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National Parks and Gardens near Orlando

Gardens, Parks and Natural Escapes in Orlando

Orlando is blessed with beautiful national parks and stunning gardens thanks to the low-lying land and plenty of sun and summer showers. Of course, the world-famous swampland of The Everglades is a renowned area of natural beauty, but the right across Florida there are a wealth of parks and gardens for lovers of the great outdoors to enjoy. If you have had enough of the fun, but admittedly tiring, theme park action then any of the places listed below offer the perfect antidote.

In this list we have a selection of smaller gardens located in downtown Orlando – perfect for an afternoon stroll or a family picnic – along with some far larger national parks for those of you who want to get an authentic glimpse at Orlando’s fantastic flora, fauna and natural topography.

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Gatorland Orlando

Gatorland Orlando

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Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort

Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort

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Lake Toho

Lake Toho

Lake Toho (Lake Tohopekaliga, to use its full name) is a 23,000-acre fishing lake in Kissimmee, Florida known for its Read More...

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All National Parks and Gardens in Orlando

Blue Spring State Park Florida

Blue Spring State Park is a popular destination for locals and visitors. The park is over 2,600 acres and includes the largest spring on the St. John’s River. The water is crystal clear and usually around 73 degrees during swimming season. The freshwater spring is a manatee refuge and from November to mid-March is home to Read More...

  • Opening Hours: The park is open from 08:00 until sundown, 365 days a year
  • Address: 2100 W French Ave, Orange City, FL 32763 - Google Map Coordinates
  • Tel: +1 386-775-3663
  • Website: https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Blue-Spring
  • Price Range: $6.00 per vehicle. Limit 2-8 people per vehicle.
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Canaveral National Seashore

Canaveral National Seashore is a sanctuary for wildlife and humans. It is home to many endangered species, including sea turtles who come to the beach to lay their eggs. Like many ocean side cities, the area is ideal for visitors who enjoy outdoor activities. They offer horseback riding, canoeing, kayaking, surfing, swimming, fishing, and boating. If Read More...

  • Location: 7611 S. Atlantic Avenue, New Smyrna Beach, Florida 32169 - Google Map
  • Tel: 1-386-428-3384
  • Price Range: $5 entrance fee per vehicle
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Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort

Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort is a Disney campground site nestled between Magic Kingdom and Epcot theme parks. Almost 2000 different campgrounds are available, ranging from individual tent sites to full RV parking spots. All sites are a combination of paved driveways and sandy paths. Each site offers running water, electricity, outdoor grills and picnic tables. Private Read More...

  • Address: 4510 N. Fort Wilderness Trail, Lake Buena Vista, FL, 32830
  • Tel: +1 407-824-2900
  • Price Range: Campsites: $52-$81/night. Cabins: $265/night.
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Gatorland Orlando

Gatorland in Orlando combines nature, wildlife and good old-fashioned theme park fun; the result is one of the most highly-rated attractions in the city… outside of Disney and Universal, that is.

Sitting on a swampy 110-acre site just south of Orlando City, this theme park-cum-wildlife preserve has been titled the ‘Alligator Capital of the World’, and Read More...

  • Opening Hours: 10:00-17:00 daily
  • Location: 14501S. Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, Florida 32837
  • Tel: (407) 855-5496 or (800) 393-5297
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Harry P. Leu Gardens

This beautifully maintained garden in central Orlando is one of the most famous green spaces in the city. Mr. and Mrs. Harry P. Leu, who traveled the world, started the Leu Gardens. Each trip they would bring home exotic plants and over 240 varieties of camellias for their gardens. In 1961, the Leu family deeded the Read More...

  • Opening Hours: 09:00 - 17:00 every day, closed December 25. Last admission is at 16:30
  • Address: 1920 North Forest Avenue, Orlando, Florida 32803
  • Tel: +1 407-246-2620
  • Price Range: Admission: Adults $10, Children (Grades K-12) $3, Children 4 and under are free.
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Horseback Safari at Forever Florida

Forever Florida is a large wildlife conservation area offering some of the best horseback riding trails near Orlando. This preserved region of land encompasses 9 different ecosystems, all of which you can experience on a horseback safari. Riders are personally matched to each horse according to personality and level of experience. A guide also rides along Read More...

