1 more 'staycation' before school starts

Orange County Public Schools will be back in session next week. But there’s still time for one more ‘staycation’ in Kissimmee.

Seriously, Kissimmee!

The great thing about this staycation is it includes two adventures:
·        Riding SunRail to Kissimmee (Great experience if you or your kids have never ridden a train before.)
·        Exploring a cool Central Florida community that many Orlando residents may not have visited recently.

Thanks to the recently opened Southern Expansion of SunRail, you can now ride the commuter train into the heart of downtown Kissimmee.

You can take the Lynx bus from anywhere in Orlando to Lynx Central Station downtown and walk a few steps to the SunRail platform to catch the southbound train.

For the SunRail schedule, click here.

A round-trip ticket to Kissimmee is $5.50.

There’s a half-off discount for senior citizens (65 and older); those with disabilities; and children 7 to 18.

Children younger than 7 who are accompanied by parents ride for free.

The ride to Kissimmee takes a little more than 20 minutes and you get off the train a half block for Broadway – downtown Kissimmee’s main street.

Downtown Kissimmee is not exactly Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, but it is fun.

The restaurants offer everything from hot dogs to Mediterranean food.

It’s noteworthy that several of the restaurants and shops in downtown Kissimmee are black-owned, such as Savion’s Place – which is less than 2 minutes from the SunRail platform.

But there’s more than food on Kissimmee’s Broadway. There is a variety of shops, including one of the oldest hardware stores in Florida, and even an art gallery.

Speaking of art, while strolling through downtown check out the Kissimmee Sidewalk Sculpture Experience that celebrates Kissimmee/Osceola County’s heritage as one of the largest cattle producers east of the Mississippi River.

On a tight budget, no worries.

Just bring a picnic lunch and stroll over to Lake Toho which boasts an amazing lakefront park. It has covered pavilions, splash pads, a snack bar, and restrooms.

In case you didn’t know it, Lake Toho is one of the best places in the country to catch largemouth bass. Be aware of the fishing-license rules before you cast your line.

Click here for fishing-license information.

Here are a few things to know before you go.

SunRail’s schedule can be a little quickly, so make sure you print and bring a copy with you. Sometimes there are gaps of almost 2 hours between trains.

The train does not play around. Don't be late. SunRail leaves promptly so get to the station early to buy your tickets from the vending machines on the platforms.

All the stations have uniformed Ambassadors who will answer questions and help you with the vending machines.

The last northbound train heading back to Orlando leaves Kissimmee at 10 p.m.

SunRail does not run on the weekend, which is a shame, but SunRailRiders is working to change that.

Orange County Public Schools open on Monday, Aug. 13.


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