Lesser-Known Family Fun Activities in Orlando

Lesser-Known Family Fun Activities in Orlando | Tropical Ford Blog | Orlando, FL
Mother, father and their two children pack the family car to go on vacation.

You already know the biggest destinations Orlando has to offer; our city is home to world-famous attractions like Disney World, Universal Studios, LEGOLAND®, and the classic thrills of Gatorland. While these make for great places to hang out with your kids, they can also be pretty crowded during the summer. If you’re looking for a lower-impact but no-less-fun outing, check out these lesser-known family fun activities in Orlando.

Whirly Dome

We know what you’re thinking: what is a Whirly Dome, exactly? The short answer is that it’s where you play WhirlyBall in your WhirlyBug, but that probably doesn’t help elucidate the matter. Whirly Dome is a family entertainment complex that offers laser tag, the Lazer Frenzy maze, an arcade, food and drink, and yes, WhirlyBall. Think a mixture of basketball, hockey, and Jai-alai played on bumper cars and you’re on the right track. Sounds fun, doesn’t it? The best way to find out is to visit the Whirly Dome.

Chocolate Museum & Cafe

Just say the word chocolate and the kids will start scrambling. If you tell them that you’re heading to a place where you can learn about how chocolate is made, taste chocolates from all over the world, and see 25 incredible works of art made entirely from chocolate, they’ll be in the car and ready to go before you know it. That’s just part of the allure of the Chocolate Museum & Cafe, the award-winning attraction that’s great for both learning and snacking. With packages including a wine and chocolate pairing or your choice of mimosa or champagne, it’s also a great spot to visit with your adult friends.

There’s so, so much to do in Orlando, so don’t miss out any of it because you’ve got a bum ride. Trade in and trade up by visiting Tropical Ford and we’ll get you behind the wheel of a great car you can rely on.

4 Fun Roadside Attractions in Florida

roadside attractions Florida | Tropical Ford Blog | Orlando, FL

Florida has a wealth of fun, quirky, and eccentric roadside attractions. Here are four that will brighten up your next road trip through the Sunshine State.

The Mermaids of Weeki Wachee Springs State Park

The Mermaids of Weeki Wachee in Spring Hills have been a popular attraction since 1947. These performers are as close as you can get to a real mermaid — the ladies dazzle guests with underwater acrobatics and choreographed routines. Photo-ops allow you to take the memories with you.

Spongeorama Sponge Factory

The Spongeorama Sponge Factory claims to be the Sponge Capital of the World. It boasts the world’s largest collection of natural sea sponges. Stop in at Tarpon Springs to learn all about sea sponges and the industry around them.

Skunk Ape Research Headquarters

In Ochopee, Dave Shealy has spent the majority of his life looking for the elusive and mysterious Skunk Ape. Known in the south by names like swampsquatch, stink ape, and swamp cabbage man, Shealy set up the Skunk Ape Research Headquarters so visitors could learn more about the mythical Florida creature.

Potter’s Wax Museum

Potter’s Wax Museum, located in St. Augustine, is the oldest wax museum in the country. Come and walk with presidents and first ladies, mingle with legends like Michael Jackson, see famous characters like Harry Potter and Jack Sparrow, and get your picture taken with Einstein or Babe Ruth.

And with all good roadside attractions, don’t forget to visit the gift shop before you leave to grab a souvenir!

Ready for adventure? Come to Tropical Ford, and we’ll help you find the perfect vehicle for your needs.

Check out These Awesome Orlando Lakes on your Next Road Trip

Best Lakes Orlando | Tropical Ford Blog | Orlando, FL

Incredible weather? Check. Amazing destination? Check. Huge variety? Check. The Orlando, Florida area has all of the ingredients needed for the perfect summer road trip. And now that you’ve for a new Ford to match, you’re all set. This summer, check out some of our favorite lakes near Orlando and get ready to fall back in love with the joy of driving.

Lake Eola

Whether you’re a yearlong resident or just visiting, Lake Eola is an Orlando mainstay, and for good reason. Located right in the heart of downtown Orlando, Lake Eola is surrounded by great restaurants and other fun activities the whole family will love.

