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Off the Beaten Path

Off the Beaten Path

These less than main stream attractions are 90 minutes or less from main hub of the Disney area for 192 and I4 at exit 60.

Check out our blog or sign up for our blog to get updates, more photos and our reviews of some of these great one day attractions!!

Animal Attractions:

Gatorland

(407) 855-5496

14501 S. Orange Blossom Trail

http://www.gatorland.com/

One of Florida oldest roadside attractions!

Gator zoo – train ride – splash zone, kids bring your suits – zip line over the gators!

Green Meadows Farm

(407) 846-0770

1368 South Poinciana Blvd. Kissimmee, FL 34746

www.greenmeadowsfarm.com/

Hands on petting zoo – super close

Safari Wilderness Ranch (Lakeland)

(813) 382-2120

10850 Moor Road, Lakeland, FL 33809

http://safariwilderness.com/

Guided Truck Safaris, or try camel riding or horse back riding safaris – or a kayak safari!

Hand feed Lemurs, budgies, guinea pigs, or walk llamas

Sea Life Orlando Aquarium (Part of the Idrive 360 Complex)

(866) 622-0607

8449 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819

www2.visitsealife.com/orlando/

Located inside the Orlando Eye building

Skeletons - Animals Unveiled (Part of the Idrive 360 Complex)

(407) 203-6999

8441 International Drive – Suite 250, Orlando, FL 32819

http://skeletonmuseum.com/

Located just outside the Orlando Eye building

EXPLORING THE LOCAL AREA:

Renningers Antique Mall (Mt. Dora)

(352) 383-8393

20651 U.S. 441, Mt Dora, FL 32757

www.renningers.net

Two massive buidlings of antiques with flea market and farmers markets on set dates

Various events throughout the year with antique fairs, car shows and vintage garden shows

Downtown Mount Dora

Mount Dora, FL 32756

http://www.whattodoinmtdora.com/

Lots of small store shopping-small antique shops-small eating establishments

Orange Blossom Cannonball (Wood fired steam locomotive ride)

(352) 742-7200

305 E. Ruby Street, Tavares, FL 32778

www.orangeblossomcannonball.com/

Used in many movies including 3:10 to Yuma and O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Bok Tower Gardens

(863) 676-1408

1151 Tower Blvd, Lake Wales, FL 33853

https://boktowergardens.org/

Large gardens with a giant bell tower which can be heard throughout the gardens twice daily

Various concerts throughout the year, and tours of the main family house at Christmas

Harry P. Leu Gardens

(407) 246-2620

1920 N. Forest Avenue, Orlando, FL 32803

http://www.leugardens.org/

Built in 1888, 50 acres of landscaped grounds and lakes to explore along 200 year-old-oak trees!

Celebration, Florida - Visit the town that Disney built!

http://celebrationtowncenter.com/

Some of the areas most popular restaurants from Seafood to Italian to Sushi and some quaint shops including an Italian bakery and a french truffles and macaroons and of course Kilwin’s Ice Cream. On the weekends, enjoy carriages rides and various events throughout the year (paper leaves fall on main street in the fall – snow falls in the winter!). You can also book a Segway tour of Celebration by clicking here or rent a bike for the day by clicking here Also if you are there on Sunday mornings (9 am to 3 pm), check out the Farmer’s Market – located to the left of the Lake when you are standing on main street. Ask any store vendor and they will point you in the right direction.

Various concerts throughout the year, and tours of the main family house at Christmas

Long & Scott Farms

(352) 383-6900

26216 County Road 448A, Mount Dora, FL 32757

http://www.longandscottfarms.com/

Farmer’s Market, Country Café and season Corn Maze!

This is a fall adventure! Open only early October through the first week of June. Experience a one acre and a 7 acre corn maze! The maze is open weekends and very limited week days during the fall.

Lakeridge Winery

(800) 768-9463 – that’s (800) 768-WINE

19239 U.S. 27 North, Clermont, FL 34715

http://www.lakeridgewinery.com/

The area’s favorite winery is open daily for tastings and sales and offers various events throughout the year from music series to craft fairs. In December the wine and chocolate festival pairs wines with chocolate!

Kissimmee Ghost Tour

(321) 251-5204

The Bryan Street House, 804 Bryan Street, Kissimmee, FL 34741

http://www.hauntedkissimmee.com/

A 90-minute “Hair Raising” tour of downtown Kissimmee! Join your guide for a rich history of paranormal tales ...

De Leon Springs State Park

(386) 985-4212

601 Ponce de Leon Blvd., De Leon Springs, FL 32130

www.floridastateparks.org

A 625 acre park features a spring which produces 19 millions gallons of water at 72 degrees year round! You can swim – lifeguards on duty during summer months only. Snorkeling is also permitted but not in the cave. You can rent canoes, paddleboats and kayaks. And of course there are 22,000 acres of the Lake Woodruff National Wildlife refuge to explore. Before you start, or after you are done (or both!) you MUST check out the Sugar Mill Restaurant where each table is equipped with a griddle to pour your own pancakes!

