Make the Most of Central Florida’s Summer Adventure Spots

Mother and father pointing at fish in an aquarium with young daughter.

With summer in full swing, the beach can be overrated and overpacked. Besides our sandy beaches, explore what Florida offers this summer. Whether you want to soak up the Central Florida sun or escape the heat, these top seven places will surely excite your summer.

Fun in the Sun

Get your summer dose of vitamin D and explore nature with these unique ways to spend time outdoors.

Bok Tower Gardens

Sand and seaweed will never cross your mind again after you check out this 250-acre garden. Immerse yourself in a different side of nature while exploring Polk County’s endless scapes of flowers, unique birds, and historic, 205-foot tall Singing Tower. Follow one of the many nature trails or make your own path, discovering all the property offers. As you roam through the gardens, listen to the Singing Tower’s Carillon concert at 1 and 3 p.m. When you need a break from the sun, take a step back in time to the 1930s and tour El Retiro, a seven-and-a-half-acre mansion packed with the rich history of the grounds.

Crystal River Manatee Swim Boat Ride from Orlando

If the water still calls your name, ditch the sharks and swim with the manatees at Crystal River. Cruise down the river on a boat that will take you straight from Orlando to the manatees’ home, where you can snorkel and splash away with the sea cows. After spending time with the gentle giants, explore Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, where you can find other Florida-grown animals like bears, panthers, and alligators. Gray Line Orlando, a Central Florida sightseeing tour company, presents this special offer.

Lyonia Preserve

Be one with nature like never before as you wander through Volusia County’s 360-acre preserve. The land is home to one of Florida’s most friendly species of birds, the scrub jay. These curious birds will greet you on your visit by flying over and landing on your head. This trip should make for some very Instagramable and educational moments. After a few photo-ops with the human-loving birds, visit the Lyonia Environmental Center right next door to become an expert on scrub habitats.

Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park

This activity will surely add a little thrill to any summer plans. Put your inner acrobat to the test as you climb across a series of challenging obstacles and ropes courses. Glide through the pine forest along a 425-foot zipline and work through 97 aerial challenges. Take it easy on the green courses or push your skills to the limit on the advanced red courses. 

Beat the Heat

As much as we love the Florida sun, nothing is better than the feeling of crisp air conditioning on a hot summer day. Beat the heat and still enjoy your summer with these indoor adventures.

iFLY Indoor Skydiving – Orlando

No more wasting summer days at home; this one’s for the thrill-seekers. iFly’s advanced technology will give you the total rush of skydiving minus the danger. All ages are welcome to suit up and take flight if they are brave enough. After a quick orientation, iFly’s state-of-the-art vertical wind tunnel will have you soaring through the air. Whether you want to fly solo or with friends, you’ll enter as a newbie and leave as a pro skydiver. 

Kennedy Space Center

Break out of the atmosphere and travel to outer space at the Kennedy Space Center. Feel like an astronaut for the day as you walk through out-of-this-world exhibits filled with fun facts about the latest innovations in space travel. Be sure to check out the Space Center’s newest addition, Gateway, an immersive space experience with interactive learning activities and a ride that can take you on four different journeys through space. At this family-friendly destination, seize the opportunity to meet an astronaut, tour through a garden of towering rockets, and even see one launch.

SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium

Explore the ocean like never before and see everything from sharks to sea stars up close. Prepare to be mesmerized by the enchanting glow of jellyfish floating along the jelly wall and “swim” with fish, sharks, turtles, and eels under the 360 walkthrough tunnel. While wandering through stunning displays of aquatic life, learn about SEA LIFE’s efforts to protect Florida’s marine creatures and discover what you can do to play your part.


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Written by Jenna Greaves

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