Orlando is a hyperkinetic maze of amusement parks, fine dining, and non-stop shopping, where golf courses spread out like a lush green carpet and where folks go for sparkling nightlife and supercharged sports. Most of all, it's where little people go to meet Mickey Mouse. Nearly 38 million people pour into Orlando each year. Is it the subtropical climate that lures them here or the monster-sized theme parks, indoor skydiving facilities, and hot air balloon rides? Maybe it's the beautiful West Orange Trail that stretches along 22 miles of converted rail route paved for jogging, biking, hiking and in-line skating. Whatever it is, Orlando's popularity is unquestionable.
The Orlando Science Center is one of many museums here that educate and entertain young and old alike with interactive exhibits. Its 7000 square foot Nature Works, detailing the various Florida ecosystems, is especially interesting and regionally focused. Other museums include Ripley's Believe It Or Not, The Harry P. Leu Gardens, and the Orlando Museum of Art.
Florida has about 100 natural springs that bubble with activity. Rock Springs, 17 miles northwest of Orlando, is one such haven for tubers, hikers, campers and nature nuts. Another is Wekiwa Springs, about 40 minutes from Orlando, which has excellent facilities for swimming, kayaking, canoeing, and horseback riding. It also has campsites and a 13-mile hiking trail. There are bike trails throughout the Orlando region. The Cady Way Trail is an exceptional 3.5-mile biking route that is very popular among bikers, joggers and in-line skaters.
Whether it's a quiet stroll through nature trails, biking the historic districts, canoeing down a spring-fed waterway, oohing and aahing at world-renown theme and water parks, or savoring a meal at a dinner-theater in town, Orlando aims to please. Although the traffic, parking and crowds are daunting, there's so much to see and do that it's worth the aggravation.
As the geographical heart of the Sunshine State, Orlando is within 50 miles from the Atlantic Ocean and 75 miles from the Gulf waters, located just off SR-528.