Parks And Gardens

Lake Eola Park ( 32.5 miles: 50 minutes)

Lake Eola Park, located at 512 E. Washington Street, Orlando 32801, is a popular park situated in the heart of Orlando.Lake Eola Fountain is known as the official icon of the city of Orlando.

There is a nightly show of the fountain choreographed to music  and coloured lights. In the summer this takes place at 9.30 pm and at a slightly different time in other seasons.

The park is not very big, with a circular walk around the lake of 0.9 miles. Nice for a walk or a run and the scenery is pretty and it gives a chance to get away from the busier areas of Orlando to enjoy the scenery with the lake, flower beds and birds, including swans. Or you can stop for a drink or bite to eat.

You can rent swan shaped paddle boats which are available for $15 per half hour and hold up to 5 people. Renting times for the boats are 10am to 7pm. 

Sunday is one of the most popular days to visit Lake Eola because it hosts a weekly farmers market at whch fruit, vegetables, local foods, handmade breads, beers and wines are available. There is also entertainment and artwork to enjoy. Orlando Farmers Market.

We went to Lake Eola park for the first time in March of this year, 2016. We went on a Sunday morning as we wanted to see the Farmer's Market as well as the park. We got there at about 11 am and were able to park very easily in an outside car park with an attendant that was just across the road. Cost for parking for 4 hours was $5. There is also a multistorey car park near by so parking is easy.

Enjoyed strolling through the stalls and enjoying the various tasting samples that were on offer to tempt buyers. Quite a lot of stalls selling various different things such as food, jewellery, candles and pet accessories! We then walked around the lake itself which was very pleasant and not too long.

It was good to see a large yoga class taking place on the grass out in the park and there must have been about 50 people taking part which looked a lovely way to spend a Sunday morning if you are a yoga fan.

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Bok Tower Gardens (25.3 miles: 37 minutes)

1151 Tower Blvd, Lake Wales, FL 33853, United States

Since opening its doors in 1929 Bok Tower Gardens has welcomed over 23 million visitors to its beautiful landscaped gardens.

The woodland covers many acres and we were lucky to have visited in May when the azaleas, camellias and magnolias were still in bloom. These beautiful plants are one of the real highlights of Bok Tower Gardens in the spring.

There are a number of things to see and do at Bok Tower Gardens. Upon arrival there is a visitor centre and cafe near the entrance. We then enjoyed a leisurely walk up through the woodland and gardens enjoying the birds and plants. There are in fact 126 species of birds to be found here.

There is a bit of an incline through the gardens up to the tower but my parents who are both in their 80’s didn’t find the walk too hard.

There is a Mediterranean style mansion in the grounds which was unfortunately closed on the day we were there but we were still able to walk around its exterior and see its garden and lake.

The Singing Tower carillon concerts are at 1pm and 3pm daily with short selections of music played on the hour and half hour.

Tickets cost $12 adults and $3 for children for entry to the gardens only.

$18 adults and $8 for children for entry to both the gardens and Pinewood Estate.

Open daily between 8 am and 6pm but please check their website in the link above to ensure the ticket prices and opening times are still the same at the time you are visiting.

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Harry P. Leu Gardens (44 MILES :- 54 MINUTES)

What a beautiful oasis, just a few minutes north of Downtown Orlando Harry P. Leu Gardens is! We had our first visit to these gardens last week and it certainly won't be our last. It is a beautiful place that combines formal, landscaped gardens, a cottage garden with vegetables, a rose garden a butterfly garden and more. There is a large lake too with a viewing platform from which we enjoyed watching various birds, large fish and turtles. It is a very peaceful place  to walk round and hard to believe it is only minutes from the busy I4 motorway. You could easily spend two to three hours here but we combined a visit here with heading 5 minutes or so down the road to Winter Park, another must see place.

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