Magic Kingdom, SeaWorld, Universal Studios – if Orlando brings to mind images of rollercoasters, waterparks and other world-class attractions, you’re not alone. Millions of people flock to The City Beautiful every year to see these very sights.
But if you think that’s all there is to O-Town, you’re wrong – and missing out on a world of must-see experiences. To come across the best Orlando has to offer, you’d be well-advised to jump off the sightseeing course and venture into the far greater outdoors.
A 2015 study in the journal Landscape and Urban Planning showed that time spent in nature increases positivity and reduces brooding.
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Sure, you could spend your time in Orlando seeing the sights – or you could get out there and have some real fun. Here’s how to run, cycle and surf up a storm while you’re in town:
- Go for a Run
Every Wednesday at 7 p.m., an eclectic group of runners takes to the streets of the city for a quick 5K – and they follow it up with a beer. You’ll meet at Graffiti Junktion and mingle with athletes of all ages and abilities.
- Take to the Water
Whether on your own or in a group, stand-up paddleboarding with Paddleboard Orlando is a great way to see the city in a whole new way. The Orlando coast features miles of crystal-clear, relatively shallow waters – which makes it perfect for paddling.
- Cycle at Night
A lot like Parkrun, Critical Mass is a worldwide movement designed to help cyclists see more of their city. The free event attracts hundreds of riders. Meet at Loch Haven Park every last Friday of the month at 5:30 p.m.
- Climb up High
Orlando isn’t exactly known for its rock faces, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make like a monkey and scale some walls straight up to the sky. The 10,000-square-feet area at Aiguille Rock Climbing Center has enough space for expert climbers and a 30-minute belaying intro for novices.
- Strike a Pose in the Park
If you’re doing all your yoga inside, you’re doing it wrong; take to the outdoors to make sure all that deep breathing is in the fresh air. You’ll pay a $5 contribution toward the group’s rental of the park space, and be led through some complex routines by local yogini Amanda Reh.
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