Cultural Center Of Charlotte County
The Cultural Center of Charlotte County is housed in a historic building thats been its home for five decades.
Its undergone some significant upgrades to include state-of-the-art lighting and acoustics, but it still retains much of its original charm.
Over the years, the center has hosted big names in live entertainment, like The Amazing Kreskin and Brenda Lee.
Many of the performances are locally produced their events range from contemporary and classical music to comedy, guest speakers, and musicians. Check out the calendar of events on their website to see whats on the schedule for when youll be visiting.
Arcadia Peace River Campground
Though the summer weather around Arcadia can be downright hot, humid, and oppressive, for much of the year, its perfect for being outdoors. For those who prefer breezes and stars to pricey hotels and breakfast buffets, the Arcadia Peace River Campground would be a good fit.
The nearly 80-acre site is set amidst scenic stretches of the Peace River popular nearby activities include kayaking, fishing, biking, and bird-watching.
The park is open to campers and RVs, and its amenities include abundant showers and bathrooms, built-in BBQ grills. Bikes and golf carts are available to rent as well.
Arcadia Peace River Charters
The Peace River flows through downtown Arcadia and is one of the areas premier attractions for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
For those whod rather experience the great outdoors but let someone else take care of all the little details, booking a tour with Arcadia Peace River Charters would be a wise choice.
They offer private and public airboat tours that include a knowledgeable local captain and guide, and charters typically include chances to see lots of wildlife while learning about the areas history, culture, and ecology.
Sunset tours are offered too, and charters can be tailored to the ages and interests of guests.
Don’t Miss: Things To Do In Maui Hawaii In September
Vintage Treasures & Antiques Arcadia
Visit Vintage Treasures & Antiques Arcadia to peruse the never-ending racks of amazing vintage clothing, unique antique items, and a number of one-of-a-kind jewelries, accessories, and hats. Its the perfect place to find something special for yourself or a friend, especially if youre on the lookout for rare furniture such as a hanging coat rack or chair. Their jewelry collection is exquisite and vary from gold earrings and turquoise pendants to handmade, beaded bracelets which cant be found anywhere else. Youll conveniently find a consignment shop next door that also has an array of clothes, shoes, and much more.
340 E Foothill Blvd, Arcadia, CA 91006, Phone: 626-386-5315
The History Of Arcadia Survival Of Wars
Arcadia survived a major fire on the Thanksgiving holiday of 1905 as well as a few wars. Residents fought the fire hard all night. But the fire was devastating and consumed the entire town. All wooden buildings were destroyed and only three brick buildings survived. This led to the first building code in Arcadia being established.
The first war was the Seminole Indian war that lasted from 1855 to 1858. The Seminole led by Chief Billy Bowlegs was defeated and the majority of the remaining tribe relocated to Oklahoma. After that, this war was followed by the American Civil War. In 1861 Florida was the third state to join the Confederate States and secede. The Arcadia Mill was the site of several battles between the Confederate and Union forces.
Besides enduring wars, Arcadia has played a role in the training of servicemen during both WWI and WWII. Starting in 1917, the Carlstrom Field in Arcadia became the military pilot training site for five years. Many pilots who were engaged in World War I was trained in Arcadia. In 1941, the Carlstrom Field became active for training again during World War II.
Read Also: Things To Do In Collierville Tn
Best Things To Do In Arcadia California
Arcadia is one of the most diverse cities in Southern California and is home to a number of sights, attractions, and restaurants that reflect that. No visit to Arcadia is complete without a visit to the Santa Anita Race Park – a thoroughbred race track which the area has become renowned for.
We recommend that you call the attractions and restaurants ahead of your visit to confirm current opening times.
Arcadia Fl Growth With Extension Of Florida Southern Railways
In 1886 the City of Arcadia was established and became the county seat for Desoto County. Arcadia was recognized as a city after Florida Southern Railways crossed the area. The railroad tracks crossed Arcadia on its route to Bartow and Punta Gorda. The growth of the City of Arcadia was further influenced by 1907 when the extension of Northern Railways also reached the City.
