Parks in Orlando

Best parks in Orlando

Orlando is undoubtedly one of the best vacation spots in the U.S.A. with a huge array of theme parks, shopping and eating spots as well as a variety of nature parks. From beautiful forests, to cool s (Read More)prings and streams, the city boasts a beautiful collection of a variety of natural setups that you can discover in the parks in Orlando. Besides its fancy theme parks and attractions, nature-lovers can unwind in the gardens in Orlando.

Here is the list of 12 Parks in Orlando

1. Lake Louisa State Park, Orlando

Lake Louisa State Park, Orlando

Spread across 4500 acres, the Lake Louisa State Park has lakes, swim beaches, forest cover and over 20 miles of hiking trails. Here you can enjoy various water activities like canoeing, paddle boarding and swimming in the various lakes and even enjoy fishing. With 7 miles of paved and another 20 miles of unpaved trails, you can go bicycling or explore the terrain on foot. You can even enjoy horseback riding along the trails and enjoy the nature of the trails.

Entry Fee : starting from $2

Timings : 8 am to sunset

Disability- Friendly : Yes

Best for : Camping and hiking

2. Hal Scott Regional Preserve, Orlando

Hal Scott Regional Preserve, Orlando

Hal Scott Regional Preserve and Park is spread over an area of 9,515 acres of hills and mountains. It is located in east Orange County, Florida, along the banks of the Econlockhatchee River. It is known for its exposure to the natural flora and fauna of Florida. Some of the interesting activities that you can do here include, wildlife viewing, horseback riding, fishing, bicycling and hiking. Primitive camping is also permitted in designated areas. The fascinating wildlife that you can view here mainly includes the bald eagles, sandhill cranes, gopher tortoises, bobcats, river otters, indigo snakes, and the widely famous red cockaded woodpecker.

Entry Fee : Free

Timings : Open all 365 days of the year, from dawn to dusk

3. De Leon Springs State Park, Orlando

De Leon Springs State Park, Orlando

With a rich subtropical forest alongside a clear water spring, this park is placed on an area originally inhabited by Mayaca Indians who named the springs Acuera, meaning ‘Healing Waters’. The spring is a great area for swimming, boating and scuba diving all year round. A very interesting feature of the park has to be the Sugar Mill Restaurant, based on an actual sugar mill from the 1830s. Here you can cook and customize your very own pancakes as well as have other delicacies.

Entry Fee : Starting from $2

Timings : 8 am to sunset

Disability- Friendly : Yes

Best for : Water- related activities

4. Ocala National Forest, Orlando

Ocala National Forest, Orlando

With a serene and rich forest cover and clear streams, this park is great to visit in both seasons and enjoy a variety of nature-related activities. You can enjoy fishing, swimming, waterskiing and other activities in the various springs and lakes spread across the park. You can even snorkel in these springs to see a variety of fish and marine plants in them. Boating, canoeing and kayaking are also available for visitors across various water bodies. There is a huge 67-mile trail for the adventure seekers that spreads across various vegetation and ecosystems, and there are also smaller trails for a less extensive experience, which you can explore on foot or with a bicycle.

Timings : Open 24/7

Prices : Different fees for different recreational areas

Disability- Friendly : Yes

Best for : Hiking

5. Bok Tower Gardens, Orlando

Bok Tower Gardens, Orlando

Bok Tower Gardens, located north of Lake Wales, Florida, is 250- acre garden and bird sanctuary. One has plenty of things to do here, including photography (the garden being one of Florida’s most photographed sites), dining, shopping, and much more. Bok Towers is a collection of many differently- themed gardens in one. You can even enjoy The Singing Tower carillon concerts at 1 pm and 3 pm, daily.

Entry Fee : 1 adult- $15
 1 child (ages 5-12) - $5
 Children under the age of 5- Free
Dogs are allowed to enter with an entry fee of $5

6. Kelly Park, Orlando

Kelly Park, Orlando

Home to the Kelly Rock Springs, this park is the ultimate destination to relax and unwind in the cool water or hike across the trails located in the park. The natural spring is perhaps its most popular attraction as the water is crystal clear and great for swimming and tubing, and you can even rent kayaks, paddle-board and canoes to venture the waters. Since you can rent tubes, and swimming is one of the most frequented activities, lifeguard stations are spread across the springs to ensure the safety of the visitors.

