There’s much more to Orlando than theme parks. For something off the beaten path, head to Lake Eola, a symbol of the city. Located near downtown, the park has a great walking path, amphitheater, fountain, and many swans and birds. It’s a great place to go for a stroll; even better, you can take a swan paddleboat for a spin around the lake.
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Our Sunday Morning Escape . . . .
Far from the madding crowd at Disneyworld, in old downtown Orlando, lies a magical place known as Lake Eola Park. This oasis of light and tranquility has a very special vibration; it serves as the perfect venue for those of us seeking to connect with nature as well as with our fellow humans. The 23 acre lake has a huge fountain in the middle with multicolored lights that glow after dark. As dramatic as that may be, nothing compares to the majesty of the many, many swans for whom the lake is home, and for all the ducks, geese, egrets, and other exotic birds that populate its shores. Besides it being the perfect place to walk one's canine companions, the park is also the site for concerts and festivals of every sort. It is our Sunday morning ritual to walk around the lake and then stop by the farmers' market for fresh fruits and vegetables. On the way out, we come across a corner of the park where people are engaging in Tai Chi. Nearby stands a pagoda, a gift to the city of Orlando from Guilin, its sister city in China. Indeed, here one is always reminded of Orlando's connection to a much larger world.
Orlando, once known as 'the city beautiful', is all about celebration of life. At Lake Eola we experience both. While close to home, this special place provides us with the same sense of escape and wonderment that our travels abroad do. No wonder I wake up every Sunday morning with a sense of anticipation; how well I know the simple joys that always await me here.
While most visitors flock to the theme parks, downtown Orlando offers it's own charm for travelers.
There are dozens of black and white swans at Lake Eola Park. Just don't feed them bread or popcorn -- they're on strict diets. Rent a paddle board in the shape of a swan wander around the lake with a few feathery friends ($15 per half hour).
Other cool features of the park include colorful fountain shows, nightly throughout the summer and outdoor concerts at the Walt Disney Amphitheater.
Lake Eola is an amazing park in the center of Orlando. It is relaxing, people can run here and take a break at the Lake's bar. There is alot of flowers, animals and monuments. For 15$, you can rent a pedalboat (15$ is for the boat, not per person, and you can be 4 max.) and ride it through the lake, I highly recommend doing it ! You walk through the swans, magical !