The Nona Blog

The Nona Blog features a variety of community, attraction and development update information for communities throughout Central Florida.

Dec. 20, 2019

Kissimmee Lakefront Park

Kissimmee Lakefront ParkEnjoy Lake Toho at one of the most popular parks in Kissimmee, FL. Kissimmee Lakefront Park offers a peaceful place to watch nature, plenty of amenities for all ages, pavilions you can rent for events, and so much more.

The Location

The park is found at 201 Lakeview Drive in Kissimmee Florida. It's just minutes from South John Youth Parkway and very close to the Hart Memorial Central Library and Lanier's Historic Downtown Marketplace.

An Overview

Kissimmee Lakefront Park offers plenty of amenities and features including:

  • Walking Trails
  • Boating
  • Boat Launch
  • Splash Area
  • Playgrounds
  • Open Fields
  • Marina & Bait Shop
  • Picnic Tables
  • Fishing Piers

You can relax and enjoy the lake or walk down the docks to the fishing piers to get a closer look at beautiful Lake Toho. The playgrounds offer plenty for children to enjoy with two large shaded players overlooking the lake and the park. Water fountains are available and there are snack stands, which are open some of the time, as well. Children can also enjoy two splash areas. Toddlers and small children will enjoy the two nature-themed areas with sculptures, fountains, and plenty of fun to be had while cooling off. Throughout Kissimmee Lakefront Park, you will also find several shaded picnic areas. You can enjoy a picnic anytime or you can rent one of the pavilions for a private party or gathering. The park is also home to several walking trails and you can even take the walking trails to enjoy viewing the small lighthouse. The Big Toho Marina offers a great place to stock up on fishing supplies and bait before heading out on the lake for a day of fishing. You can launch your boat for fishing or just to enjoy a day of sightseeing on the lake. The lake is filled with plenty of bass, crappie, catfish, sunfish, and more. Fishing tournaments are held on Lake Toho regularly.

The Pavilions at Kissimmee Lakefront Park

The park is home to six pavilions you can rent for private parties and gatherings. The pavilions include:

  • Cormorant Pavilion - Seats up to 24 guests and offers a grill and electricity. The pavilion offers a location close to a playground and restrooms.
  • Egret Pavilion - Seats up to 24 guests and offers a grill and electricity. The pavilion is located near a playground and restrooms.
  • Hawk Pavilion - Seats up to 24 guests and offers a location close to restrooms and a playground area. This pavilion features a grill and electricity.
  • Heron Pavilion - With seating up to 68 guests, three grills, electricity and more than 2,000 square feet of room, this pavilion offers plenty of space for a family gathering.
  • Osprey Pavilion - Located near a playground, this Lakefront Pavilion offers a great choice for a family reunion or company picnic.
  • Spoonbill Pavilion - Seats up to 24 guests with a grill and electricity. It's located close to restrooms and a playground area.

Whether you just want to spend the day relaxing at Kissimmee Lakefront Park or you plan to rent a pavilion, you're sure to enjoy the wonderful lake views and the many features of the park.

Dec. 20, 2019

Lakeridge Winery

Lakeridge WinerySince 1989, Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards has been creating amazing Florida wine in Clermont, in Lake County Florida. The facility covers a total of 127 acres of rolling countryside located about 25 miles from Downtown Orlando. Over the years, the winery has built a reputation as one of the best in Florida and has become one of the largest premium winners in the state. Lakeridge Winery is a pioneer when it comes to the development of sparkling wines from the very popular Florida Muscadine grape varieties. They are also known for creating amazing wines from Vinifera verities, such as Pinot Grigio, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay. The Winery overlooks more than 80 acres of planted vineyards, which produce muscadine grapes. An abundance of grapes is harvested every year from the vineyards to help Lakeridge Winery create many of their award-winning wines.

The Lakeridge Award-Winning Wines

While Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards creates many wines every year, some have become award-winning choices. In fact, the winery has won more a total of 770 awards across the nation at a number of competitions. Some of the wines winning awards include:

  • Blanc Du Bois
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
  • Chablis
  • Chardonnay
  • Crescendo
  • Cuvee Blanc
  • Cuvee Noir Reserve
  • Muscadine Grape Juice
  • Petite Sirah
  • Pinot Grigio
  • Southern Red

Some of these wines have won multiple awards throughout the years.

