautiful jewelry or coins at their local jewelry store. Best of all, you’re supporting local businesses, which is essential in these trying times. Finally, you can finish off your shopping trip by stopping at the farmers’ market.

That’s right; the farmers market is officially back! On the first Friday of the month, farmers set out their locally-grown foods sponsored by Main Street on Monument Avenue and Pleasant Street between 5 and 8 pm. Kissimmee is known for its agriculture, do your taste buds a favor and get quality products from people in the community. If you’re interested in farmers’ market hopping, visit the town website for more details.

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Farmer's market/Photo by Sinitta Leunen on Unsplash

Things to consider

Since we’re currently in a pandemic, some places may have shorter hours or may be temporarily closed. In some cases, restaurants only accept delivery or take-out orders. For the sake of the local community, please continue patronizing these businesses to keep the economy afloat.

The same applies to scheduled local events. If you and your loved ones want to attend a downtown event, make sure they’re still allowing visitors before showing up. The majority of venues are noted on the main Kissimmee website, so check for updates before arrival.

Make sure you and your loved ones also follow the Kissimmee health regulations. For example, private businesses in Central Florida may require facial coverings indoors. In addition, you need to practice social distancing at all times.

Kissimmee has a rich history that makes it appealing to both visitors and residents. As a non-profit organization, downtown Main Street is a family-friendly place to experience and a walker-safe area.

It is the simple things in life that bring the most joy. The thrill of Main Street Kissimmee awaits you.

#HIDDENGEMS

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I am a Licensed Community Association Manager for the State of Florida and a published author. My top articles are about Florida RE, property management, and the many beautiful venues and activities available in the Sunshine State. Thank you for reading my work and joining me on the journey.

Kissimmee, FL
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