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Unplugged

Orlando Unplugged: Creating Opportunities to Relax 

There's nothing better than returning home from vacation feeling likeyou've had the opportunity to disconnect from everyday life. According to astudy by ProjectTime Off, those who plan for vacations report increased happinessin just about every arena of life, including relationships, work and health. Orlandoprovides plenty of opportunities to take time to unwind with friends and familywhile creating life-long memories. Armed with leisurely activities and insidertips for maximizing their time in the destination, visitors can savor theirvacation days at a more relaxed pace.

 

TAKEIT SLOW

WhileOrlando is well known for its thrilling theme parks, there's no shortage of scenicattractions to explore by air, land and sea. Adventurers can start the dayrising above ground with OrlandoBalloon Rides on an unforgettable bucket-list hot airballoon ride of hang gliding at Wallaby Ranch, and wind down in the evening witha sunset champagne toast shared aboard a private capsule on the Coca-ColaOrlando Eye observation wheel. Bike rentals areavailable to spend an afternoon coasting around local towns like Winter Gardenand Celebration. Cyclists rent bikes at West Orange Trail-Bikes and Blades Co.and follow the WestOrange Trail in Winter Garden to Plant Street Market fora lunch break on the expansive outdoor patio, or cruise Celebration's pavedtrails before stopping to rest in the lakefront rocking chairs. The WinterPark Scenic Boat Tour departs daily for an entertaining pontoonboat tour through the Winter Park Chain of Lakes, which are linked by a seriesof beautiful Venetian-style canals.

 

DISCONNECTTO RECONNECT

There'sno need to travel far to encounter Central Florida's lush wilderness. Relaxingaquatic adventures, refreshing local swimming holes and peaceful gardens invitetravelers to disconnect from the digital world and experience the area'snatural beauty in real time. On the water, Get Up and Go Kayaking offersseveral immersive kayaking tours in their fleet of 100 percent clear kayaks.Kayakers will revel in the surrounding landscape of RockSprings Run, home to playful otters, fish and a varietyof native bird species, while observing the crystal-clear spring water directlybelow. Another serene hideaway, WekivaIsland is a beloved local hangout and swimming hole along theWekiva River, complete with Adirondack chairs for lazing in the sun; kayak andpaddleboard rentals; an on-site bar and restaurant; and private cabana rentalsfor the ultimate in lazy day luxury. Paddleboard Orlandoinvites novices and pros alike to cruise around local lakes, while HarryP. Leu Gardens beckons visitors to roam on foot through 50acres of themed landscaped gardens.

 

UNWINDAND RECHARGE

Guestscan rejuvenate through a multitude of tranquil activities, from astress-relieving spa day to making memories while relaxing poolside or floatingdown a winding lazy river. A day of pampering is available at Orlando'stop-notch resort spas, including TheSpa at Four Seasons Resort Orlando and the WaldorfAstoria Spa. At TheRitz-Carlton Spa, luxurious bliss arrives in the form of theGrande Hammock Experience, a "zero gravity" hammock massage.

Visitorswill find all of the perks of the beach without leaving Orlando at Universal'sVolcano Bay, the destination's newest themed water park.They can chill out in a lounge chair on the sprawling sandy shores of WaturiBeach, cool down with a dip in the wave pool or drift along the Kopiko WaiWinding River with their friends or families. A hands-on all day adventureawaits at DiscoveryCove,where visitors can swim with dolphins and sharks; embark on an underwaterwalking tour; and recharge poolside. Adults and kids can splash and play allday at Aquatica,SeaWorld's Waterpark and Disney'sBlizzard Beach and TyphoonLagoon water parks. After leaving the theme parks, guests canretire to some of Orlando's coolest pools at sprawling resort complexes like JWMarriott Orlando, Grande Lakes and FourSeasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort,housing a winding lazy river with waterfalls and bubbling springs, anadults-only pool, family pool, water slides and more.

 

DINETO INDULGE

Lingeringover a delectable meal is the ideal way to set the tone for relaxation whileindulging the senses. Visitors can immerse themselves in Orlando's diversedining scene at theme park hideaways, local foodie hot spots and peacefulpicnic-friendly destinations. Guests can take a break from the action withoutleaving the theme parks by reserving a table at BeOur Guest Restaurant inside Magic Kingdom Park, where amulti-course menu is served to dinner patrons in elaborate Beauty and theBeast-themed dining rooms. MythosRestaurant's towering rock formations, cascading waterfalls andancient figures at Universal's Islands of Adventure is an ideal place to enjoya meal post-rollercoaster fun.

Outsideof the theme parks, Winter Park's famed Park Avenue boasts multipleopportunities for an al fresco dining experience along brick-lined streets atfavorites like Prato, Boca, bluon the avenue and Briarpatch, apopular go-to for weekend brunch. In downtown Orlando, DoveCoteBrasserie serves delightful French inspired fare in a bright andupscale atmosphere and TheBoheme inside the Grand Bohemian Hotel Orlando hosts a classySunday brunch affair with live jazz music. Alternatively, picnic provisions canbe gathered at EastEnd Market and enjoyed at a leisurely pace in outdoor spaces likeLake Eola Park, Central Park in Winter Park and the sculpture gardens at theAlbin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens.