clearwater beaches golden soft white sands

Ideas away from Disney when visiting Orlando

Vacationing in Orlando spending two weeks in the theme parks may on the face of it seem like the perfect holiday, often more so for the children in the group than the adults. What most people fail to do is take that rental car they spent so much on and explore further afield.

With so much in reach within a short drive it really is a must to get out of the city. The kids will never forget a day at one of the nearby beaches or a blast though the water looking out for alligators with an air boat ride. Of course this is also the perfect excuse for the adults in the group to relax a little.

Our personal recommendation is to at least hit one of the larger state parks like Fort De Soto located 2hrs away just south of Clearwater. State parks often are extremely inexpensive days out with fabulous amenities, the best beaches and what can beat kayaking around the mangroves then back to the shade of the trees to have a BBQ.

Lets not forget, the chances are you have spent a decent amount of your hard earned money on this trip, probably spent many hours travelling here and to not spend a few days exploring some of the great beaches, sights and city’s that Florida has to offer is a waste of an opportunity.

So lets list some ideas of whats within various drives of Orlando:

Within 30 to 60 minutes drive of Orlando:

  • Boggy Creek Airboat rides. – One of the most popular Air Boat tours within easy reach of Orlando’s theme parks.
  • NASA Visitor Center – Who wants to be an astronaut? everybody were sure. The NASA visitor center at Cape Canaveral offers the ultimate space experience on the planet, at least without leaving earth.
  • Cocoa Beach – Right at the end of the beach-line express way, this is the easiest of beaches to get to if you do not fancy a long drive.
  • Kissimmiee Rodeo – A great evening out soaking up the atmosphere of the rodeo in the open air, always a great show.

Within 1hr – 2hrs drive of Orlando:

  • Fort De Soto State Park – Vast state park south of Clearwater with miles of white sand beaches, clear waters, kayak rentals and more.
  • Clearwater Beach – Everyone has heard of Clearwater Beach, with good reason, not only is the place one of Florida’s best but its also super family friendly.
  • Cyrstal River State Park – State park with as the name suggests gin clear spring water streams offer tubing adventures and more.
  • Daytona Beach – Another of Florida’s famous beaches and the best bit, you park on the beach, perfect for a family beach day.
  • Daytona Speedway – One of Americas most famous Opal speedway tracks, hosts tours and check out race dates for the ultimate day out.

For a little longer adventure or an over night stay away from Orlando you could try the following:

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