Orlando 2005

Florida is always an easy winter getaway destination and we decided to spend a couple of weeks in Central Florida in December of 2005. Stationed in Orlando, the world capital of theme parks, I made it my goal to discover “Orlando off the beaten path”, given the fact that I am not a theme park lover. I enjoyed a dose of local history at the Orange County Regional History Center and the Well’s Built Center for African American History and Culture. We explored local sights around Lake Eola, the scenic neighbourhood of Winter Park and downtown Kissimmee. In Mount Dora, a quaint Victorian village, I also took the Herbie Express, a popular historic train ride.

I learned about the story of citrus at Florida’s Natural Visitor Center and admired the beautiful architecture and serenity of the Historic Bok Sanctuary and the Pinewood Estate. Less serene and more adrenaline-inducing was our airboat and swamp buggy ride at Lake Tohopekaliga. And we played golf at various local golf clubs and bumped into some international golf stars at the PGA Father Son Challenge at Champions Gate. We managed to spend two weeks in Orlando without visiting any theme parks – mission accomplished.

One of my husband’s favourite places is Florida, since he is an avid golfer and likes to get away from the cold Canadian winter for his birthday in early December. For a while now we… Read more.

Exploring Orlando “Off the Beaten Path” has been the theme for our trip and I intend to explore the Central areas of the Sunshine State, and flush out all those unexpected and unconventional destinations in… Read more.

After I had received a general overview of the history of the Orlando area in the Orange County Regional History Center, I wanted to delve a little deeper into the social history of the Orlando… Read more.

After our interesting visits to the Orange County Regional History Center and the Well’s Built Museum of African-American Culture and History, we decided to continue our explorations of downtown Orlando and its surrounding historic neighbourhoods…. Read more.

The Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour, founded in 1938 and located just 15 minutes north of downtown Orlando, is one of these lovely side trips that combine beautiful scenery, a bit of local history, some… Read more.

Just a few minutes north of downtown Orlando awaits Winter Park, a charming picturesque suburb steeped in history. After my excursion on the Scenic Boat Tour, my local expert Wanda Salerno took me on a… Read more.

After my rather quaint and leisurely scenic boat ride through Winter Park, a rather different boating experience was in store for me: a high speed airboat ride through Lake Tohopekaliga, provided by Boggy Creek Airboat… Read more.

After our exhilarating airboat ride and swamp buggy tour at Boggy Creek, we snaked our way north towards Orlando and decided to have a picnic lunch in the Orlando suburb of Kissimmee. This town is… Read more.

In my quest to find unusual destinations to visit in the Orlando area, I stumbled over a little town by the name of Mount Dora just about 45 minutes north of Orlando. I had read… Read more.

On this overcast day we decided to explore other areas of Orlando in more detail. About 10 minutes north of downtown Orlando is Loch Haven Park, an area that holds a number of major attractions,… Read more.

Downtown Orlando offers a welcome reprieve from the purpose-built areas to the south-west of the city that have been created solely to accommodate tourists. In fact, many of the historic downtown neighbourhoods are beautiful, offer… Read more.

One of the things that Florida is known for is, you guessed it, is orange juice! The citrus industry has been playing a big role in Central Florida for many decades, and considering its importance,… Read more.

The Historic Bok Sanctuary is located about an hour southwest of Orlando near Lake Wales, also home to the Florida’s Natural Visitor Center that I visited earlier in the day. The Sanctuary was founded by… Read more.

Florida has a great amount of biodiversity and nature lovers will enjoy the great variety of plants found in the Sunshine State. On our recent trip to Orlando we had a chance to visit several… Read more.

When you go to Florida, wildlife confronts you everywhere. Especially all the exotic birds fascinated me, often you come up close to subtropical bird species while playing golf or picnicking in a public park. We… Read more.

On our way home from Orlando, a little more than an hour into our 20+ hour road trip back to Toronto, we stopped in St. Augustine, “the nation’s oldest city”, just north of Jacksonville –… Read more.

My husband loves playing golf and I am myself am pretty decent at the sport. So it was a given that we would be playing a few rounds in Orlando. We had a chance to… Read more.

Several days after attending the Father-Son-Challenge at ChampionsGate we actually got out and played the International Course ourselves. It was an exciting experience to play a championship golf course just shortly after a major tournament,… Read more.

For a real links-style golf experience we discovered the Royal St. Cloud Golf Links, located in St. Cloud, about 25 minutes southeast of the Orlando airport or the Disney area. The Royal St. Cloud Links… Read more.

On our last full day in Florida we had a chance to play another beautiful golf course, this one located about half an hour north of downtown Orlando in the community of Lake Mary. Timacuan… Read more.

After our exciting round at Mystic Dunes, it was only mid-afternoon on a gorgeous day with blue skies, so we decided to take a 10 minute drive and drop in on the Father Son Challenge… Read more.