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Florida Guide > Other Activities

Alternative Orlando

Orlando is known for its theme parks and attractions, but there is so much more to explore. The only question is how do you fit it all in?

Away from the parks there are more than 2000 named lakes, rivers and springs where you can fish for bass, hire a boat and water-ski, as well as many gardens, parks and sanctuaries, where you can catch a glimpse of the ‘real’ Florida.

Central Florida’s Polk County, to the southwest Orlando offers natural beauty and small town charm, why not visit one of the following as an alternative day out:

Historic Bok Sanctuary

Historic Bok Sanctuary on Lake Wales’ Iron Mountain boasts Florida’s highest elevation – a vintage singing tower dating back to the 1920s. Take a relaxing walk through the beautiful gardens while enjoying the peace and tranquillity.

River State Park’s Cow Camp

Open Saturday and Sunday only, a chance to chat with a cowboy in a setting of a settlers camp.

Historic Lakeland

Bordering Lake Moreton, home to scores of swans this lovely town is a delight. Amble along the paved walkways, parks, gardens, antique shops and galleries, a vintage hotel (1924), and vintage homes. There is a choice of restaurants.

Exploration V Children’s Museum

In the centre of Lakeland Town Centre, children will love to explore this museum where they can learn about science and art.

Kissimmee

Kissimmee and St. Cloud town centres, at the edge of Lake Toho with their antique shops and cowboy heritage are great places to catch a glimpse of the Kissimmee of yesterday. Stroll round the antique shops, and enjoy a meal at one of the many restaurants, while enjoying the old town atmosphere.

Silver Spurs Rodeo

The Kissimmee area still maintains its links to the wild cattle driving of days gone by. If you are visiting during February or October, the Silver Spurs Rodeo is one not to miss for a fun-filled day out for all the family.

Forever Florida

Held at Forever Florida is a ranch and nature centre near St. Cloud visitors can take part in horseback safaris (between one and three hours), a half day Rawhide Roundup, and a riding school.

Pioneer Enrichment Centre

Step back in time to learn about the area’s agricultural heritage. The preserve spans eight acres with buildings dating back to the last century, including a Cracker house, general store, sugarcane mill, cow hunter’s camp, blacksmith’s shop and more.

Lake Tohopekaliga (Lake Toho), and East Lake Toho

In the heart of Kissimmee and St. Cloud towns, you can relax while enjoying canoeing, kayaking, sailing and fishing in peaceful surroundings.

There is so much more to Orlando than the theme parks we love so much, you will just have to keep returning to see everything this wonderful, diverse area has to offer.

We aim to provide accurate and useful information, but if you feel anything provided here is not accurate or out of date, please email us with the address of the page concerned and any comments so we can amend as necessary.

Page added on: 1 February 2007
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