Why is DeSoto County the out-and-out Florida favorite for outrageously outdoor fun? Start on the Peace River with the natural serenity of canoeing and kayaking or the thrills of an air boat excursion. Hunt fossils in the sands, hike the woods, or try your hand at the fantastic fishing for both freshwater and saltwater catches. The array of camping options assures a natural setting just to your taste. And speaking of taste, tours of our working farms are also an experience to savor. Enjoy city delights? Soak up the sun on one of our superb 18-hole golf courses or stroll the inviting streets of history-rich town of Arcadia, a standout on the National Register of Historic Places. Antiquing here is exciting—and rewarding—in a premier antiques hub, with more than two dozen emporiums to browse. Other gems to discover: Locally owned dining establishments, plus an abundance of family favorite franchises, that make every meal deliciously satisfying.

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Peace River Campground

Peace River Campground spans 165 acres on the Peace River and offers a number of ways to enjoy a great camping experience only camping to RV’s, shelters and even furnished apartments. In the wilderness area, only tents are allowed (including pop ups). Pick a spot on the river's edge and feel free to fish, hike, bird watch or fossil hunt to your heart’s content. All sites offer full hook ups with 50 amp electrical service. There’s more than a mile of river frontage, and it’s possible to go days without seeing other campers. This is about as close to nature as you can get.

You can rent RV’s and campers with everything included. Groups from Cub Scouts to church organizations love to pitch their tents next to shelters that offer electricity and water (the shelters are like being in a park with neatly trimmed grass). Need a break from roughing it? Peace River Campground has hot showers, heated swimming pool, laundry, LP gas, a campground store, playground and game room. Campers are welcome to bring ATV’s and vehicles smaller than a golf cart (golf cart rentals are available, and there’s an ATV wash area). Make sure you say hello to the pets on hand – Johnny the tortoise, Snickers the miniature horse, Hawkeye the hawk and the well loved dogs, cats and goats.

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Joshua Citrus, Inc.

Joshua Citrus is a family-owned business that traces its roots back five generations, when the great-great-grandfather of current owner Kevin Shelfer planted his first orange tree in Joshua Creek, near Arcadia. The warm, tropical climate and near-perfect growing conditions of the Peace River Valley helped make his business a success. Today, the sixth generation of Shelfer has joined the family business, but the mission remains the same as in 1880: To grow and share the highest quality, best-tasting citrus fruits in Florida. Over the years, the business has blossomed from selling to packinghouses and canning plants to a retail outlet, orange grove tours, and online sales.


The Grove Stand Gift Shop sits in the middle of the old family orange grove. It’s open seasonally, October through May (look for the annual Orange Blossom Festival every March). You can enjoy incredible fresh squeezed juices, fresh citrus, in-season jams and sauces, and the #1 favorite of every kid – soft-serve orange ice cream. Try the delicious homemade orange yogurt or a pineapple orange float (check out the Google reviews; they’re over the top). Take a wagon ride through a real Florida orange orchard, and take home some Florida style gifts. 

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Fossil Recovery

Fossil hunting with Fossil Recovery Exploration offers memorable

 

experiences for almost all ages and  activity levels. The guided tours include a

 

swamp buggy and/or airboat ride. Get up close to nature and history while enjoying

 

time with friends or family.


Fossil hunting tour guide service, with airboat and/or swamp buggy rides. All fossil hunting equipment is provided. Fossil Recovery Exploration is permitted through the University of Florida to collect vertebrate fossils and all records of fossils are reported to the University. Your guide is Kenneth Follmann, who is a NAUI certified diver with a depth of knowledge in fossil identification.

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Lions, Tigers & Bears, Inc.

Here’s a memorable outing for kids of all ages. Check out the amazing wild creatures at Lions, Tigers & Bears. Located in Arcadia, on 40 acres of prime upland oak habitat and pasture land, the wildlife sanctuary provides homes for endangered species and unwanted exotic animals.

Its mission is to provide a permanent, loving home to unwanted exotic pets, non-releasable wildlife, and endangered species. They’re also a rehabilitation facility for injured and orphaned native wildlife. Lions, Tigers & Bears believes educating people about animals and their connection to the environment is an important key to good conservation practices.

The wildlife sanctuary is openby appointment only.  Give them a call at 863-494-0054 to schedule your guided tour TODAY! Special educational group rates are available along with Safari Dinners. Lions, Tigers & Bears is closed during July and August.

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Historic Heard Opera House

Opera House

The Heard Opera House hosts a series of events Tuesday through Sunday, as well as nightly live music showcases and activities. Opera house managers Krissy Constantino and Danny Mastrodonato have turned the building into a nightlife destination in downtown Arcadia, where most businesses typically close by 5 p.m. 

"We have most weekends booked up and our studio spaces are always open. There is something to do nearly every night," Opera House manager Krissy Consantino said.

The venue is also available to rent for private parties.

Along with its theater and stage, the opera house hosts a variety of small businesses, podcasts, and music studios.

For more information, find Heard Opera House at Facebook.com/OperaHouseArcadia, or call 863-444-6570.

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Morgan Park

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