Orlando Journals

Orlando without Theme Parks

A June 2005 trip to Orlando by Paige S

Cocoa Beach Photo, Orlando, Florida More Photos
Quote: Most people think of Orlando as merely the land of Disney. And while it’s true that Orlando has a massive amount of theme parks and man-made tourist attractions, it is still located in Florida, a state comprised of endless beaches and natural beauty.

Orlando without Theme Parks

Overview

Quote:
I grew up in the area and visit family here at least once a year. Recently, I took some friends with me for a weekend getaway (and figured I would share it as my first journal entry on IgoUgo). In comparison with its MANY theme parks, Orlando barely promotes its nearby beaches at all (probably because they are all FREE!), but Orlando is very close to the Space Coast, one of the nicest beach areas in the entire state. (If you prefer Daytona Beach, it is also a relatively short drive away on the Interstate) Florida also has numerous natural springs across the state, including several in the Orlando area. Above all else, I would recommend a trip to one of the springs to anyone visiting F...Read More

Cocoa Cabanas Beach Rental

Hotel | "Cocoa Cabanas (on Cocoa Beach)"

Quote:
I have family in Orlando, so I’m not familiar with lodging in the area. However, a friend and I once stayed at Cocoa Cabanas in Cocoa Beach. It was a great stay: perfect location (right on the beach), perfect setting.

http://www.cocoacabanas.com/

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 5, 2005

Cocoa Cabanas Beach Rental
1901 S. Atlantic Avenue
Cocoa Beach, Florida

Taco City

Restaurant

Quote:
"Mexican" (i.e. Mexican dishes with a Southern treatment) beach food; Cheap, tasty, classic Cocoa Beach. You will feel like a real surfer - or at least a beach bum.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 5, 2005

Taco City
2955 S Atlantic Ave
Orlando, Florida

Cocoa Beach

Attraction

Cocoa Beach Photo, Orlando, Florida
Quote:
While Daytona Beach is more of a biker’s (or drag racer’s) beach, Cocoa Beach is more a surfer’s beach. Waves are good all year round. The sand is soft and white, but the water can be somewhat murky. The atmosphere is decidedly less glamorous than Miami and less crowded than Daytona. If you drive far enough (only a few miles past the center of town), you can usually find a spot all to yourself.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 5, 2005

Cocoa Beach
Cocoa Beach
Orlando, Florida

Fairvilla Megastore

Attraction | "Shopping at Fairvilla"

Quote:
My girlfriends and I enjoyed visiting Fairvilla in Cocoa, which is a self-proclaimed "adult megastore." This is adult entertainment and products as only tourist-centric Florida can do it. This shop actually reveals a great deal about the culture of Florida; even if you don’t purchase anything, it’s an interesting local oddity. There is also a Fairvilla in Orlando.

http://www.fairvilla.com/

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 5, 2005

Fairvilla Megastore
1740 N Orange Blossom Trail
Orlando, Florida 32804
407/425-6005

Quote:
NASA gives daily tours of the Kennedy Space Center. Admission has become quite pricey, and I would not necessarily recommend this if you are on a budget. However, if money is no object (or if you are a huge space buff), you will likely find this a great experience.

And, of course, if there is a rocket launch scheduled during your visit, you should DEFINITELY check it out!

http://www.kennedyspacecenter.com/

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on July 5, 2005

Kennedy Space Center
NASA Parkway East State Road 405
Orlando, Florida 32899
(321) 452 2121

Ron Jon Surf Shop

Attraction | "Shopping at Ron Jon's"

Quote:
While you’re in Cocoa Beach, stop at the “world-famous” Ron Jon Surf Shop, a 24-hour bi-level store with all your beach needs. If you forgot anything on the way to the beach, you can DEFINITELY pick it up here! Over the years, my friends and I have bought so many things from Ron Jon's: flip-flops, boogie boards, T-shirts, sunscreen, umbrellas, you name it! (And they always throw in a couple Ron Jon's stickers!)

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 5, 2005

Ron Jon Surf Shop
4151 North Atlantic Ave
Cocoa Beach, Florida 32931
+1 888 RJ SURFS

Kelly Park, Rock Springs

Attraction | "Rock Springs at Kelly Park"

Kelly Park, Rock Springs Photo, Apopka, Florida
Quote:
Forget Gatorland, Disney, and all the other overpriced tourist attractions that claim to hold the "natural beauty" of Florida. If you wish to swim like the Floridians do, check out any one of the natural springs in the Central Florida area. My favorite is Rock Springs at Kelly Park; absolutely gorgeous and well-preserved, and at $1 per person, it is virtually free. Rock Springs Reserve offers restricted boating and kayaking, but Kelly Park allows swimming and tubing--and locals take advantage of this excellent and beautiful watering hole all year round. You will swim (or float!) with fish, ducks, and other wildlife while surrounded by dense woods. It is a truly refreshing experience! There is also...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 5, 2005

Kelly Park, Rock Springs
400 East Kelly Park Road
Apopka, Florida 32712
(407) 889-4179