With some of Florida’s most iconic theme parks five miles away, Encore Resort at Reunion is a gateway to Orlando’s attractions—and beautiful coastal beaches in either direction. From state parks to hip surf towns, here are picks for local family fun and easy day trips that will take you beyond theme parks. East End Market3201 Corrine Dr, Orlando, FL 32803, USAKnown among residents for its green grocers and urban farm programs, the Audubon Park Garden District is a haven for global cuisine. Ta...

With some of Florida’s most iconic theme parks five miles away, Encore Resort at Reunion is a gateway to Orlando’s attractions—and beautiful coastal beaches in either direction. From state parks to hip surf towns, here are picks for local family fun and easy day trips that will take you beyond theme parks.

East End Market
3201 Corrine Dr, Orlando, FL 32803, USA
Known among residents for its green grocers and urban farm programs, the Audubon Park Garden District is a haven for global cuisine. Taking its place among the nation’s great food halls like Pike Place Market in Seattle and Chelsea Market in NYC, the East End Market is a culinary hub with everything from Japanese noodle bars to specialty sauce companies. It’s also a gathering place for community events and a collaborative cooking space and incubator kitchen for growing small businesses.

Photo credit: East End Market

Silver Springs State Park
5656 Silver Springs Blvd, Silver Springs, FL 34488, USA
About an hour and a half north of Orlando, Silver Springs State Park is home to the largest artesian spring in the world—and the oldest commercial tourist attraction in Florida. Book a glass-bottom boat tour to see river wildlife, Native-American artifacts, and old Hollywood movie props—or rent a clear-bottom kayak to guide your own adventure. For water sports, the park has spots to kayak, canoe, or stand-up paddleboard—and more than four miles of scenic hiking trails for landlubbers.

Photo credit: Silver Springs State Park

AquaPark at Encore Resort at Reunion
7635 Fairfax Dr, Reunion, FL 34747, USA
Along with luxurious vacation home rentals, Encore Resort at Reunion ups the ante on family fun with its own exclusive AquaPark. The on-site waterpark features thrilling water slides, a large pool, tropical landscaping, and a Surfin’ Safari splash area for younger kids. grown-up events like wine night. For a break from the outdoors, kids can head to the Hang Ten Hideaway indoor recreation area for gaming, a large-screen TV, and crafts, while parents can raise a toast at evening wine events.

article continues below ad
Photo credit: Encore Resort at Reunion

Wekiwa Springs State Park & Wekiva Island
1800 Wekiwa Cir, Apopka, FL 32712 USA
Head out for a day of hiking, biking, canoeing, or kayaking at Wekiwa Springs State Park, a popular outdoor escape located just 16 miles from Orlando. Families can explore nature with the Florida Park Service’s Operation Recreation Kids GeoTour. Players sign up at geocaching.com for a geocaching treasure hunt and then receive clues to find caches using a GPS device. Nearby Wekiva Island (1014 Miami Springs Dr, Longwood, FL 32779) offers relaxing riverfront cabanas and water sport rentals. 1800 Wekiwa Cir, Apopka, FL 32712 USA
Head out for a day of hiking, biking, canoeing, or kayaking at Wekiwa Springs State Park, a popular outdoor escape located just 16 miles from Orlando. Families can explore nature with the Florida Park Service’s Operation Recreation Kids GeoTour. Players sign up at geocaching.com for a geocaching treasure hunt and then receive clues to find caches using a GPS device. Nearby Wekiva Island (1014 Miami Springs Dr, Longwood, FL 32779) offers relaxing riverfront cabanas and water sport rentals.

Photo credit: Wekiwa Springs State Park

New Smyrna Beach
With a historic downtown dating back to the 1700s, a hip surf scene, and 13 miles of beach, New Smyrna Beach, or NSB as locals call it, is an easy drive from Orlando to the Atlantic Coast. Enjoy fresh seafood for lunch, check out a mix of old and new shops on Canal Street, and visit Florida’s tallest lighthouse, the Ponce De Leon Inlet Lighthouse & Museum, where climbing the 203 steps to the top rewards you with incredible views.

article continues below ad
Photo credit: New Smyrna Beach Area Visitors Bureau