Entry Fee : Starting from $3

Timings : 8 am to 8 pm

Disability- Friendly : Yes

Best for : Swimming and tubing in the spring

7. Kraft Azalea Garden, Orlando

Kraft Azalea Garden, Orlando

Kraft Azalea Park is a public garden specially made for having a picnic, or spending a peaceful time. It is located in the city of Winter Park, just north of Orlando. What makes the park even more appealing is that is it surrounded by the Lake Maitland on the north and west. The park is adorned by large cypress trees, eight benches, and even a dock, which makes it a tranquil and cool spot to enjoy your day.

Entry Fee : Free

Timings : 8 am to dusk, open all 365 days of the year

Disability- Friendly : The park is  wheelchair accessible

8. Wekiwa Springs State Park, Orlando

Wekiwa Springs State Park, Orlando

With the beautiful clear springs and the thick forest cover, Wekiwa Springs are a popular tourist attraction with a wide array of activities available. It has a long stretch of hiking trails where you can hike on foot, ride a bicycle or explore it on horseback, and if you’re lucky you can witness some beautiful animals that reside in the park. You can relax and swim in the springs on a hot summer day to cool down, and even witness turtles and alligators. You can also venture the springs using canoes and even do some snorkelling.

Entry Fee : Starting from $2

Timings : 8 am to sundown

Disability- Friendly : Yes

Best for : Swimming and hiking

9. Leu Gardens, Orlando

Leu Gardens, Orlando

Located near Downtown Orlando, Leu Gardens makes up for 50 acres of scenic plants and natural oasis. The climate in this area especially helps in offering an evergreen view. One may find countless species of flowers and plants here, so a trip to this botanical garden proves to be soothing. There is also a Leu House Museum neat this garden, which you can visit after you have seen all of the garden.

Entry Fee : Adult- $10
1 child (ages 4-17) - $5
1 child (ages 3 and younger) – Free

The garden is cashless, meaning you can book the admissions tickets online in advance, or pay via credit card as you reach the garden.

Tickets : 9 am to 5 pm, daily

10. Blue Spring State Park, Orlando

Blue Spring State Park, Orlando

Located in Orange City, the Blue Spring State Park is a popular nature spot and especially famous for the manatees that visit the park in the winters due to the warmer temperature in the cold months. For these animals, a festival also takes place in January named the Manatee festival to celebrate them. You can also witness various other fish and a variety of birds throughout the park.

Entry Fee: : Starting from 2$

Timings : 8 am to sundown

Disability- Friendly : Yes

Best for : Water-related activities

11. Canaveral National Seashore, Orlando

Canaveral National Seashore, Orlando

Located in the seaside, this national park is a great destination to witness various terrestrial and aquatic animals found in the park. This national park is home to 15 species of endangered and threatened animals, including various mammals, reptiles and birds. This park is also a great spot for bird watchers as in winters and other migration periods, one can witness a wide array of migrating birds in the premises. Fascinatingly, here you can find both sub-tropical and temperate plants, and overall over 1000 species of plants in the park itself and in its surrounding areas.

Entry Fee : Starting from $10

Timings : 6 am to 6 pm

Disability - Friendly : Wheelchair assistance is available at various spots across the park

Best for : Fishing and Beach related activities

12. Big Tree Park, Orlando

Big Tree Park, Orlando

The Big Tree Park is located along the General Hutchison Parkway in Seminole County, Orlando. As the name suggest, the park was home to the world’s largest and the oldest bald cypress tree known as ‘The Senator’. The said tree no longer exists, due to the fire caused in January in 2012. But the park is still known for some of the world’s giant trees such as Lady Liberty and The Phoenix, which are also placed in the close vicinity of the remains of The Senator. Guests get to enjoy a walk along the boardwalk trail that leads up to the various gigantic trees, and also a playground.

Entry Fee : Free

Timings : 8.00 am to sunset

These were some of the best parks in Orlando. Do you think we missed out on any more parks in Orlando? Are there any more gardens in Orlando or destinations across the globe that you would like us to write about? Do let us know in the comments down below! For more such interesting travel blogs, head over to our page. We wish you safe travels!

This post was published by Mukta Manshi

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