  • Address: 4755 N Kenansville Road, St Cloud, FL 34773
  • Tel: +1 407-957-9794
  • Price Range: $69.99
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Kelly Park

If you are looking for a short hike, or a splash about in a natural spring then Kelly Park is the place for you. This popular public park located in the outskirts of Orlando, in Apopka, Florida, is best known for its free-flowing natural spring. Visitors flock to the park year-round to swim, tube and kayak Read More...

  • Opening Hours: 08:00 - 20:00 (summer), 08:00 - 18:00 (winter)
  • Address: 400 E Kelly Park Road, Apopka, FL 32712
  • Tel: +1 407-254-1902
  • Price Range: $5 per vehicle.
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Lake Eola Park

Lake Eola Park is affectionately considered as one of Orlando’s top ‘natural’ playgrounds (i.e. one that doesn’t involve Disney or Universal) – a pleasant downtown spot for picnics, exercise, paddle-boating or just a quick escape from the nearby high-rises.

The 23 acre site, located off East Washington Street, features an almost one-mile-long walkway around the lake Read More...

  • Opening Hours: 10:00 - 22:00
  • Location: East Central Blvd., Downtown Orlando
  • Price Range: $5 per person (Parking: Free)
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Lake Toho

Lake Toho (Lake Tohopekaliga, to use its full name) is a 23,000-acre fishing lake in Kissimmee, Florida known for its professional bass fishing competitions and birdwatching opportunities. This popular lake is home to a staggering amount of freshwater bass, alligators, water snakes and turtles. Named one of the top 100 lakes in the country for topwater Read More...

  • Opening Hours: 05:30 - 17:00
  • Address: 69 Lakeview Drive, Kissimmee, FL 34741
  • Tel: +1 407-846-2124
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Mount Dora

The relaxed and laidback city of Mount Dora is surrounded by beautiful lakes and offers charming attractions and is open for visitors all year round. With a population of around 12,000 people, the small city of Mount Dora has a unique charm that is punctuated by its active arts community. Known as the “The New England Read More...

  • Opening Hours: n/a
  • Location: Mt Dora, FL 32757, USA
  • Tel: n/a
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Ocala National Forest Orlando

Ocala National Forest is the largest nationally protected forest in Florida, and offers exciting activities, beautiful sights, and a number of camping and outdoor accommodation options. Ocala National Forest in Central Florida is home to a stunning 383,000 acres of natural landscape ready to be explored, including over 600 lakes, rivers and springs. Activities in the Read More...

  • Opening Hours: n/a
  • Location: FL-40, Silver Springs, FL 34488, USA
  • Tel: n/a
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The Everglades

The Everglades are a region of sub-tropical wetlands in the southern portion of Florida. Beginning at Lake Okeechobee, near Walt Disney World, the Everglades become more prominent about three to four hours south of Downtown Orlando. Here, the environment is ever-changing and mostly untouched. Swamps and mangroves are inhabited by various types of snakes and alligators, Read More...

  • Location: Everglades City, Florida
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Tibet-Butler Nature Preserve

The Tibet-Butler Nature Preserve is a scenic nature center on the west side of Orlando, just ten minutes from Walt Disney World. The highlights here include the various hikes and trails. Home to the Vera Carter Environmental Center, visitors can tour a variety of exhibits and displays before heading out on a trek. The well-maintained trails Read More...

  • Opening Hours: 08:00 - 18:00 (Closed Monday and Tuesday)
  • Address: 8777 Winter Garden Vineland Rd, Orlando, FL 32836
  • Tel: +1 407-254-1940
  • Price Range: Free Admission
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Wild Florida Airboats and Gator Park

Take a fun ride with Wild Florida Airboats through a natural wildlife park filled with alligators, eagles, birds and a variety of Floridian flora and fauna. The Wild Florida Airboats tours head into the unique landscape of the Central Florida Everglades, with its miles of stunning wetlands that can only be accessed via an airboat. They Read More...

  • Opening Hours: 09:00 – 18:00
  • Address: 3301 Cypress Lake, Kenansville, FL 34739, USA
  • Tel: +1 407-901-2563
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