19 Reasons Why Orlando Is The Perfect Winter Sun Holiday Destination

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of winter?

The holiday season and family get-togethers, or dark & dreary clouds?

Staying in at home, sitting around the Christmas tree, or sunbathing under a warm winter sun?

Perhaps you think of gift-giving and hot chocolate? Or, do you think of the bitter cold, and long dark nights?

If you choose the latter, don’t worry you are not alone. Many of us would happily swap the frost for some warm sunshine, even our cozy home for an exotic holiday destination.

Now, Orlando, may not be an exotic destination but with its cooler temperatures & numerous outdoor activities, make it one of the best winter sun holiday destinations in the U.S.

Things to Do in Orlando Besides Theme Parks

Orlando may be the Theme Park Capital of the World but there is so much more to this wonderful city.

With outdoor attractions, ecotourism thrills, nature hikes, and wildlife, Orlando has plenty to offer families to do under the winter sun.

Outdoor Activities

The opportunities for outdoor fun in and around Orlando are endless, including ziplining, airboat rides, animal encounters and much more

Enjoying the Orlando's Winter Sun on a hot air balloon

Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park

About 15 minutes southwest of Walt Disney World Resort, climb and soar with Tarzan-style swings, nets, ropes, challenging bridges, and more — including a 425-foot zip line.

Bok Tower Gardens

Located 10 miles from Legoland, Bok Tower Gardens is one of Florida’s best-kept secrets. This National Historic Landmark was dedicated in 1929 as a gift of gratitude from Edward Bok. Close to 700 acres of citrus groves, woodland gardens, nature trails, conservation lands, and endangered plants is the perfect setting for visitors to explore breathtaking sights.

Orlando Balloon Rides

Float gently across the Orlando skyline with the city’s premier balloon ride operator. Go up, way up in the world’s oldest and safest form of flight and while enjoying the splendid view from the top.

Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour

Take a relaxing, narrated, one-hour cruise through the waterways of Winter Park, which is 15 minutes north of downtown Orlando. Along the way, you’ll see Rollins College, Kraft Azalea Gardens, Winter Park’s Isle of Sicily, multimillion-dollar mansions, and an abundance of wildlife.

Natural Springs in Orlando

An hour’s drive from Orlando, visitors can visit several natural springs. With their crystal-clear water, they can go swimming, snorkeling, fishing, and manatee encounters.

Kelly Park

About 35 minutes northwest of downtown Orlando, this park features free-flowing natural springs and Rock Springs, which is a clear, swift creek.

Blue Spring State Park

This park offers year-round adventure, including opportunities for camping, birding, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, swimming, and more, all about 45 minutes north of downtown Orlando.

De Leon Springs State Park

In addition to showcasing Florida’s natural beauty, this park is home to the Old Spanish Sugar Mill Grill and Griddle House, where you can make custom pancakes inside a 100-year-old replica of an 1830s sugar mill. It’s an hour north of downtown Orlando.

Wekiwa Springs State Park

Just 25 minutes north of downtown Orlando, this massive park has trails, canoe rentals, untouched vistas, and family-friendly play areas, as well as its namesake springs. It’s adjacent to Wekiva Island, a unique day resort that only charges $2 for admission. 

Ecotourism Thrills in Orlando

Ecotourism has never been more popular, and here in the heart of Florida. Orlando’s natural beauty serves as the perfect counterbalance to their signature theme park fun.

Orlando's ecotourism drive under the winter sun

Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens

This zoo features Seminole Aerial Adventures, where you can navigate between trees using rope bridges, zip lines, suspended disks, and other unique elements. They’re in Sanford, about 30 minutes north of downtown Orlando.

Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures

Boggy Creek offers day, sunset, and night tours, as well as a gator pond, Native American village, and even mining opportunities. Be sure to stop by the old swamp shack for an unforgettable family photo! You’ll find them about 40 minutes southeast of Walt Disney World.

Revolution Adventures

Just 30 minutes west of Walt Disney World, take the wheel of a Polaris ATV or RZR, Hummer, dune buggy, or amphibious “Mucky Duck” for pulse-pounding, off-road fun. They also have clay shooting, archery, and bass fishing

Wallaby Ranch Hang Gliding Flight Park

Experience breathtaking views from 2,000 feet up at this attraction, which is 20 minutes southwest of Walt Disney World.

Fight Climate Change Together

I have designed the What’s Your Carbon collection that will hopefully make people aware of their contribution to climate change.

The apparel line includes T-shirts to Tank Tops, Hoodys to Sweatshirts and V-necks to scoop-necks. We have options for men, women, and children.

Nature & Hiking Trails in Orlando

Orlando’s winter sun provides excellent weather for hiking and bicycling. The many nature parks and preserves offer a treasure trove of wildlife for you to explore.

