Central Florida offers many fun activities and places to enjoy in the ORO area. Thanks to Dee Sordillo, we have the following list of ongoing local activities to explore. These ongoing activities and locations are categorized in several ways:
- Outside Enthusiast
- Exploring Bartow
- Exploring Clermont
- Exploring Lake Wales
- Exploring Lakeland
- Exploring Maitland
- Exploring Mt. Dora
- Exploring Sanford
- Exploring Winter Haven
- Exploring Winter Park
- Exploring Other Areas
- You may also enjoy viewing the local activities articles for specific months. Those articles highlight time-specific activities, such as plays and performances during certain months. For more information, see the monthly local Activities articles.
- Another great source of information about our area is Visit Florida: Central FL
Our area offers opportunities to explore architecture:
- Florida Heritage Trail Downtown Tour
- Frank Lloyd Wright (Florida Southern College)
- Gene Leedy Audio Driving Tour
- Lake County Historical Society Interactive Tour of Citrus History
- Polk County Citrus Label Tour
- Polk County History and Heritage Trail
Our area also offers opportunities to enjoy the arts:
- Florida Wildflower Studios
- Lake Wales Arts Council
- Lakeland Art Guild
- Mennello Museum
- Polk Museum of Art
- Ridge Art Association
Outside Enthusiast Opportunities
Our area also offers opportunities to enjoy the outdoors:
- Kissimmee Parks and Recreation
- Kissimmee offers many recreational areas including the Lakefront Park and many trails and bike paths.
- Flat Island Preserve
- This botanical area south of Leesburg offers may hiking, biking, and paddling opportunities.
- West Orange Trail
- Enjoy more than 22 miles of paved trails from the Orange/Lake County line through downtown Apopka to Welch Road. Stop and enjoy the butterfly garden at the Tildenville outpost.
- Lake Griffin Kayak & Canoe Tours
- These tours provide kayaks and canoes as part of their most popular program. Join them for a great paddle and an educational experience on the water!
- Lake County Trails (Mt Pleasant)
- The trails connect to the Wekiva Trail System for multi-use with bathhouses and covered picnic areas.
- Lake Apopka Trail and Drive Guide
- This 11 mile wildlife and historic tour has an audio recording available for use. The 1.5 mile portion is shared with drivers on the Wildlife Drive. This portion is open only on weekends and holidays.
- Polk County History Center
- The museum offers educational programs, special events, and several walking tours including an Architectural Tour. The exhibits and programs continue to grow and change, so there is always something new to discover.
- Homeland Heritage Park
- Enjoy a recreated village showing the early Florida lifestyle, with tours available. For more information, see the Visiting Central Florida website.
- Historic L. B. Brown House
- This impressive Victorian home was designed and constructed in 1892 by a self-taught master carpenter, Lawrence Bernard Brown. Mr. Brown was born into slavery in 1856 and he overcame this obstacle to become one of Polk County’s most successful businessmen and community leaders.
- Wonder House
- The Wonder House is a private residence in Bartow that offers historic tours by online, advance reservation.
The Downtown Clermont website provides “your official guide” to downtown Clermont.
- Citrus Tower
- The glass-enclosed observation deck provides a panoramic view of the rolling hills and hundreds of spring-fed lakes in the surrounding 8-county area.
- Senior Programs
- Many FREE activities, such as social activities, fitness classes, games, discussion groups, guest lectures, and field trips are available through the City of Clermont Champions for a Lifetime programming. These activities require no membership fee and are open to both residents and non-residents. Activities are located at the Clermont Arts and Recreation Center and are FREE unless noted.
- Clermont Events
- Many award-winning events are available throughout the year. See the website schedule to learn about the latest events.
- Farmers Market
- This open-air, outdoor market is open Sundays 9am-2pm in Historic Downtown Clermont.
- Friar Tuck
- This English Cafe offers food and nightly entertainment, such as jukebox bingo, trivia, karaoke, and live music. For more information, see the ORO Around Town article with review comments from ORO residents.
Exploring Lake Wales
- Bok Tower Gardens
- Beautiful gardens, bell tower, bird sanctuary, and so much more to enjoy. For more information, see the Review by ORO Residents Steve & Deb.
- Spook Hill
- Enjoy a mysterious adventure as your car, in neutral, travels uphill.
- Lake Wales Art Center
- Built in 1927 to house a church, this example of Spanish Mission Style architecture is on the National Register of Historic Places. Enjoy classes, concerts, festivals, and other fun events.
- Lake Wales Little Theatre
- This wonderful local theatre was built in 1947 and offers great performances at a reasonable price.
- Polk Museum of Art
- The Museum is located in downtown Lakeland just two blocks north of the Florida Southern College campus.
- Hollis Garden
- This formal garden in the Lake Mirror Park includes 10,000 flowers and native plants.
- Safari Wilderness Ranch
- This agritourism project in the green swamp area offers a true nature experience with no crowds or lines.
- Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor Center
- This center offers the largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture in the world..
- Munn Park Historic District
- This historic district has a number of historical markers and local antique shops in this central Lakeland location.
