Don’t Distress, De-stress: Explore What Central Florida Has to Offer!

Brittany’s recent post dealing with overcoming law school stress offered some terrific advice that included mention of some fun ways to relieve stress by discovering some of the many activities and attractions that Central Florida has to offer. I thought I would dedicate this blog post to helping you discover some of those. Undoubtedly, most of you already know about the big theme parks (Disney, Universal, etc.), so the focus here is on lesser known, often overlooked attractions (many of which are relatively low cost or even free of charge).

While not all-encompassing by any means, I hope this mini-directory of local offerings/destinations helps you discover ways to relax, unwind and recharge as you seek out healthy (and fun) outlets for coping with law school (and life) stress.

 

1 beachBEACHES

 

Cape Canaveral National Seashore – This barrier island on the east coast of Florida is a sanctuary to both people and wildlife on the largest expanse of pristine shore in Florida. Fish in the lagoon, stroll down a wooden trail or on the beach as you connect with nature.

Clearwater Beach – Located on the Gulf Coast near Tampa, this is a popular beach known for its white sand, clear and calm Gulf waters and its many restaurants, hotels and tourist attractions.

Cocoa Beach – A popular nearby beach located on the east coast of Florida, just below Cape Canaveral. Be sure to check out the pier and nearby Jetty Park to watch the cruise ships come in, fish or even camp out.

Daytona Beach – Drive on the sand, catch some rays at this popular beach destination and check out one of the many shops along the boardwalk of this world-famous beach.

St. Pete Beach – Located near St. Petersburg, FL on the Gulf Coast, this beach is generally pretty laid back and offers a beautiful beachfront, many lodging choices (from beachfront resorts to quaint inns) as well as tons of interesting dining options and shops.

    

2 museumMUSEUMS

 

Morse Museum – Home of the most comprehensive collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany including the artist’s jewelry, paintings, pottery, art glass, lamps. The museum also includes American art pottery, late 19th and early 20th century American painting, graphics and decorative art.

445 N Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789 (407) 645-5311 http://www.morsemuseum.org

Orange County Regional History Center – Located in downtown Orlando, the History Center offers four floors of exhibits exploring over 12,000 years of Central Florida history.

65 E. Central Blvd., Orlando, FL 32801 (407) 836-8500  http://thehistorycenter.org

Orlando Museum of Art – View their many exhibits featuring local, regional, national and international works.

2416 N Mills Ave, Orlando, FL 32803 (407) 896-4231  http://www.omart.org

Presidents Hall of Fame (Clermont) – Features unique presidential/patriotic displays and exhibits.

123 S. Hwy 27, Clermont, FL 34711
http://www.thepresidentshalloffame.com
http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/20286

    

3 parkPARKS

 

Cape Canaveral National Seashore – This barrier island is a sanctuary to both people and wildlife, encompassing the largest expanse of pristine shore in Florida. Fish in the lagoon, stroll down a wooden trail or on the beach as you connect with Mother Nature.

Park Headquarters: 212 S. Washington Ave., Titusville, FL 32796 (321) 267-1110

http://www.nps.gov/cana/index.htm

Dickson Azalea Park – 100 Rosearden Drive, Orlando, FL 32803 (407) 246-2283

http://www.cityoforlando.net/blog/parks-spotlight-dickson-azalea-park

Kelly Park/Rock Springs — Features a free flowing natural spring with option to rent or bring your own inner tube (float down into the main spring) plus picnic and camping options. Canoeing and kayak options abound nearby.

http://www.ocfl.net/cultureparks/parks.aspx?m=dtlvw&d=22#.U_d832OK060

Lake Eola – Take a stroll around the lake with beautiful views of downtown. Watch the fountain light up at dusk or attend one of their many festivals and events. – 195 N. Rosalind Ave., Orlando, FL 32801

http://www.downtownorlando.com/locations/lake-eola#.U_drSWOK060

http://www.cityoforlando.net/parks/lake-eola-park

Lake Louisa State Park – 7305 US Highway 27, Clermont, FL 34714 (352) 394-3969

http://www.floridastateparks.org/lakelouisa

Orlando Wetlands Park – 25155 Wheeler Rd., Christmas, FL 32709 (407) 568-1706

http://orlandowetlands.org

Wekiwa Springs State Park – swim, canoe, hike or kayak in one of Central Florida’s most popular and protected parks.