Wine Tastings & Tours

Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards offers complimentary tours and wine tasting seven days a week. Tours begin at 10:15am, Monday through Saturday and at 11:15am on Sundays. The last tour of the day is offered around 3:45pm every day and the tours will last about 30 minutes with a 15-minute video presentation. Tastings are held at a large tasting counter every day of the week. Guests can sample a selection of award-winning wines ranging from dry to sweet. If you do a tour and a tasting, it will take about 45 minutes. During special events, tastings switch to a walk-through style due to the volume of guests.

Festivals & Events Held at Lakeridge

A number of wonderful festivals and events are held at the Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards every year. From music events to food truck gatherings, there's a little bit of everything. Food Truck Saturdays are a popular event and include the outdoor wine bar. Admission is free and food trucks will provide the option for guests to enjoy lunch. These events are held on select Saturdays from 12pm to 4pm. The winery also holds music series events throughout the year on Saturdays. These free live music events are held on the outdoor stage and include plenty of fun for all to enjoy. One of the biggest events of the year is held in February at the winery. The Annual Winefest offers a multi-day festival with plenty of fun and plenty of wine. Admission is $10 for this event. Some of the other events held at Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards in Clermont include:

  • Annual Wine & Seafood Festival in March
  • Blues at the Winery in April
  • Summer Grape Stomp in June
  • Annual Harvest Grape Stomp in August
  • Wine & Cheese Festival in September
  • BBQ & Blues in October
  • Annual Holiday Open House in November
  • Wine & Chocolate in December

Whether you visit the winery for a tour and tasting or for an event, you're sure to discover plenty of delicious wines and plenty of fun. The Lakeridge Winery & Vineyard is located at 19239 U.S. 27 North in Clermont, Florida. The winery is open from 10am to 5pm, Monday through Saturday and from 11am to 5pm on Sundays.

Posted in Lake County Blog
Dec. 20, 2019

Waterford Lakes Town Center

Waterford Lakes Town CenterOne of the top open-air shopping centers in Orlando, the Waterford Lakes Town Center is found at 413 North Alafaya Trail. It's a great location for those living in Alafaya, East Orlando, Titusville, Lake Nona, Winter Park, and Oviedo. Found just off 408 East-West Expressway, it's a great choice for anybody looking to shop, dine, or catch a movie. As you stroll through the outdoor shopping mall, you can enjoy music piped in through "camouflaged" rock speakers. With plenty of shops and restaurants all throughout, you might just lose track of time and end up staying for the entire day.

Shopping Options

The Waterford Lakes Shopping Center offers several big-name shops, such as:

  • Bed, Bath, & Beyond
  • T.J. Maxx
  • ULTA Beauty
  • Victoria's Secret
  • Barnes & Noble
  • Best Buy
  • Ashley Furniture
  • Buckle
  • GameStop
  • Lane Bryant
  • And More!

There are several shops to choose from with a mixture of bigger names and some smaller boutique options. From kid's clothing to jewelry to sporting goods, you'll find just about anything you could possibly want at the Waterford Lakes Shopping Center.

Dining

A mixture of fast-casual and sit-down restaurants is found all throughout the shopping center. Whether you want to grab a quick bite and get back to shopping or you're ready to call it a day and sit down for a nice meal, you'll find plenty of options here. Some of the restaurants found at the Waterford Lakes Shopping Center include:

  • California Pizza Kitchen
  • Chick-Fil-A
  • Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurants
  • Five Guys Burgers and Fries
  • Fresh Kitchen
  • Marlow's Tavern
  • Pine Garden Chinese
  • Slapfish
  • Social House
  • The Brass Tap
  • Wahlburgers
  • And More!

There's a restaurant to fit just about anybody's taste here.

The Movies

Maybe you want to catch the latest blockbuster on the big screen after dinner or after a day of shopping. The regal Cinemas 20 is located at the Waterford Lakes Shopping Center and offers showtimes all day long. No matter which new movie you want to see, they will likely have it on a big screen with plenty of showtimes to fit your schedule. Along with regular theaters, the Regal Waterford Lakes includes an IMAX screen and a 4DX screen. They offer some movies in 3D and even offer some in 3D IMAX or 3d 4DX

Events

Plenty of events happen at the Waterford Lakes Shopping Center every year. From the many KidX Club events to Holiday events, there's something going on all throughout the year. In fact, Waterford Lakes Town Center is the host of the Taste of Orlando, which is held in October. This event features many great restaurants and it's an all-day, family-friendly festival for all to enjoy. The shopping center is also home to Santa's Winter Wonderland Village every year for the Christmas Season. Children can visit Santa in his workshops and enjoy plenty of winter carnival rides. In addition, several farmers’ markets, carnivals, and other events are held throughout the year. If you live in the Orlando area, especially in East Orlando, Oviedo, Winter Park, or Lake Nona, you'll enjoy easy access to the Waterford Lakes Shopping Center. It's a very popular open-air option for all your shopping and dining needs.

