If you’re looking for a good way to spend your day, find a scenic route from Orlando that takes you off the beaten path. We have compiled a list of 15 scenic routes for day trips just outside of Orlando that will please both avid outdoorsman and recreational drivers alike.
You may also be interested in our article “Central Florida Backroads Travel: Your Guide to Adventure” where we provide more information on some of these routes, including cost and GPS coordinates.
The first one we’re going to look at is US-192, which becomes County Road 32 after it crosses the Apopka River.
There are several reasons why US-192 has become a favorite of adventurous travelers. It’s close to Orlando and has scenic byways that make it a great alternative to I-4.
You can get off this route in just about any direction and find something unique to do.
As you drive down County Road 32, you’ll start to see yellow signs that say “Scenic Route.” This is both a suggestion and a cautionary safety sign for anyone who may not know about the byway yet, as there are sections where the road curves sharply to avoid bridges.
Here are some points discussed about Central florida backroads travel–
1. Lake Underhill Park – 5417 North Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, FL.
Lake Underhill is a recreational heaven for hikers and cyclists as well as boaters and swimmers. It is one of the most popular lakes in Orlando due to its cleanliness.
The park has several options for boating which include boat rental, a canoe launch, fishing spots, five pavilions available to rent out, three picnic areas with grills, two playgrounds (one for toddlers and one for older children), four boat ramps and six bathrooms.
A picnic area or boat ramp with restrooms must be reserved in advance during the busy months. There is no camping, but the park does have a boathouse that has multiple sleeping rooms and the ability to accommodate up to 12 boats.
2. Lake Lucerne – This lake is located at 1801 West Lucerne Blvd.
It’s about a half-mile walk from US-192, as well as several popular options for boating (see Lake Underhill). Lake Lucerne is one of the most popular lakes in Orlando, with more watercraft than you can count.
It does have a private, quiet section for those who would like to fish or swim at their own pace. You can get directions to the lake, as well as its amenities and activities on our Lake Lucerne page.
3. Lake Nona Park – 3001 Southwest Division Street in Orlando, FL.
The Park has its own boat launch, which includes parking and restrooms. It also offers an outdoor amphitheater and volleyball court.
There are 18 picnic tables and grills available to rent, as well as a playground. Entrance fees are $2 per vehicle (up to 4 people) on weekdays and $3 per vehicle on weekends. You can get directions to this park, as well as its amenities and activities on our Lake Nona page.
4. Wekiwa Springs State Park
To get here from the south, head east from the intersection of US-192 and County Road 514 on County Road 47A for 0.6 miles. The turnoff to the left (north) will take you to the boat ramp and campground.
If you are not a camper, your best bet is to turn left at the campground. Follow the road around and you’ll reach a parking lot and boat ramp equipped with restrooms and picnic benches.
5. Krameria Lake – Hwy. 441, just west of I-4 (3.5 miles west on Hwy 441 from I-4).
It’s a nice lake to visit on a warm day in Orlando, as it is fairly quiet and there are plenty of picnic tables available for you to use. It’s also a major spot for boating enthusiasts, as the lake has two boat ramps and two swimming areas (see Lake Underhill).
To get here from US 192, you’ll need to turn west onto US-441 at the intersection with County Road 441 then head west 3.5 miles to find the lake on your left.
6. Lake Estelle County Park – 3301 West Lake Estelle Rd.
Lake Estelle is a great spot to visit if you want to go out on the water or catch some fish. The park has plenty of parking and features a boat ramp, as well as restrooms and a picnic pavilion that can be reserved in advance. It also has a nice playground for children, which makes it perfect for families with kids who like to camp out or have barbecues.