Orlando Florida Lazy River Water Fun
Water fun in Orlando Florida
This article is written to help you plan cheap/low cost days out in Orlando Florida as a break away from the theme parks.
Most Orlando guidebooks write about the theme parks, but many visitors or vacationers to Orlando Florida will seek out low cost or free ways to have fun away from the theme parks. So if you and your family are going on a vacation to Orlando Florida this year, allow me to show how much fun can be had by looking at the Florida State Parks, rivers, lakes, waterways and the local wildlife, as well as hint at the many Orlando festivals which are held throughout this area.
Dora Canal Trip Orlando Florida
Starting in the Dora Canal, a waterway which is part of the Ocklawaha River making its way north to Jacksonville, you might see every type of wildlife, from alligators, raccoons, otters, anhingas, turtles and lots of songbirds singing from the treetops. The Dora Canal has been named as the most beautiful mile of waterway in the USA, and is located in Lake County Florida, to the north west of Orlando, about 35 miles up highway 441, also known as Orange Blossom Trail. Boat trips run at regular intervals from Tavares and Mount Dora, boat hire is available from nearby Palm Harbor Gardens on highway 44, or there are nearby boat launching ramps if you take your own canoe or boat.
Water Fun in Orlando Florida
Dragon Boat Races
These venues are all on a chain of lakes called the Harris Chain of lakes, and on Lake Harris, near to Tavares which is the geographical center of Florida, annual dragon boat races are organised in aid of charity. Boats are crewed by workers from local businesses, and the races can go on for hours. It’s a real festival atmosphere, and the location is Wooten Park on highway 19.
There is a large pavilion in the park, with barbeque and rest room facilities, as well as good parking and a children’s playground. The time we were there, a Scottish piper was playing his bagpipes parading along the floating dock, big enough for tying up about 50 boats. There is also a boat launching ramp.
Manatees of Blue Springs Orlando Florida
Eustis Speed boat races
The Eustis Speed boat races are held every year on Lake Eustis, and this is a great day out if you are in Orlando Florida at this time. The city of Eustis holds a monthly street party every 3rd Friday of the month and a dinner train runs from here nightly. Eustis is a quaint town, with a parade of old fashioned shops, a heated outdoor swimming pool on the shores of Lake Eustis, and a nearby park with a bandstand.
Haines Creek leads off Lake Eustis, and leads you through the Burrell Lock into Lake Griffin on its way to Silver Springs where there is a nature based theme park.
All of these locations are in what’s called locally as the Golden Triangle, which is on highway 441 about 35 miles north-west of Orlando.
DeLeon Springs Orlando Florida
Fun Outdoors Equipment
Lazy River Tubing in Kelly Park, Rock Springs
Finally, I’ve kept the best till last. Tubing is great fun for all ages, but it’s not often you can discover good quality lazy rivers such as what is here for tubing, but at Kelly Park, Rock Springs, Apopka, Orlando, Florida you can have the time of your life. Admission for the day is only $1 for adults, children under 5 free. Open year round. Mess about in the crystal clear warm water of Rock Springs, water which bubbles out of the rocks and meanders down a lazy river for about half a mile ending in a huge pool. It’s this stretch of lazy river where you can float slowly along in an inner tube.
Once you reach the large pool, more fun can be enjoyed by splashing about in this huge shallow area, or you can travel back to the headwaters along the well maintained wooden boardwalks, constructed to be friendly to bare feet, and do it all over again as many times as you wish.
It’s not only tubers who enjoy this beautiful relaxing park, for the waters are quite shallow and therefore very safe for children and non swimmers alike, so you will find children and adults of all ages splashing about in the stream which is the main tube run. Be aware that tube rental is not possible once inside of the park, but from vendors just close to the entrance gates, and the cost for tube rental is only $2 or $3 daily. You are allowed to bring your own tube of course.
After all of this free activity fun in the water, you will no doubt have an appetite for some serious food. The Florida Park service has thought of this too, and placed barbecue equipment all around the park in tree shaded areas where there are many picnic tables for your free use, so take those steaks, salads and cold drinks with you and make a full day of this great water themed facility.
If you can’t drag yourself away at the end of the day, camping sites are available for about $15 nightly.
For the enjoyment of the majority, no pets and no fishing is allowed in Rock Springs park, and your admission ticket allows you to leave and return any time that same day. I taped all of the events listed here, and the YouTube video on this page was recorded by me. Hope you enjoy, and see for yourself just how much low cost or free fun you can have in Orlando Florida.
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