Posted in Orange County Blog
Dec. 20, 2019

Yellow Dog Eats

Yellow Dog Eats in Gotha FloridaKnown for a light-hearted atmosphere with plenty of tasty food on the menu, Yellow Dog Eats is located in downtown Gotha. With plenty of sandwiches, salads, barbecue, and daily specials on the menu, there's always something to be excited about when you dine at Yellow Dog Eats. Every dish starts with high-quality ingredients including many locally-grown baby greens and homemade pastries. Chef Fish Morgan started the restaurants with imaginative dishes and plenty of flavors to delight the palette.

The Menu

Serving lunch and dinner, you will notice the menu offers plenty of uniquely named dishes. There's something on the menu for everybody including vegetarian and vegan-friendly dishes. Just about anything on the menu can be made in a Gluten-free version, as well. The menu features plenty of BBQ and pulled pork with options, such as White Trash, Florida Cracker, and What the Fig. Each of these is some type of BBQ or pulled pork sandwich with unique toppings and plenty of flavor. Along with the BBQ and pulled pork, Yellow Dog Eats offers several signature sandwiches, such as the Salmon BLT, the Retrievers Roast, the Classic Yellow Dog Club, and the Twisted Tuna. If you're looking for something a bit lighter, they do offer wraps and salads. Even the kids will be happy to dine here as they offer a nice kids meal with pulled pork sliders, a cheese quesadilla, grilled cheese, pulled pork sandwich, and a turkey & cheddar sandwich.

Vegan and Vegetarian Options

Unlike some restaurants that just make substitutions to make menu dishes vegan or vegetarian-friendly, Yellow Dog Eats offers a Vegan & Vegetarian Menu. This menu includes:

  • The Beat Bowl - Made with hummus, Tabbouleh, red pepper, red onion, Kalamata olives, cucumbers, and lemon vinaigrette.
  • The Spicy Green Giant - Roasted broccoli raab with wonton skins, avocado, mushrooms, onions, and jasmine rice.
  • Doing Yoga with Goat Toast - Their version of avocado toast with goat cheese and jalapenos!

They also offer a Grilled Veggie Focaccia, Sweet Potato Tacos, Jackfruit Tacos, and Vegetarian Nachos. Along with the regular menu, Yellow Dog Eats also offers seasonal and daily specials, which vary depending on what's in season.

Catering Menu

While dining in is certainly a fun experience at Yellow Dog Eats, you can also enjoy having this restaurant cater your event. They offer plenty of options ranging from pulled pork or chicken to ribs to smoked brisket. You can choose from platters or packages to fit your specific needs and even add sides and desserts from their catering menu.

Locations & Hours

Yellow Dog Eats is found at 1236 Hempel Avenue in Gotha, Florida. They also have a second, newer location at 147 Canal Street in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Both locations are open from 11am to 9pm, Sunday through Wednesday and from 11am to 10pm Thursday through Saturday. They both offer happy hour from 2pm to 6pm, Monday through Friday, as well. Live Music is held from 6pm to 10pm at the Gotha location and from 6pm to 9pm at the New Smyrna Beach location Thursday through Saturday.

Posted in Orange County Blog
Dec. 4, 2019

Gatorland

Gatorland in Orlando FloridaA rather unique attraction located near Hunters Creek south of Orlando, Gatorland has been open since 1949. Owen Godwin created the attraction, which featured thousands of alligators, crocodiles, and many other unique animals throughout. It's known as the "Alligator Capital of the World."

Gatorland is known for rescuing nuisance alligators from trappers. These gators would be killed for their skin or meat if Gatorland didn't rescue them. The Breeding March found at the park was even used in the filming of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom in 1984.

For those fascinated by alligators and crocodiles of all sizes, Gatorland is the place to be. They house alligators from babies all the way up to 14-foot monsters. You will even find white leucistic alligators here, which are incredibly rare.