- Florida Aviation Museum
- This museum offers exhibits from Moon Soup to Howard Hughes, NOAA, and warbirds. The Sun’n’Fun Expo in late March and early April is an event to enjoy.
- Polk Theatre
- The theatre was built during the late 1920s and offers many events for the area.
- Audubon Center for Birds of Prey
- Visit a peaceful retreat to learn about conservation and raptors in a safe environment.
- Farmers Market
- Dozens of local vendors with fresh produce, flowers, crafts, gifts, food, and live music next to City Hall.
- Holocaust Center
- This nationally and internationally recognized facility creates experiences through exhibits, programs, initiatives, and education using lessons from the Holocaust.
- Maitland Art Center
- The Art Center is one of the few surviving examples of “Mayan Revival” architecture. Founded as an art colony in 1937 by artist and architect André Smith, the center offers contemporary art exhibitions in the galleries, two residency programs for professional artists, and art instruction.
- Enzian Theater
- Enzian Theater is a single screen cinema that exists to entertain, inspire, educate, and connect the community through film.
Exploring Mt. Dora
Nestled on Lake Eustis is a lovely town known as the “antique capital of Florida.” Mt. Dora hosts many juried arts and crafts festivals. Enjoy many 5-star restaurants in downtown, as well as shopping and wine walks. See what the Chamber of Commerce has to say.
- Modernism Museum
- This museum is housed in a 1923 fire station and displays modern furniture, art, and more to jumpstart your imagination.
- Premier Boat Tours
- A 2-hour pontoon boat tour on Lake Dora and The Harris Chain of Lakes. The tour includes the Dora Canal, described as “the most beautiful mile of water in the world.”
- Segway Tours
- Several companies in Mt. Dora offer Segway tours of the area, such as Glide Adventure Tours.
- Renningers Flea Market & Antique Center
- Many scheduled events, including car and music festivals, bring a variety of activities to these twin markets in Mt Dora.
The Sanford365 website provides information about daily events and a snapshot of life in Sanford.
- Historic Downtown Sanford
- Enjoy food, drink, music, tours, and more. This website provides a list of events, maps, attractions, and everything you need to enjoy the historic downtown area.
- The RiverWalk is a multi-use pedestrian trail, almost 5 miles long, located on the southern shore of Lake Monroe.
- Cross Seminole Trail
- The Cross Seminole Trail is a pedestrian, bicycle, and equestrian trail in Seminole County near Oviedo.
Exploring Winter Haven
- Ritz Theater
- Opened in 1925, this theater offered silent movies and vaudeville shows. It was deserted in the 1990s and beautifully restored in 2013.
- Cypress Gardens Water Ski Team
- The ski team provides a FREE performance the third Saturday of each month. Bring a chair.
- Manor Professional Wrestling Dinner Show
- Enjoy a very unique way to satisfy your palate.
Exploring Winter Park
- Albin Polasek Sculpture Garden & Museum
- By reservation only, explore the inspired world of internationally-acclaimed Czech sculptor Albin Polasek. You can tour his home, galleries, and sculpture gardens located in Winter Park on Lake Osceola.
- Charles Hosmer Morse Museum
- This museum has the world’s most comprehensive collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848–1933), including jewelry, pottery, paintings, art glass, leaded-glass lamps and windows, and more.
- Scenic Boat Tours
- These tours use an 18-passenger boat to explore the pristine Winter Park chain of Lakes.
- Rollins College
- See the Rollins College Calendar of Events for museum tours and more.
- Park Avenue Shopping & Dining
- A full-day adventure with special events, such as free Christmas concerts, and more.
Exploring Other Areas
- Historic Tours at the Howey Mansion
- Enjoy these 1-hour tours to see the progress as they work tirelessly to restore William J. Howey’s prized mansion to its original grandeur! Reservations are required for these $20 tours.
- Solomon’s Castle: Boat in the Moat
- This castle on Solomon Road in Ona offers one man’s unusual vision turned into reality. See the ORO article about a Fun Day Trip a group of ORO residents enjoyed.
- Exploring Winter Garden
- Winter Garden lists many special events on its website, as well as a map, events flyer, and a restaurant guide. Be sure to visit the Saturday morning Farmer’s Market.
- Hotel Jacaranda (Avon Park)
- Opened in 1926, this hotel has had famous guests, such as Babe Ruth and Clark Gable. They offer buffets and dinner that feature southern-style cuisine. Contact the hotel for dinner/buffet schedules and prices.
- Alan Jay Wildstein Theater (Avon Park)
- Located on the South Florida State College Campus, the SFSC Performing Arts program has been providing affordable, high-quality entertainment since 1984. The program offers more than 30 performances each year in the 1460 seat Wildstein Theater.
- Hamburger Mary’s (Orlando)
- Located in downtown Orlando, Hamburger Mary’s is a great place to eat, drink, and enjoy one of their weekly events, such as female impersonators.
- Canal Street Historic District (New Smyrna Beach)
- Shop, dine, tour, stroll, and enjoy the art. Free concerts, car shows, and so much more to experience.
- Orlando at Play
- This website lists many activities and events to explore in the Orlando area. Music, theater, dance, attractions, and so much more to learn about and experience.