With its fairy tale castles and towering palm trees, there really is something magical about Orlando. Maybe that's why couples from across the globe have chosen it as their favorite destination for honeymoons, anniversary trips, and romantic getaways. If you've come here to woo your boo, you've arrived in the right place.
Photo Credit: Kristen Manieri
A couple of hours can easily drift away while strolling around Lake Eola Park and watching the white and black swans paddling across the lake, but the ideal vantage point of this 43-acre urban park and its iconic fountain is from your very own swan boat. For $15 per half hour, you can rent these paddleboats from the swan dock located across from Relax Grill until 7pm Sunday - Tuesdays, and until 10pm Wednesdays - Saturdays. Reservations are not required.
With no lack of sunshine or green spaces, there's nothing stopping you from enjoying some quality time outdoors at Central Florida's city and state parks. Think about renting a canoe at Wekiwa Springs, a tranquil and untouched state park north of Orlando where a beautiful spring and river give couples the option for swimming and kayaking. Or perhaps rent some bikes and head for a ride along the West Orange Trail.
As one of Orlando's most underappreciated urban gems, it's a shame more Orlando visitors don't carve out a few hours to visit Harry P. Leu Gardens, the 50-acre botanical sanctuary situated just north of downtown Orlando. With its winding paths meandering through rose gardens, bamboo forests, and under towering live oaks mirrored in Lake Rowena, it is one of the prettiest places to visit in Central Florida. And besides being a place for strolling and picnicking, the garden also hosts an outdoor movie screening on the first Friday of most months.
Check out Central Florida's skies with a visit to the Planetarium at Seminole State College, featuring weekly interactive shows that bring thousands of stars and the stories behind them into clear view. Cost per person is typically $6. At the Crosby Observatory atop the Orlando Science Center, budding astronomers attend skywatching events scheduled on weekend evenings throughout the fall and winter months when the night's sky is at its clearest and distant clusters are most visible.
5. Ritz-Carlton Spa
At 40,000 square feet, the Ritz-Carlton Spa on the 500-acre Grande Lakes property is not only Orlando's largest spa, it's also the most popular. A self-proclaimed "oasis of pampering," the spa houses 40 treatment rooms, a co-ed conservatory, two VIP suites, a 6,000 square-foot wellness center and a full service beauty salon. Private locker room feature private Jacuzzis, saunas, and eucalyptus infused steam rooms but the prized perk for couples is the 4,000 square-foot heated outdoor lap pool and hot tub surrounded by cozy loungers that beckon them to order a smoothie and lounge the day away in the sun.
This special post was written by Kristen Manieri. To read more about the romantic side of Orlando and other tips from Kristen, visit GreatDatesOrlando.com.