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Old 04-01-2013, 10:39 AM   #1
coastgirl
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Looking to find some (non-animatronic!) natue--suggestions for state parks etc?

We will be visiting Orlando area for two weeks in August. In trips to other parts of FL we have found neat opportunities to explore nature a little...loved the Wildlife sanctuary on Sanibel, enjoyed a state park beach south of St Pete's, saw a manatee river also near Sanibel... What's in driving distance of Orlando that might be neat for a day's exploration? (And not SO natural that we have to bring hiking gear!)

I found "Wekiwa" park, that sounds interesting, though I was disappointed to learn our dog wouldn't be welcome at the lake area. (I understand, but I'm still disappointed.) We have done Gatorland, and enjoyed the trails, but it's a bit too "animals in cages" to be what I'm looking for. Airboat sounds neat too, but probably noisy and smelly--we'd prefer to be self-propelled. Picky, aren't I?

So where can we see a little of "natural" Florida without needing an overnight?
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Old 04-01-2013, 10:51 AM   #2
spiceycat
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here a map

http://www.floridastateparks.org/fin...ct-central.cfm

my choice - Lake Louisa - it is pretty close to WDW and in Lake County
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Old 04-01-2013, 12:02 PM   #3
coastgirl
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Thanks Pat. Have you been to Lake Louisa?
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with dh, ds 12, and dd 10

1st trip May/June 06
Jan/Feb 07, same crew at CBR. DCL Magic Eastern Dec 07 CSR Sept 2009
Universal/WWoHP in Sunset Lakes villa Feb 2010 Same again Aug 2013 in Emerald Island villa

PTR/TR Without the Mouse Round 2
TR: First visit to Universal/SeaWorld Feb 2011
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Old 04-01-2013, 12:18 PM   #4
Mrs Doubtfire
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We've been to the blue spring state park, took the boat trip (lasts about 2 hours). We really enjoyed it there
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Old 04-01-2013, 12:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs Doubtfire View Post
We've been to the blue spring state park, took the boat trip (lasts about 2 hours). We really enjoyed it there
Two for Blue Springs. A really fascinating boat tour along the St John's River, and swimming in the springs looks like it would be excellent. We were there in March; no swimming because the manatee were still in the springs.

We saw so many gators on the boat tour that the guide started joking that they were animatronic and placed there for our enjoyment!
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Old 04-01-2013, 01:33 PM   #6
Gina-Gina-Bo-Bina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coastgirl View Post
Airboat sounds neat too, but probably noisy and smelly
We did Wild Willy's Airboat Tour in St. Cloud on our Christmas trip, and it was definitely not smelly. While the boat was loud, we were each provided with ear protection that worked perfectly.

It was great fun, an easy drive from Orlando, and we would highly recommend .
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Old 04-01-2013, 08:25 PM   #7
coastgirl
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Thanks folks, great ideas. Off I go to google details...
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with dh, ds 12, and dd 10

1st trip May/June 06
Jan/Feb 07, same crew at CBR. DCL Magic Eastern Dec 07 CSR Sept 2009
Universal/WWoHP in Sunset Lakes villa Feb 2010 Same again Aug 2013 in Emerald Island villa

PTR/TR Without the Mouse Round 2
TR: First visit to Universal/SeaWorld Feb 2011
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