1800 Wekiwa Cir., Apopka, FL 32712
(407) 884-2008
http://www.floridastateparks.org/wekiwasprings

 

4 zoo 2ZOOS

 

Brevard Zoo – 8225 N. Wickham Drive, Melbourne, FL 32940 (321) 254-9453
https://brevardzoo.org

Central Florida Zoo – 3755 U.S. Hwy. 17-92, Sanford, FL 32771 (407) 323-4450
http://www.centralfloridazoo.org

Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo – 1101 W. Sligh Ave., Tampa, FL 33604 (813) 935-8552
http://www.lowryparkzoo.com

 

6 outdoorsOTHER MUST-SEE ATTRACTIONS

 

Bok Tower Gardens – discover the beautiful gardens and historic 205 foot Singing Tower.

1151 Tower Blvd., Lake Wales, FL 33853 (863) 676-1408
http://boktowergardens.org

Church Street District (downtown Orlando) – discover a wide range of art, entertainment and food venues all in the heart of Orlando.

http://www.churchstreetdistrict.com

Daytona International Speedway – catch a live car racing event!

1801 W International Speedway Blvd, Daytona Beach, FL 32114
(800) 748-7467
http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com

Enzian Theater – a single-screen cinema café offering mostly independent & foreign films with two unique dining options and a variety of special programming.

1300 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland, FL 32751 (407) 629-0054
http://www.enzian.org

Gatorland – a small theme park showcasing alligators. They have plenty of shows, exhibits and even have a zipline attraction now.

14501 S Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, FL 32837 (407) 855-5496
www.gatorland.com

International Drive – hub of tourist activity with a myriad of restaurants, bars, and sometimes zany (but fun) tourist traps

Find I-Drive attractions

Kennedy Space Center – watch a rocket launch or tour the visitor’s center.

Kennedy Space Center, FL 32899
(321) 867-5000
https://www.kennedyspacecenter.com

Long & Scott Farms – take part in the annual Cornfield Maze Adventure from October 4 through December 14

26216 County Rd. 448A, Mount Dora, FL 32757 (352) 383-6900
http://www.scottszellwoodsweetcorn.com

Orlando Science Center – check out the many exhibits and science stations and don’t skip the Crosby Observatory!

777 E. Princeton Street, Orlando, FL 32803 (407) 514-2000
http://www.osc.org

Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse – one of the most authentic and best preserved historic light stations in the country. Tour the museum grounds with replicas and restorations of buildings as they were in the past. Watch the sunset from nearby Lighthouse Point Park.

4931 S. Peninsula Drive, Ponce Inlet, FL 32127 (386) 761-1821
http://ponceinlet.org

Presidents Hall of Fame (Clermont) – features unique presidential/patriotic displays and exhibits.

123 S. Hwy 27, Clermont, FL 34711
http://www.thepresidentshalloffame.com
http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/20286

Winter Park Farmers Market – shop local fine produce, plants, baked goods and more. Every Saturday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Located inside the old train depot at 200 West New England Ave., Winter Park, FL
Website

 

5 airboat

LOOKING FOR OTHER IDEAS?

TRY ONE OF THESE FUN ACTIVITIES…

 

• Attend an Orlando City soccer game

• Tailgate a UCF football game

• Take a boat tour of Winter Park
http://www.scenicboattours.com/boat-tours

• Take a day or sunset cruise on a local river or inlet
http://www.sjrivercruises.com
http://www.indianriverqueen.com
http://www.goodnaturedrivertours.com

• Take a ghost tour
http://www.americanghostadventures.com

• Attend a dinner show
http://www.medievaltimes.com/orlando.aspx
http://www.piratesdinneradventure.com
WonderWorks magic comedy dinner show

• Take an airboat ride
http://www.theblackhammock.com
http://www.spiritoftheswamp.com
http://www.bcairboats.com

• Watch a comedy show
http://eastorlando.bonkerzcomedy.com
https://www.sakcomedylab.com
http://theimprovorlando.com

• Take a hot air balloon ride
http://www.hotairballoonrideorlando.com
http://www.orlandoballoonadventures.com
http://www.paintedhorizons.com

• Go to an Orlando Magic game

• Attend the Orlando Citrus Parade

• Ride a bicycle up Sugarloaf Mountain (Lake County)
More info

photo_referencesREFERENCES

 

Cutway, Adrienne. Orlandosentinel.com. Orlando Sentinel, 4 Nov. 2013. Web. 15 Aug. 2014. <http://www.orlandosentinel.com/features/blogs/the-list/os-50-things-you-have-to-do-in-central-florida-20131104,0,1507711.post>.

Scalpone, Joan L. Metro Orlando Florida: 150 Day Trips. Sarasota: Serbin Printing, Inc., 1999. Print.

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2 thoughts on “Don’t Distress, De-stress: Explore What Central Florida Has to Offer!

  1. Amazing list, Shawn! Hopefully our students (especially the ones who are new to Orlando) can take advantage of some of these attractions in their “ample free time.”

    Like

  2. Pingback: More things to do in Central Florida (when the things settle down for the semester) | Barry Law Library

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