Find natural beauty in outdoor Orlando

Get back to nature during these day outings.

by Debra Pamplin
July 18, 2022

Images via Getty Images

Orlando is known as a theme park land, for sure, but there is so much more to the city and the area than mouse ears and minions. Natural beauty still can be found, explored, and experienced at the outdoor Orlando locations listed below.

Get Back to Nature with These Outdoor Orlando Experiences


 Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures  

This attraction is a must — it’s so much more than an airboat ride, get a glimpse into the culture of Florida’s native Americans, mine for gems and fossils and explore the lakeshore park.

Boggy Creek is the only place to discover the Native American Village. Learn how native families survived in the swamp and view the replicas of Chickee Huts. Discover hand-crafted creations and authentic artifacts from the Jororo Tribe that once called Central Florida home.

For even more insight to the way of life of the Jororo Tribe, book a private demonstration and learn from Little Big Mountain on techniques and tools from the old ways to hunt and catch gators, how life was for the Big Mountain family in the old days as well the evolution of the weapon.

Bike and buggy rentals are available to easily explore the natural beauty of the 32-acre lakeshore park. Be sure to stop by the baby gator pond to view lots of little hungry swamp critters.

Airboat rides come in half-hour and hour-long tours, providing great views in the Florida’s natural beauty. Plenty of wildlife sightings will occur, along with flora and fauna growing wild throughout the swamp and shorelines. Private tours can also be purchased in both half-and hour-long lengths.

After all that entertainment, be sure to refill at the BBQ restaurant, Boggy Bottom. More than BBQ, consider gator tail, fried pickles, or pulled pork nachos. Dine outside at the lakeside patio and take in the beautiful lake views.

Lazy H Ranch

Get back to nature with horseback riding at the Lazy H Ranch. Owned by sixth-generation Floridians, the ranch offers one group ride each weekday, closed on the weekends.  The horseback ride tour begins at 10 a.m., and rides can last an hour or 1.5 hours, depending on the day. The maximum number of riders per tour is six. Riders must be at least 10 years old.

For a perfect date night, consider a private sunset ride. To book a tour, visit them here.

Surrounding Areas

Safari Wilderness

For an experience like no other in the Orlando area, be sure to take a walk on the wild side at the Safari Wilderness in Lakeland. Immerse yourself in nature either by participating in a drive-thru safari in your personal vehicle or on the guided vehicle safari. Even more ways to safari include the ATV safari, the kayak safari and the Camel Expedition.  

Optional extras that can be added to your visit include the chance to feed ring-tailed lemurs, experience a premium cheetah encounter that includes helping to feed the big cat, and/or feed members of the guinea pig colony.

There is also a sunset safari that will display the Savanna animals at dusk, including close-up encounters with:

·         Zebra

·         Camels

·         Ring-tailed Lemurs

·         Red-ruffed Lemurs

·         Nilgai (largest antelope in Asia)

·         Watusi Cattle

Included in the sunset safari is a stop at the elevated tree house. Stand out on the deck, surrounded by the 260-acre preserve and gain 360-degree panoramic views of the wildlife. Add on the opportunity to interact with-and feed- the Nilgai. This additional package is only available during the sunset safari.

The Safari Wilderness experience is one that won’t be soon forgotten. To photograph Florida in its natural environment, this is one destination that should be on every itinerary.

Bok Tower Gardens

Bok Tower Gardens is 60 miles from Orlando and the trip will absolutely be worth every mile. To experience all the nature in its original state, this location is perfect. A National Historic Landmark, visitors can experience the serenity and beauty of the landscape, along with the majestic Carillon Tower.

Lake Wales, Florida, USA at Bok Tower Gardens.

Known as the ‘singing tower’ the Carillon consists of 23 tuned bells, kept on the highest level of the tower.  Beautiful sounds complement the beauty of the area and add an extra layer of beauty to visitors. 

In addition to making a stop at the singing tower, experience the true beauty of Florida’s nature by touring the gardens. There are paved pathways throughout the garden, with many routes leading to the singing tower. The garden boasts 126 bird species, gopher tortoises and the eastern indigo snake.

There are several different sections within the garden:

·         River of Stone

·         Pollinator Garden

·          Endangered Plant Garden

·          Wetland Boardwalk

·          Reflection Pool

·         Peace Lantern

·         Window by the Pond

·         Outdoor Kitchen

Swan in Pond

Before returning to Orlando, consider a meal from the onsite Blue Palmetto Café. Menu options range from salads and soups, wraps and sandwiches to fruit and desserts. Add a beer or wine to your meal and enjoy a table inside or outside the café.

Whether you are visiting Orlando or a long-term resident, keep these nature-centric locations in mind for your next outing. Get back to nature, with Florida’s natural beauty.

Watch Local News and Very Local Original Shows Anywhere

What is Very Local? Very Local is a streaming channel that offers local news, weather and stories about your community.

My Amazing Cheap Date Orlando


Watch all of the episodes of “My Amazing Cheap Date” for free on the Very Local channel. Available on Amazon Fire, Roku, Apple TV, & Android.

Very Local is your best source for shows about local communities, bringing you 24/7 access to news from your trusted local news source, weather updates, and more. The Very Local app also brings you fresh, untold stories from your very own city and communities like yours, with exclusive original shows and local stories specific to where you live. Get the channel to stream Very Local free on Roku or Amazon Fire TV.Follow Very Local on Facebook and @VeryLocal on Instagram for more

Since beginning her career as a freelance writer in 2008, Debra has had many articles published on a variety of topics. Websites such as USA Today Travel, Coldwell Banker and have run her stories. She currently also freelancesfor and Her byline appears in prints such as AAA Southern Traveler, Oklahoma Today, Kentucky Monthly, AAA Midwest Traveler, Missouri Life, Golden Isles Magazine and Jacksonville Magazine.

More Local Stories

Eat Play Stay: Ybor City

In historic Ybor City, different cultures bring out the best in one another. Enjoy an authentic Cuban sandwich or dine at a restaurant now on its fifth generation of ownership. After chicken yoga (yes, that’s a thing!), treat yourself to a hand-rolled cigar.

An alcohol-free speakeasy? BANDBOX is bringing a twist to Orlando’s bar scene

Bandbox is making the old new again. BANDBOX will be offering a new and exciting way to enjoy cold drinks, and alcohol free cocktails! Experience the roaring ‘20s at this new bar.

Fun, Cheap Date Ideas in the Orlando Area

Here are five cheap and fun date ideas that aren’t your typical theme park.

Art After Dark Orlando Event

Orlando Health Presents Art After Dark at City Arts

Art After Dark introduces young professionals to the Arts District and its mission through social interaction, arts engagement and networking. 

Tourists return to the dock of the Winter Park Scenic Boat tour after enjoying a day out on the water of the Winter Park chain of lakes.

Everything You Need to Know About the Winter Park Boat Tour

One of Central Florida’s hidden gems has been tucked away in plain sight for years. We got the inside scoop on all the ins and outs of the Scenic Boat Tour in Winter Park so you can make the most out of this unique experience.

Beat the Orlando heat with these Orlando watersports destinations

Have lots of fun under the sun and stay cool at the same time when you spend some time at these water sports locations.

Cat Cafes in Orlando

Paninis and purrs: cat cafes in Orlando

Stop by either one of the cat cafes in Orlando and PURR-haps you just might find an adoptable cat that will love you FUR-ever.