Islands Adventures Orlando

Off the Beaten Path in Orlando, Florida


You’ve come in search of some magic for your Orlando holiday. While this famous Florida destination does offer its fair share of adrenaline pumping experiences, perhaps you’re in search of a different kind of thrill, an adventure off the beaten path. While others settle in the sun or lounge around the pool, join us as we discover what lies ahead on the road less travelled near Orlando.

Kissimmee

Everglades National Park

flickr image by renedrivers

Located less than 20 miles southeast of Orlando, Kissimmee offers a peek at life as it used to be in Florida, over a century ago. Stroll the tree lined brick streets of historic downtown Kissimmee and savour the peaceful setting as you stop in at charming boutiques and sidewalk cafes. If the tranquil pace of yesteryear is not your cup of tea, board an airboat ride and go flying across the water. Lake Kissimmee is at the headwaters of the Everglades National Park and various airboat tours allow you to thrill seek in a different kind way. Discover the natural side of Florida, as you get up close and personal with many native species in their habitats. You’ll find wildlife such as tropical birds, turtles and alligators thriving in these waters.

Mt. Dora

Travel Mt. Dora

flickr image by Gelinda

25 miles northwest of Orlando, the quaint city of Mt. Dora awaits, filled with turn of the century architecture and southern hospitality. The downtown offers an escape to what some affectionately refer to as the antique capital of central Florida. The rolling hills, huge oaks and beautiful lake provide a spectacular backdrop for the historic buildings and antebellum homes. In addition to the many shops and restaurants, the city of Mt. Dora plays host to a variety of annual events, from antique fairs to sailing regattas. The Inland Lakes Railway offers round trip tours to nearby towns and villages. Climb aboard the restored vintage railcar and enjoy the narrated tour, as you pass through the picturesque Florida landscape dotted with palmetto and stately live oak hammocks.

Kennedy Space Centre

Kennedy Space Centre

flickr image by iweatherman

Located 45 minutes east of the Orlando theme parks, you’ll discover an incredible attraction. More than just another thrill ride, the Kennedy Space Centre provides you with an opportunity to let your imagination soar. The visitor complex features NASA rockets, space capsules and artefacts that recall early space exploration. Climb aboard a full sized replica of a space shuttle and take a behind the scenes peek at the operations of NASA’s launch centre. Be sure to check out the view from the observation deck over the launch pads.

Right next door to this amazing attraction is the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. If you get the chance, check out this spot, home to the best breeding grounds for some endangered species, including the bald eagle. For an experience that will let your spirit take flight, Kennedy Space Centre awaits.

Blue Springs State Park

Blue Springs State Park

flickr image by Alexandrov Family

Blue Springs is 25 miles east of Orlando, in Deland, Florida. This State Park has been designated as the winter home of some of Florida’s most beloved creatures, the West Indian Manatees. The refuge hosts hundreds of manatees every winter. For centuries, the 2,600 acres of Blue Springs State Park was the sight of many Native American tribes.  The spring´s crystal clear, 73 degree water can be enjoyed by swimmers, snorkelers, and certified scuba divers almost year round.   The river offers many water sports activities, such as swimming, kayaking and rafting.There are numerous wildlife trails for hiking and bird watching.

Bok Tower Gardens

Bok Tower Gardens

Most of Florida is relatively flat, which gives Bok Tower a special status. High atop the highest hill, these gardens offers more than just a panaromic view of central Florida. Located 50 miles from Orlando, in Lake Wales, these famed gardens were designed by renowned lanscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr.  Orange groves usher you into the gates, where you can stroll the majestic gardens and revel in the natural beauty of camellias, azaleas and orchids. Tour Pinewood Estate, a once private home, that is now open to visitors. Built in the Mediterranean style, the architecture and interior design provide a unique glimpse into high society life during the 1930’s. Bok Tower offers daily carillon concerts, a unique experience to be sure. You can take a guided tour through the grounds, follow along on a natural scavenger hunt  or participate in  a workshop on gardening. The choice is yours.

Winter Park

Winter Park

flickr image by tomaslynx

Located just west of downtown Orlando, you can hop aboard a boat and take a scenic tour through the beautiful lakes and canals of historic Winter Park. See the magnificent estates and abundant fauna that blossom along the waters edge. After your soothing boat ride, you may choose to kick it up notch with a visit to Park Avenue. This lively street features a multitude of restaurants and boutiques.  The nearby Morse Museum of American Art showcases a collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany along with other decorative arts from the 19th and 20th centuries.

Millions of visitors flock to Orlando for holiday each year, in search of adventure. Whatever type of excitement you seek, it is good to know that there are many attractions that are refreshingly different and offer a unique view of the Sunshine State.

Date posted: 4th April, 2014

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