Contrary to the popular beliefs of tourism, there is more to Orlando than high-scale theme parks like Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld. While the city has plenty of tourist attractions, there are hidden gems that may not be the first result when Google-searching “things to do in Orlando, Florida.” Central Florida Lifestyle Magazine has discovered four attractions that can provide locals with a vacation-like experience.
Located just an hour from the center of Orlando, Wekiwa Springs is the perfect one-day getaway. Greenery hangs over the calm and crystal-clear spring waters – almost as if it’s begging guests to grab their favorite pool float and enter the water. The park offers hiking, horse trails, camping, picnic spots, lounging areas, and a freshwater spring to cool off in.
Attendees are charged per vehicle to enter the park unless they hold a Florida State Park Annual Entrance Pass.
While Volcano Bay is a part of Universal Studios, it is unlike any waterpark in Orlando. The atmosphere and theming will teleport guests to an island-time state of mind where they won’t even feel like they’re in Florida. The water park’s theme is a South Seas oasis with a 200-foot-tall volcano in the park’s heart.
For Florida residents, one-day tickets to the water theme park oasis start at $104 and fluctuate in price depending on age and residency.
Leu Gardens is 50 acres of botanical beauty, including a tropical rainforest, butterfly garden, and numerous different species of flowers and plants. From now until July 30, Leu’s Garden is hosting “Dinosaurs at Leu Gardens,” an attraction that will make you feel like you’ve taken a trip to Jurassic Park.
Tickets are priced at $10 for children 4-17 years old, $15 for adults, and free admission for members and active-duty military.
Gator Airboat Rides
What’s more Floridian than taking a boat trip through the Everglades? Gator Airboat Rides’ tours consist of an eco-tourism experience in Kissimmee, Florida, where guests will take a 30-minute journey through the marshes to discover the state’s wildlife and “natural beauty.”
Tour prices start at $31.12 and vary depending on tour length and time of day.