Orlando is a really fantastic city. There’s no bigger name in theme parks, and there’s plenty to do besides with all of our shopping, restaurants, and other tourist attractions! But there’s another great part about Orlando: our neighbors! If you’re visiting Orlando and taking a nice relaxing week in one of our fabulous rentals, then try visiting some of these nearby cities. These daytrips from Orlando can add excitement and enrichment to your vacation that so many Orlando tourists too often miss!

Cape Canaveral

Cape Canaveral— the name sounds like “Carnival,” and the city’s just as fun as one! Just take Highway 528 straight east for about 50-65 minutes, and you’re there! We recommend this area if you’re a big fan of the ocean—if you head to the eastern edge of the city, you’ll see there’s no land in sight for hundreds of miles: perfect for that spectacular sunrise!

While you’re here, there’s plenty to fill up a day! The Brevard Zoo is home to plenty of animals and features its own “Australia Loop.” The planetarium is a great place to go not only to learn about space, but also to enjoy a thrilling lightshow! Perhaps the most fantastic attraction is the Kennedy Space Center. NASA itself hosts this complex of tours, attractions, and memorabilia surrounding America’s proud tradition of space exploration. If you’re planning a trip to Orlando, head to https://www.kennedyspacecenter.com/ and look at the countdown—you may even be able to schedule your visit to coincide with a rocket launch, visible from the center!

Apopka

Maybe you’re more a fan of nature than outer space? While Orlando’s zoo boasts a huge variety of animals, it isn’t quite the same as seeing them in their natural habitat—good thing Orlando’s neighbors have you covered! Apopka stands just 12 miles northwest of Orlando, and beyond it lies Lake Apopka North Shore, home of the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive. The drive is a great place to view all sorts of birds. Plus, the area boasts several trailheads, making it a great pilgrimage for hikers!

Kissimmee

Head straight south to reach the town of Kissimmee. Generally best known for being near Orlando, there’s a few fun things in Kissimmee worth checking out! Capitalizing on the long history of human settlement in the area, Kissimmee Ghost Tours are a great way to get a good scare over the weekend—they’re open on weekends, making them great alternatives to Orlando theme parks’ busiest days. While there, check out the Museum of Military History and learn how the life of a soldier has changed as war has transformed. Freedom isn’t free, but tickets to learn about the struggle for it are $7 or less, making it a nice low-budget addition to a day trip. The last attraction might be unexpected: a rodeo! The Kissimmee Sports Arena Rodeo hosts what they call “The Greatest Show on Dirt.” Check it out if you’re in the mood for a real spectacle!

Reach all these from an Orlando Home!

These attractions are all just a short drive from Orlando, Florida—why not get a great deal on a week-long rental and see them all? Call 1-866-409-8598 and start setting up your ideal Florida vacation!

The city of Orlando has plenty to offer besides Disney and the nearby NASA Station. While these two attractions are certainly bringing in the bulk of tourists for the region, there are plenty of other unique attractions in Orlando. Travel back to a time when Central Florida was largely orange groves and swamps by visiting these historical attractions.

Orange County Regional History Center – 65 E Central Blvd – Orlando, FL

Located in the heart of downtown Orlando, the Orange County Regional History Center is a four-story historic courthouse building and home to four floors of museum exhibits. The museum is a Smithsonian affiliate and prides itself on being the go-to source of history in Central Florida. History can be fun at the Center too; come join fellow history buffs and test your brain during Retro Game Night.

Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art – 445 N Park Ave – Winter Park, FL

The Morse Museum is considered a hidden gem amongst museum lovers in Florida. The museum is home to the largest collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany in the world. There are also comprehensive exhibits for American pottery, late-19th- and early 20th-century American paintings. Beautiful downtown Winter Park is the perfect location for this chic art museum.

Winter Park Scenic/Historical Boat Tour – 312 E Morse Blvd – Winter Park, FL

Don’t forget to take a scenic boat tour while in Winter Park. An 18-passenger pontoon boat gently carries you along Winter Park’s chain of lakes. Tour guides will inform you of all the history behind the lakes and the surrounding region as you meander through the pristine waters. The ride is $14.00 per adult, and $7.00 for children aged 2-11 years old. Groups of ten or more will have to reserve a spot, and they only accept cash or check.

Fort Christmas Historical Park – 1300 N Fort Christmas Rd – Christmas, FL

Fort Christmas is a bit of a drive from downtown Orlando – about 30 minutes – but well worth the trek for history lovers. The park is home to the replica fort of one built in 1837 during the Second Seminole War. There are also eight pioneer homes, a schoolhouse, a sugar cane mill and other historical farming equipment. Group and school tours are available year-round. There’s also something going on at the Park; prospective visitors should visit Fort Christmas’ website to see if there are any festivals or reenactments on the upcoming schedule.

