There’s something magical about a trip to Orlando, Florida—especially for the visitor that comes with the intent to immerse themselves in the world of all things Disney. This theme park world capital is home to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and more, bringing in millions of visitors each and every year from across the map in the name of fun. While Orlando is world-famous for its bright and colorful theme parks, it’s location also puts it in the heart of some truly breathtaking landscapes.
If your travel plans bring you this way and you’re also interested in learning more about the natural beauty that surrounds you, it’s easy to put together an itinerary that includes amazing natural attractions in Orlando to enjoy. Consider skipping the parks and rides for a day and heading out into nature instead. It’s a great option when you’re in the mood for a refreshing look at what this region provides thanks to Mother Nature alone.
Sprawling over 50 acres of land, the Harry P. Leu Gardens are a great place to explore and experience the best of tropical gardens in the Orlando area. Located at 1920 N. Forest Avenue, the Harry P. Leu Gardens offer up a collection of scenic trails that wind through tropical forests, plants, flowers, and several ponds and lakes to create an inspiring look at foliage that thrives in Orlando. Oaks and camellias stretch into the sky across the garden grounds while conifers, ferns, florals, and citrus trees make up the remaining gardens. The Harry P. Leu Gardens lends itself to being attractive to native butterflies and the butterfly garden is a great addition to the experience. The entirety of the garden and on-site historical home originally belonged to Harry P. Leu and his wife Mary Jane. The property was donated to the city of Orlando in 1961 and continues to be a space of learning, education, and, tranquility within the otherwise bustling city.
When cities and nature work in tandem, amazing things can happen as proved by a stop at the Orlando Wetlands Park while you’re in town. Situated at 25155 Wheeler Road in nearby Christmas, Orlando Wetlands Park covers more than 1,600 acres of land filters reclaimed water from Orlando and nearby cities using advanced treatment techniques. The park is open daily between sunrise and sunset and doesn’t require an admission fee to access. Motorized vehicles are not allowed within the wetlands park parameters, making it a safe haven for wildlife of all types. Many visitors come this way to enjoy observing herons, fish, butterflies, and the wide variety of local and migratory birds. The Orlando Wetlands Park includes access to many trails to enjoy on foot, allowing nature to thrive and visitors to observe it safely and securely.
Orlando is a city brimming over with theme park fun, educational stops, and city center entertainment venues. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this layout is that within this man-made destination, nature still has the ability to thrive. The best example of this is found at the Arboretum sitting within the parameters of the University of Central Florida. Located at 110 Apollo Circle, the UCF Arboretum sprawls over 80 acres of land within the center of the city providing a lush space where nature is highlighted at its very best. Over 600 species of plants are found within the arboretum as well as a wide variety of specialized gardens bringing regional flowers to life in a colorful and impressive display.
Walking trails connect the gardens, trees, and waterways, offering up a space for students and the public alike to admire the foliage and find a sense of peace and calm. The Arboretum was opened in 1983 by President Trevor Coulbourn. His goal was to create a space where nature took center stage and learning to love plants, flowers and wildlife became an integral part of student life. The Arboretum also functions as a hands-on laboratory for students allowing them to cultivate vegetable gardens and work on plant identification skills. Both local and global plant species are on display at the Arboretum as well as an organic garden that thrives at the hands of volunteers from around the city.
Whether you’re in town for the theme parks, city center fun, or can’t wait to enjoy getting into nature, Orlando is a city worth exploring time and again. When you’re ready to head this way with a suitcase in hand, make sure you’re booked into accommodations that keep you close to the best of it all. Contact the team at Global Resort Homes today to learn more about our vast collection of rental options in the area that bring comfort, convenience, and style in abundance. We’re excited to welcome you to sunny Florida and can’t wait to turn those travel dreams into vacation plans.