You’ve got wedding guests traveling from near and far to celebrate your special day and you’ve selected your central Florida wedding venue, but what about the rest of the festivities? Shannon Tarrant, founder of Wedding Venue Map shares some of her favorite group activities and fun things to do in Orlando for out-of-town wedding guests.
Memorable Central Florida Local Activities
Located just north of Orlando, Wekiva Island is the best place to enjoy Florida’s natural springs. You can rent a cabana for the day and explore the Wekiva River by canoe, kayak or paddleboard. Not into the water? No problem! Enjoy land activities like a wedding guest volleyball game, a rousing game of corn hole, or just chill on the boardwalk overlooking the river. Grab a bite to eat or enjoy a drink at The Tooting Otter bar.
Enjoy a scenic tour of the Winter Park Chain of lakes aboard an 18-passenger pontoon boat. Individual tickets or private rentals are available. The knowledgeable tour guides talk about the area and some of the historic homes — including where Fred Rogers lived when he went to Rollins College — as you explore Lake Virginia, Lake Osceola, Lake Maitland, Lake Mizell, and Lake Minnehaha. It’s a great activity for all ages and especially during Florida’s cooler months.
Black Hammock Adventures is an exciting "Real Florida" experience. Experience an airboat ride across Lake Jesup, home to the LARGEST alligator population in all of Florida, and have your photo taken with a live baby alligator. Follow your tour with a taste of gator — blackened, Buffalo, Cajun or Florida style — at Black Hammock Restaurant.
Tavares, Florida is home to the area’s local seaplane base. Enjoy flight-seeing tours with beautiful views of Lake Dora and the Harris Chain of Lakes or take a seaplane charter to Mount Dora for a day of shopping and return via the Royal Palm Railway. Sunset tours over the Harris Chain of Lakes are a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Lakeridge Winery overlooks 80+ acres of vineyards planted with native muscadine grapes. Complimentary tours and wine tastings are offered daily, though you won’t be stomping grapes I Love Lucy style unless you attend the Winery’s annual grape stomp in August.
Explore Central Florida
Winter Park is a cultural gem with a wonderful shopping and dining. Park Avenue boasts more than 140 boutiques, sidewalk cafes, and museums. Don’t miss the Morse Museum, Prato, and the Saturday Farmer’s Market.
The City of Mount Dora truly is 'Someplace Special'. This charming, one-hundred-plus-year-old historic village in the heart of Central Florida sits on the shores of beautiful Lake Dora. It’s the perfect town to simply relax and escape the hustle and bustle of Orlando’s busier tourist areas. The small town is perfect for shopping, dining and offers a variety of weekend festivals throughout the year.
New Smyrna is one of the most popular day trips to the ocean from the Orlando area. Located on the Atlantic side of Florida, the beaches are less touristy than Daytona or Cocoa Beach. With 17 miles of sandy coastline, NSB has a laid back and friendly atmosphere with tons of surfing, fishing, and boating opportunities.
The cobblestone streets of historic downtown Winter Garden are replete with myriad restaurants and shops to please every taste. Stop by the Saturday Farmer’s Market for local produce, merchandise, and food trucks, then head to the Crooked Can for a local brew.
Whether it’s daytime dining and shopping or nighttime shows and entertainment, Universal CityWalk is an all-encompassing mega entertainment complex that has plenty of convenient options to please even the pickiest of guests.
Tastes of Central Florida
Hollerbach's is a family-owned German restaurant in downtown Sanford, just north of Orlando. This lively family-friendly spot often has live music and has a full menu of German offerings including beer, schnitzel, and wurst.
Located in historic downtown Mount Dora, the Goblin Market has been serving locals and visitors since 1996. The restaurant features three book-lined dining rooms and a cozy outdoor patio. Try the truffle mushroom burger or the twin 4-ounce fillets.
This art-filled restaurant pairs creative sandwiches (try the Asian Pulled Pork on pumpernickel), with freshly brewed hot or iced tea and unique side dishes.
4R is a family-owned slow-smoked barbecue chain named one of "The South's Best BBQ Joints" by Southern Living. Homestyle sides and fresh-baked bread pair with to-die-for brisket and the restaurant supports local schools, churches, and charitable organizations.
Step into the ski chalet style Colorado Fondue Company and you’ll feel like you’re in Colorado, not Florida. This local cook-your-own fondue restaurant is a truly interactive experience, making it the perfect group activity for bridal parties or wedding guest get-togethers.
Making recommendations for your out-of-town wedding guests will make your wedding weekend unforgettable for them!