Photo By Leonard J. DeFrancisci, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=29874969

Between its fantastic weather, plethora of thrilling theme parks, and bustling downtown atmosphere, Orlando, Florida is the place to be this Halloween! Here, you’ll find events ranging from elaborate parades hosted by amusement park giants like Disney and Universal Studios to local haunted houses and block parties. Read on to learn more about where to go for the best Halloween celebrations in Orlando!

Orlando Weather and Events for Halloween 2016

During this fun and horrifying holiday weekend, Orlando will experience mild temperatures of highs in the low-to-mid 80s and lows in the mid-to-high 60s, with only a few clouds to add some spookiness to the otherwise pleasant atmosphere. While you’re enjoying the weather, you can check out these local events and celebrate Halloween the Orlando way!

Halloween at the Theme Parks

Having won awards for their terrifying displays, Universal Orlando continues the tradition of Halloween Horror Nights, where the park becomes flooded with hordes of monsters, mutants, and more. There are haunted houses, scare zones, and live shows to complement the extreme thrills of the rides here.

Meanwhile Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is the ultimate trick-or-treating destination, with the entire World Magic Kingdom Park transforming into the best neighborhood ever! Guests can dress up in their Halloween costumes and go trick-or-treating, in addition to meeting Disney characters (who are also in their Halloween costumes, of course) and watching the Mickey’s Boo-To-You Halloween Parade and the HallowWishes fireworks display.

SeaWorld and LEGOLAND also have wonderful Halloween celebrations to offer. SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular allows guests to trick-or-treat in the park and find hidden and spooky sea treasures throughout, while LEGOLAND Florida’s Brick or Treat has a fun scavenger hunt, trick-or-treating, costume contests, and the largest LEGO Jack-O-Lantern in the world.

Other Halloween Events in Downtown Orlando and Beyond

The outdoor trails of scares, live music, and more known as A Petrified Forest immerses guests in the dark world of twisted fairytales, with its final day on Saturday, October 29th.

On Friday the 28th and Saturday the 29th, there will also be dozens of nightclub dance parties and pub crawls, such as Eden Bar’s Halloween Party on Saturday, making it easy to leave off on planning and just roll with the moment when you head to downtown Orlando!

The Haunted Sanford Historical Ghost Walk brings the mysterious history of downtown Sanford to life on the 28th in a tour that’s fun for the whole family, while Make-A-Wish is hosting the family-friendly GUTS Pumpkin Carving Competition on the 29th where there will be ample activities, trick-or-treating, live music, a raffle, a silent auction, and live pumpkin carving in the Milk District.

Invest in Your Best Vacation Yet with Tropical Escape Vacation Homes

Our vast selection of high-quality vacation homes will fit your every vacation need. Private, spacious, and immaculately maintained, our vacation rental homes are the epitome of luxury and comfort. We also pride ourselves on standing out from our competition by offering not only gorgeous homes for your use, but a dedication to customer service. Our friendly reservation specialists are more than happy to answer your questions regarding the homes we have available, how our vacation rental process works, general information on the Orlando area, or anything else that might come to mind.

Contact Tropical Escape Vacation Homes today to reserve your very own private oasis in the beauty and excitement of Orlando!

Memorial Day Weekend has become one of the most popular weekends to take a vacation. As such, there are plenty of activities and events that take the nation by storm during this time. One of the most significant destinations during this time is Orlando, Florida, and for good reason. Between all of the one-of-a-kind events and the year-round attractions of the city, you cannot do any better than a Memorial Day vacation in Orlando. Here are some ideas regarding how you can spend your time while here.

Memorial Day Parade

This year on May 30th, you can be a part of the long-standing Orlando tradition of putting on one of the largest parades in the country to celebrate Memorial Day. The parade is done with a Caribbean theme, which is close to the hearts of many of the locals. There are endless floats, costumes, masqueraders, and bands supplying good vibes with live music. Delicious and extensive food options line the streets along with many items from different vendors. The event is so grandiose and exciting that it has been dubbed the Caribbean-flavored Mardi Gras, which is quite the comparison!

Many More Events

Orlando does a great job of celebrating this weekend with many more events. Throughout the city, you can find countless musical performances along with celebrations of food, such as the BBQ Blowout on Saturday and the Memorial Day Carillon Concerts on Monday. You can also enjoy more unique celebrations like the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival throughout the whole weekend.

Enjoy the Year-Round Activities

As summer is just getting kicked off, this is the perfect time to enjoy many of the wonderful things that make Orlando a great place to visit. Firstly, there is plenty of beautiful natural landscape in the area. These seemingly endless tracts of land are perfect for hiking, biking, and having a peaceful Memorial Day picnic. West Orange Trail and Cross Seminole Trail are excellent places to explore. You can also float down a river in a tube at Kelly Park and go hang gliding at Wallaby Ranch. Your options are virtually endless in Orlando.

