Connect with the outdoors and have a relaxing afternoon at one of Orlando’s picturesque public parks including Lake Eola Park in downtown Orlando (pictured).
Whether you are looking for a serene place to relax or a comfortable spot to watch your children run and play carefree, Orlando has plenty of picture-perfect public parks to explore. Spend some time enjoying our warm weather under blue skies and take advantage of the many amenities and activities that our parks have to offer. A perfect way to spend an afternoon, most of these parks also offer free admission.
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Lake Eola Park
Right in the heart of downtown Orlando with picturesque views of the Orlando skyline, Lake Eola Park is one of Florida’s most beloved public parks. Take one of the park’s famous swan boats out on the lake for a spin, or observe the live swans along the 0.9-mile trail around the lake.
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The park is home to the Walt Disney Amphitheater, which hosts regular live entertainment. Other events include the Orlando Farmers Market every Sunday, February’s Downtown Food & Wine Fest, October’s Come Out With Pride, and springtime (April) and fall (November) editions of the long-running Fiesta in the Park art show.
Loch Haven Park
Located in the middle of several of Orlando’s great art and science attractions, Loch Haven is the perfect spot to relax in between visits to the different museums and centers. The park’s neighbors include Orlando Museum of Art, The Mennello Museum of American Art, Orlando Science Center, Orlando Shakes (aka Orlando Shakespeare Theater), and Orlando Family Stage (formerly Orlando Repertory Theatre).
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With plenty of lawn space for your kids to release some energy, the park also hosts recurring events such as Yoga in the Sculpture Garden on the last Sunday of each month. Please note that while park admission is free, most art-related offerings and events require paid admission.
Lake Underhill Park
At 8.8-acres and only 10 minutes east of downtown Orlando, Lake Underhill Park has tons of amenities. There is a three-quarter-mile exercise trail complete with eight fitness stations along the way, a 1.3-mile walking trail, and spots for fishing and boating. Lake Underhill Park connects to several other neighboring parks and is also recognized as a great spot to watch the sunset.
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Park of the Americas
Traveling with your dog? The Park of the Americas is one of the most popular dog parks in Orlando. There are separate areas for large and small dogs so that your pets can run free.
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There are plenty of amenities for the rest of your family as well, with a toddler-friendly playground, picnic tables, grills and a half-mile walking path through the center of the park that includes workout stations designed for 120 different types of exercises.
Lake Lorna Doone Park
Next to Camping World Stadium in the West Lakes Market Street District, this 12-acre park includes something for everyone including fitness stations, a playground, walking paths, floral gardens and art gardens, a splash pad, lighted athletic fields, basketball courts, and a golf facility.
Shingle Creek Regional Park
Twenty minutes south of Walt Disney World® Resort, Shingle Creek Regional Park is home to the northernmost headwaters of the Florida Everglades. There are various entry points throughout the Kissimmee area, along with a 2-mile paddling route perfect for canoeing, kayaking and paddleboarding. A boat launch and rentals are available onsite.
There is also the currently in-progress 32-mile Shingle Creek Trail, which when completed will allow you to walk, bike or jog to Wekiwa Springs State Park in Seminole County. Currently, the multi-use trail leads you to the Osceola County Welcome Center and History Museum.
Bill Frederick Park
Just north of Universal Orlando Resort and with 183 acres to explore lies Bill Frederick Park. Located alongside Turkey Lake, which is known to be one of Florida’s best fishing spots, the park offers a variety of outdoor amenities including a playground, fitness stations, sand volleyball courts, grills, boat rentals and a drone-flying area.
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The park hosts several events, including the recurring Storytime in the Park gathering and annual events such as October’s Asian Cultural Expo and the Orlando International Dragon Boat Festival. There is a $5 entry fee per vehicle.
Kissimmee Lakefront Park
Only 30 minutes southeast of Walt Disney World and with easy access to downtown Kissimmee, Kissimmee Lakefront Park has become a popular host for high-profile, outdoor events. With covered picnic pavilions and shaded playgrounds, this park is the perfect spot for your kids to play. With access to Lake Toho, there are opportunities for fishing, paddling, biking, grilling and hiking. There are also free mounted binoculars available so you can take in all the views and wildlife with even more detail.
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Wekiwa Springs State Park
Only a 25-minute drive from downtown Orlando, you can find Wekiwa Springs State Park. Known for its scenic hiking trails and beautiful water, this park offers a wide variety of activities including canoeing, kayaking, horseback riding, geocaching, fishing, birding and swimming. With several miles of nature trails to explore, this is a perfect spot to connect with the outdoors and see local Florida wildlife. Admission is $6 per vehicle.
Located adjacent to Lake Apopka, Florida’s third largest lake, Magnolia Park offers opportunities for hiking, cycling, walking their 30-mile lakeside trail, exploring their butterfly garden, camping, and birding (with over 360 different species and variations of birds). They also host a variety of free programs including Campfire Chat on Saturdays, Walk n’ Talk on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Eco Adventures for groups.
Magnolia Park hosts popular festivals such as February’s Birdapalooza and May’s Magnolia Park Bluegrass Festival. The park also recently opened a new Eco Education Center, an inclusive playground, and a fishing pier and dock.
Are you a fan of birding? Eagles Roost near Lake Nona is home to a protected resting area for bald eagles and other water-loving birds. There is also a walking trail that leads to an observation pier on Lake Hart for great viewpoints of the flora and fauna. Make sure to stop at the Back to Nature Wildlife Refuge where you can observe the animal ambassadors and learn how they care for the park’s wildlife.
Use this interactive map to track down the public parks featured in this blog. (Click here if you found us via Google and don’t see a map or images.)
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