If you go to Central Florida only for the theme park thrills, you’ll miss out on lots of fun adventures in this nature lover’s paradise.
Kissimmee is on the doorstep of Florida's theme parks with family attractions and activities that visitors can enjoy in natural settings. Try soaring on a zip line above a marsh filled with alligators, navigating through a treetop obstacle course or paddling among centuries-old cypress trees. Wherever you explore in the Kissimmee area, you’ll surely treasure the memories made in sunny Central Florida.
Gatorland: Escapades Among the Alligators
In Florida, an abundance of wildlife thrives in the state’s year-round warm weather. Perhaps the most famous Florida animal is the American alligator. At Gatorland, visitors can safely see more than 2,000 of them – from hatchlings to adults more than four meters long – in addition to crocodiles, snakes, giant tortoises, big cats and a variety of birds.
Ride the Screamin’ Gator Zip Line and peer down at Gatorland’s premier attractions – including the alligator breeding marsh – as you fly over the gators at speeds of up to 48 kph from heights of up to seven stories high. The five courses were voted “Best Zip Line in the USA” by AOL Travel.
Go on Gatorland’s newest attraction, the Stompin’ Gator Off-Road Adventure. Buckle up in the swamp buggy – a 3.6-meter-tall open-air vehicle – and enjoy the antics of a singing tour guide while bouncing along back roads to see alligators and a cast of zany characters.
All smiles while posing with the alligators at Gatorland
Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park: Exploring a Forest Canopy
Forget on-the-ground obstacle courses. Instead, follow aerial trails with nearly 100 activities, including swings, nets, ropes and suspension bridges, in a six-hectare forest at Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park. Start with easy obstacles, then feel the thrill as the course climbs higher and higher into the pine trees. Save the best for last with a 130-meter zip line plunge through the forest canopy.
Don’t be afraid; thorough training is provided. Adventurers are securely harnessed to safety lines, and courses are ranked according to height or the skills needed. Additional courses are offered for children, and the youngest kids can enjoy following trails on the ground.
A thrilling trip down one of the zip lines at Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park
The Paddling Center at Shingle Creek: Scenic Excursions
At the headwaters of Florida’s world-famous Everglades, go kayaking, canoeing or stand-up paddleboarding through picturesque waterways.
Learn about the area’s history, wildlife and ecology on the Cypress Forest Guided Eco-Tour at The Paddling Center at Shingle Creek. The center’s certified instructors lead groups of kayakers through the scenic waterways amid a forest of cypress trees rooted in the water. Listen for bird calls, and see alligators, snakes and turtles along the way.
After an outing on the water, enjoy a picnic and go sightseeing on land along several hiking and biking trails.
Splashing around on a kayaking outing from The Paddling Center at Shingle Creek
Fly in to Orlando International Airport (MCO), where you can rent a car or arrange for a ride service to take you the 25-minute drive to Kissimmee. Once here, you're only 10 minutes from Walt Disney World® Resort, 20 minutes from Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld® Parks and ResortsTM Orlando, and 50 minutes from LEGOLAND® Florida Resort. You can choose your pick from more than 70,000 local accommodation options including over 50,000 vacation home rentals.