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Old 05-25-2006, 04:50 PM
1 posts, read 7,096 times
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My husband and I are considering spending our winters in Sebring, FL. Can anyone tell me something about the area? We ride bikes, boat, fish, and just generally enjoy being active. Any input you can give us would be just great!
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Old 05-25-2006, 11:59 PM
Location: Port St. Lucie and Okeechobee, FL
1,305 posts, read 5,133,027 times
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I love Sebring. It was actually my first choice as a retirement area, until my daughter and her family moved to Okeechobee. We purchased acreage next to her in Okeechobee in order to be near the grandkids. We're having plans drawn for our house, now. Okeechobee is about 45 miles SE of Sebring.

My son-in-law is a fireman/EMT, and is actually considering an offer to join the Sebring fire department. Because of my daughter's job (she's a high school band director), he would commute to Sebring.

Sebring is larger than Okeechobee and is a little more spphisticated. They have more stores and shopping, more car dealers, a couple of nice hotels, and several great restaurants. A section of the downtown area has been restored as a historical area with brick paving, fancy street lights, etc. There used to be a lunch restaurant on the circle at the center of town called the "Cat House" because the owner loved cats; all of the decor was about cats. It was cute, but I think it has a different name and theme, now.

Of course, Sebring International Raceway, east of town at the airport, has a dominant role in the community. Major events like the 12 hours of Sebring in March bring thousands of visitors. There is always some flavor of racing in the town as amatuer SCCA sports car races are held several times a year, plus events for car clubs, etc. Major race teams rent the track for testing and famous drivers can be seen at restaurants, etc. They used to have a parade of historic race cars in downtown Sebring at the beginning of the 12 hour race; I don't know if they still do that. The fanciest hotel in town is out at the track; the Chateau Elan and Spa, with balcony rooms overlooking the famous hairpin turn. The race track and the hotel are owned by Don Panoz, owner of the Chateau Elan and winery outside Atlanta and owner of the Road Atlanta race track, and builder of Panoz automobiles.

There are dozens of lakes in the area, and my original retirement dream was to have a cottage on one of the lakes. At the time, we owned a cabin in the mountains of North Carolina, and we intended to split by spending Summer in the mountains and the Winter in Sebring. We sold the mountain cabin last year because of some heart problems I have; I could no longer take the altitude.

For riding bikes, boating and fishing, there can be few places as nice as central Florida around Sebring, Avon Park, Lake Placid and Okeechobee. Take a trip down to Okeechobee and try the new bike trails constructed on top of the **** that surrounds the lake. The dominate boats are bass boats or pontoon boats; I just picked up an old pontoon boat, motor and trailer for $1500 that I plan to rebuild with new carpet and furniture, but we're using it already. I'm personally not much of a fisherman, but this is the area where major bass tournaments are held every year. {EDIT} That's hilarious. The 4 asterisks are in the previous paragraph because I used a perfectly legitimate 4-letter word starting with "d" that describes an earthen revetment used to hold water from overflowing (not a dam, but similar); it also apparently has enough of a slang meaning to be converted to asterisks by this software's "bad word" function.

It's fortunate that those are some of your primary enjoyments, because there really isn't much else to do. I would not call these areas the cultural center of Florida. To see first rate plays, symphonies or opera, you'll have to drive pretty much over 100 miles in several directions to Tampa, Orlando, West Palm Beach, etc. The best part, however, is that you are in the center of all those areas.

Beyond those dreamt-of lakeside cottages, I'm not as familiar with Sebring housing. I know they have their share of single family home developments and manufactured home communities as anywhere else. Hurricanes have reached the area, but the energy is often lessened by the time they get there -- and they don't go that direction too often.

My previous familiarity with the area is due to the race track; my son and I used to take part in the SCCA amatuer sports car races. It was part of my retirement "dream" that I would get a retirement job as a gate guard at the track.

Last edited by pslOldTimer; 05-26-2006 at 12:05 AM..
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Old 05-26-2006, 09:26 PM
25 posts, read 147,624 times
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Default If you want to "get away from it all".

Sebring is rural, so there won't be a whole lot to do, but it is a nice "small town".

If you are looking for more culture and a more "Florida beaches" lifestyle, from Sarasota southward might be more for you, although it is pricey.

So long as you're not looking for a lot of action, Sebring will be a great place to spend winters.
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Old 05-27-2006, 12:10 AM
Location: So. Dak.
13,495 posts, read 34,772,868 times
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Sebring is a very nice, clean, friendly city. Since we live in a cold state, it's so great to go down there for a bit during the winter. We have family who live in Sebring and love it there. The only thing I don't care for about Sebring is the fact that the city is spread out so far. You have to drive so much just do run a few errands.
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Old 05-31-2006, 12:13 PM
Location: arrlando, flarida
2,227 posts, read 7,679,997 times
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i used to live in sebring at one time, actually for about 6 or 7 yrs. it was pretty small then, and it has since grown quite a bit. pretty safe, not much to do but it does have a decent mall, movie theater, restaurants, etc...
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