|Winter Park Boat Tour|
Photo courtesy of scenicboattours.com
One thing you can do to turn your vacation into ... well ... a vacation, is head up to Winter Park for the Orlando area's most unique and casual shopping experience. Just a half hour North of the theme parks, there's really no better place to head if you want to pick up something totally different for that hard to shop for person (especially if that "someone" is you).
There's more to do in Winter Park than just shop, though. There are several excellent restaurants, a number of great museums and something that even few locals know about - the Winter Park Scenic Boat Tours. American Car Rental's Karen, who could spend days just strolling up and down Park Avenue, shopping, likes to give her feet a break now and then and take a relaxing boat ride through the tranquil waters of Winter Park before heading back to the shops, looking for the next "rare find."
Leaving from Lake Osceola, the hour long cruise navigates three of the seven lakes in the area's chain of lakes as well as two canals. At any given time, you may see a variety of cranes diving into the water after the large fish that populate the waters. Because the waters are so clear, you'll likely see some bird's next meal as you glide along. Don't be surprised if you see an alligator or two lazily basking in the sun, too!
A popular spot for boaters, you're bound to see plenty of people water skiing, jet skiing and don't be surprised if you see the Rollins College crew team working out in preparation for their next big race.
What people really enjoy about the cruise is the narrated tour. You'll pass by some of the most impressive mansions in the Orlando area and learn about some of the inhabitants of those palatial estates. The immaculate lawns and landscaping are beautiful and blend in perfectly with the yawning cypress trees, dense ferns, swaying palm trees and sub-tropical flowers that line the shores.
Less than five minutes from Park Avenue's sidewalk shopping and dining, Winter Park Scenic Boat Tours is located at the east end of Morse Blvd. where it meets Lake Osceola. Tours leave every hour, on the hour, beginning at 10:00 am. The last cruise departs at 4:00 pm. You can experience boat tours every day of the year except Christmas day.
Admission is only $12.00 for adults and $6.00 for children age 2-11 (under 2 is free). You can't find a whole lot to do in the Orlando area for less money than that!