Lake Killarney

Located in Winter Park, just north of Orlando, Lake Killarney is the perfect single-day road trip behind the wheel of your new Ford. Bring the whole family and rent some paddleboat for a day of fun on the water or relax with a glass of wine and take in the great view.

Lake Tohopekaliga

Lake Toho is one of the largest lakes in all of Florida and is a famous fishing spot amongst locals and traveling sportsmen alike. Adjacent to the beautiful Brinson Park, you could easily spend days at Lake Toho taking in all it has to offer.

Lake Kissimmee

Another excellent lake for fishing and boating, Lake Kissimmee in Osceola County is a great place to fish, float around, or unwind on the shore. With a public boat ramp, you’re welcome to bring your own boat, but fishing is also great right from the marina.

Ready to begin your next adventure? Find the perfect vehicle at Tropical Ford.

Take a Road Trip to Visit the Famed Cherry Smash Ice Cream Shop

Cherry Smash ice cream | Tropical Ford Blog | Orlando, FL

Let’s say you stopped by our dealership at Tropical Ford and now you have a brand new set of wheels. Where do you take it? Treat yourself to a road trip by visiting one of the most popular old-fashioned ice cream parlors in Florida. The Cherry Smash ice cream shop treats its visitors to striking decor and old-timey nostalgia that is sure to delight every guest before they’ve even tried the ice cream itself.

With black and white checkered floors, wooden counters, neon lights, and Hollywood memorabilia, Cherry Smash is the place to go if you’re looking for a vintage ice cream shop experience. Famous for its massive and delicious ice cream sundaes, Cherry Smash won’t leave you wanting. Try signature treats like the Cherry Smash Sundae, the Elvis, or the Brownie Sundae. There are other nostalgic treats on the menu like a banana split or root beer float, too!

The Cherry Smash ice cream shop might even surprise you with its age. The store isn’t even ten years old, having opened its doors back in 2010. So if you’re looking for a place to drive your new Ford, head to Coral Springs to try some good old-fashioned ice cream sundaes at Cherry Smash.

Need maintenance before hitting the highway? Check out our service department at Tropical Ford.

Plan a Vacation to This Underwater Hotel in Florida

underwater hotel in Florida | Tropical Ford Blog | Orlando, FL

So, you’ve just gotten your dream car from here at Tropical Ford, but you have nowhere to drive it. Why not pick out a totally unique place to go for your next vacation? There’s a hotel nearby that’s unlike any other found in the world. Jules’ Undersea Lodge is a totally underwater hotel in Florida, where visitors can spend the night feeling like they’re in a submarine.

Jules’ Undersea Lodge is the only hotel of its kind. Twenty feet under the surface, this hotel invites guests to rent rooms from 3 hours to 24 hours at a time, so you don’t even have to stay the night if you don’t want to. You can even enjoy the lodge’s famous pizza lunch, where an employee delivers a pizza to you underwater in an airtight container.

This location is also perfect for diving. If you like to scuba dive, Jules’ Undersea Lodge is a great place to head out with friends for some fun underwater exploration. Afterwards, you can all retire to your rooms and look out the round, 42-inch windows into the ocean.

Drive your new Ford to this underwater hotel in Florida for an experience you’ll never forget and won’t be able to find anywhere else!

At Tropical Ford, we’re proud to be a part of the Orlando community.

Visit Florida’s Epic 850-Foot Lazy River in your New Ford

Lazy river - Omni Hotel and Resort | Tropical Ford | Orlando, FL

In Florida, you’re always close to some incredible nature, the weather’s beautiful year-round, and you’ll never find a shortage of amazing things to do. If you’re not a Florida resident and are getting a bit weary of the winter cold, this state is an excellent getaway destination. The Omni Hotel and Resort, featuring an 850-foot lazy river, is the perfect spot for the entire family to get away from winter stir-craziness for a while.

From golfing to simply relaxing by the pool, the Omni Hotel and Resort offers a true respite from the lack of sunlight characteristic of winter in other states. The real start of the show, though, is the epic 850-foot lazy river, something parents and kids alike will enjoy.

