The Great Outdoors
Orlando may not be considered one of Florida’s hotspots for entertainment in nature, but the truth is, there is more to Orlando’s outdoor scene than meets the eye. From exploring the marshes, to the fishing charters, hot air balloon tours and more, Orlando can provide an experience like none other!
One of the most exciting and unique attractions near Orlando are the airboat rides through the wetlands. Check out exotic birds, turtles, and the famous Florida Alligator in their natural habitat, and soar above the water at heart-racing speeds. Tours can range from short half-hour tours to longer, hour-long tours, and there are several airboat tour companies near Orlando. This is definitely an experience the whole family will enjoy!
Explore Orlando by air with the Air Force Fun Helicopter Tours. There is no need for reservations for these tours. Simply show up and get ready to fly! The Air Force Fun Helicopter Tours hire the best pilots in Orlando, who have expert knowledge and training. The tours start as low as $20 per person, and flight times range from three minutes to 25 minutes.
Check out some of Orlando’s watersports training and equipment rentals. For an athletic challenge, check out the Orlando Watersports Complex, a unique park designed for wakeboarding, knee boarding, waterskiing and more! The park is suitable for experienced and professional water sports athletes, but is also designed for beginners as well, and utilizes cables to accommodate early training.
Another excellent water activities location is the Buena Vista Watersports at Paradise Cove in Orlando. Buena Vista Watersports rents out jet skis, boats and paddle boards, and also hosts events and parties! This beautiful location overlooks the water and adds a tropical touch to any event!
Be sure to take the kids to Gatorland, where they’ll come face-to-face with alligators, man-eating crocodiles, and slithery reptiles. Stroll down the 2,000-foot boardwalk, through marshlands and the wildlife preserve, and get an up-close look at the gators in their natural habitat. If you’re feeling extra daring, take a journey down the 1,200-foot zipline, suspended over Cuban and Nile crocodiles and across the breeding marsh at speeds reaching 30 miles per hour. Additionally, the shows and activities at Gatorland can’t be beat. This is one stop that will bring your family within inches of Florida’s state reptile.
Another exciting activity that will stay with you forever, is taking a ride through the sky in a hot air balloon! There are several companies in the Kissimmee/Orlando area that will gladly take you and your friends and family on a ballooning adventure, and pilots are available to help with site-seeing and answering questions. One of the most popular companies in Kissimmee that offers hour-long hot air balloon rides is the Orlando Balloon Adventures, only three miles from the resort.
Choosing a restaurant in Orlando can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you’ve never visited the city before. There are plenty of theme park restaurants to choose from, but if you are on a budget, you may want to look elsewhere for your dining experience. No matter what you are in the mood for, Orlando has it on the menu. However, rather than taking a gamble on one of the hundreds of options in the area, start with a few recommendations from the staff at Blue Tree Resort.
If you like authentic Mexican cuisine, then you’ll love El Patron Mexican Restaurant & Cantina. Located only half a mile away from the resort, El Patron serves guests traditional dishes like tacos, enchiladas, fajitas and more. Using unique spices and fresh ingredients, El Patron is more than your standard Mexican restaurant, and has received excellent reviews for its food and great service.
Swing around to the other side of the Atlantic – if Italian is calling your name, check out Giordano’s Famous Chicago Pizza. These pies are so tasty and loved by so many, the company will even ship them nationwide! Select from a full menu of sandwiches, salads, desserts, and of course, the item that makes it famous – pizza. Skinny pizzas, thin-crust pizzas, stuffed pies and build your own pizzas, Giordano’s has it all. Six miles away from Blue Tree Resort, the restaurant is a short taxi or car ride away.
While you’re staying at Blue Tree Resort, don’t be shy. Ask your front desk staff where they recommend you eat, and try a locals’ favorite!
Finding a restaurant that will please the whole family may not be an easy task. With all the options and the mainstream restaurants not far from the resort, though, Kissimmee is sure to offer more than enough options. Provided fully-equipped kitchens and plenty of room for the family, many guests of Vacation Villas will take advantage and dine in, keeping costs down and dinners affordable. However, if you choose to take on the town, there are several stops that may pique your interest.
