Annual Manual 2013
Orlando Sports & Recreation
Spectator sports, biking and hiking, canoeing and kayaking, yoga and more
Published: April 12, 2013
Rock Springs Run-Wekiva River
Put in at King’s Landing near Apopka, if you want to experience the entirety of this 27-mile respite from congestion, travel a designated wild and scenic river right in the heart of the Orlando metro area. Stop at Wekiwa Springs State Park on your way for a swim in the clear, blue springs.
Silver Springs State Park
1425 N.E. 58th Ave., Ocala
The clear water, scenic views, lush subtropical vegetation and easy maneuverability of the 8-mile-long Silver River will almost keep your mind off of the fact that there are monkeys roaming around. Almost. Paddlers should use caution when near the monkeys and remember that feeding them is prohibited.
There are so many routes you could take paddling the 1,000 Islands and probably still not see everything. This site is found on the Banana River in Cocoa Beach. Paddlers often find themselves a bit geographically challenged when they are visiting here, so bring a compass with you.
If you can’t afford to travel to Puerto Rico’s famous bioluminescent bay, Florida’s Indian River and Mosquito Lagoon come alive with bioluminescence from May through September. The luminescence is caused by dinoflagellates (tiny things you can’t see), which glow neon-blue whenever the water is disturbed. Guides are recommended for this paddling adventure, but they are not necessary. Paddlers should begin their paddle at dusk.
1805 Deen Still Road, Davenport
No mountains, no problem. An airplane will tow you and an instructor into a glide for $175; if you’re a more serious hang glider, you can book up to seven days to hone your skills and network with other gliders, including owner Malcolm Jones, who invented the tandem flying concept.
6548 Groveland Airport Road, Groveland
Like Wallaby, Quest Air features a $149 tandem flight at 2,500 feet, but it also offers a 5,000-foot flight for $249. That lasts about 30 minutes, but luckily, the roar of the wind will kill the awkward silence.
Hot air balloons
Orange Blossom Balloons
Radisson Resort Orlando-Celebration
2900 Parkway Blvd., Kissimmee
Board the basket in the morning darkness, then watch the sunrise over Disney or the Florida swamps, depending on where the wind takes you. Upon landing, enjoy champagne and a breakfast buffet. Flights are $175 when you book online.