Orlando offers unique outdoor adventures and nature experiences that will get visitors’ adrenaline pumping and spirits soaring. Whether one prefers to soar through the air, skim through the water or stay on solid ground, Orlando’s varied landscape offers breathtaking vistas of green grass, lakes, rivers and natural springs; tall native palm trees and untouched forests. From mild to wild, outdoor enthusiasts can always find something to do in Orlando to match their preferred pace.
FOR THE EASY-GOING TRAVELER
While Orlando is well known for its thrilling theme parks, there’s no shortage of scenic, easy-going attractions to explore by air, land and sea.
- Explore local towns like Winter Garden, with a bike rental from West Orange Trail-Bikes and Blades Co. Follow the West Orange Trail to Plant Street Market for a lunch break on the expansive outdoor patio.
- The Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour provides an entertaining pontoon boat tour through the Winter Park Chain of Lakes, which are linked by a series of beautiful Venetian-style canals. The daily guided tours provide a brief history of Winter Park, Central Florida's oldest community, originally founded by wealthy Easterners in the 1800's.
- Harry P. Leu Gardens includes a butterfly garden, three miles of paved scenic sidewalks, and the largest camellia collection outside California.
- At the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes professional guides lead visitors on a private guided fishing excursion to catch Florida strain largemouth bass and teach the ropes of fly fishing through fly casting instruction for beginner, intermediate and advanced casters.
FOR THE MILDLY ADVENTUROUS
From kayaks to paddleboards and airboats, Orlando offers plenty of outdoor adventures for those who appreciate moderate thrills and one-of-a-kind experiences.
- For hiking enthusiasts, Orlando offers many trails and nature preserves including the Oakland Nature Preserve, a 128-acre preserve featuring a boardwalk trail, and the Tibet-Butler Nature Preserve, featuring a butterfly garden, picnic area and various hikes and trails.
- A classic Florida experience, airboat rides offer up-close and personal views into the beauty of the headwaters to the Everglades. There’s no shortage of options, with eight companies in easy driving distance from Orlando’s tourism district alone, such as Airboat Rides at Midway and Boggy Creek Airboat Rides.
- Paddleboard Orlando invites novices and pros alike to cruise around local lakes on-board a SUP (stand-up paddleboard). Guided tours, lessons and activities include a “Friendly First Timer” tour and the SUP Yoga classes. Maui B’s Paddleboarding offers paddleboard lessons, rentals, yoga classes and fitness and eco tours throughout Central Florida.
- Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort's archery experience allows guests ages 7 and up to learn how to hold and fire a compound bow during a 75-minute session.
- Gatorland’s Stompin’ Gator Off-Road Adventure takes riders in monster-style off-road vehicles, to experience Florida’s natural beauty and various ecosystems.
- Wild Florida pairs thrilling airboat rides with up-close animal encounters at Wild Florida’s Gator and Wildlife Park. The newly opened Drive-through Safari Park spans, over 85 acres, offering the chance to see more than 100 native and exotic animals roaming freely.
FOR THE ECO-FRIENDLY ENTHUSIAST
Orlando offers a wide variety of activities that support the environment and still provide guests with an unforgettable adventure.
- Get Up and Go Kayaking offers several immersive kayaking tours in their fleet of 100% clear kayaks. Kayakers will revel in the surrounding landscape of Rock Springs Run.
- At the Ritz-Carlton Orlando and JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes, two-hour eco kayaking tours are guided by professionally trained Florida Master Naturalist Eco Tour Guides who share the history of Shingle Creek while paddling through scenic Old Florida.
- Wildlife and bird-watching in Orlando offers visitors with more than 360 species of birds – including bald eagles, snowy egret’s anhinga and more. Some of the most popular places to visit are the Gatorland Bird Rookery and the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail with 16 viewing sites in Orange County. Every winter, bird-lovers won’t want to miss the North Shore Birding Festival at Lake Apopka, which offers free birding and nature tours.
FOR THE THRILL-SEEKER
While Orlando is best known for its world-class attractions with roller coasters catering to thrill seekers, it is also filled with unforgettable adventures outside of the theme parks.
- Screamin’ Gator Zip Line at Gatorland takes guests on an aerial adventure 1,200 feet above live alligators and crocodiles.
- The Hidden Lake mountain bike trail at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes offers guests a two-mile mountain bike adventure at their own pace or on a guided ride scouting for wildlife along the way.
- A great option for watersport novices and aficionados is Orlando Watersports Complex, with wakeboarding, water skiing, wakeskating and kneeboarding for both kids and adults. Nona Adventure Park features a floating aqua park; cable park for water skiing and wakeboarding; a 60-foot climbing tower; and ropes course. Buena Vista Watersports at Paradise Cove offers Jet Ski Rentals and free lessons on Lake Bryan – a 450-acre, natural, spring-fed lake surrounded by cypress trees and tropical foliage.
- Revolution Off Road is home to many off-road experiences including ATVs, Dune Buggies, and ARGO amphibious Mucky Ducks. Expert riders serve as guides through more than 200 acres of tracks and trails.
- Visitors can take in Florida’s lush scenery from ZOOm Air Adventure Park at the Central Florida Zoo, soaring through the treetops from an animal’s perspective while navigating through obstacles that will challenge your body and mind.
- Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park is a maze of obstacles with six color-coded courses, challenging games and two zip lines.
- Fly high at Wallaby Ranch Hang Gliding Flight & Park, with year-round Discovery Tandem Flights and hang-gliding instruction. Using the latest Tandem aero towing techniques to provide the safest most enjoyable hand gliding experience, Wallaby Ranch provides a truly unique atmosphere.
About Visit Orlando
Visit Orlando is The Official Tourism Association® for Orlando, the most visited destination in the United States and Theme Park Capital of the World®. A not-for-profit trade association that brands, markets and sells the Orlando destination globally, Visit Orlando represents 1,200 member companies comprising every segment of Central Florida’s tourism community.