Some common restaurants that are near the resort include: The Olive Garden, Bob Evans, Cracker Barrel Restaurant & Old Country Store, TGI Fridays, Red Lobster, Bonefish Grill, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, Uno Chicago Grill and Longhorn Steakhouse.
If you’re out shopping, there are several good restaurants where you can stop for a break and catch your breath. If you’re shopping at The Loop, about five miles from the resort, you will come across several of the restaurants listed above, but also some more unique stops like the Pei Wei Asian Diner, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, and the Venezia Patisserie & Café.
If you’re visiting Old Town, stop by Bamboo Court, Southern Breeze, or Flippers Pizza. And if your shopping on Main Street in Kissimmee, check out the 3 Sisters Speakeasy, Savion’s Place Family Cuisine or Nature’s Table for delicious smoothies and a fresh menu.
Popular This Time of the Year: See Florida from a hot air balloon, explore downtown, play golf and visit a museum
- Average High: 82°
- Average Low: 62°
Popular This Time of the Year: Take a day trip to a nearby beach, plan a swamp tour on an airboat, visit a theme park and cool off at a water park
- Average High: 92°
- Average Low: 75°
Popular This Time of the Year: Enjoy some holiday shopping, attend an art show, play golf and see a movie
Read: Halloween at Disney World
- Average High: 84°
- Average Low: 67°
Popular This Time of the Year: Schedule a tee time at a local golf course, enjoy the holiday light displays, plan a romantic dinner and participate in a race
- Average High: 72°
- Average Low: 52°
Pinterest Vacation Guide
For all of the latest things to do, places to visit, and special events to help plan your Orlando vacation, check out our Pinterest board:
The Main Events
Each year, the Disney theme parks open their doors to the Walt Disney World Marathon, Half Marathon, Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge, the Walt Disney World 10K, the Family Fun Run 5K, the Dopey Challenge, runDisney Kids Races, Disney’s Health & Fitness Expo, and much more. Most of these races will take you through the Disney theme parks and around the Disney grounds. These races take place throughout the year, and spaces fill up quickly. If you’re interested in participating in one of these events, you are encouraged to sign up early.
Another annual race is the OUC Orlando Half Marathon and 5K, which takes place in December.
Kissimmee features some of the most exciting festivals in Florida, and residents and visitors are encouraged to attend. Some interesting festivals suitable for the whole family include:
An Annual Chili Cook-Off Festival, a Food Truck Bazaar, an All-American Car Cruise at Old Town, the 132nd and 133rd Silver Spurs Rodeo, the Run or Dye 5K, and much more!
Shopping in Orlando is unmatchable and the venues and shops go for miles. From outlet stores to malls, factory stores and the exciting Downtown Disney shopping district, shopping in Orlando is an experience you won’t find anywhere else.
Finding a deal in a tourist city like Orlando might be a challenge, but there are several outlet malls where you might find the deals you’re looking for. Only less than three miles from Blue Tree Resort, the Orlando Premium Outlets feature 160 outlet stores, including clothing, footwear, children’s and jewelry stores.
Shopping in Kissimmee provides visitors with many possibilities for finding that perfect souvenir or gift, top trends at affordable prices, antiques, custom items and more!
If you’re looking for something vintage, unique and with a lot of character, you will probably find that item at Lanier’s Historic Downtown Marketplace, The Barn Antiques, or one of the many little shops in Celebration, Florida, less than five miles from the resort. There are also outdoor shopping opportunities at the Farmers and Flea Markets located in Kissimmee, where shoppers will find locally-grown produce, baked goods, plants, and more!
Kissimmee is also home to a handful of outlet stores and shopping malls. The Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores and Orlando Premium Outlets, only about two miles from the resort, offer shoppers some of the top-of-the-line brands at affordable, discounted prices. For more trends, check out the Florida Mall, the Mall at Millenia, The Pointe Orlando, and the Festival Bay Mall – all less than 15 miles from the resort.