Named one of the best towns for families to live in Central Florida, Lake Mary has all the makings of a perfect vacation spot. It’s still in the vicinity of Orlando attractions, but just far enough away to give you a break from big-city crowds.

For a day or a week, you too can have this city’s attractive lifestyle: top-rated hotels, restaurants, and shopping in the middle of picturesque nature. Lake Mary’s small-town charm is set magically against award-winning parks and recreation, extensive biking and nature trails, and countless lakes.

Start your Zen vacation in Lake Mary by weeding out the noise of big cities and staying overnight at one of this city’s many brand hotels, including Marriottthe WestinHilton, and Hyatt, all priced about a third less than Orlando’s resorts. Then walk outside, where everything is close by. Lake Mary is connected to Seminole Wekiva Trail, a 14-mile paved trek that meanders through lush and wooded areas. The Rinehart Trail, part of the Cross Seminole Trail system, runs through Lake Mary. If you’ve been neglecting your golf stroke, head to the panoramic Timacuan Golf and Country Club, which lies in the center of town. Or opt to float on water with a rental from Central Florida Paddleboarding.

Each Saturday, the downtown area hosts the Farmer’s Market in Central Park, where local vendors display tempting fresh produce, flowers, honey, jewelry, baked goods, even pet treats. Count on WineART Wednesdays, held on the first Wednesday of every month, for a good vibe, complete with food trucks, a wine and beer garden, shopping, art, and live music. For more than two decades, the annual Lake Mary-Heathrow Festival of the Arts has showcased hundreds of artists from around the world. The juried festival offers fine art and craft exhibits, live entertainment, and delicious food truck specialties, all while raising scholarship money for local Seminole County High School Students.

Pack in plenty of shopping, food, and entertainment all in the same place when you visit Colonial Town Park or downtown Lake Mary. Here you’ll find boutiques to satisfy any tastes, gourmet bakeries, movie theaters, and a wide array of and dining options, from national brands to local favorites like Dexter’s and Krazy Greek Kitchen.

If you’re going to Do Orlando North, make it a point to do Lake Mary as well! You and your family won’t regret it!