At the time Desoto County covered a very large area of Central Florida. Eventually, Desoto County was divided into five separate counties. The result was the creation of Desoto, Highland, Hardee, Charlotte, and Glades Counties. However, Arcadia remained as the county seat for Desoto County.
You May Like: Things To Do In Providence With Kids
Peace River Boating And Kayaking
The Peace River is 106 miles long starting in Polk County and flowing alongside Arcadia on its way to Charlotte Harbor. It is on the list of significant waterways in the state of Florida, and it is a great place to enjoy a little kayaking, canoeing, or river boating. On your visit to Arcadia, you can book a paddle with Canoe Outpost.
They have both kayaks and canoes for rent, so you can spend your day on the river enjoying the scenery, fishing, or simply enjoying the float. This outfitter has been around for more than 50 years, and they aim to provide a professional paddling experience. In addition to renting out the water vessels, Canoe Outpost can also provide you with all the gear you need for a bit of camping.
You can book half-day, day, or weekend trips!
Admission: Rates vary by equipment typeHours: Reservations are required to book a time slot, available slots vary by seasonLocation: 2816 NW County Road 661, Arcadia, FL 34266
You can find more information at the Canoe Outpost website.
Hurricane Charley And The 21st Century
After Hurricane Charley, the people in DeSoto High School were taken to the middle school nearby, where at least 75 people spent the night in the Middle School’s gymnasium. The hurricane caused downtown to be heavily damaged. The storm caused 90% of homes in DeSoto County to be damaged and 60% to be uninhabitable or destroyed. The National Guard was deployed to the city and started the cleanup process and enforced a strict curfew in the city. The people of Arcadia came together and started helping each other after the storm, from feeding people to rebuilding. Although during the rebuilding process, the first wave of the Great Recession began, the people of Arcadia were able to rebuild their homes and bring new homes to the city. Downtown Arcadia was rebuilt, but some parts of the county are still damaged from Hurricane Charley. About 12 years were needed to rebuild, but parts of the city and county are still damaged from it.
In 2017, Hurricane Irma went over the city as a category 1 hurricane. It did not cause a huge amount of damage to the city. Some of the downtown area was damaged, with the Oak Park Inn taking considerable damage, and was not able to open for 4 months after the storm. Parts of DeSoto County were flooded, especially communities on the Peace River. The storm dropped 10-15 in of rain near Morgan Park on the Peace River. The river and its tributaries flooded roadways, homes, and parks. The damage extent is unknown.
Also Check: Top Things To Do In Kentucky
Best Things To Do In Arcadia
The city of Arcadia, Florida, was founded in 1886 and had a population of about 7,600 residents at the time of the last census.
Its the county seat of De Soto County and is located just inland from the Gulf of Mexico, along the south-central portion of the states west coast.
Arcadia is located about an hour east of Sarasota and an hour north of Fort Myers. Though its close to a number of fantastic beaches, the area has typically been more associated with cattle ranches and Florida prairies than sand and surf.
Below are 15 things to do in and around Arcadia, Florida.
Myakka River State Park
Florida is home to a variety of state and national parks. For many travelers to the Sunshine State, theyre places that they choose to spend the majority of their time.
Theyre generally inexpensive and offer guests many fun, educational, and calorie-burning activities. For those in the Arcadia area, Myakka River State Park is one of the most popular.
Myakka River State Park is one of the regions largest parks and is comprised of nearly 60 square miles of undeveloped land, diverse environments, and varied wildlife.
Biking, fishing, and kayaking are popular park activities, and guided tour options are available as well.
Read Also: Free Indoor Things To Do In Orlando
The Arcadia Opera House
4.5 based on 59 reviews
The Arcadia Opera House, built in 1906, is a museum and enormous antique shop. It houses an amazing collection of historical items and the theater is in near original condition. Several paranormal investigations have taken place there and the Opera House is a well know haunted location.