The rich history of Orlando is also one of the things that make it a special place to enjoy Memorial Day Weekend. There are many amazing places for visitors to stay throughout the weekend that are sure to enhance the festivities. Why not check out the many luxurious vacation rentals available from Tropical Escape Vacation Homes for your Orlando, Florida vacation?

Top 5 Family Attractions in Orlando



When visiting Orlando, of course you want to take the family to all of the obvious attractions such as Disney World, SeaWorld and Universal Orlando, but there is so much more than that! Here are 5 top attractions that you and your family should visit on your next Orlando vacation.


Orlando Science Center



For sixty years, the Orlando Science Center has been a place that inspires curiosity and exploration. Truly one of the great activities for Orlando families, the Science Center encourages learning in a fun way. For visitors from out of town, Orlando Science Center is a must for your “things to do in Orlando” list. There are four floors of exciting exhibits, amazing giant screen movies, and engaging live programming. The Science Center is the perfect family destination.


Chocolate Kingdom Factory Adventure Tour



The Chocolate Kingdom Factory Adventure Tour is an interactive journey that uncovers how chocolate transforms from the bean into the delicious chocolate bar that we all know and love. They provide a personal chocolate tour guide, who joins forces with a handsome prince and his dragon sidekick to take guests through a Cacao Tree Greenhouse, a one-of-a-kind Chocolate Museum, a Mystical River of Chocolate, and a Micro Batch Bean-to-the-Bar Factory utilizing old world machinery. With an opportunity to create a customized chocolate bar for an additional cost, Chocolate Kingdom is the most unique chocolate experience in North America and will inspire and amaze chocoholics of all ages.


K-1 Speed Indoor Kart Racing



K1 Speed Orlando is one of the best indoor kart racing tracks and is definitely the place for thrills and excitement! It is open to the public every day of the year, which makes it the perfect place to take your family while vacationing in Orlando. There is no better place to experience wheel-to-wheel racing that is safe, convenient, and affordable. In addition to a professionally designed track, there are also spacious lounges, snack bars, and authentic racing memorabilia on display.


Madame Tussauds



Roll out the red carpet, Orlando! Madame Tussauds, the world’s most famous celebrity wax attraction, provides visitors with the ultimate fame experience, and its signature red carpet treatment. Get ready to experience the essence of America with this brand new immersive and interactive wax experience, bursting with family fun and world-class entertainment.


Pirates Cove Adventure Golf



Pirate’s Cove, also known as “the Original Adventure Golf,” offers the best miniature golf experience! The adventures and legends of infamous pirates come to life in an award-winning themed golf course setting. Putt your way through caves, over footbridges, and under cascading waterfalls, all amidst a fun-filled atmosphere of natural wonders, extraordinary landscaping, and enchanting pirate lore.



Now, those are just a few places, so the next time you are planning a trip to Orlando, don’t be afraid to think outside the park. And remember! If you’re looking for a beautiful place to stay, there’s nowhere better than Tropical Escape Vacation Homes. Contact us or book today to start planning your vacation of a lifetime in beautiful Orlando, Florida!


The Top Free Activities in Orlando, Florida

Vacations are expensive enough with just travel and lodging; nobody wants to pay excessively high activity fees in addition. For that reason, we at Tropical Escape Vacation Homes have prepared a list of the best free activities in Orlando. These are great options to get to know the Florida area without breaking the bank, and don’t worry, these are quality activities.

Grand Bohemian Gallery

Described as eclectic and visually stimulating, this gallery inside the Grand Bohemian Hotel is quite the treat. Featured here are a variety of local and international artists displaying oil paintings, glass work, jewelry, and more! The exhibits cycle each month, so there’s always something new to see – and it’s free!

Downtown Disney

Disney World has a large ticket price, but Downtown Disney is free.  Here you get a taste of Disney culture with a great variety of shops and restaurants. Depending on the time of year, there may be festivals taking place as well. Keep an eye on the Downtown Disney calendar and you may make some incredible memories.

Lake Eola

This is a great segue out of Downtown Disney. Lake Eola Park is nearby downtown and has a mile-long trail offering a view of the cityscape and gorgeous waters.  You can feed the swans here and find some food for yourself nearby. Offering a great view without requiring a trip out of the city, this is a great option.

Live Music

Live music is in abundance across Florida. There are many free beach concerts that appears with the dawn of each season, and some very talented locals play music in both Downtown Disney and local restaurants and bars.  If you’re craving some groovy tunes, a quick search online will provide details on where to go on, whatever night of the week.

Leu Gardens

You can’t put a price on nature, and luckily many parks don’t. Leu Gardens is a 50-acre botanical oasis with several gardens designed to inspire visitors to learn about and appreciate plants. There are 30 minute tours throughout the day, so you don’t need to worry about feeling lost. This place is open 9am-5pm and isn’t far from downtown, allowing easy access. While you’re here, take a tour of the historic Leu House Museum to experience another Florida landmark.

The List Goes On

There’s many free events across Orlando that are worth checking out, and these five are a great way to get started!