Along with the alligators and crocodiles, Gatorland is home to a free-flight aviary, many unique animal shows, a petting zoo, zip lines, and more!

The Animals

Many visit Gatorland for the animals, which include plenty of unique species, such as:

  • American Alligators
  • Albino Alligators
  • Nile Crocodiles
  • Saltwater Crocodiles
  • Parrots
  • Emus
  • Flamingos
  • Florida Panthers
  • Florida Bobcats
  • Tortoises
  • Snakes
  • Toads
  • Lizards
  • And More!

The animals provide plenty to see and enjoy throughout the park.

Experiences

Gatorland ZiplineThroughout your time at Gatorland, you can take on many adventures and experiences from the Meet-A-Gator experience to the Adventure Hour. Enjoy the Screamin' Gator Zipline or take on the Gator Gauntlet. The park even provides an opportunity to be a trainer for a day or you can enjoy the newest experience, Stompin' Gator Off-Road Adventure.

Maybe the most famous attraction is the Gatorland Express, formerly known as the Ol' Iron Horse Express. This railroad attraction was originally opened in 1961, providing the oldest amusement attraction in Central Florida.

Gator Spot

While a visit to Gatorland is quite a bit of fun, you don't have to go all the way to Gatorland to enjoy what they have to offer. In 2015, Gatorland teamed up with Fun Spot America to offer Gator Spot. This $1 million attraction provides a taste of Gatorland within the Fun Spot American Theme Park for those staying in or living close to the tourist area known as I-Drive in Orlando.

Gator Spot allows visitors to enjoy taking photos with gators, along with feeding them. The attraction features the leucistic alligator known as Bouya. This gator is actually white and has blue eyes.

Visiting Gatorland

Whether you're just visiting the Orlando area or you're a resident living in Central Florida, a trip to Gatorland provides plenty of fun. Tickets are affordable compared to other Central Florida attractions and packages are available for those looking to enjoy experiences throughout the park.

The park often offers specials ticket prices for Florida residents and they do provide unique events throughout the year. If you live in the Hunters Creek area, you'll gain easy access to Gatorland. Those living in the main tourist area of Orlando near I-Drive can enjoy the gators at Fun Spot America's Gator Spot.

Posted in Orange County Blog
Dec. 4, 2019

Walt Disney World

The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney WorldOne of the most popular attractions in the entire world, Walt Disney World provides entertainment for more than 50 million people every single year. Those living in the Orlando area, specifically near Horizon West and Celebration gain easy access to this world-renown attraction.

Walt Disney World offers four theme parks, two water parks, and over two dozen themed resorts. It's also home to Disney Springs, which is a massive shopping, dining, and entertainment destination. With so much to do and see, many Florida residents use the annual pass program to spend plenty of time at the parks.

The Disney Theme Parks

Epcot at Walt Disney WorldOffering four theme parks, Disney World provides plenty for guests to see and do throughout the year. The four theme parks are:

  • Magic Kingdom
  • Animal Kingdom
  • Epcot
  • Hollywood Studios

Throughout these four theme parks, popular attractions, such as Toy Story Land with Slinky Dog Dash and Alien Swirling Saucers offer plenty of fun for the entire family.

The attractions are just the start of the fun at the theme parks. Visitors also have the option to enjoy meeting beloved Disney characters and enjoy incredible shows. Animal Kingdom also offers opportunities for visitors to see many different animals, while Epcot provides the opportunity to visit many countries from around the world.

Of course, a visit to Disney World isn't complete without viewing one of the nighttime firework shows. Both Magic Kingdom and Epcot provide incredible fireworks shows, while Animal Kingdom provides a show called the Rivers of Light and Hollywood Studios provides the Fantasmic show.

Dining, Shopping, & More

Disney Springs at Walt Disney WorldWhile the theme parks are the bulk of the entertainment at Walt Disney World, there are also dozens of incredible dining options, along with plenty of shopping found at Disney Springs. Each resort and theme park offers plenty of unique dining options to choose from. Residents with annual passes gain easy access to the dining options throughout Walt Disney World and can enjoy several different cuisines.

Disney Springs provides a large portion of the shopping at Walt Disney World. However, each resort and theme park also offers plenty of shopping with some very unique items found in each country throughout Epcot. Along with the theme parks, dining, and shopping, Walt Disney World also offers two water parks: Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. You'll also find a mini-golf course here, a campground and RV resort, dinner theater shows, and so much more.

