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Outdoor Adventure - Spanish
Orlando Activities Capture Visitors' Spirit of Adventure
ORLANDO, Fla. - While Orlando may be best known for theme parks, it's also filled with unique outdoor adventures that create unforgettable vacation experiences and the advantage of unique Florida weather and terrain. From skydiving and horseback riding to surfing and race car driving, Orlando offers limitless options for endless adventure.
Hot Air Balloon Ride - Three of the area's established vendors include Bob's Balloon Flights, Orlando Balloon Rides and Magic Sunrise Ballooning. Upon boarding, visitors are carried away by warm breezes and breathtaking views that only a hot air balloon ride can provide.
Helicopter tour - International Heli-Tours offers aerial tours of Orlando, Walt Disney World Resort, SeaWorld Orlando, Universal Orlando Resort, celebrity homes and more; showcasing the destination's attractions, lakes and abundant wildlife.
Skydiving - Orlando Skydiving and Skydive Space Center offers the world's highest tandem jump from 18,000 feet (5,486 meters). For those not ready to jump from a plane, iFly Orlando on International Drive offers an exhilarating indoor experience through 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 and enjoy views of some of Central Florida's nature landscape.
Historical Flight - Aircraft aficionados can step back in time onboard a vintage biplane or fighter plane flight at Fantasy of Flight in nearby Polk County, where guests can experience open-cockpit biplane rides in a 1930s New Standard D-25 or a 1940s Boeing PT-17 Stearman. Warbird Adventures provides flights on the World War II T-6 Texan fighter plane.
Horseback Riding - Trail riding, pony rides and horsemanship training are available for all skill levels at various locations, including Horse World Riding Stables, Florida EcoSafaris at Forever Florida and Westgate River Ranch.
EcoTours - Florida EcoSafaris at Forever Florida offers eco-safaris via horseback, zipline or in a swamp buggy through a nature preserve with nine ecosystems. The Swooping Crane hoists guests 55 feet (16.8 meters) and sends them soaring through the trees. The Cypress Canopy Cycle, which consists of reclining bicycles suspended from a network of high-tension cables, is 25 feet (7.6 meters) off the ground and over the most beautiful ecosystems of the 4,700-acre (1,902-hectare) property. Grande Lakes Outfitters' interpretive eco-tours offer guided canoe or kayak tours where guests can learn about the history of Shingle Creek and observe the native species such as alligators, bald eagles, osprey and barred owls in their natural habitat.
Trailing - Designated a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists, Orlando offers a multitude of paved trails for people who want to bike, in-line skate, walk or run. Many paths surround scenic lakes or are located in recreational parks. The West Orange Trail provides 19 paved miles (30.6 kilometers) with restroom and picnic facilities.
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 Tropical Palms 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 month at several Orlando outlets. Riders can join up with one of the area's friendly group rides or groups can participate in an unforgettable team-building experience. Orlando Harley-Davidson is just one of many options.
Off Roading - At Revolution The Off-Road Experience guests take the wheel of an all-terrain vehicle, Hummer, Jeep Dune Buggy or high-speed rally car for a few hours of off-road fun. Other on-site activities include fishing and water sports.
Stock Car Racing/Riding - The Richard Petty Driving Experience takes motorsports fans out of the grandstands and behind the wheel for ride-and-drive programs on the 1-mile (1.6-kilometer), tri-oval Walt Disney World Speedway. The Junior Ride-Along program gives 6 to 13-year-olds (at least 48 inches/122 cm) the opportunity to experience real-life racing excitement while riding shotgun with a professional driving instructor for three thrilling laps. The Exotic Driving Experience, gives visitors the opportunity to test drive some of the world's finest supercars, including Ferrari, Lamborghini, Audi and Porsche vehicles.
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 Florida bird habitats by promoting bird-watching and environmental education. The trail is a collection of 445 sites throughout Florida.
Ziplining - Florida Eco-Safaris at Forever Florida features the first zipline experience in the state and first zipline rollercoaster in the U.S. called The Rattlesnake. The Zipline Safari takes guests on a treetop nature tour reaching heights of 55 feet (16.8 meters) and speeds up to 25 mph (40.2 kph). Central Florida ZOOm Air Adventures and Zip Orlando Canopy Tours also offer ziplining opportunities. Gatorland's Eco Zip Line carries riders over gators along 1,200 feet (366 meters) of high-flying adventure up to 56 feet (17 meters) high and nearly 30 mph (48 kph).
