State parks are a great way to enjoy Florida’s natural beauty and unique wildlife. As the fall season wears on, Orlando’s weather becomes a bit cooler and less rainy, making November an ideal time to get outdoors. All of these state parks are a short drive away from Orlando. These Florida state parks are all open from 8 a.m. until sundown 365 days a year and require a $6 admission fee per vehicle.
Lake Louisa State Park
As one of the state parks closest to Orlando, Lake Louisa is a 40 minute drive away from your Orlando hotel. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife such as deer, bobcat, gopher tortoises, and bald eagles. Don’t worry if you don’t have your own outdoor equipment: canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards are available for rent at the Dixie Lake Outpost. If you don’t feel comfortable venturing out on you own, consider a guided kayak tour. Guided horseback trail rides are also available, if you’d rather explore the park on land. Both the kayak and horseback tours are perfect for beginners.
Wekiva Springs State Park
Also only about a 40 minute drive from the International Drive area, Wekiva Springs State Park is perfect for a nature getaway. The crystal clear waters of Wekiva Springs are perfect for swimming, with a year-round temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit. The swimming area is over a half acre in size with a depth of about 4 feet, and offers a swim lift for those who need it.
In addition to swimming, you can enjoy other activities at this state park near Orlando such as exploring the hiking and biking trails, renting a canoe or kayak, and birdwatching. Don’t forget to pack a picnic and enjoy a meal under the Florida sunshine.
Blue Springs State Park
If you’re hoping to see a manatee while in Orlando, Blue Spring Sate Park is the place to be. During the winter, manatees migrate inland to warmer waters. Blue Spring attracts hundreds of these wintering manatees every season, and you can observe them from a boardwalk. If you visit in the summer, the cool springs are open for swimming. Year round, you can also enjoy a 4.5 mile hike on the Pine Island Trail and spot several birds such as ospreys, eagles, and kingfishers.
De Leon Springs State Park
Although this state park is about an hour away from Orlando, its lush forests and pancake restaurant make it worth the drive. The Sugar Mill Restaurant offers an interactive dining experience where you cook your own pancakes on a griddle in the middle of your table. Kids of all ages will enjoy getting to pour the batter and flip their own pancakes.
After your meal, embark on the Fountain of Youth Eco/Heritage tour. This 50 minute trip through the De Leon Springs State Park and the Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge offers four tours daily. Your guide will share insight about local history and wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for alligators, osprey and other Florida creatures.
Stay near the Action at Midpointe Hotel
Midpointe Hotel, a Rosen property, offers easy access to Interstate 4 which will take you to all of the Florida state parks mentioned in this blog. Amenities like two outdoor swimming pools and hot tubs, as well as perks including free parking, make us an ideal choice for your Orlando holiday. Book a room with us today by calling 407-351-5100 or by clicking the orange button at the top of the page.