Wekiwa Springs State Park

(407) 884-2009

1800 Wekiwa Circle, Apopka, FL 32712

www.floridastateparks.org/

Another of Florida’s pristine natural springs – one of the closer springs to the vacation home’s area. Swim or rent canoes and kayaks. Arrive early as this is a popular park in the summer months, especially on weekends!

St. Augustine ... the oldest city in the United States

(863) 676-1408

1 Cathedral Street, St. Augustine, FL 32084

http://augustine.com/

Tours, History, Architecture, Shopping, White Sand Beaches, Museums, Over 300 Area Restaurants, Art Galleries ... it’s a bit of a longer drive than 90 minutes and its hard to spend just a day here. Check the website for featured events and maybe stay the night in one of the area’s bed and breakfasts. Oh and check out this pizza place in the historic district by clicking here

Sanibel Island

(239) 472-1080

1159 Causeway Road – Sanibel, FL 33957

https://sanibel-captiva.org/

If you are in for a longer drive (around 3 hours) or looking for an overnight or a place to start/end a trip before traveling to or from the Disney area ... Sanibel Island was voted one of the top 10 shelling beaches in the US by Travel & Leisure Magazine with over 250 types of shells found here! Check out Ding Darling Wildlife refuge which features 220 species of birds, 50 reptiles and 32 kinds of mammals along with a 4 mile scenic drive an education center. Typical beach town offers lots of casual beach style eating! There are historic places to visit and wander around, a light house and plenty of places for beach style souvenirs.

SHOPPING, DINING AND MORE:

Webster Flea Market

(352) 793-9877

516 NW 3rd Street, Webster, FL 33597

websterwestsidefleamarket.com/

MONDAYS ONLY – Rain or shine!

As seen on TV, Vintage Goods and Farmer’s Market

Old Town

(407) 396-4888

5770 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy, Kissimmee, FL 34746

https://myoldtownusa.com/

Small Souvenir Shops, Dining, Vintage Car Cruising Parades on the weekends!

Park Avenue, Winter Garden, FL

(407) 599-3399

110 N. Park Avenue, Winter Park, FL 32789

http://experienceparkavenue.com/

Beautiful street-side shopping and dining experiences with an outdoor garden or two

Want a quick bite? Try Burger Fi! Best fries in town! IF you’re there on a Saturday, check out the Winter Park Farmer’s Market from 7 am to 1 pm. Click here for more info.

Disney Desert and Fireworks

(407) 939-3463 – that’s 407-WDW-DINE

disneyworld.disney.go.com

Reserved space for the Magic Kingdom fireworks! And dessert as an appetizer!!! Make reservations up to 180 days in advance.

OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES (Swimming, Airboats, Hiking, etc)

Winterpark Scenic Boat Tours

(407) 644-4056

312 East Morse Blvd. Winter Park, FL 32789

http://www.scenicboattours.com/

Take a leisurely trip on the pontoon boat on the gorgeous Winter Park Chain of Lakes (Located in the center of Park Avenue Shopping Area)

River Ventures – Swim with Manatees on Crystal River!

(877) 581-8401

498 S.E. Kings Bay Drive, Crystal River, FL

http://www.riverventures.com/

Manatee Tours, Paddle Tours, Kayak and board rentals

River Safaris & Gulf Charters

(800) 758-3474

10823 W. Yulee Drive, Homosasa, FL 34448

http://www.riverventures.com/

Airboat rides, boat tours, pontoon rentals, manatee tours, scalloping tours, café and gator exhibit

Rent a Harley Davidson

(407) 944-3700

7786 West Irlo Bronson Highway, Kissimmee, FL 34747

http://www.orlandoharley.com/rentals

Call for more details!

Wild Florida Airboats and Gator Park

(407) 957-3135

3301 Lake Cypress Road, Kenansville, FL 34739

http://wildfloridairboats.com/

Airboat tours on Lake (probably see live, wild gators), swamp buggy tours, gator and wildlife park and animal encounters which include feeding lemurs, porcupine, or sloth! On site BBQ restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating and gift shop. Book early! Best times to see gators? Winter! There are evening rides too – very cook to see the sunset on the lake, but look out for bugs at night in the summer months!!!

Circle B Bar Reserve

(863) 534-7377

4399 Winter Lake Road, Lakeland, FL 33803

www.swfwmd.state.fl.us

Also features the Polk County Discovery Centerhttp://polknature.com/discovery/

Bass Fishing (On Disney Property)

(407) 939-2277 – that’s 407-WDW-BASS

312 East Morse Blvd. Winter Park, FL 32789

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com

Disney offers chartered fishing tours – you can book up to 6 months in advance Catch and release in their private, stocked lakes make for some real fish stories!

Air Florida Helicopter Charters

(407) 354-1400

8990 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819

http://airfloridahelicopter.com/

20-60 minute helicopter tours over Central Florida

Orlando Balloon Adventures - Hot Air Balloon Rides

(877) 475-9386

6075 W. Irlo Bronson Highway, Kissimmee, FL 34747

http://www.orlandoballoonadventures.com/

Take off locations will vary according to the weather

Even people who are afraid of heights enjoy this experience!

