Things to Do in or Near Orlando, Florida

Things to Do in or Near Orlando, Florida
Orlando, Florida, is one of America's most popular playgrounds, and home to numerous well-known theme parks, including Disney World, Universal Studios, and Sea World. The area has a lot more to offer than famous thrill rides and parks. Orlando's setting near the Everglades means there is also hiking, camping, exploring, and wildlife in the area to enjoy.

Discovery Cove

Discovery Cove provides a one-day all-inclusive tropical experience. This 30-acre park limits admission so the environment is comfortable and relaxed, not busy and stressful. One area of Discovery Cove is Stingray Shallows, a coral reef, where you can wade and swim with majestic rays. The high point for most visitors to Discovery Cove is an opportunity to swim with dolphins. Dolphin encounter groups are limited to 6 to 8 people so that everyone is ensured one-on-one time.

Discovery Cove
6000 Discovery Cove Way
Orlando, FL 32821
(877) 434-7268

Boggy Creek Airboat Rides

An airboat, flat-bottomed and fan-powered, is perfect for accessing Florida's swamps, and a great way to get close to local birds and wildlife, including the alligator. The tour starts out at a slow pace so you can enjoy the environs, but before you turn for home, the pilot will take you for a spin at up to 45 miles per hour. Private trips are available for families and small groups. Kissimmee is about a half-hour drive from downtown Orlando, and a shuttle can be arranged with your tour package.

Boggy Creek Airboat Rides
2001 E. Southport Rd.
Kissimmee, FL 34746
(407) 344-9550

Captain Mike's Sunshine River Tours

Spend some time with one of Florida's most adored and endangered creatures, the manatee. Approximately two hours' drive west of Orlando is Homosassa, home to one of the state's biggest indigenous populations of sea cows. Captain Mike's offers several tour options on two different local rivers, including a first class tour with a boat with a lounge, and breakfast, snacks and lunch included. All of the tours offer an opportunity to swim, using a snorkel and wetsuit, with the manatees. Tours are kept small to limit the impact on the manatee's environment, and tours leave early in the morning, when the manatees are most active.

Captain Mike's Sunshine River Tours
5297 S. Cherokee Way
Homosassa, FL 34448
(352) 628-3450

Article Written By Beau Prichard

Beau Prichard has been a freelance writer and editor since 1999. He specializes in fiction, travel and writing coaching. He has traveled in the United Kingdom, Europe, Mexico and Australia. Prichard grew up in New Zealand and holds a Bachelor of Arts in writing from George Fox University.

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