Reviewed By JosephatFremont – Fremont, Ohio
We thought we couldn’t miss the opportunity to see the space rebuilt in 1906. It was full of a wide range of antiques and stuff. It lacked high quality items with mostly items of regular American Life–not a whole lot different than the 20 plus other Antique stops in Arcadia, Fl. Unfortunately the place has not been well cared for with paint chipping off many of the historic surfaces. If you are in town to shop take a look but do not expect to be amazed. Pretty average.
The Desoto County Courthouse
The DeSoto County Courthouse was built in the early years of the 20th century and is one of the areas most well-preserved examples of revival-style architecture.
Though the iconic red-brick courthouse is no longer in use, its located adjacent to the one currently being used in the heart of Arcadias historic district on East Oak Street. Since 1984, it has been included on the National Register of Historic Places.
Its in a quaint and easily walkable area thats close to businesses, restaurants, and shops, making it the perfect place for a self-guided afternoon walking tour before dinner or happy hour.
Don’t Miss: Things To Do In Nyc In The Morning
Matt Dennys Ale House
Matt Dennys Ale House is a welcoming, family-friendly restaurant and pub that boasts an extensive collection of beers from all around the world. Its a great place to sample a number of independently brewed beers, many of which are local, and to pair them with delicious meals for lunch and dinner. They offer salads, sandwiches, pasta, smoked meats, steaks, ribs, chicken, and seafood – all of which are accompanied or seasoned with dressings, sauces, and rubs which are made in-house from homemade recipes. Some of the house specialties which you should try include the Guinness pot pie, the chicken marsala, and their Ensenada fish tacos which are filled with their special beer-battered cod.
3212, 145 Huntington Dr, Arcadia, CA 91006, Phone: 626-462-0250
Arcadia Performing Art Center
The Arcadia Performing Arts Center is a performance and event venue in Arcadia, California. Established in 2012, it is the busiest performing arts center in Pasadena and the entire San Gabriel Valley. The modern 40,000-square-foot venue includes a modern concert hall that can accommodate 1,153 guests and an intimate black box theatre for 125 guests. Acting as the hub for funding for school arts education, the center is located at the 65-year-old Arcadia High School, known for some famous arts alumni such as star of Sound of Music Debbie Turner, hip-hop music producer Scoop DeVille, and many others. The center presents world-class performances as well as emerging acts for diverse audiences, with the goal of making great art accessible to as many people as possible.
188 Campus Drive, Arcadia, CA 91007, Phone: 626-821-1781
Recommended Reading: South Carolina Things To Do In August
The Town Planner Calendar
For over 30 years our free calendar has been delivered to communities all across America. Each edition features beautiful local photography, community event listings, important phone numbers and money saving coupons.
To see why so many homeowners love the Town Planner, and why it has such a high retention rate as an advertising tool, please view some of our sample calendars.
If you do not receive the Town Planner in your community, you may be looking at a great business opportunity! Set your own hours, be your own boss, and achieve financial success as the owner of a Town Planner franchise.
Lions Tigers & Bears Animal Rescue
Animals lovers will enjoy a visit to Lions, Tigers & Bears animal rescue to see the big cats and other exotic animals. The facility rescues abused, neglected, and abandoned animals from all over the United States and gives them a peaceful and abuse-free home.
Wandering the rescue grounds, you will find lions, tigers, bears, and more. Before planning your visit, you should check the rescue’s Facebook page for their upcoming events like Hot Dog Days and Open Houses. They also have safari dinners on occasion!
Admission: Rates vary by group sizeHours: Thurs-Sun by appointment only, closed July and AugustLocation: 9801 N.E. Bahia Ct. Arcadia, FL 34265
Learn more about Lions, Tigers & Bears here.