How Walt Disney World Started

Walt Disney announcing the Disney World Florida ProjectWalt Disney purchased land in Central Florida many years before developing and opening the resort in 1971. In fact, Walt worked in secret to purchase the original land for Walt Disney World. Due to the secrecy and the type of land purchased, Walt was able to buy some tracts of land for as little as $100 per acre.

While Walt passed away before Walt Disney World opened, his brother Roy Disney made sure this vision became a reality.

For those living in the Central Florida area or planning to move to the area, Walt Disney World provides a wonderful place for year-round entertainment. With plenty of attractions, shows, events, dining, shopping, and more, many residents use the annual pass program to ensure they get to spend as much time at Walt Disney World as possible.

Posted in Orange County Blog
Dec. 4, 2019

The West Orange Trail

A 22-mile multi-use rail trail, The West Orange Trail is a part of Orange County, Florida. The trail passes through several communities including Winter Garden, Clermont, Apopka, and Ocoee. It's a paved trail used by many for biking, jogging, in-line skating, horseback riding, and walking.

This world-class rail trail offers several outposts and stations for parking and accessing the trail. Several sections of the trail offer a great option for biking including sections connecting to the South Lake Trail.

The beauty found throughout The West Orange Trail draws many residents in. It's known for the change in scenery throughout with wooded areas, large oak canopies, residential areas, business districts, and even rolling pastures. Whether you want to enjoy a bike-friendly restaurant, do a little shopping, or you just want to escape into nature, The West Orange Trail offers an option for you.

The Stations

Along the trail, there are four main stations and several other outposts. The four main stations include:

  • Killarney Station - in Killarney off SR50 near the Lake County and Orange County line
  • Apopka Station - 111. South Forest Avenue in Apopka
  • Winter Garden Station - 455 East Plant Street in downtown Winter Garden
  • Chaplin Station - 501 Crown Point Cross Road in Winter Garden
  • Along with these four main stations, there are three outposts including:
  • Tildenville Outpost
  • Ingram Outpost
  • Apopka-Vineland Outpost

These outposts may provide parking and offer access points for The West Orange Trail.

Attractions Along the Trail

Starting from the Killarney Station, there are several attractions along The West Orange Trail. The Killarney Station offers parking, restrooms, a playground, water fountains, and a bike shop with rentals. It also provides a link to the South Lake Trail and you will find the Oakland Nature Preserve nearby.

Oakland is the next stop and offers a small town with plenty of charm. It's filled with historic buildings and offers views of Lake Apopka from the side streets.

Briley Farm is found on the trail, as well. It's a member of the World Watusi Foundation and isn't just any old farm. You might spot an ostrich, zebra, or some other type of exotic animal while enjoying this section of the trail.

After leaving Oakland, you'll come across an old landmark, which includes a section of old railroad track. Entering Tildenville, a butterfly garden is found here, along with a barn paying homage to Bobby Bowden (retired Florida State football coach).

Downtown Winter Garden is one of the most popular sections of The West Orange Trail. It's well-maintained and offers several attractions including a history museum, the new Winter Garden City Hall, the Clock Tower, and the park at the Winter Garden Station.

Several suburban neighborhoods are found on the trail as you head out of Winter Garden towards the Chapin Station. The trail also weaves around a golf course and the station offers plenty of amenities including the Path of Life gardens.

The West Orange Trail also makes its way through Apopka, which offers plenty of attractions, such as the Clarcona Horsemen's Park, and some of the most beautiful tree canopies along the trail.

The West Orange Trail is a true asset to the communities it serves. Whether you enjoy biking, walking, jogging, skating, or even horseback riding, this trail provides plenty of fun for you and your family to enjoy.

Posted in Orange County Blog
Dec. 4, 2019

Universal Studios Florida

Universal Studios Florida in Dr Phillips FloridaOne of the most incredible attractions in Central Florida, Universal Studios Orlando attracts more than 21 million visitors per year. Many local Florida residents visit the theme park regularly with an annual pass. Those living in the Dr. Phillips area gain very convenient access to the many attractions found throughout Universal Studios.

