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Take a Stroll in Some of Orlando’s Beautiful Gardens

When visiting Central Florida, it’s easy to get caught up in all of the theme parks. Yet the area has some beautiful natural scenery, as well as carefully tended gardens and parks. While staying at one of FantasyWorld’s vacation villas in Kissimmee FL, consider taking a trip for a leisurely stroll through some of Orlando and the surrounding area’s truly glorious gardens.

In between Kissimmee and Orlando is the Lake Nona Sculpture Garden, combining beautiful native flora with contemporary art. This outdoor gallery garden features sculptures from local artists, as well as works from one of the largest private art collections. Amid the artwork are more than 300 Florida-grown palms, fragrant shrubs and seasonal blooms. Gently meandering paths take you through the art and greenery and you’ll find artfully designed seating areas where you can have a peaceful moment taking in the beauty of your surroundings.

Near downtown Orlando, you’ll find the Harry P. Leu Gardens, a 50-acre botanical oasis that is a favorite local institution. Located within the greater Audubon Park Garden District, Leu Gardens is home to 40 diverse plant collections from around the world, including a tropical rainforest, Florida’s largest formal rose garden, and the largest documented camellia collection in Eastern North America. As well as the gardens, there’s the beautiful Leu House Museum, the 1880s-era family home. This genteel home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. You’ll also find a variety of art exhibitions, concerts, movie nights, and other cultural events throughout the year.

Just north of downtown Orlando is the charming Winter Park area, with tree-lined streets, boutique shopping streets, and a number of gardens and park trails. The Mead Botanical Garden is a wonderful place to make the most of the kitchen in your vacation villa and pack a picnic to enjoy in the garden. Situated on 48 acres, you’ll find attractive walking trails that take you through native and natural landscapes, as well as the carefully cultivated botanical gardens, along with a legacy garden, greenhouse and two beautiful butterfly gardens. It’s also a wonderful area to do some birdwatching.

Finally, Kraft Azalea Garden, also located in Winter Park, is a 5-acre waterfront park with towering cypress trees, scenic lake views and plenty of gorgeous azaleas, capped off with the stunning exedra, a columned arcade in the Classical style that is surrounded by trees draped in Spanish moss and looking out over the water. It’s an inspirational site as well as a wonderful place to sit, relax and appreciate the natural beauty. In addition the park is home to a great egret rookery and the largest surviving banyan tree north of Miami. The garden is named for Winter Park residents George and Maud Kraft, who helped to establish the park in 1938.

These are just a few of the numerous gardens to be enjoyed throughout Central Florida. Book your FantasyWorld vacation villas in Kissimmee FL and be sure to spend some time taking in the beautiful gardens and scenery that are just as much a part of the region as the theme parks.

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