The Florida Heartland is a region of South Florida. It includes the counties of Hardee, DeSoto, Highlands, Okeechobee, Glades, Hendry, and the western most parts of Palm Beach and Martin County's. The region is most known for its large agriculture sector, and shoreline along the large Lake Okeechobee. More sparsely populated than neighboring regions that have been pumped up by retirees and tourism, this area has remained more like "Old Florida".
This region has no salt water coastline. The advent of the Interstate Highway System (I-75 and I-95) and the Florida Turnpike diverted tourism away from this area towards the coastal parts of the state.
Major routes include the Florida Turnpike, US 17, US 27 and US 441.
- Gatorama. One of Florida's oldest roadside attractions located in Palmdale. Gatorama is basically an alligator farm with a visitor center. The gator zoo exhibits alligator and crocodile species and a few other animals. Visitors are treated with a short gator wrestling show, can hold an alligator and will be shown feeding the animals. Personnel will ask any question regarding alligator breeding with in-depth knowledge. The giftshop sells gator-related souvenirs and gator products like alligator leather purses and alligator meat (frozen) from own harvest.
- Highlands Hammock State Park.
- Lake June-In-Winter State Park.
- Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park.
- Lake Wales Ridge National Wildlife Refuge.
- Fishing on Lake Okeechobee.