Parks & Gardens
BLUE SPRING STATE PARK‒ Covering more than 2,600 acres, this park is popular for fishing, diving and swimming in the summer months. In the winter, the springs are a refuge for a growing population of West Indian manatees. The water is closed during manatee season, mid-November through March 15, however, visitors are invited to observe the amazing creatures. www.floridastateparks.org/
bluespring/. 2100 W. French Ave., Orange City, 386.775.3663. FOREVER FLORIDA‒ This working cattle ranch contains nearly 5,000 acres with 10 miles of hiking trails and eco-adventures. Spot alligators, the Florida panther, black bears and white-tail deer. www.foreverflorida.com. 4755 N. Kenansville Road, St. Cloud, 407.957.9794. HARRY P. LEU GARDENS ‒ This 50-acre botanical garden is a maze bursting with color and unusual greenery. Take a guided tour of the Southernstyled grounds, chill at a concert or just stroll through the giant bamboo, manicured lawns and the world’s largest collection of camellias. www. leugardens.org. 1920 N. Forest Ave., 407.246.2620. KELLY PARK‒ Rent a tube and float down a river fed by Rock Springs. The 3/4-mile ride through refreshing 68-degree crystalline water takes 25 minutes. $5 per vehicle. www.orangecountyfl.net. 400 E. Kelly Park Road, 407.407.1902. LAKE EOLA PARK‒ Popular downtown public park for strolling and feeding ducks. A playground and swan-boat rentals are on site. Trendy restaurants, bars and shopping are steps away. www.cityoforlando.net. 195 N. Rosalind Ave., 407.246.4485. LAKE LOUISA STATE PARK‒ Try geo-caching around the park in a virtual treasure hunt. Visitors love swimming, biking, kayaking and canoeing. $5 per vehicle. www.floridastateparks.org/park/lakelouisa. 7305 US Highway 27, 352.394.3969. LOCH HAVEN PARK‒ Nestled between three lakes, this picturesque park serves as Orlando’s premier cultural center housing several museums and theaters. www.cityoforlando.net. 777 E. Princeton St. WEKIWA SPRINGS STATE PARK‒ Swim or snorkel in the crystal-clear freshwater spring. Also enjoy fishing, kayaking, canoeing or horseback riding. $6 per vehicle. www.floridastateparks.org/wekiwasprings. 1800 Wekiwa Circle, Apopka, 407.884.2008.