Highlands County is located in the center of Florida, with easy access to both coasts and many area attractions. It lies astride the Lake Wales Ridge, which stretches from near Orlando to southern Highlands County, and forms Florida’s ‘backbone.’
Highlands County is home to 3 incorporated cities. Sebring is the county seat and is located near the center of the county. Sebring is home to Highlands Hammock State Park and Sebring International Raceway.
Avon Park was named by English settlers after the famous river in that country. Known as “The City of Charm” it is located in the northernmost part of the county. It was settled in 1884 by Oliver Martin Crosby, incorporated as a town in 1886, and incorporated as a city in 1926.
Lake Placid, known as the “Caladium Capital of the World,” is the southernmost city in the county, and marks the southern end of the Ridge. Its huge ornamental nurseries grow most of the nation’s supplies of the colorful plants.
The majority of the population of Highlands County resides in the unincorporated areas, which include the communities of DeSoto City, Lorida, Spring Lakes, Fort Basinger, Istokpoga, and Cornwell, located southeast of Sebring along US 98.
Lying between Avon Park and Sebring is the community of Sun’n’Lakes, while in the southwestern part of the county lie the settlements of Venus, Palmdale, Childs, and Bairs Den.