You May Like: Things To Do In Pacific Grove
The Gilb Museum Of Arcadia Heritage
The Gilb Museum of Arcadia Heritage is committed to collecting, preserving, and sharing Arcadias history through a number of exhibits and programs which bring the community together. The museum has been around since 2001 and has several artifacts and artworks which represent the local people and the culture they comprise. The main gallery has exhibits of Arcadias history in chronological order, starting from the Native Americans who are indigenous to Arcadia and working its way through to the early American period. Youll also be able to explore permanent spaces dedicated to Santa Anita Park, famous Arcadians, and Arcadia in the movies.
380 W Huntington Dr, Arcadia, CA 91007, Phone: 626-574-5440
Port Charlotte Beach Park
Arcadia isnt a beach town, but its close enough to a number of beaches that make day-trips to the coast a popular activity.
Port Charles Beach Park is located on Harbor Boulevard in nearby Port Charlotte and is both convenient and inexpensive to visit.
The park is open daily from 6 AM until 9 PM. In addition to swimming and sunbathing, fishing, snorkeling, kayaking, and beach volleyball are popular activities.
The park and beach are near several shopping and dining attractions as well. Many visitors choose to leave for a few afternoon hours when the sun is at its hottest and return in the mid to late-afternoon.
You May Like: Things To Do In Fira
Where To Stay In Arcadia
Now that you know the cool things to do in Arcadia, you need a place to stay during your visit. There are several quality accommodations to be found in the city. One of the most recommended is the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites which is located on Southeast Highway 70. The property has a sparkling outdoor pool and offers a hot breakfast buffet each morning. They have rooms and suites suitable for up to four people making it a good spot for families.
Those wanting a more bed and breakfast vibe will enjoy a stay at Oak Park Inn. Each of the rooms is individually decorated, and some even have clawfoot tubs. The building housing the inn is over 100 years old, and it is decorated with period antiques. Guests can expect the royal treatment when booking a stay at Oak Park Inn complete with a welcome reception and luggage service to your room.
All in all, Arcadia, Florida has a lot to offer. It is a good combination of history, art, and outdoor adventures. It may be too small to be a destination in its own right, but we think it could be a nice addition to a Florida road trip.
Having Fun Activities In Arcadia
Come for antiques and stay for fun activities in Arcadia. This may sound like a local chamber of commerce slogan but it is true in the case of Arcadia. There are so many things to do around this wonderful city making people keep coming back over and over. Schedule your visit based on the annual events spread throughout the year. Or, just stop by at your leisure and enjoy what Arcadia has to offer.
Some of the annual events that we try not to miss include:
Recommended Reading: Things To Do In Joliet
History Of Arcadia Florida
Some historians say that a Reverend Hendry named the town in honor of Arcadia Albritton, a daughter of pioneer settlers who baked him a birthday cake.
In the 1880’s Arcadia was the county seat of a very large county – DeSoto County – that would eventually be divided into several smaller ones.
Charlotte, Hardee, Glades and Highlands Counties were broken out ofDeSoto County, with Arcadia remaining the County Seat of DeSoto County.
These lands, and those of neighboring Polk County, are in the heart of south central and southwest Florida had some of the most extensive cattle ranching operations in the state.
On Thanksgiving Day 1905 Arcadia was nearly destroyed by a huge fire that burned down most of the business district. Most of the older buildings in town are dated from the years after that event.
In World War One, Arcadia was home to Carlstrom Field.
It has quite a history through the years. It was used for pilot training during World War One, along with nearby Dorr Field, and closed by 1923.
The buildings were sold off or torn down by 1926 and the land was leased to area farmers and ranchers. Then, it was activated again in 1941 for training World War Two pilots, with brand new buildings, and run by Embry-Riddle Academy.
In addition to US pilots, Embry-Riddle was also contracted to train the Royal Air Force out of this spot, from 1941-1943.
Closing in 1945, it was sold to the State and a psychiatric hospital was opened in 1947, until its closing in 2002.