PLACES WITHIN 3 HOURS OF
It’s true: Orlando is a magical place. Every day here, no one is too old, or too young, to wear Mickey ears or wave a wand and cackle in delight. For family fun, there are theme parks that tap into your love affairs with comic-book heroes and galaxies far, far away, and leave you screaming at every free fall and splashdown. I-Drive is 11 miles of sensory overload such as the Wheel at ICON Park and WonderWorks. Disney Springs combines shopping, food, attractions, and live entertainment. A short ride from the bright lights are outdoors adventures such as 72-degree springs and airboat rides in the headwaters of the Everglades.
There are compelling reasons why Daytona Beach is considered the All-American beach:
- Daytona International Speedway, as revered a sports shrine as Wrigley Field and Wembley Stadium, home to SpeedWeeks and the annual Daytona 500.
- Family fun and outdoor adventure opportunities often connected to the 23 miles of Atlantic Ocean beaches -- surfing, parasailing, kayaking, paddle boarding, and fishing.
- The celebration of Black heritage and Major League Baseball’s legendary “42” at Jackie Robinson Ballpark, where the famous baseball player broke segregation’s color barrier at an exhibition game in 1947.
- All manner of seafood and ethnic cuisines can be savored outdoors and with waterfront vistas.
- One Daytona combines shopping, dining, and entertainment options.
At the main “headsprings” entrance of Rainbow Springs State Park, visitors may swim in the freshwater springs, rent canoes and kayaks, stroll through waterfalls and gardens, and enjoy a picnic area with tables, grills, and pavilions. Tubes are not allowed in the headsprings area of the park. These beautiful crystal-clear headsprings of the Rainbow River are a site of unique history and natural beauty.
Tucked into north central Florida in a region known as "horse country," Ocala offers visitors winding community pathways lined with oak trees and dangling trellises of Spanish moss, and the opportunity to explore miles of untainted nature.
If the prospect of canoeing down a crystal clear stream amid the largest sand pine forest in the world sounds appealing, Ocala and surrounding Marion County are more than worth your time.
Ocala and the region's freshwater streams, rolling hills and clean air remain unspoiled and have been used for Hollywood movies. Nearby Ocala is Silver Springs, a national landmark and nature theme park on 350 acres. Silver Springs is Florida's "original attraction."
Experience the Old Florida, New Vibe in the DeLand/West Volusia region of Central Florida. Located conveniently between Daytona Beach and Orlando. The 14 communities of West Volusia County, Florida are DeLand, Deltona, Barberville, Cassadaga, DeBary, DeLeon Springs, Enterprise, Glenwood, Lake Helen, Orange City, Osteen, Pierson, Seville and Volusia/Astor. This area is a place to discover spectacular natural beauty and see unspoiled native Florida landscapes, fascinating birds and amazing wildlife. Offering legendary fishing, houseboat rentals, sparkling springs and scenic parks along the majestic St. Johns River, the only American Heritage River in Florida. Charming DeLand is an award-winning Main Street with unique shopping and dining. Southern Hospitality. Memorable attractions and museums. Exciting festivals. Free visitors guide
Listen to live music from a rooftop restaurant overlooking the ocean, browse the shops, paddle scenic waterways, hike or bike the trails, and do some shelling along the beach at Gamble Rogers State Recreation Area.
Bringing four-legged family members along? Flagler Beach is also a very pet-friendly destination, with several sections of beach where dogs are welcome, as well as dog-friendly hotels, campgrounds, and restaurants.