Relax and Rejuvenate under the winter sun in Orlando's Natural Springs

West Orange Trail

This 20.8-mile paved trail stretches north from Winter Garden, about 30 minutes west of downtown Orlando, to the banks of Lake Apopka with plenty of amenities along the way — including playground equipment. If you want to bike it, West Orange Trail Bikes & Blades Co. of Winter Garden rents bicycles and similar equipment, including bike trailers for transporting kids. They can even deliver to your hotel!

Cady Way Trail

Stretching from downtown Orlando to Winter Park, this 7.2-mile paved corridor features water fountains and sheltered rest stops.

The Nature Conservancy’s Disney Wilderness Preserve

About 40 minutes south of Walt Disney World, this 11,500-acre nature sanctuary has a hiking trail where you can get a close look at the area’s native plants and animals.

Wildlife & Birding in Orlando

Orlando’s moderate climate becomes a popular haven for birds and those who love to watch them. Photographers and birders find their paradise here among areas like Lake Apopka, a magnet for nesting and migrating birds lured by the lake’s acres of undeveloped shoreline.

Birds in enjoying the winter sun safely in their bird havens

Walt Disney World Fishing

Experience bass fishing at its finest all year round at Walt Disney World Resort! Suitable for novices and experts alike, two- and four-hour options include guided bass-fishing excursions aboard a 21-foot Sun Tracker pontoon boat for up to five people, and a tournament-style NITRO bass-fishing boat for up to two people. Reservations can be made up to 180 days in advance.

Gatorland Bird Rookery

From February through June, bird enthusiasts and photographers can gain early morning, value-priced access to Gatorland’s expansive nature preserves with the park’s Photographers Pass.

Lake Apopka North Shore

About 50 minutes northwest of downtown Orlando, this gorgeous area is home to more than 360 bird species, including bald eagles, great blue herons, snow egrets, and anhingas. It’s also the site of the North Shore Birding Festival, which takes place each winter and offers guided birding and nature tours.

The Great Florida Birding & Wildlife Trail

An amazing resource for viewing a wide variety of wildlife, this trail has 17 locations in Orlando and Orange County, as well as numerous other places throughout Florida.

Make Your Winter Sun Vacation Unforgettable

Orlando authorities have gone above and beyond to ensure the safety of visitors. All the parks are limiting the capacity to allow for proper social distancing. Masks are required while in public places.

There’s so much you can do in Orlando with your family. Theme parks, outdoor attractions, ecotourism thrills, nature hikes, and wildlife, Orlando has plenty to offer while you bask in the warm winter sun.

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13 thoughts on “19 Reasons Why Orlando Is The Perfect Winter Sun Holiday Destination”

  1. This is great!

    I would never have thought Orlando for a winter holiday even though it makes perfect sense! Thanks for putting together the price comparisons for hotels too! There looks to be an option for all family budgets and they are quite reasonable indeed!

    I have never been to Orlando but I think this could be a winner now for our next vacation.


  2. Very informative. We will be having no hard time in calling the office and inquire its facilities, hotel rates, entrance fees, bus fares and its best offers. Just keep us update of the fees and rates as it changes anytime.

  3. Hey,

    Great article. I live in the UK and I have always wanted to go to Florida and the USA for that matter.

    I am going to add it to my bucket list now after reading your article. The family will be really excited when I tell them.

    Thanks for sharing and all the best,


  4. Nice post! Thanks for outlining the prices of hotels as well as their locations. I have been to Orlando twice and absolutely loved it! There is a ton of things to do. Winter is an excellent time to visit because of the milder temps (it gets hot and muggy during the summer!).
    Church Street is also an excellent part of time for entertainment, especially if you are looking for some nightlife!

  5. I have just started searching out information on Orlando when I found your post! Thank you for answering several of my questions on holidaying in the southern USA.

    Do any of your recommendations have kitchens in them? Is the food at Disney World expensive? And which times would be the worst to go there…like heavy traffic times or bad weather? Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Irma,

      my recommendations tend to be hotels as I believe when on holiday you be pampered! Cooking is out of the question 🙂 Usually service apts. come with kitchens.

      Is the food expensive at Disney world? that really depends on your definition of expensive as it varies from person to person for whatever reason. As with any theme park, the cost is on the higher side as compared to a food court at a mall.

      I would always recommend going as early as possible as it avoids the majority of incoming visitors and gives you more time to spend at the place.

  6. Wow. We did Orlando a lot when our daughter was little. I consider us seasoned travelers, but I didn’t realize how much we could have seen outside the typical. Great pictures, great article.

  7. I have to admit that I’m part of the crowd that automatically associates Orlando with theme parks, didn’t realize that there were so many other awesome activities to check out! When in winter would you recommend going?

    • Hi Lily,

      Go between December and February, you will experience good weather. The average temperature will fall between 20 degrees Celsius (68°F) and 25 degrees Celsius


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