LOCAL ENTERTAINMENT

Fun Spot Kissimmee (also has an Orlando location)

(407) 397-2509

2850 Florida Plaza Blvd., Kissimmee, FL 34746

http://fun-spot.com/

Right next door to old town – carnival style rides and fair food

Chocoloate Kingdom (Kissimmee)

(407) 705-3475

2558 Florida Plaza Blvd., Kissimmee, FL 34746

http://www.chocolatekingdom.com/

Next to Old Town and Fun Spot!

Make your own chocolate bar, tour the chocolate factory, buy chocolate!!

Orlando Eye (Part of the Idrive 360 Complex)

(866) 228-6438

8401 International Drive #100, Orlando, FL 32819

https://www.officialorlandoeye.com/

Orlando’s Giant “Observation Wheel”!

Cars will hold 3-20 persons depending on how busy it is that day

Madame Tussauds Orlando - Wax Museum (Part of the Idrive 360 Complex)

(866) 630-8315

8387 International Drive, Orlando, 32819

www2.madametussauds.com

Located inside the Orlando Eye building

Arcade City (Part of the Idrive 360 Complex)

(407) 233-3501

8371 International Drive #50, Orlando, FL 32819

amusemententertain.com

Located just outside the Orlando Eye building

Giant arcade with video games, ticket winning games

SPORTS

Soccer (Orlando City)

Orlando Citrus Bowl Stadium – 1 Citrus Bowl Pl, Orlando, FL 32805

http://www.orlandocitysc.com/

Schedule Tickets

*NEW STADIUM and location coming in 2017*

Basketball (Orlando Magic)

Amway Center, 400 West Church Street, Orlando, FL 32801

http://www.nba.com/magic

Schedule Tickets

Spring Training (Detroit Tigers)

(866) 668-4437

Joker Merchant Stadium: 2301 Lakeland Hills Blvd, Lakeland, FL 33805

detroit.tigers.mlb

Schedule Tickets

HOLIDAYS IN CENTRAL FLORIDA!

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party!

https://disneyworld.disney

Purchase tickets from your favorite ticket vendor (see our ticket link at the top of this page!). The park closes and reopens for the “Christmas” party – free cookies and cocoa and much smaller lines than during the day, special character meet and greets donned in Christmas attire and a special Christmas parade. Check the link for specific dates – not offered every night.

Epcot Candlelight Processional

https://disneyparks.disney

This year’s readers include Neil Patrick Harris, Steven Curtis Chapman and Cal Ripken Jr among others! Tickets required for guaranteed seating (dinner packages offered). The story of Christmas (a Christian telling) combing celebrity narrator with a large choir that features local high schools and a 50 piece orchestra.

Disney Sleigh Ride

(407) 939-7529 – that’s (407) WDW-PLAY

https://disneyworld.disney

Yep! A horse drawn sleigh ride (on wheels!). Offered nightly, 30 minutes long, during the month of December. Make reservations early – up to 180 days in advance.

Gaylord Palms ICE!

(407) 586-4423

http://www.marriott.com

Take a leisurely trip on the pontoon boat on the gorgeous Winter Park Chain of Lakes (Located in the center of Park Avenue Shopping Area)

It SNOWS nightly in Celebration!

(407) 846-0770

1368 South Poinciana Blvd. Kissimmee, FL 34746

http://celebrationtowncenter.com/

Late November through early January it will snow on main street every hour. There is ice skating (well, its not real ice ... but the snow isn’t real either!). Enjoy shops, restaurants, and carriage riders ... photos with Santa and train rides too!

The Holidays at Universal Studios, Florida!

https://www.universalorlando.com

From early December until January 1 – experience a miniature version of the famous Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Parade! Various dates throughout December will feature live performances by holiday legends Mannheim Steamroller ... and don’t miss Grinchmas where Dr. Suessland is transformed into a holiday spectacular! This time of year experience a limited engagement Grinch Character breakfast inside the park (reservations required). See the above link for more details on any of these activities!

Light up UCF!

(407) 823-3070

North Gemini Blvd., Orlando, FL 32816

http://www.cfearena.com

Watch this space as the dates approach – mid-November through early January ... a holiday outdoor film festival, ice skating, light show with 75,000 synchronized lights to music! Ferris Wheel, Santa Train, Chimney Launch and live bands and of course photos with Santa.

Festival Of Trees at the Orlando Museum of Art

(407) 896-4231

312 East Morse Blvd. Winter Park, FL 32789

http://omart.org/

Showcases designer decorated trees, wreaths and gingerbread creations along with decorated windows, a café and daily entertertainment. View the 2015 gallery here.

St. Augustine Festival of Lights

(904) 829-1711

1 Cathedral Street, St. Augustine, FL 32084

http://augustine.com/

Late November through end of January witness some of the country’s oldest architecture decked out in holiday lights! OK this is a bit of a drive – around 2 hours or so ... but its worth it! There is so much to see and do in St. Augustine you might want to book a room for the night! Oh yeah and some of the best pizza ever: here.

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