Fishing - Anglers discover a sea of choices when it comes to fishing the more than 2,000 named lakes, rivers and springs in the greater Orlando area. Large-mouth bass, monster red fish and spotted sea trout are just a few of the creatures waiting to take the bait. BASS Online, Pro Bass Guide Service and Incentive Fishing Charters are among the area's numerous professional fish camps and guide services. Grande Lakes Outfitters offers a G. Loomis-endorsed private fly fishing school, full-day fly fishing seminars, fly fishing tours with professional guides and private guided eco-tours on Shingle Creek.
Swimming and Water Sports - Water enthusiasts enjoy year-round offerings at area facilities including Buena Vista Water Sports, Sammy Duvall's Water Sports Centre at Disney's Contemporary Resort and Wake Zone at Wet ‘n Wild - Orlando. The Orlando Watersports Complex is the only facility in the United States to have two cableways for unlimited riding time and increased skill building for riders of all levels. Fun 2 Dive Scuba and Manatee Snorkeling Tours offer full-day manatee snorkeling experiences that include a manatee awareness program 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 manatees up close. For a more extreme adventure, FlyBoard or Blast off Adventures allow guests to fly Iron Man-style up to 30 feet (9 meter) in the air or leap through waves like a human dolphin.
Paddleboarding - Paddleboard Orlando, offers standup paddleboard lessons for beginners, unique adventure tours, yoga lessons and rentals.
Boating - Explore Florida's natural, unspoiled beauty via a number of boating experiences, including a leisurely outing on the Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour; or an airboat ride through nature on Boggy Creek Airboat Rides, Kissimmee Swamp Tours, Airboat Rides at Midway, Old Fashioned Airboat Rides, Wild Florida or Black Hammock Adventures.
Surfing - Fantasy Surf, is an interactive water sport activity where participants of all ages can catch the "ultimate" indoor wave with the patented FlowRider system. Disney's Typhoon Lagoon, one of two Walt Disney World water parks offers surf lessons in North American's largest wave pool.
Golf - Eagles, birdies and pars fill the scorecards at the nearly 200 Orlando-area golf courses designed by famed architects such as Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman, Robert Trent Jones and Tom Watson. For enthusiasts looking to improve their game, Orlando's 23 famed golf academies, including the world headquarters of the David Leadbetter Golf Academy at ChampionsGate, can customize golf instructions for groups or individuals. The ANNIKA Academy, named for LPGA champ Annika Sorenstam, operates at Reunion Resort and Club and at the Wyndham Grand Resort.
Tennis - Orlando serves up more than 800 tennis courts at area tennis centers, resorts and hotels. Visitors can leave the racquet at home as most facilities rent and sell equipment and can arrange lessons or matches for players of all levels.
Collegiate & Professional Sports - The University of Central Florida and Rollins College sports programs offer a terrific lineup of local collegiate competition. Thousands of college gridiron fans pack the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium every January to support their favorite Big Ten or SEC team in the highly regarded Capital One Bowl. The Russell Athletic Bowl, the nation's fastest growing bowl game, features teams from the Big Ten and ACC in a late December match-up. Meanwhile, the Florida Classic pits historical rivals Bethune-Cookman University and Florida A&M University against each other each November.
Professional sports fans won't be disappointed as Orlando hosts the NBA's Orlando Magic and the Orlando Predators of the Arena Football League in the state-of-the-art Amway Center. Orlando is also home to the ECHL Premier ‘AA' Hockey League team, the Orlando Solar Bears, and the American professional soccer team, Orlando City Soccer Club, which will soon become an MLS franchise. MLB's must see pre-season action includes: spring training with the Atlanta Braves at Disney's Wide World of Sports, and the Houston Astros at the Osceola County Stadium. The nation's top athletes in BMX compete for top honors at the USA BMX in Orlando as well.
For more information about vacation experiences in Orlando, to order a complimentary vacation planning kit that includes a comprehensive Official Visitors Guide and Orlando Magicard® or to purchase discount attraction tickets, visitors can log onto Orlando's official website at VisitOrlando.com or call an Official Travel Counselor at 1-800-551-0181 (United States and Canada) or 407-363-5872. For real time updates, follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/VisitOrlando or Facebook at Facebook.com/VisitOrlando. Visitors may stop by the Official Visitor Center, which is located at 8723 International Drive.