During the summer days in Florida there are two things that are for certain: 1) it’s going to be hot and 2) you’re going to want to cool off and spend a day on the water. Luckily, Orlando North, Seminole County is the perfect backdrop for your day trips, weekend getaways, and weeklong adventures by the water. Here are a few of our favorites, from wild and scenic nature tours to watersports that will keep your adrenaline pumping.
NATURE TOURS & SIGHTSEEING
BLACK HAMMOCK AIRBOAT RIDES
If there’s such a thing as a quintessential Central Florida experience, it’s an airboat tour through swampy terrain. Black Hammock’s airboat tours will take your adventure-loving group for a thrilling ride through Lake Jesup. Here you are sure to spot indigenous flora and fauna, not to mention it’s home to the highest alligator population in the United States. Your guided tour will dip into all the secret spots on the calm waters, so you’re sure to catch a glimpse of some local wildlife. To top it all off, you’ll feel like you’re flying on these high-speed watercraft built for adrenaline-pumping excitement.
ST. JOHNS RIVERSHIP CO. – LUNCH & DINNER CRUISES
All aboard the Barbara-Lee for a true getaway on the water! The St. Johns Rivership Co. takes families for a maritime adventure all about experiencing Florida’s natural beauty, with a side of chef-prepared cuisine. Book your river cruise on this five-story sternwheeler, setting off from its homeport in Historic Downtown Sanford. From the lookout deck, you will get front row seats to the gorgeous panoramic views of the St. Johns River as you cruise around. With a dance floor, live entertainment, and a well-stocked bar to go with the wildlife sightings, this excursion is a treat for both parents and kids.
KAYAKING & CANOEING
Explore Orlando North’s endless miles of natural springs and flowing rivers on a canoe or kayak adventure. Whether you double up to make paddling upstream as a team a little easier, or you go solo for more of a challenge, choose your watercraft and launch off into crystal waters.
If you’re looking for rentals, check out Wekiva Island for a full-service hub for your family’s day on the water. This local hotspot serves food and drinks for the appetite you’re sure to build up. For another full-day outing option, we recommend launching from Wekiva Island and paddling upstream to Wekiwa Springs State Park. Here you are can swim in crystal blue waters, lay out under the sun, and explore hiking trails.
If a guided tour is more your style, Adventures in Florida offers 4- to 5-hour kayak tours of the Wekiva River, complete with a picnic lunch and shuttle back to your parking spot.
STAND UP PADDLEBOARDING
For those looking to test their balance, paddleboarding is the latest craze in family-friendly water activities. Paddleboard Orlando sells and rents all the equipment you’ll need for a day paddling through Seminole County’s springs and chain of lakes. For those who are just starting out or have never tried stand-up paddleboarding, there are plenty of tours available that cater to adults and kids ages 6 and older.
WALKWAYS & PARKS
CRANES ROOST PARK
Sometimes, the cool breeze blowing over the water is enough without getting your feet wet. Those days call for a stroll through one of the many lakeside parks and walkways in Orlando North. Cranes Roost Park, located in Altamonte Springs, is a staple in Seminole County. This park is perfect for families with young kids as its walkways are stroller-friendly and wheelchair accessible and also offer plenty of green spaces to take a rest, play soccer, or enjoy a nice picnic lunch by the lake.
LAKE LOTUS PARK
Step away from the hustle and bustle of the city at Lake Lotus Park, a hidden oasis just minutes from malls and restaurants. This park’s walkways stretch over a pristine lake and wind through nature trails, all of which are kid and stroller/wheelchair-friendly. Pack a picnic and enjoy it waterside or at one of the park’s many covered pavilions.
RIVERWALK AT HISTORIC SANFORD
Top off your shopping and lunch outing with a walk along the water near Historic Downtown Sanford. This riverside boardwalk is perfect for walking, running, biking, rollerblading, or any other non-motorized way of getting around town. Enjoy the breeze and a bit of exercise, just moments away from boutiques, restaurants, and more.
Whatever your speed, you’ll find a variety of options to get out on the water in Orlando North. Check out even more attractions and outdoor activities to round out your trip, or better yet extend it!