While it's known as Universal Studios Orlando, it's actually four attractions in one. Universal Studios is the main theme park with Universal CityWalk serving as a dining, shopping, and entertainment center. In addition, Islands of Adventure is a second theme park offering even more fun and Volcano Bay offers an incredible water park.

In the summer of 2019, Universal Studios announced the development of a third theme park, as well. This park will be called Epic Universe and an exact opening date has yet to be scheduled.

The Attractions

From Hollywood shows and characters to roller coasters to Diagon Alley from Harry Potter, Universal Studios Orlando is filled with incredible attractions. It's designed to bring your favorite movies to life. Attractions, such as Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit offer thrills with a 90-degree climb and speeds up to 65 mph, while shows, such as the Horror Make-up Show will keep you laughing.

While Universal Studios has always been a popular attraction, the addition of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter really made this theme park popular. Fans of the books and movies can enjoy walking through Diagon Alley with plenty of shopping and dining. They can also take a ride on the Escape from Gringotts and even take the Hogwarts Express over to Islands of Adventure for the new Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure.

Other popular attractions at Universal Studios and Island of Adventure include:

  • Despicable Me Minion Mayhem
  • E.T. Adventure
  • Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon
  • Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls
  • The Incredible Hulk Coaster
  • Skull Island: Reign of Kong
  • And More!

Universal CityWalk

Serving as the entertainment district for Universal Studios, CityWalk was opened in 1999. Guests arriving at the theme parks will likely walk through this area to access either Universal Studios or Islands of Adventure.

Within the Universal CityWalk area, there are several dining options including Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, Voodoo Doughnut, and Hard Rock Cafe. CityWalk also includes several shopping options and plenty of nightlife including the Red Coconut Club.

Universal Studios Events

Throughout the year, Universal Studios provides guests with several great events, in addition to the many attractions and shows already offered. If you visit the park during September and October, you can enjoy the very popular Halloween Horror Nights. This event is a huge Halloween party complete with some of the best haunted houses and Halloween stage shows in the country.

Rock the Universe is an annual Christian rock music festival held every year. It used to be held in September but has been moved to early February in recent years.

Universal also features a Summer Concert Series every year, along with a Grad Bash and a Gradventure held in April and May.

The holiday events for November and December are pretty amazing, as well. Universal offers the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade for an entire month, along with plenty of special events to celebrate Christmas.

Mardi Gras also brings special events to Universal Studios with a massive party held from Fat Tuesday through Easter on Friday and Saturday nights.

Another event held every year is A Celebration of Harry Potter. It's a three-day weekend event held on the last weekend of January in both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.

While Universal Studios certainly attracts plenty of visitors every year, local residents often attend the many events and enjoy the theme parks for special Florida resident rates or with annual passes. Those in neighboring communities can easily enjoy great entertainment year-round at Universal Studios Orlando, Islands of Adventure, Volcano Bay, and CityWalk.

Posted in Orange County Blog
Dec. 4, 2019

The Conway Chain of Lakes

The Conway Chain of LakesThe Conway Chain of Lakes includes four interconnected lakes found in the South Orlando area. The very popular lakefront communities found here are filled with residents enjoying time on the water and the beautiful views offered throughout. Just like The Butler Chain of Lakes, The Conway Chain of Lakes offers plenty of history and some of the best water activities in Central Florida.

The Lakes

The Conway Chain of Lakes includes four interconnected sections of Lake Conway and Lake Gatlin. Residents living in Belle Isle, Conway and other communities nearby often refer to the lakes as Middle Conway, South Lake Conway, and Little Lake Conway. If you look at a map, it looks like there are five total lakes, but there are really only two lakes.

Two public boat ramps are found on the lakes with one located off Hoffner Avenue and the other one two blocks east of Orange Avenue. The Conway Chain of Lakes covers nearly 1,800 areas of surface water with plenty of activities to enjoy.

Recreation on the Lakes

Conway Chain of Lakes Orlando FloridaFishing is one of the most popular recreation activities on The Conway Chain of Lakes. With incredible largemouth bass fishing offered, many flock to these lakes year-round. Along with largemouth bass, the lakes offer bream, catfish, crappie, and some chain pickerel.

Residents also use the lakes for many other water activities, such as water-skiing, wake-boarding, tubing, kayaking, and canoeing. The large size and the easy to navigate canals make access to the lake from surrounding communities rather simple.

