The Air Force Space and Missile Museum, Orlando is situated at the Launch Complex 26 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. The Air Force Space and Missile Museum includes artifacts that start from the early American space program and it also has an outdoor area that displays rockets, missiles, and space-related equipment that records the space and missile history of the US Air Force and all of its military branches. The Air Force Space and Missile Museum is open to the public as it is a part of the "Cape Canaveral Early Space Tour" that the Kennedy Space Center offers to its public and its Visitor Complex is open four days per week. The museum tours were also offered by the Air Force Space Wing Community Relations office for free until 2013.
Prices : Entry free
Timings : It is open 9 AM-2 PM Tuesday through Friday, 9 AM-5 PM Saturday, and noon-4 PM Sunday
Disability- Friendly : Yes
The John F. Kennedy Space Center which was first known as the NASA Launch Operations Center is situated in Merritt Island, Florida, and is one of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) ten field core areas that are found in the United States. It had started in December 1968, The Kennedy Space Center has been NASA's main launch center for human spaceflight. The launch sequence for the Apollo, Skylab, and Space Shuttle programs was carried out from Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39 and managed by The Kennedy Space Center. Located on the east coast of Florida, Kennedy Space Center is adjacent to Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. They share resources and they operate facilities on each other's property. The operation directors of the two had to work very closely together
Timings : 9 AM-2 PM Tuesday through Friday, 9 AM-5 PM Saturday, and noon-4 PM Sunday
Price : Entry free
Disability- Friendly : Yes
Visitors across North America can only swim legally with the manatees in one place, and that's in the Crystal River area that is located around 90 minutes North of Tampa, which is located in Florida on its west coast. The clear waters of Crystal River are also called the Kings Bay, and in this area, the water temperature is a consistent 72 degrees throughout the year. Visitors get to see a large number of Manatees during the months of winter where more than 300 Manatees migrate there to get away from the cold waters that come from the Gulf of Mexico, as well as most of them the year some of the Manatees stay in the bay area through the summer period. These manatees that migrate and the ones that have made a home at Crystal River make it the perfect spot for visitors to get up close and personal with these friendly giants.
Prices : Visitors will have to pay a fee depending on the package they take
Timings : 7 days a week, year-round
Disability- Friendly : Yes
Homosassa Springs used to be a popular train station in the early 1900s. The passengers from the train could have a picnic and head for a swim by the spring while the train was being loaded up with crabs, fish, cedar, and spring water. During a visit in 1924, Bruce Hoover of Chicago had called it “the most beautiful spring and river in the world.” Over the last half-century, the Homosassa Springs haven't changed from its initial beauty. At Homosassa Springs an astonishing number of fresh and saltwater fish still gather together in the natural spring bowl, fish such as large jacks, snapper, snook are found around here. Tourists can look down into the depths of this beautiful spring and can also have the chance to find some fish and manatees swimming around in their natural habitat.
Timings : 9:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m. The ticket counters close at 4:00 p.m
Prices : Entry free. Visitors will have to pay a fee depending on the package they take
Disability- Friendly : Yes
Located at a distance of 55.7 miles from the city of Orlando, New Smyrna Beach is open for 24 hours for visitors who are on foot or bicycles. You can also enjoy the serene beauty of the beach by taking a drive along the beach. Lay on the white sand for hours together away from the hustle and bustle of the city. If you are planning to take your pet to the beach, then you will have to keep them at one part of the beach which is particularly reserved for dogs as they are not allowed in the bathing area. One of the main attractions of the beach is surfing, around 8 world-class competitive surfers have been given to the world by this town.
Prices : The price of each pass ranges from $20-$100
Timings : Open for 24 hours for visitors who are on foot or bicycles
The Clearwater beach is home to the State Road 60, also known as Pier 60, which is mainly the meeting point for all the people on the beach to watch the sunset and enjoy the Sunset at Pier 60 Daily Festival which is a hub of artists craftsmen and performers who come to make the evenings more colourful. Located at a distance of 108.1 miles from Orlando, the beach enjoys year-long sunlight. There are paid day cruises, sunset cruises, whale watching, helicopter tours, snorkeling, theatres, golf courses, entertainment complexes, marine aquarium, dolphin exploration tours, etc. Irrespective of whether you are a resident or a visitor, the beach is open to you for 24 hours. The parking fee is however $2 per hour. If you are traveling with a person with a disability, you need not worry as there are wheelchairs available for free at Clearwater Beach.
