Daniel is a copywriter who has well and truly been bitten alive by the 'travel bug'. After ticking off several North American National Parks and exploring Europe by train, his sights are now set on South East Asia. Usually with at least one camera locked and loaded, you'll find Daniel wherever there are mountains, lakes or beaches.
Orlando, the heart of Florida, is renowned for more than its world-class theme parks. It’s a city brimming with natural beauty, particularly its beautiful lakes that offer a calm retreat from the city’s hustle. This guide will take you on a journey through some of Orlando’s most alluring lakes, each one promising unique experiences and picturesque views.
Lake Eola is a small lake in Downtown Orlando that offers a change of pace from the city. Enjoy a walk or run along the 0.9-mile sidewalk, take a spin in a swan-shaped paddle boat, or bring your camera to to take pictures of the beautiful swans. For entertainment, visit the Walt Disney Amphitheater, stop by local restaurants for meals, and take in the view of Orlando’s skyline.
Enjoy a day at Lake Virginia, a 223-acre public lake catered for all ages. Surrounded by an array of trees, the lake is a favorite of locals and tourists looking to relax with outdoor games, walking, or a family picnic. So, why not treat yourself and enjoy a relaxing day amidst the beauty of Lake Virginia!
Escape to Lake Kissimmee, a scenic wonder around 70 miles south of Orlando. Among its attractions is the wildlife-rich Lake Kissimmee State Park, where you can spot animals ranging from white-tailed deer to turkey. For a walk back in time, the park’s “cow camp” offers insights into 19th-century Florida cowboys – what more could you want?
Known locally as Lake Toho, Lake Tohopekaliga is a vast 23,000-acre destination offering unique experiences. The largest lake in Osceola County, it’s celebrated for bass fishing competitions and rich wildlife. The lakefront park boasts walking trails, covered picnic areas, a playground, and amenities for family-friendly activities. When visiting Lake Tohopekaliga you can also expect to see various wildlife species such as alligators, otters, and turtles while enjoying the tranquil environment.
Lake Ivanhoe is a 124-acre body of water that offers more than just great fishing. Its serene environment is perfect for water activities such as canoeing, kayaking, and or jumping on a paddle board. If hanging around on water isn’t your thing, there’s plenty of land-based fun to be had. You’ll find a game room providing everything you need for sports like basketball, horseshoes, and shuffleboard, or indoor games like pinball, air hockey, and ping pong.
Covering an impressive 405 acres, Lake Fairview is a favorite lake for outdoor enthusiasts. Swimming might not be advised but you can enjoy a spot of boating and a wide variety of fun water sports. Making the outdoor experience that much better, Lake Fairview Park features amenities like playgrounds, athletic fields, grills, and picnic areas, creating an ideal setting for a day out with loved ones.
Situated within a bustling residential area, Clear Lake is a unique, lemon-shaped lake spanning 357 acres. It offers an array of activities, from boating to fishing opportunities. Additionally, the gorgeous lake features inviting walking trails, a dedicated fishing dock, and a picturesque boardwalk, perfect for a calming day trip into nature.
Spanning roughly 48.4 square miles, Lake Apopka stands as Florida’s fourth largest lake. It offers a rich haven for wildlife and nature lovers, especially its north shore, known for bird watching and wildlife photography. Adding to the adventure, the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive provides a unique opportunity to spot and photograph a variety of wildlife, such as raccoons and bullfrogs, along with numerous bird species, all from the comfort of your own car.
Offering 8.8 acres of outdoor space, Lake Underhill and its surrounding park is a great destination for those looking to keep fit. The park offers an array of facilities such as fitness stations, pavilions, and walking paths, making it a popular choice for walkers, runners, and cyclists. It’s also an excellent location for bird watchers and those who enjoy fishing.
Lake Killarney, located in the Winter Park area of Orlando, provides a serene retreat just a short walk from the city. Despite its urban location, it boasts a tranquil environment, complemented by nearby top-notch restaurants. The beautiful lake caters to a wide range of interests – from nature photography, paddle boarding, fishing or just a leisurely walk, making it an ideal spot to unwind and enjoy Florida’s stunning natural beauty.
Lake Conway is an expansive Orlando hotspot, offering ample space for outdoor activities without ever feeling crowded. It’s not just the water-based fun of skiing, tubing, and wave boarding that attracts visitors, but also the charm of large, classically styled homes that border the lovely lake, especially when they’re festively decorated around the holidays. Comprised of North Lake Conway and Little Lake Conway, it’s also a haven for fishing, with clean, clear water teeming with largemouth bass.
Park Lake, an almost perfectly round 8.8-acre freshwater lake, is a small outdoor retreat within Orlando. Spend a few hours in its lush surroundings, either sitting on the benches soaking in the serene atmosphere or engaging in activities like fishing. Near the lake, you can visit the Park Lake Presbyterian Church or the charming gazebo, rounding out a peaceful day in back in nature.
The final destination on our list isn’t technically a lake, but it does offer some of the most inviting waters in the whole of Florida. Alexander Springs is an almost tropical oasis, with year-round 72°F temperatures, calm waters, and soft sandy bottom surrounded by a floodplain forest of maples, sweetgum, and cabbage palms. Visitors can camp the night as well as even enjoy some scuba diving in this beautiful natural spring!
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