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Day Trips

While there is plenty of fun to be had inside Orlando itself, its neighboring proximity to other Central Florida sites makes it a prime vacation destination. Explore outer space here on Earth at the Kennedy Space Center. Take a trip back in time to historic St. Augustine, or embrace the adventurous side of nature in Kissimmee. From hot air balloons to air boats to spaceships, there’s something to spark your imagination at every turn on these day trips from Orlando. 

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Day

1

Cape Canaveral

MORNING
  • Fuel Up.

    Start your day with fresh-baked croissants, an omelet and a strong cup of coffee at local favorite Ossorio Bakery & Cafe in Cocoa Beach. The beachy café creates eight types of croissants in house and roasts their unique coffee bean blend right in the shop — so it smells as good as it tastes.

  • Enter Orbit.

    Plan on arriving as close to the 9 a.m. opening at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex as you can. Save time by buying tickets ahead of time and pre-opting into some of the special activities that aren’t included in base admission.  

MIDDAY
  • All Aboard.

    Hop on the bus for a behind-the-scenes look at the Kennedy Space Center’s spaceflight operations. While you stay on the bus for the whole tour, you do get exclusive access to historic launch sites and working spaceflight facilities. If you’re interested in seeing more than the basic stops, you can add on the Explore Tour, which features iconic stops like the Vehicle Assembly Building and Launch Complex 39 and the chance to disembark for a view of launch pads used by NASA’s commercial partners. 

  • To the Moon.

    Only accessible through the Kennedy Space Center bus tour, the Apollo/Saturn V Center showcases the lead-up and success of the first lunar landing. Stand under the gigantic Saturn V, the largest rocket ever to fly, and find out exactly what happened in the few minutes leading up to the historic announcement “the Eagle has landed.”

AFTERNOON
  • Lunch with an Astronaut.

    Reserve your spot ahead of time for a group lunch with an actual astronaut. After a buffet meal, you’ll hear what it’s really like to launch, live and work in space. A Q&A period will follow, so you can ask all the questions you’ve ever had about what it’s like to be an astronaut.  

EVENING
  • Dinner by the Ocean.

    On the narrowest stretch of Cocoa Beach sits The Fat Snook, a casually intimate restaurant with a focus on fresh seafood and local ingredients. Try playful twists on the expected like the Seafood Charcuterie Board and a spicy twist on shrimp and grits with local Canaveral shrimp.

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Day

2

St. Augustine

MORNING
  • Begin with Breakfast.

    Make your first stop in historic St. Augustine for a hearty breakfast at Hot Shot Bakery & Café. Once you’ve made a selection from the extensive specialty coffee menu, settle in for a homemade pastry or a breakfast panini served on their signature house made flaxseed bread. Pick up a bottle of their award-winning Datil hot sauce, a local specialty, to bring home.

MIDDAY
  • Back in Time.

    St. Augustine is known as the oldest city in the U.S., and its well-preserved Spanish colonial sites are high on the list of attractions. Start with the Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest masonry fort in the continental U.S. Construction began begun in 1672, making it the oldest structure in the city. You can still catch cannon firings there! If you want to see more of the old Spanish military sites, head 15 miles south to hop a ferry to Fort Matanzas National Monument, which protected the Southern approach to the city starting in the 1700s.

  • Go Floridian.

    St. Augustine represents the nexus of multiple cultures all meeting over the years, including Southern culinary traditions.
    The team at The Floridian combines down-home Southern cooking with a lighter touch, incorporating local ingredients and vegetarian-friendly options into a menu sure to please anyone in the group.  

AFTERNOON
  • Tasting Time.

    St. Augustine also has tasting and tour options for those more interested in spirits or wine. Sitting just a few blocks outside of historic downtown, San Sebastian Winery offers tastings of its award-winning wines developed from Muscadine grapes. You can stick around for drinks and snacks at their rooftop bar, the Upstairs Cellar. For those who prefer something harder, the St. Augustine Distillery offers tours and tastings of its small batch vodka, rum, gin and whiskey. Make your way through the renovated 100-year-old ice manufacturing plant before settling in to try their craft liquors.

  • Main Street.

    St. George Street offers a variety of boutiques, historic sites and cafés along the pedestrian thoroughfare between Orange Street and Cathedral Place. Window shop or visit monuments like the Old City Gates. Take a souvenir treat home from Whetstone Chocolates, a 50-year-old local chocolate shop.  

EVENING
  • Taste of Spain.

    The town is still known for its Spanish food, ranging from tapas to paella. Columbia Restaurant is a traditional local favorite that’s part of a chain founded in 1905. For tapas with a twist, try Michael’s Tasting Room for inventive and seasonal plates to share. Or settle in for a craft cocktail at Damiana to drink with the accompanying tapas menu.

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Day

3

Kissimmee

MORNING
  • Above It All.

    Watch the sun rise in a brand-new way — from a hot air balloon! Magic Sunrise Ballooning offers daily morning hot air balloon rides (weather permitting). Not only will you get to enjoy the spectacular views of the lakes and waterways of Central Florida, but you’ll also assist in the inflation process and learn more about hot air ballooning.  

MIDDAY
  • On a Boat.

    Time to gauge your adventure level. Do you want a kayaking trip through a park or do you want to hit the swamp water in an airboat? Kissimmee Swamp Tours offers 60- or 90-minute airboat rides on Lake Kissimmee, one of the largest lakes in Florida. Wildlife likely to be spotted include bald eagles, wild deer and, yes, alligators. Or you can kayak through the serene nature of the newly completed Shingle Creek Regional Trail, which sits at the headwaters of the Everglades.  

AFTERNOON
  • Old Town.

    Time to relax with a little window shopping and family entertainment. Old Town is an 18-acre walking area with shopping,
    restaurants and attractions like the Great Magic Hall. Play old-fashioned amusement games like Skee-Ball or just take a break with a cocktail while watching live entertainment at the Trophy Row Stage.  

EVENING
  • Caribbean Calling

    Chef Pouchon Savion combines his 20 years of restaurant experience, his Haitian heritage and his family recipes at Savion’s Place. Grab a table outside and try his lobster bisque to start before moving on to his jambalaya, made from his grandmother’s recipe.