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Orlando's Great Outdoor Thrills: From Mild to Wild
ORLANDO, Fla. - Beyond Orlando's world-class theme parks and rollercoasters, mild to wild adventures offer visitors a new view of the destination. Speed-lovers can zoom through treetops on a zip line roller coaster or kick up some dirt on an ATU, while guests looking for a view might enjoy hang gliding over orange groves, the world's highest tandem sky dive or a relaxing hot air balloon ride. Peaceful paddleboarding on one of Orlando's gorgeous lakes, snorkeling with manatees or a bike ride across the city offer more temperate experiences. No matter the age or preference, Orlando provides limitless options for adventure seekers.
Hot Air BalloonRide - Three of the area'sestablished vendors include Bob's Balloon Flights, OrlandoBalloon Rides and MagicSunrise Ballooning. Uponboarding, visitors are carried away by warm breezes and breathtaking views thatonly a hot air balloon ride can provide.
Helicopter tour - International Heli-Tours, AirFlorida and Air Force Fun Helicopter Tours offer aerialtours of Orlando, Walt Disney World Resort, SeaWorld Orlando, Universal OrlandoResort, celebrity homes and more; showcasing the destination's attractions,lakes and abundant wildlife.
Skydiving - Orlando Skydiving and SkydiveSpace Center offer theworld's highest tandem jump from 18,000 feet (5,486 meters). For those notready to jump from a plane, iFly Orlando on International Drive offers an exhilarating indoor experiencethrough a super-charged wind tunnel for all ages.
Hang Gliding - At Wallaby Ranch Hang Gliding Flight Park, visitors get towed to a height of 2,000 feet(610 meters) by a specially designed ultra-light tow plane where they can enjoybreathtaking views of some of Central Florida and beyond.
Historical Flight -WarbirdAdventures provides exhilarating flights on the World War IIT-6 Texan fighter plane.
Horseback Riding -Trail riding, pony rides and horsemanship training are available for all skilllevels at various locations, including ForeverFlorida - Ziplines & Adventures in the Wild and Westgate River Ranch.
EcoTours - Forever Florida- Ziplines & Adventures in the Wild offers eco-safaris viahorseback, zip line or in a swamp buggy through a nature preserve with nineecosystems. The Swooping Crane hoists guests 55 feet (16.8 meters) and sendsthem soaring through the trees. The Cypress Canopy Cycle, which consists ofreclining bicycles suspended from a network of high-tension cables, is 25 feet (7.6meters) off the ground and over the most beautiful ecosystems of the 4,700-acre(1,902-hectare) property. GrandeLakes Outfitters' interpretive eco-tours offer guided canoeor kayak tours where guests can learn about the history of Shingle Creek andobserve the native species such as alligators, bald eagles, osprey and barredowls in their natural habitat.
Trailing and Biking - Designated a Bicycle Friendly Community by theLeague of American Bicyclists, Orlando offers a multitude of paved trails forpeople who want to bike, in-line skate, walk or run. Many paths surround sceniclakes or are located in recreational parks. The West Orange Trail provides 19paved miles (30.6 kilometers) with restroom and picnic facilities. Orlando BikeShare lets anyone grab a ride for a small hourly fee with bikerental hubs across downtown.
Camping - From public recreational parks, such as Moss Park and Wekiwa Springs State Park, to campgrounds like Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground and TropicalPalms Resort and Campground,the options are endless to enjoy accommodations in the great outdoors.
Motorcycling -Visitors can leave the chopper at home and rent one for the day, week or monthat several Orlando outlets. Riders can join up with one of the area's friendlygroup rides or groups can participate in an unforgettable team-buildingexperience. Orlando Harley-Davidsonis just one of many options.
Off-Roading -At Revolution Off-RoadExperience guests takethe wheel of an all-terrain vehicle, Hummer, Jeep Dune Buggy or high-speedrally car for a few hours of off-road fun. Other on-site activities include fishingand water sports.
Birding -Bird-watchers have nearly 20 stops to explore in Central Florida on the Great Florida Birding Trail,a 2,000-mile (3,200-kilometer) trail designed to conserve and enhance Floridabird habitats by promoting bird-watching and environmental education. The trailis a collection of 445 sites throughout Florida.
Zip Lining - ForeverFlorida - Ziplines & Adventures in the Wild features thefirst zip line experience in the state and first zip line rollercoaster in theU.S. called The Rattlesnake. The Zip line Safari takes guests on a treetopnature tour reaching heights of 55 feet (16.8 meters) and speeds up to 25 mph(40.2 kph). Central Florida ZOOm AirAdventures, ZipOrlando Canopy Tours and the new OrlandoTree Trek Adventure Park also offer zip lining opportunities for allages. Gatorland'sScreamin' Gator Zip Line carries riders over gators along 1,200 feet (366meters) of high-flying adventure up to 56 feet (17 meters) high and nearly 30mph (48 kph).
Fishing - Anglers discover a sea of choices whenit comes to fishing the more than 2,000 named lakes, rivers and springs in thegreater Orlando area. Large-mouth bass, monster red fish and spotted sea troutare just a few of the creatures waiting to take the bait. BASS Online,Pro Bass Guide Serviceand Incentive Fishing Chartersare among the area's numerous professional fish camps and guide services. Grande Lakes Outfittersoffers a G. Loomis-endorsed private fly fishing school, full-day fly fishingseminars, fly fishing tours with professional guides and private guidedeco-tours on Shingle Creek.
Swimming and WaterSports - Water enthusiasts enjoy year-roundofferings at area facilities including BuenaVista Water Sports, SammyDuvall's Water Sports Centreat Disney's Contemporary Resort and Wake Zone at Wet ‘nWild - Orlando. TheOrlando Watersports Complexis the only facility in the United States to have two cableways for unlimitedriding time and increased skill building for riders of all levels. Fun 2 Dive Scuba and Manatee Snorkeling Toursoffer full-day manatee snorkeling experiences that include a manatee awarenessprogram and time in the water with these gentle creatures. Florida Dolphin Tours, Inc.also offers sightseeing tours and excursions to see or swim with dolphins and manateesup close. For a more extreme adventure, FlyBoard allowsguests to fly Iron Man-style up to 30 feet (9 meter) in the air or leap throughwaves like a human dolphin.
Paddleboarding - Paddleboard Orlando,offers standup paddleboard lessons for beginners, unique adventure tours, yogalessons and rentals.
Boating - Explore Florida's natural, unspoiled beauty viaa number of boating experiences, including a leisurely outing on the WinterPark Scenic Boat Tour; oran airboat ride through nature on Boggy Creek Airboat Rides, KissimmeeSwamp Tours, AirboatRides at Midway, OldFashioned Airboat Rides, WildFlorida or Black Hammock Adventures.
Surfing - Fantasy Surf,is an interactive water sport activity where participants of all ages can catchthe "ultimate" indoor wave with the patented FlowRider system. Disney's Typhoon Lagoon, one of twoWalt Disney World water parks offers surf lessons in North American's largestwave pool.