Find adventure in Orlando without standing in line for rides at some of the best state parks in Florida. You will be able to fully appreciate Florida’s natural beauty no matter where you go.
Still, we found the most impressive parks in the area with distinct experiences for adults and children too. Whether you come for a day or stay the night, you will have a fantastic time without driving very far.
Florida state parks vary fees based on the season, and you will need to check ahead to know what prices to expect or grab an annual pass purchasable online for $60 for individuals or $120 for families making this a cost-effective way to enjoy Florida’s parks and look for major military discounts too.
First, explore the best parks surrounding Orlando and find your new favorite hideaway with all your favorite activities.
Map of State Parks Near Orlando FL
Here is a map of the Florida state parks covered in this post:
List of State Parks Near Orlando
Here are each of those state parks with their distance from Orlando and the special features each offers.
1. Lake Kissimmee State Park
Location: 14248 Camp Mack Rd, Lake Wales, FL 33898
Lake Kissimmee State Park gives people a look into the area’s history with interpretive exhibits and gorgeous landscapes. The park also has a lot of outdoor things to offer, including hiking, biking, or even riding a horse along the miles of trails. However, this park is a little further out at just over seventy miles south of Orlando but well worth the drive to get away from the city noise.
With three lakes in the park, Kissimmee, Rosalie, and Tiger, you can enjoy epic fishing, boating, swimming, and other water sports; just make sure to fish in approved places. Next, try out geocaching. Keep a pair of binoculars on hand because this is an excellent place to go birdwatching.
Finally, take on the trails on foot, bike, or horseback to enjoy the unique flora and fauna, and stop for a quiet picnic to let all your troubles slip away.
With full-service campsites and a primitive camping option, the park offers some of the most stunning camping in Florida. Find a tranquil setting despite the airboats in the distance but do look out for alligators and other distinctive wildlife.
Campers can boat on land or in the water with access to the marina, boat ramp, playground, and observation tower. Also, the park provides amenities too, such as picnic tables, grills, bathrooms, including showers, and they allow pets.
2. Lake Griffin State Park
Location: 3089 US-441, Fruitland Park, FL 34731
About fifty miles away from the fun and excitement of Orlando, take a break at Lake Griffin State Park. There is so much to see and do in this small park so you can stay busy for days.
As the name indicates, the name indicates, the park features the tranquil waters of Lake Griffin, which you can enjoy via a guided tour. Take your camping gear along, enjoy the natural splendor of this state park, as well as see several unique animals and fish perfect for anglers.
You will find wheelchair-accessible fishing inside the park, so no one on your excursion will feel left out. Most importantly, you can see Florida’s second-largest oak tree still standing after over 400 years, making it a sight to behold. Try out some other intriguing activities like geo-hunting, hiking, and the amphitheater for special programs.
You can arrive at 8 a.m. and go at sunset or stay overnight at one of their campgrounds. The park includes forty shaded campsites with restrooms, showers, laundry facilities, campfire grills, picnic tables, water, and electricity.
Rent canoes and kayaks while staying at the park, or grab a book from the lending library for your children after they wear out in the playground.
3. Hontoon Island State Park
Location: 2309 River Ridge Rd, DeLand, FL 32720
Forget about the world in Hontoon Island State Park on a genuine island about 45 miles north of Orlando. People can only enter by boat to help take you away from all the stress in your life, but this does mean you need to plan on hiring a private boat or using the ferry if you do not own one yourself. Gorgeous blue water awaits you on the other side, and kids will love all of the water activities available.
Taking use of the land’s historical value, tourists can rent a bathroom-less cabin or simply pitch a tent for a really primitive experience. But spaces are limited unless you want to camp in your boat at the boat slips. Visit the island museum too to learn about the original inhabitants and the ecosystem.
On land, you can simply relax and enjoy the island’s seclusion while learning about its history at its visitor’s center or hike the beautiful island. Add in options to boat, canoe, fish, and other activities are available to visitors. This is a terrific place to unwind after a long day of touring, with the ferry running nearly until sunset and overnight boat rentals available.
4. Blue Spring State Park
Location: 2100 W French Ave, Orange City, FL 32763
Blue Spring State Park burrows near St. Johns River and abounds with manatees transforming into a haven for these wonderful aquatic species. Just over thirty miles north of Orlando, you can get away from hectic city life and enjoy the slow movements of the spring.
Keep in mind the waterways are closed to operations from mid-November to the beginning of March to protect the manatee’s journeys, but the parks hosts a manatee festival in January. Do note swimming with the manatees is not an option at this park.
Aside from the manatees, you can find plenty of other activities at the park, including birdwatching, fishing, paddling, hiking the park’s magnificent paths, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, and tubing. Also, make sure to plan some time to enjoy a river cruise as they are only available for a part of the day and include a narrated tour of the surrounding nature and ecology.
Another highlight of this park is the option to scuba dive or snorkel if you have a certificate and a buddy ready to explore the caves and caverns with you.
Check out the over fifty sites ready for tents and RVs at the campground. The park provides picnic tables, water, electricity, and a grill are provided at each site, along with access to a disposal station.
Pets are allowed, although you may not be able to take them into the bathrooms or showers. Grab gifts and supplies on the cruises, in the gift shop, or in the food service area.
5. Wekiwa Springs State Park
Location: 1800 Wekiwa Cir, Apopka, FL 32712
The short 17 miles from Orlando to Wekiwa Strings State Park is well worth the trip to enjoy the emerald springs that feed into the Wekiwa River. Experience a tropical paradise and even Wekiva Island, where you can have a drink or a meal next to crystal clear water. Wekiwa Park is a verdant tropical oasis where guests will forget the bustling city and their worries as they slip into the peaceful landscape.
Visitors can hire kayaks or canoes to explore the historic Wekiva River, formerly home to the Timucuan Indians. Visitors seeking a more peaceful experience can soak in the springs or seek out the perfect tree to throw themselves into one of Wekiva’s gorgeous lagoons.
Those wishing to get some exercise will likely like hiking or bicycling through Wekiwa’s picturesque paths or maybe some light equestrian riding.
Visitors who want to get away from the hotels on International Drive can camp on the grounds, providing them a more real Florida experience. In the sloping hills supported by longleaf pines and the sandhill ecosystem, you will find 60 spacious campsites. The sites give visitors access to water and electricity and a fire ring with a grill and a picnic table. Some sites also have sewer hookups, and the campsite has a dump station.
Watch out for Florida’s notorious black bears native to the park ecosystem.