PLACES WITHIN 3 HOURS OF
Vero Beach, an elegant city located along Florida's Atlantic Coast, is a haven for golf, water sports and fishing.
Peaceful beaches, museums, nature tours and a range of hotels make Vero Beach a terrific vacation destination and an important part of the region known as the Treasure Coast.
Vero Beach also offers a fine selection of shops – oceanside, historic downtown and in large shopping malls – and delectable cuisine for all budgets.
In 1932, Arthur G. McKee and Waldo E. Sexton opened McKee Jungle Gardens on an 80-acre tropical hammock in Vero Beach, Florida. The two land developers employed landscape architect William Lyman Phillips, from the esteemed firm of Frederick Law Olmsted, to design the basic infrastructure of streams, ponds and trails while they focused their efforts on assembling one of the most outstanding collections of waterlilies and orchids, augmenting native vegetation with ornamental plants and exotic specimens from around the world. By the 1940’s, more than 100,000 tourists were visiting the Gardens each year, deeming it one of Florida’s earliest and most popular natural attractions.
Bok Tower Gardens is a "must-see" Florida attraction centrally located between Tampa and Orlando in Lake Wales. Through its historic landscaped gardens, unique Singing Tower, and palatial winter estate, Bok Tower Gardens offers a unique opportunity for visitors of all ages to be one with nature.
The meandering garden pathways are lined with ferns, palms, oaks, and pines that fashion a lush backdrop for flowering foliage and seasonal color of azaleas, camellias, and magnolias. As a designated site on the Great Florida Birding Trail, hummingbirds, painted buntings, owls, and other birds are found flying through the live oak canopy.
LEGOLAND Florida Resort lives up to its motto with creative rides and entertainment aimed at toddlers to young teens, designed for laughter, wonder and the memories of a lifetime.
Nestled deep in the heart of Central Florida, a mere 45 minutes from Orlando and Tampa, the resort encompasses an interactive, 150-acre Theme Park with more than 55 rides, shows and attractions that celebrate beloved LEGO personalities; LEGOLAND Water Park, offering a wave pool, lazy river, slides, and interactive play areas; and Peppa Pig Theme Park, the park’s newest addition, a vibrant land of fun and adventure that’s devoted to preschoolers.
And you can stay right there. LEGOLAND Hotel and LEGOLAND Pirate Island Hotel, both located 130 steps from the theme park entrance, complete the perfect getaway with fully-themed rooms along with daily entertainment. LEGOLAND Beach Retreat delivers themed LEGO bungalows in a lakefront setting, just across the street from the theme park.
We invite you to explore Lake County and discover "Real Florida. Real Close." located 30-minutes west of Orlando. Relax by one of our 1,000 lakes while you dine or shop in one of our historic downtowns such as Mount Dora, Clermont, Leesburg, Eustis, or Tavares. Enjoy a day on the water, fishing Florida’s top bass lakes, kayaking cypress-lined shores and dining at a waterfront restaurant. From crystal clear springs to U-pick farms, from charming bed and breakfast inns to golf and equestrian resorts - there is so much to see and do.
Enjoy a complimentary tour and wine tasting at Florida's largest winery! A fun, interactive tour, leading up to the process of tasting wines is family friendly and lasts approximately 45 minutes to an hour.
After a brief video detailing the wine-making process, you will be guided through the bottling and fermentation area, lead onto a terrace overlooking acres of the vineyards and then downstairs to the tasting counter where you will enjoy a variety of Lakeridge wines.
Blue Spring State Park covers more than 2,600 acres, including the largest spring on the St. Johns River. Blue Spring is a designated manatee refuge and the winter home to a growing population of West Indian Manatees. During manatee season, which approximately runs from mid-November through March, several hundred manatee can be viewed atop the spring’s overlooks on cold days. The spring and spring run are closed to all water activity from mid-November to at least mid-March. Swimming or diving with manatees is not permitted; this rule is strictly enforced.
Hard to imagine that some 80 miles north, this same river parts big-city Jacksonville. But then the St. Johns, which stubbornly flows south to north, flashes a number of personalities.
The St. Johns River Cruises out of Blue Spring State Park is one of many tourist excursions along the 310-mile river (the state’s longest), including a sternwheel paddleboat tour out of St. Johns Rivership Co. in Sanford to the south. On its way, the river forms a number of lakes, widens and narrows, and contorts along a series of twists and turns despite early straightening efforts, using only handsaws, oxen and dredges, that ultimately chopped 21 miles off the river.
Apopka is one of Central Florida’s top destinations for outdoor recreation, offering a beautiful landscape of lakes, springs and natural land areas – ideal for getaway and exploring the best of nature within minutes of Orlando.
Enjoy fishing on Lake Apopka, or hike along the vast north shore. Birders can enjoy many of the area’s 300 documented species. Canoe, camp or hike more than 13 miles of nature trails at scenic Wekiwa Springs State Park and Kelly Park/Rock Springs, or cycle along 22 paved miles of the West Orange Trail.
Get in the game at the 182-acre Northwest Recreation Complex – one of Florida’s premier outdoor sports facilities with 28 fields and a 1,360-seat outdoor amphitheater, with additional lawn space for 5,000 people. In August 2021 the City purchased Camp Wewa. It offers well supervised, organized, active, and fun-filled summer activities for youth and teens. It also can host events, parties, team building retreats, educational trips, and other group programs throughout the year. Apopka is home to the annual Apopka Art and Foliage Festival in April.
The city’s rich history resonates in its small-town charm, locally owned businesses and tree-lined neighborhoods. Major shopping areas, entertainment, tourist destinations and airports are just minutes away with direct access to northwest Central Florida's growing highway system. Get out and visit Apopka on your next trip to the Orlando area.
Founded in September 1565 by Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles of Spain, St. Augustine is the longest continually inhabited European-founded city in the United States – more commonly called the "Nation’s Oldest City." Stroll the narrow lanes, enter the many museums, and visit historic landmarks such as Castillo de San Marcos, Ponce de Leon's "Fountain of Youth," and the Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse. For 21st-century activities, consider family fun (a beach on the Atlantic), outdoor adventures (kayaking an inland waterway), golf (play where the pros play), fine dining (the fresh catch of the day), and shopping from colonial to chic.
The legendary River of Grass is one of the wonders of the world, a vast subtropical wilderness that has been declared a World Heritage Site, International Biosphere Reserve and Wetland of International Importance. There are many ways to experience the Florida Everglades National Park – here are nine entry points.