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.
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.
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.
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
Dickson Azalea Park – 100 Rosearden Drive, Orlando, FL 32803 (407) 246-2283
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.
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
Lake Louisa State Park – 7305 US Highway 27, Clermont, FL 34714 (352) 394-3969
Orlando Wetlands Park – 25155 Wheeler Rd., Christmas, FL 32709 (407) 568-1706
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
Brevard Zoo – 8225 N. Wickham Drive, Melbourne, FL 32940 (321) 254-9453
Central Florida Zoo – 3755 U.S. Hwy. 17-92, Sanford, FL 32771 (407) 323-4450
Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo – 1101 W. Sligh Ave., Tampa, FL 33604 (813) 935-8552
Bok Tower Gardens – discover the beautiful gardens and historic 205 foot Singing Tower.
1151 Tower Blvd., Lake Wales, FL 33853 (863) 676-1408
Church Street District (downtown Orlando) – discover a wide range of art, entertainment and food venues all in the heart of Orlando.
Daytona International Speedway – catch a live car racing event!
1801 W International Speedway Blvd, Daytona Beach, FL 32114
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
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
International Drive – hub of tourist activity with a myriad of restaurants, bars, and sometimes zany (but fun) tourist traps
Kennedy Space Center – watch a rocket launch or tour the visitor’s center.
Kennedy Space Center, FL 32899
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
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
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
Presidents Hall of Fame (Clermont) – features unique presidential/patriotic displays and exhibits.
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
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
• Take a ghost tour
• Go to an Orlando Magic game
• Attend the Orlando Citrus Parade
• Ride a bicycle up Sugarloaf Mountain (Lake County)
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.