Parking : The parking fee is $2 per hour
Timings : Open 24 hours
Disability- Friendly : Wheelchairs available for free
Want to spend an exciting and thrilling day, but stay close to Orlando? Visit Legoland Florida, which is located at a distance of 42.1 miles to the south of Orlando in Winter Havens. It has theme parks, water parks as well as seasonal events. The water park is all about splashing and sliding through the water and enjoying the waves. Get yourself ready for all the fun activities like Build-A-Boat, Joker Soaker, Build-A-Raft Lazy River, DUPLO Splash Safari, LEGO Wave Pool, Splash Out, and Twin Chasers.
Prices: : Children under the age of 2 are admitted free, and for those above 2 years, the prices differ depending on the day and the mode of booking and which park you are choosing
Timings : 10 am to 7 pm
Disability- Friendly : Paid wheelchairs are also available at the park
Located in South Florida, 207.4 miles from Orlando, Florida Everglades is a natural World Heritage Site that is home to hundreds of species of flora and fauna. It is absolutely not safe to go for a swim at the Everglades due to the alligators. To enter the Everglades, the entrance fee is $25 per vehicle and $8 for individual entrance. People generally visit the place for two days, during which you can also engage in certain activities like boating, bird watching, bicycling, camping, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, geocaching, hiking, tours, trails, slough slogging, ranger-led programs, wildlife viewing, campfire programs, etc.
Prices : Entrance fee is $25 per vehicle and $8 for individual entrance
Timings : The visitor center remains open from 9 am to 5 pm
Also known as Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, the Homosassa State Park is the best place to view Manatees, also known as Sea Cows, and the hippopotamus Lu, who has been featured in a number of movies. It remains open from 9 am to 5:30 pm and children below the age of 5 are admitted free, those between 6-12 require a fee of $5 and those above the age of 13 require $13. Located at a distance of 86.5 miles from Orlando, the park is home to a large number of animals like black bears, bobcats, white-tailed deer, American alligators, red wolf, Key deer, flamingos, whooping cranes, and river otters.
Prices : Children below the age of 5 are admitted free, those between 6-12 require a fee of $5 and those above the age of 13 require $13
Timings : 9 am to 5:30 pm
Situated to the west of Orange City, Florida, the Blue Springs State Park is located at a distance of 33.5 miles from Orlando. Spend a sunny day at the park enjoying canoeing, scuba-diving, kayaking, fishing, camping, hiking, wildlife watching, and swimming. There are a number of camp sites that are pet-friendly and can be rented. Visit the park at $6 per vehicle with a maximum of 8 people and $2 per person if there are more than 8 passengers or if you are a pedestrian or a bicyclist.
Are you a history nerd? If yes, then St Augustine, or the “Nation’s Oldest City” as it is commonly called is the place for you. The city, which is 94.26 miles from the city of Orlando, was founded in the year 1565 by Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles of Spain. This city which is home to the rich European culture is still inhabited by people. Take a stroll down the memory lane by visiting the museums like Lightner Museum, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, Potter’s Wax Museum, and some really special landmarks like Castillo de San Marcos, Foundation of Youth, St Augustine Distillery, St Augustine Lighthouse, St Augustine Alligator Farm and Zoological Park and many more that tell you the entire story of the European city that survived in the United States.
Lake Toho, or Lake Tohopekaliga, West Lake, or Toho is located at a distance of 33 miles from Orlando. The largest lake of Florida is home to bass, alligators, water snakes, and turtles. This 23000 acre fishing lake allows bird watching and fishing and hosts the bass fishing competition every year. If you are lucky, you might be able to see birds like snail kites, wood storks, limpkins, songbirds, warblers, snowy egrets, boat-tailed grackles, ospreys, whooping crane, purple martins, bald eagles, fulvous whistling ducks, etc.
Pet- Friendly : Dogs are allowed in most of the places near the lake
Disability- Friendly : Wheelchairs are available near the lake
The Bok Tower Gardens or The Bok Mountain Lake Sanctuary and Singing Tower, created by Edward W. Bok, has a 250 acre garden with ferns, palms, oaks, pines, and wetland plants, a 51 feet long singing tower with carillon bells, pine trails and an 8 acres pinewood estate and also a bird sanctuary. Located at a distance of 56.1 miles from Orlando, The Bok Tower Gardens is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The garden attracts hundreds of birds across the year. The place has the world’s largest carillon library with recordings, books, slides, articles, photographs, etc.
Aren’t you already tempted to visit this beautiful city? If you want to have the time of your life, plan a trip to Orlando soon. Discover “The City Beautiful” and make some unforgettable memories. The Theme Park Capital of the World deserves to be on your bucket list. Happy holidaying!
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