Worn out the numbers on your credit cards? Looking for a restful break in your vacation? Here are 6 day trips within two-hour’s drive of Orlando that won’t break your pocket book. And as a bonus, these will give the kids a glimpse of a Florida they won’t find at the theme parks:
1. Silver River State Park
Long before Disney World, tourists flocked to Florida’s natural attractions. Chief among them was Silver Springs with its fascinating glass bottom boat tours and live alligator wrestling. The park has changed hands several times in recent history and (like the nostalgic country and pop stars who headline its concert series) the attraction is showing its age. Forget the attraction for a day and try the Silver River State Park instead. The small but newly expanded Silver River Museum offers a glimpse into local natural history as well as the area’s colorful tourism. Camping, mountain biking and hiking trails in the scrub forest are all options. But for an unforgettable glimpse of one of Florida’s natural wonders, bring some kayaks and paddle up to the headwaters where you’ll share the spring with glass bottom boats and some astonishing underwater scenery.
UPDATE: Silver Springs has changed hands again and is now a state park offering kayaking and other eco-friendly activities.