As locals, we all know that we spend at least 90% of our time in Orlando sweating. There's only like two months of the year when it's not a hundred degrees outside. So now, as we're easing into Spring, it's the perfect time to enjoy all the nature there is to enjoy throughout the Orlando area before it becomes too hot to exist anywhere outside the comfort of air-conditioning. So get out there in the great outdoors! And enjoy it before it's too hot to even function.
1. Blueberry picking.
Who would have even thought you could pick blueberries in Orlando?? If it wasn't for my recent move to the Clermont area, I would have never known this place existed. In just a few weeks (starting late March) you can pick your own blueberries at Southern Hill Farms off of Highway 27 in Clermont, Florida (just North of Kissimmee for those of you who are directionally-challenged like me). What better way to enjoy the not-quite-hot-as-hell weather and the great outdoors than by picking your own blueberries?
Oh! And starting mid-April you can pick peaches too!
2. Checking out local farmer's markets.
Who knew there are SO many farmers markets in the Orlando area! Whether you're looking to buy fresh produce, get your hands on some local honey, or just browse handmade items and local art, a farmers' market is the place to go! And unlike other local attractions in Orlando, heading to your nearest farmers market doesn't involve driving to the other side of Orlando-- there's bound to be one near you! It's the perfect way to get out of the house, enjoy the fresh air, and appreciate the local community.
Check out this list of local farmers markets and their hours here.
Surprisingly, there are a TON of places to hike in the Orlando area. Which I would definitely only recommend enjoying now unless you like dying of heat stroke. Thankfully, most walking/hiking trails in the area are shaded and also DOG FRIENDLY. So bring the pup and bring the water, and you'll have the best time enjoying the great outdoors in Orlando.
Check out this list for some of the more popular trails in the area.
4. Exploring flea markets, thrift stores and garage sales.
I can't be the only one who loves yard sale and flea market scouring? There's nothing better than finding a trendy piece of vintage clothing or a sick piece of antique decor. Plus market shopping is hella cheap and great for helping the environment (because up-cycling, duh). Orlando is crawling with flea markets--which are mostly air-conditioned, thank goodness--though most of them tend to be a bit too touristy for my taste. But local thrift stores are a gem. Get ya something cold to drink, grab some friends, and get hunting. Enjoy the smell of old ladies and mothballs while you look through all the stuff.
Marie Kondo would be so proud of you.
5. Appreciating local gardens.
Specifically, Leu Gardens in Downtown Orlando. This 50-acre botanical garden is in full bloom with their mission to inspire visitors to appreciate and understand plants-- because they're awesome. Spring is the perfect time to enjoy the tropical plant life and soak in the citrus aromas before walking around greenhouses in hundred-degree-weather becomes a death sentence. It's something I think everyone should do at least once while they're in Orlando.
Because there's so much more to do than just theme parks and tourist attractions.
So while Spring is in the air, make sure you get out and enjoy it. Because soon we will all be cast away into air-conditioned solidarity while we wait for fall to arrive. Enjoy the weather, enjoy the fresh air, and enjoy Orlando and everything it has to offer.