Parks & Gar­dens

Where Orlando - - THE GUIDE -

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.flori­das­

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.forever­ 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. leu­gar­ 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.or­ange­coun­ 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.­ofor­ 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.flori­das­ 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.­ofor­ 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.flori­das­­wasprings. 1800 Wekiwa Cir­cle, Apopka, 407.884.2008.

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