Other Things to Do Near the Lakes

One of the most attractive parts of the The Conway Chain of Lakes is the location. With such a close location to Downtown Orlando, those choosing to have fun on the lakes also gain easy access to the SODO shopping district and plenty of dining options throughout.

Several restaurants are found very close to the lakes and some even provide water views. However, the restaurants in the area are not really located waterfront as most of the waterfront areas are residential.

Many residents of surrounding communities enjoy the parks found on the Lake Conway Chain of Lakes. Some of the parks found lakeside or very close to the lakes include:

  • Venetian Park
  • Regal (Montmart) Park
  • Gilbert Park
  • Swann Beach
  • Warren Park
  • Trimble Park

These parks provide a variety of things to do, along with plenty of beautiful views of the lakes.

The surrounding communities are well-served by The Conway Chain of Lakes. While this chain of lakes is smaller than some of the others found in Central Florida, it still provides plenty of water activities, amazing views, and so much more.

The communities woven in between these lakes enjoy easy access with all kinds of water activities. No matter which section of the lakes you choose, there's sure to be something fun to enjoy on the water.

Posted in Orange County Blog
Dec. 4, 2019

Sea World Orlando

Sea World OrlandoWhile Universal Studios Orlando and Walt Disney World may overshadow SeaWorld Orlando, it's still a very popular attraction in Central Florida. Offering Florida residents several annual pass options, along with plenty of great events throughout the year, many residents living near Orlando spend multiple days at SeaWorld Orlando each year.

Along with the SeaWorld Orlando theme park, this attraction includes a water park and a day resort. The water park, Aquatica, is rated as the #1 Outdoor Waterpark in the United States by a poll.

The day resort, Discovery Cove, is one of the most relaxing and more unique experiences found in Central Florida. With all three attractions providing plenty of fun, it's no wonder people moving to Central Florida choose Williamsburg and other communities close to the parks.

SeaWorld Orlando Attractions

Compared to Universal Studios and Walt Disney World, SeaWorld Orlando doesn't offer nearly the size. However, it's home to three of the largest, fastest, and most thrilling roller coasters in all of Florida. Mako, Manta, and Kraken offer plenty of thrills for the roller coaster lover, while SeaWorld Orlando also offers plenty of shows and other attractions.

Some of the other attractions found at SeaWorld Orlando include:

  • Infinity Falls - A new and very popular rapids water ride
  • Journey to Atlantis - A thrilling water ride
  • Sky Tower - A 400-foot tower providing incredible views
  • Empire of the Penguin - A unique ride ending with a visit to the penguin habitat
  • And More!

In 2019, SeaWorld Orlando added Sesame Street Land with many beloved characters, a kiddie coaster, and a few other rides for younger children. Another thrilling ride, Ice Breaker (scheduled to open in spring 2020) will provide plenty of fun with four launches and the steepest beyond vertical drop in Florida.

Aquatica - The Water Park

Voted as the best outdoor water park in the country, Aquatica offers plenty of unique water slides, pools, and water attractions. With the newest attraction, KareKare Curl offering plenty of fun and Ray Rush voted as the Best New Water Park Ride by Amusement Today, there are plenty of things to do here.

Aquatica also offers two lazy rivers (one is faster) and the Dolphin Plunge water slide offering a view of unique dolphins as you ride the ride.

Discover Cove - The Day Resort

While Florida residents can get an annual pass for both SeaWorld Orlando and Aquatica, the day resort doesn't offer such a deal. Discovery Cove offers an all-inclusive experience including plenty of attractions, two meals, endless snacks, endless drinks, and more.

Along with the regular attractions, guests have the option to add a Dolphin Encounter, Animal Encounters, the Seaventure, and other experiences. Everything is included with your daily ticket, even towels, and sunscreen! It's even possible to buy ticket package for Discovery Cove that includes admission to both SeaWorld and Aquatica for two full weeks.

SeaWorld Orlando History

Offering plenty of fun for more than 4.5 million guests every year, SeaWorld Orlando was started in 1973 and later sold to Anheuser-Busch in 1989. In 2000, the company opened Discover Cove and later in 2009 Aquatica was opened.

For those living in the Orlando area, SeaWorld Orlando offers annual passes at a reasonable price. They also offer many other perks for pass holders throughout the year, along with incredible holiday events, the PraiseWave Christian Concert series, and much more. It may not be as large as the other Central Florida theme parks, but SeaWorld Orlando still has plenty to offer.

Posted in Orange County Blog