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5 Things To Do In Central Florida That Don’t Involve Theme Parks

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Central Florida

Some of Central Florida’s biggest attractions are its theme parks. From SeaWorld to Universal Studios to Walt Disney World, there’s no shortage of roller coasters and thrills. 

However, central Florida natives will tell you that there’s so much more to the area than just rides. There’s tons of natural beauty to take in, fun adventures to go on, and activities to keep you entertained.

If you’re planning a trip to the Sunshine State and are looking for fun ways to fill your time that don’t involve Mickey Mouse, Hulk, or Shamu, know that these five other options available!

Go Kayaking On the Springs

Kayaking along the springs is a Florida rite of passage. From Blue Springs and Silver Springs to Wekiva Springs and Rainbow Springs, there are many gorgeous areas to choose from. Skim down crystal clear water and watch turtles, otters, and fish swim around you. You might even get lucky and see a manatee nearby! 

Get a group together (pairs of 2) and set out to the springs that catch your attention the most, rent a pedal kayak, pack some snacks, and get ready for a few hours under the shade of the Cypress trees enjoying the best of Florida’s nature.

Experience an Intimate Show WIth Your Favorite Band

Big venues can be fun, but small venues are even better! After seeing your favorite band a few times already, doesn’t the idea of an intimate show sound great? 

Rather than sitting in the bleachers near the top, you have a chance to get next to the stage in the small, standing-room only venue that is the House of Blues Orlando. Located in Disney Springs, theme park lovers can get their fix while on the way to the show. 

Arrive early and you can even enjoy dinner at one of the nearby restaurants for a night you’re sure to love!

Enjoy the Coast – Either One!

One of the best parts of central Florida is that you’re only an hour or two away from the beach at all times. Whether you want to check out the calm Gulf waters or more drawn to the waves of Florida’s Atlantic coast, you’re close enough to make it a day trip! 

Some of the most beloved central Florida beaches, include:

  • Cocoa Beach
  • New Smyrna Beach
  • St. Petersburg Beach
  • Anna Maria Island

Check out NASA

NASA’s Kennedy Space Center is only about an hour’s drive away from Orlando in Cape Canaveral, so swing by on a Space X rocket launch day and you may be able to see a show! Even if there’s no rocket to watch, it’s still fun to tour the space center and get an idea of what goes on at NASA’s headquarters.

Explore the History of St. Augustine

St. Augustine is one of America’s oldest cities, and much of the history has been preserved for centuries. Just an hour and a half north of Orlando, St. Augustine is always worth the trip. 

Walk through the historic Castillo de San Marcos and learn about the battles that took place, or take a tour of the oldest jail or schoolhouse. There are lots of gift shops, restaurants, and bars in the area to make it a full day’s adventure. Take your time and enjoy this walkable, charming city!

The Real Central Florida

While Disney and Universal make for fun family days in the sun, there’s a lot more to Central Florida than everyone’s favorite mouse. The ideas above are a good place to start, but as you research you’ll find that the options are limitless. 

Get out there and enjoy the best that Central Florida has to offer!