Top 10 things for Orlando locals to do in the Summer

Posted by Unlock Orlando July 9, 2013

At Unlock Orlando we are homegrown natives of the area. We’ve read countless articles of suggested summer activities that other websites post and they are not focused on locals living in Orlando. So if you’re from the Trump family or British royalty you can afford to bring your family to Disney parks, water parks and tourist attractions every weekend for $30 to $100 per person. However, for the rest of us that actually live and work in the Orlando area, Unlock Orlando has some realistic suggestions of where you and your family can go to enjoy the summer months.

1) Park Avenue in Winter Park
Park Avenue is a great place to take your friends and family for a stroll in the summer months. Tons of stores to check out, there’s a large park where the kids can play and if your hungry or thirsty there are tons of restaurants and bars to visit. If that’s not your thing, there are other places to buy candy, ice cream and pastries along Park Avenue. The parking is free and to go there is free, so if you’re bored one summer day and looking for some place to go, check it out.
Location:From Interstate 4, Park Avenue can be found by taking the Fairbanks Avenue Exit, and traveling East for two miles and then taking a left at Park Avenue.

2) Kelly Park at Rock Springs
Kelly Park at Rock Springs has to be one of the Orlando area’s greatest natural assets. This is a park that completely allows Orlando area locals to enjoy the warm Florida weather, but in style. Here you can enjoy hiking under tons of trees shading the area or you can rent and/or bring your own flotation device and float down Kelly Park’s own natural lazy river. The water is a cool 70-something degrees year-round. Best of all, the cost a mere $4 to $8 vehicle fee. That’s it! The park gets crowded in the summer weekends however so try to get there before 10:30am if possible.
400 E Kelly Park Rd
Apopka, FL 32703

3) Orlando Science Center
The Orlando Science Center has grown a lot over the years and each year it becomes bigger and better. Now we at Unlock Orlando do realize that with great amenities comes a slightly higher ticket price tag, however for this Museum it is worth it. Your families and friends will be grateful you brought them to one of Orlando’s man-made gems in the area. Sure we understand the theme parks are gems to, but the Science Center was built for us, the locals that live and work in Orlando. Oh sure we realize that out-of-town visitors know to come here too, but it is still one of the best places to visit this summer. You can enjoy yourself and shelter yourself from the extreme summer heat or the monsoon rains that come in the afternoons.
777 East Princeton Street, Orlando, FL 32803

4) Explore the Orlando’s shopping malls in the area
Its not that we at Unlock Orlando are the world’s most advantageous shoppers, we’re really not. However if you’re looking for places to walk around, hang out, people watch, grab something to eat or drink and at the same time avoid the extreme heat or extreme rains of the summer………….the mall might be the perfect stop. Try going to some of our favorite Central Florida Malls including the Altamonte Mall (which has a kids play area), the Millenia Mall which has all the posh stores, and the Florida Mall which pretty much has everything else. Its not the ultimate but its a quick fix on getting out of the house and doing something.
5) Wekiwa Springs State Park
Wekiwa Springs State Park is also another huge natural asset for the Orlando area. For those that enjoy swimming in cool natural springs or canoeing down calm peaceful rivers, Wekiwa has a lot to offer. Bring your family and your friends, have a swim, throw a frisbee, or bring a picnic basket with you. There are even spots where you can spread out a blanket and layout in the sun. The price is entry is typically under $7 per vehicle. The park does become crowded however during the summer weekends and if that happens, we recommend you enter by canoe and rent a canoe at Wekiva Island located at: 1014 Miami Springs Drive, Longwood, FL 32779.
Wekiwa Springs State Park
1800 Wekiwa Circle
Apopka, FL 32712
Sunday Farmers Market
6) Farmer’s Markets
Farmer’s markets in Orlando offer some of the best places to get out and do some people watching. Plus you might find some neat stuff to purchase from local vendors as well.  You can check out’s guide to farmer’s markets by checking out our Farmer’s Market page: Some of our favorite farmer’s market venues are the Winter Park Farmer’s Market, the Orlando Farmer’s Market at Lake Eola Park, and the Audubon Park Community Market.



Cross Seminole Trail Crossing Tuskawilla Road

Cross Seminole Trail Crossing Tuskawilla Road


7) Bike and Walk on the Trails
Being that this is Central Florida, we have a ton of both biking and walking trails. Many of them enable residents to enjoy their outdoor adventures under the shade of thousands of trees along each path. Some of the best ones to check out are the Cross Seminole Trail
, The Cady Way Trail, the West Orange Bike Trail and the Seminole Wekiva Trail.


8) Central Florida’s Nature Parks
The theme parks in Central Florida always get a huge amount of press, but for the locals in Orlando that simply cannot go to the theme parks every weekend, the Orlando area also has a different breed of parks. The local parks showing off Central Florida’s natural beauty have been around for decades, although some are a bit more recent than others. If you’re looking to get out of the house and travel outdoors for just a short while, you may want to check out the large amount of park options the Orlando area has to offer. This list includes, Harry P. Leu Gardens, Mead Botanical Gardens, Cranes Roost Park, and Turkey Lake Park. You can find other spot lighted parks on our website

9) Visit local downtown areas to walk around.
When it comes down to visiting adorable local downtown areas, many people believe that a place like Park Avenue in Winter Park is the only place that the Orlando has to offer. In actuality if you love visiting downtown areas and enjoying small independent shops and stores, there are a ton of Orlando and Central Florida downtown areas to visit. Among our favorites are Downtown Celebration, Downtown Winter Garden, Downtown Avalon Park, Downtown Baldwin Park, Downtown Sanford, Downtown Kissimmee,Downtown Mount Dora, and even Lake Mary has a downtown area by city hall where their farmer’s market is based. These areas provide great spots to walk around, grab something to eat or drink and enjoy the weather. They are great places to take friends and family and even great places to take a date.

10) Places for Orlando locals to hang out in the Tourist area.
While the average Orlando area family doesn’t venture into a theme park on a regular basis, it is not unusual to find us spending time in the tourist areas without visiting the theme parks. We do this because it allows us a ton of people watching and offers us the excitement of Sea World, Universal, and Disney World without spending the price of admission. As locals, we love spending time in the tourist areas, it is like having our own mini-vacation for the day. Some of our places to spend time in the tourist areas include but are not limited to: Old Town in Kissimmee, the Disney Boardwalk, the Disney Marketplace, Universal City Walk, Downtown Celebration, the Gaylord Palms Hotel (yes that’s right, have you been there?), Pointe Orlando, and the list goes on. You can enjoy some of Orlando’s greatest assets without paying the large ticket prices normally associated with them.

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