You can admit it. When the great city of Orlando is brought up in casual conversation, the first thing that pops into your head is its large number of theme parks. While millions of tourists visit the Sunshine State every year to visit these incredibly over-priced attractions, they most certainly aren’t the only gigs in town.
What if we told you that you could have an amazing adventure while visiting the City Beautiful without ever stepping foot inside a theme park? That’s right. Here are the tips to making the most out of your vacation – while doing it in style – with a little local flare.
Kissimmee Sports Arena Rodeo
Are you’re looking to have a hollering’ good time but don’t want to break the bank too much? Try taking a short trip down to local-favorite hotspot Kissimmee’s Sports Arena Rodeo and get acquainted with a little native culture! Watch as real-life cowboys demonstrate feats of wonder to the soundtrack of a magnificent roaring crowd. With trick horse-back riding, calf roping, barrel racing and daring bull riding competitions, these cowboys surely don’t disappoint. Entertaining Florida residents for over fifteen years, it’s no wonder the local Rodeo is known as one of the best shows in town.
If you want to find the best ways to relax on your summer vacation, there is no better locally kept-secret than beautiful Wekiva Springs State Park. Serving the greater-Orlando area for nearly forty years, Wekiva Springs is located only twenty minutes from most attractions. Paying visitors are provided access to canoe and kayak rentals for river cruising, vast hiking trails and full access to all of the chilling seventy-two degree crystal clear springs they can handle. Don’t forget to plan ahead, though. The capacity for visitors is limited by state law, so beat the crowds and get there early in the afternoon.
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If you’re looking for a place to explore like a local, there’s no better place than Lake Eola. Located right in the center of downtown Orlando, this picturesque lake has something for everyone in your traveling troupe. Lazy, meandering walking trails encompass the beautiful man-made lake making for a truly relaxing time. Lake Eola even offers access to their famed swan paddle boats! There’s nothing more romantic than paddle boating under the stars with someone you love.
From relaxing springs to exhilarating rodeo stylings of local cowboys, there is absolutely no shortage of activities to take advantage of while visiting the Orlando area. The best advice we can give you is to take a chance and ask a local where they spend their free time – we promise they don’t bite.
While visiting Orlando, make sure to book sophisticated accommodations. Check out the reservation specials that Westgate Resorts offers, where you have dining, golf, spa options and more right on the property.
Katie Parsons works with Westgate Reservations communications and writes about traveling with her own family of 7 on the blog Mumbling Mommy.