There are so many possibilities a short drive from The Gathering Houses near Disney for escaping the theme park crowds and enjoying nature. Bok Tower Gardens is a beautiful setting for a leisurely walk and bird watching. Visit a working cattle ranch for more animal watching, horse back riding, and open air safari riding. For a little, or a lot more speed, rent a bicycle and pedal to your heart’s content.
Bok Tower Gardens
The sweeping vistas of Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, Florida will delight you with nature, local wildlife, history, and Carillon music to enjoy. Nature trails will lead you through beautiful gardens, natural habitat, and bird encounters. When you grow hungry, or tired, the onsite restaurant is a great respite and a tour of the on-site Spanish mansion is interesting and educational. The highlight of your visit will be the beautiful bells ringing from the tower!
For directions, tickets, and more information, visit https://boktowergardens.org.
Horseback Riding, Nature Safaris, and Cattle Ranching
Whether you’re horseback riding through the picturesque 4,700-acre conservation area and working cattle ranch, or exploring it all on an open-air coach, you’ll discover the amazing beauty of the stunning flora, fauna, and wildlife of this privately-owned nature preserve located near Kissimmee at the Forever Florida EcoSafari.
For horseback riding information, visit https://foreverflorida.com/horseback-riding-adventures/. Nature Safari information is found at https://foreverflorida.com/trail-buggy-adventure/.
For a leisurely time pedaling and exploring, rent a bike and explore the town of Celeberation, just 15 minutes from The Gathering Houses near Disney. There are numerous bike rental locations in downtown celebration. One highly rated location is http://www.celebrationsurrey.com.
For more adventurous cycling, there are numerous paths and routes nearby. Bikes can be reserved and delivered to the house. The home’s garage is available for keeping them secure. To check out local routes and reserve a bike for delivery, go to https://www.theridexperience.com/rides.
A Central Florida vacation wouldn’t be complete without spending some time on the water. And we’re not just talking swimming! No matter how you like to keep cool, you can find a way to become one with the water.
Kick back and catch some largemouth bass in the area’s renowned fishing spots, or hold onto your hat on a thrilling airboat ride. If you’re feeling more adventurous, test your skills at water skiing, flyboarding or wakeboarding. There are many local outfitters that can help newbies and pros alike have an unforgettable experience.
The Gathering Houses near Disney are right on the Osceola/Polk County lines, which means you are a short drive to many water activities in the surrounding lakes, rivers, and streams. Popular choices are Paddleboarding, Kayaking, Fishing, Airboating, Water Skiing, Flyboarding, and Wakeboarding.
For information about specific activities, directions, vendors, and prices, visit https://visitcentralflorida.org/top-10/lake-activities.
Stand Up Paddleboarding
Take a stand up paddleboarding tour of the Winter Haven Chain of Lakes with Paddleboard Winter Haven during your time at The Gathering Houses near Disney. Tours, lessons and classes include Tourist Time Fun, First Time Fun, The Pirate Tour, Eco Tour, Sunset Tour, Group Tours and Private Lessons at Paddleboard Winter Haven. Their site is http://www.paddleboardwinterhaven.com/. Additional paddleboard locations and outfitters can be found at https://visitcentralflorida.org/top-10/lake-activities.
Numerous kayaking tours and rentals are available in the area. The headwaters of the everglades are located very close to The Gathering Houses near Disney. Favorite tours include paddling through the Cypress Forest and encountering manatee at Blue Springs State Park (Dec to Mar). The video, below is from The Paddling Center at Shingle Creek. Their site is http://www.paddlingcenter.com/. Additional kayaking locations and outfitters can be found at https://visitcentralflorida.org/top-10/lake-activities.
You’ll start at the headwaters of the Everglades on the Kissimmee River, then venture out around the marsh of Lake Hatchineha, gliding through the grasses and wetlands in search of rarely seen wildlife, including alligators in their natural habitat, and endangered species of birds, such as the Crested Caracaras, Bald Eagles, hawks, egrets, and cranes.
Your adventure will conclude with a trip on the Dead River where we’ll explore the swamp where century old cypress trees grow for a taste of Florida long ago.
For more information, visit http://www.airboatnaturetours.com/index.html.
Water Skiing, Flyboarding, Wakeboarding, and Tubing
If your family can’t agree on which water activity to do, many outfitters offer multiple activity choices. Winter Haven Watersports has it all, from tranquil experiences to pure adventure! Go to https://www.winterhavenwatersports.com for more information, locations, and costs.
The ChampionsGate, FL area is near numerous fishing opportunities. Start your vacation or end it with a guided fishing trip. Maybe its just a morning break from the theme parks to enjoy the whole central Florida experience including the great outdoors. See eagles, get up close and personal with the Florida Alligator, and of course catch lots of Florida big bass. Guides are available to supply transportation and everything you need for your big day, little to no experience required.
If spending time in the clouds, or at least with your feet off the ground, Ziplining, Hot Air Ballooning and Sky Diving are all great experiences close to The Gathering Houses near Disney.
Take an adventure through Florida’s tree canopy, swinging across bridges, up ladders, and zipping along giant lines. Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park is 15 minutes from The Gathering Houses near Disney. Their site is http://www.orlandotreetrek.com.
Hot Air Ballooning
Take the magic of Florida to new heights with a hot air balloon ride. What an awesome gift a hot air balloon flight would make to celebrate a milestone birthday or anniversary! This vendor is highly rated in the area: https://www.orlandoballoonrides.com.