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Day Trips from Orlando

Orlando is a great vacation spot because it is in such a central location. Hell, it is practically the center of the great state of Florida. So, once you get tired of exploring the theme parks and want to venture outside the world of Disney; you’ll have plenty of options of things to see and do. All of which are arguably better than a mouse or roller coasters.

Below are some day trip ideas that are all within driving distance of Orlando. These trips can be enjoyed in a single day. If you have any other suggestions, please share them in the comments section below.

If you are looking for something to do once you get back, check out the nightlife in Orlando.

St. Petersburg/Clearwater
Spend the day at the beach in St. Petersburg/Clearwater and while you’re at it, have a hotdog with the works. –A 90 minute drive from Orlando will put you into contact with Fort de Soto Beach, an American favorite in 2005. With six miles of sandy beaches on over five islands, it is hard to resist putting your feet in the water. Complete with volleyball nets and a picnic area, it is easy to see why the beach draws massive crowds of tourists each year. A favorite for wedding photographers, it isn’t unusual to see a Bride posing by the water.

With restroom facilities and showers onsite, preparing for the ride home is a snap. Lunch can even be purchased with ease as a hotdog cart is stationed inside the parking lot at Fort de Soto Beach and fully equipped with drinks and snacks for you to choose from. Don’t wait until the last minute to take advantage of all that the cart has to offer. Once the sun sets, the woman that sells refreshments can be seen pulling out the parking lot towing her mini trailer full of goods.

Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral
Take a break from all the sun and sand and get to known your planet by visiting Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral.–Thirty-five minutes away from Orlando, located in Brevard County, the museum and visitor center has all the makings of a great adventure story. Preparing for and watching future NASA launches and landings is possible through the help of Kennedy Space Center’s website. People from all around the world watch in awe as astronauts take off and return from their journey into space.

Full of exhibits, displays, a gift shop, and IMAX Theater, it is hard to spend just one day at this activity packed center. A full size replica of a real space shuttle is a favorite among both the young and the old as is the Mad Mission to Mars 2025, an interactive animated show. Sharing its property with the Merrit Island National Wildlife Refuge, Kennedy Space Center is worth the drive and the price paid for admission to visit.

Ponce de Leon Springs
Plunge into the clear water at Ponce de Leon Springs and discover what it feels like to be in the “Fountain of Youth”.–From fishing to hiking to the 14 million gallons of water feeding its two natural springs, the park is one place where it pays to be a kid again. Scuba divers train in the 68 degree spring while excited children wearing flip flops and toting beach towels can’t wait to jump into the water.

Equipped with picnic areas and the ever affordable Old Spanish Sugar Mill Restaurant onsite, a person doesn’t have to travel far to find something good to eat. Allowing its customers to make their own pancakes on griddles fitted into every table gives the restaurant endless streams of traffic all year long. From families vacationing to seniors wanting to spend a day away from home, Ponce de Leon Springs Park has a lot to offer.

Christmas Town
Christmas Florida Style.–The tiny town of Christmas, Florida receives more mail than it knows what to do with around the holidays. With people all around the globe sending cards to the small post office to be stamped, it is amazing that there aren’t more job openings between November and December. Located twenty miles east of Orlando, the home to Fort Christmas Historical Park sees its fair share of visitors. With its year round decorations and restored ‘Cracker’ houses, the town offers ample photo opportunities. Free admission and a video presentation make Fort Christmas an affordable place to stop on the way to Titusville.

Once your tour is complete, drive a few miles down the road and have lunch at the ever popular Dixie Crossroads Seafood Restaurant. A favorite among locals, the establishment offers several varities of fresh fish and their house specialty–rock shrimp. Feast on basketfuls of hot corn fritters dipped in powdered sugar. If there is any room left in your stomach, order dessert and a cup of coffee and enjoy the ambiance of the restaurant. The Dolphin Room is worth waiting for. With beautiful ocean life painted onto the walls, customers get a visual feast as well as a physical feast.