Attractions Near Orlando, Florida

Attractions Near Orlando, Florida
Orlando is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the world because of its theme parks and tourist attractions, but the surrounding area is full of natural landscapes perfect for outdoor activities. Beaches, fresh-water lakes, bike trails, boating sites, preserved lands and state parks for hiking and camping are all within an hour's drive from Orlando.

Airboat Rides at Boggy Creek

Boggy Creek is about a 20-minute drive south of Orlando in Kissimmee. It lies in the middle of the Florida wetlands and is part of the Central Florida Everglades. Daily tours provide the chance to observe native birds, turtles and Florida alligators in their natural habitat. The 17-passenger airboats travel through the wetlands and swamps, at times reaching speeds of up to 45 miles per hour.

Daily tours around Boggy Creek last around 30 minutes, leaving every half hour throughout the day from opening at 9 a.m. through closing at 5 p.m. Private airboat tours are also available using smaller 6-passenger boats and taking around 45 minutes. Special night-time tours are an hour long and require reservations. Night tours only operate seasonally, from mid-Feb. through Nov. 22. Departure time is 7:30 p.m.

2001 E. Southport Road
Kissimmee, FL 34746
(407) 344-9550
bcairboats.com

Canaveral National Seashore

The shoreline here boasts 24 miles of pristine beach, where visitors can sunbathe, surf, swim or just relax in the natural setting. Many of Florida's rare wildlife and endangered species live along the Atlantic coast in this protected park. Nature trails provide hiking through historic Florida landscapes, including the aptly named Mosquito Lagoon, which is located in the Apollo Beach section on the north end of Canaveral National Seashore. Back country hiking at Klondike Beach is open to just 25 people per day and requires a special permit available at the park entrance.

The Seashore is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, with extended hours until 8 p.m. during the summer. The Canaveral coastline is due east of Orlando and can be reached in under an hour via the Beach Line Expressway (528 East).

212 S. Washington Avenue
Titusville, Florida 32796
(321) 267-1110
nps.gov/cana/index.htm

Lake Louisa State Park

Lake Louisa State Park is in Clermont, a 20-30 minute drive from Orlando. With six lakes set amongst the rolling hills of Lake County, this park offers boating, fishing, canoeing, kayaking and bird watching. Hikers explore 20 miles of hiking trails and equestrians enjoy 15 miles of horse trails.

Equipped with camping and picnic areas, this park is popular with anglers who enjoy the peaceful lakes. The park permits fishing on four of the six lakes, however no gas powered motorboats are allowed on any of the lakes. Only man-powered boats or those with trolling motors can be used inside the park. Lake Louisa State Park is open from 8 a.m. until sundown every day of the year.

7305 U.S. Highway 27
Clermont, FL 34714
(352) 394-3969
(800) 326-3521
stateparks.com/lake_louisa.html

Article Written By Lisa Jay

Lisa Jay began writing professionally in 2002. She has written for "Focus" magazine and "The Orlando Sentinel" as well as travel websites in the Central Florida area. She served as executive editor of "The Valencia Source." Jay earned an Associate of Arts in journalism from Valencia Community College. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in writing at Columbia University.

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