Summer in Orlando: Take It Outside

Florida is more than Mickey Mouse and a day at the beach; try something different while still enjoying the weather.

Of course Florida is known for the beaches and the year-round sunshine, but there is so much more to the Sunshine State than just the coasts. This summer, think outside the beach (and the theme parks), and try out some other activities while still enjoying some Florida sun and fresh air.

Outdoor Date Night

Change up your date night routine and head outside instead of that typical dinner and a movie. Leu Gardens is a beautiful 50-acre botanical retreat and museum just minutes away from downtown Orlando. The gardens are the perfect stop for a low-key night out with your special someone. Take advantage of their Movie Night. For only a $6 admission, guests can enjoy access to the gardens and screenings of a variety of movies. On select nights, Leu Gardens hosts its trademark Jazz n’ Blues Stroll, where the sounds of The Betty Fox Band, the Dave Capp Project and Mud Rooster flow through the whole garden, creating a night you won’t soon forget.

Become One with Nature

Just north of Orlando lies 7,000-acre Wekiwa Springs State Park in Apopka, Fla. Wekiwa Springs is the headwaters of the Wekiva River and also serves as a favorite weekend destination with its relaxed atmosphere and all natural scenery. Enjoy scuba diving, snorkeling, hiking trails, biking, boating, canoeing, kayaking, and of course sitting for a picnic when all of that tires you out.

Tee Time

Trying to fit in some golf during your busy vacation? No problem. Visit Legends Walk at Orange Lake Resort in Kissimmee, Fla. This unique 9-hole walking course was designed by Arnold Palmer himself and is perfect for a quick game. Not to mention it is the only course in Central Florida that is available for night games. In between games, kick back for drinks and a meal in any of their nine on-site restaurants. Orlando isn’t known as a golf hub for nothing!

Go Under Water

All the adventure of a theme park, but the atmosphere of a tropical vacation all in one place … yes, that exists. Head to Discovery Cove Orlando where you can plan your full day of underwater fun including swimming with dolphins, snorkeling in their “Grand Reef” or the “Freshwater Oasis,” relaxing in a cabana on the beach and enjoying unlimited snacks, drinks and meals. Discovery Cove only allows 1,000 guests per day by reservation only to ensure you get the full experience, the best customer service and no long lines.

Get on the Water

Maybe you’re looking for something with a little more speed; Buena Vista Water Sports in Lake Buena Vista has you covered. Conveniently located on Lake Bryan, the company covers all the bases for excitement on the water. Buena Vista Water Sports provides rentals for jet skis, boats, wake boards, tubes and paddleboards. If you’re looking to polish your skills a bit more, make a reservation for a wakeboard and water ski lesson.