One of the biggest tourist destinations in the United States, especially during the summer, is Orlando, FL. The locals struggle to find a place that’s not overrun by tourists and the tourists at the same time want to get away from fellow tourists and get a local’s experience. Whether you’re local looking to get away from the tourist scene or a tourist looking to live like a local on your visit, there are the things to do and places to go this summer that’ll get you away from the massive crowds of tourists. Enjoy the rest of the season and cross these items off your end-of-summer bucket list.
1. Party at Wekiva Island
One of the best places to cool off and party along a river is at Wekiva Island. Post up at the bar and grab some food and drinks when it gets too hot. Then when you’ve cooled off, smack the volleyball around the beach volleyball court, paddle down the Wekiva River, or go for a swim.
2. Grab a Beer at Ten 10 Brewing Co.
The latest craft brewery to hit Orlando just opened its doors in July. Ten 10 Brewing Co. is in the Mills50 District where all the great street art and local food lives. They keep a current list of beers on their website and the owners, Mike and Patrick, want to give you a tour of the new place and show you the process of how the ingredients go from the fermenter to your pint glass.
3. Paddle the Econlockhatchee River
About 55 miles of paddling through Central Florida gives you so much wildlife and scenery to take in. Paddle a kayak, canoe, or SUP down the Econlockhatchee River for a day. Pull off on a riverbank for a picnic or to swing on a rope swing.
4. Catch a Sunrise and Sunset Over the Ocean in the Same Day
Florida’s a peninsula with water surrounding the state from the east, south, and west. Wake up early enough to park your car on Flagler Avenue in New Smyrna Beach to watch the sun rise over the Atlantic. Grab some coffee at Nichols Surf Café before heading out to catch some waves. When the afternoon winds kick up and the waves turn sour, jump in your car and head across the state to the west coast. St. Petersburg is a fantastic place to see the sunset over the Gulf of Mexico with a slew of tiki bars to choose from to end your day.
5. Go for an Airboat Ride on Lake Jesup
You’ll quickly begin to realize that Florida is filled with marshlands, lakes, and rivers. You just have to be careful when you’re around these areas because you never know what’s lurking beneath the surface of the brown murky water. To safely get up close with some of Florida’s most notorious wildlife, the alligator, you should go for an airboat ride . The tour starts at Black Hammock Restaurant and airboat ride takes you all over Lake Jesup, one of Florida’s most alligator infested lakes.
6. Join a Critical Mass Ride
Every last Friday of the month at Loch Haven Park starting at 6 p.m. is where the biggest bike rally in Orlando takes place. Hundreds of cyclists join to take back the streets of Orlando and raise awareness to alternative forms of transportation.
7. See a Movieola
Something’s always happening at Lake Eola and every last Friday of the month the east lawn turns into Movieola . Show up at 6 p.m. (or sometime after Critical Mass) to claim a spot on the grass and grab some food from the local vendors. The movie starts at 8 p.m. on the giant projector screen.