Florida is also an ideal road-trip destination, featuring countless things to discover and explore along the way. Fortunately, Ford has an SUV and truck for families of all sizes in search of an escape from the cold. From the capable and technology-laden 2019 Ford Escape to the incredibly versatile and spacious 2019 Expedition, Ford’s 2019 lineup of SUVs and trucks has everything you need to enhance your family’s next excursion.

If you’re in need of a new vehicle to transport you to the Omni Hotel and Resort, or other fun sites in Florida, contact us at Tropical Ford. Or, better yet, stop by to take one of our shiny new 2019 models for a test drive.

Take This Restaurant Road Trip in Your New Ford!

restaurant road trip | Frita's Cuban Burger Cafe | Tropical Ford Blog
Restaurant road trip

All Floridians know that our state is home to some of the best food in the Union, from the down-home fried chicken of the Panhandle to the zesty Latin flavors of Miami. If you want a little bit of both for your next meal, and are looking for a good excuse to invest in a new, road-trip ready Ford vehicle from Tropical Ford, we have a delightful restaurant road trip just for you — a trip from Orlando to Frita’s Cuban Burger Cafe in Key West.

Start your adventure at Tropical Ford by picking out your favorite model, from a potent truck to an efficient compact car. From here, it’s time to head south. You may be tempted to take the fast route down the Florida Turnpike, but may we suggest a slower, but more scenic, detour? Take US-1 South. This alternative route will lead you on an hours-long jaunt through the Everglades, an awe-inspiring sight to see no matter how many times you’ve driven by it.

Once you make it to Key West, head straight to Frita’s, then sink your teeth into one of their mouth-watering burgers. The patties are made with a flavorful blend of pork and beef and topped fried potatoes and a secret sauce, all on a deliciously soft Cubano bun.

For even more restaurant road trip destinations, give us a call at Tropical Ford. We’ll be happy to recommend more of our favorites.

Drive Your New Ford to Check out This Incredible View in Florida

2018 Ford Expedition Near River | Tropical Ford Blog | Orlando, FL

If adventure is calling to you and you’re looking to have some fun with the whole family, we know the perfect Florida road trip for you. Located a couple hours away from Orlando, Myakka River State Park is one of Florida’s oldest and largest parks. In terms of views and beautiful Floridian landscapes, the park is unparalleled. Particularly notable is the park’s canopy walkway, which will give you views like nothing you’ve ever seen before.

Myakka River State Park presents an array of wildlife for you to explore, including wetlands, pine forests, and prairies. Although the landscapes of the park are impressive in their own right, they are even more impressive when experienced from above via the Myakka Canopy Walkway. The path suspends 25 feet above the ground and gives you a perfect vantage point for observation, allowing you to explore the local wildlife in a whole new way. You can also head to the tower on the walkway, which is an area that gives you a birds-eye view of the park.

If you’re in need of a new vehicle to transport you to and from this picturesque location, stop by Tropical Ford to browse our inventory of shiny new 2019 models.

Drive Your New Ford to Hunsader Farms

Fall road | Hunsader Farms | Tropical Ford | Orlando, FL

 

Just because fall is here and school and work are back in full swing, that doesn’t mean you have to give up fun road trips. One of the most charming destinations to visit with your kids is Hunsader Farms, a pumpkin farm right in the heart of Bradenton.

Located about an hour south of Tampa, Hunsader Farms is the perfect place for a weekend day trip with the family in your new Ford vehicle. Hunsader Farms opens at the end of September and celebrates its 27th year this year with all kinds of special events throughout the season in addition to regular pumpkin patch visits.

The biggest Hunsader Farms activity is the Pumpkin Festival, which will take place over three weekends in October: the 13th and 14th, 20th and 21st, and 27th and 28th. The festival features a craft show, live music, games, hayrides and pony rides, a corn maze, and tons of food from homemade ice cream to pumpkin pie.

No matter when you visit Hunsader Farms, though, whether it’s during fall or not, this idyllic farm has fresh fruit to pick and delicious food to try. Use fresh pumpkin, squash, and more for pumpkin carving and fall-themed dishes, visit the farmers market for all kinds of fresh produce, or pick your own year-round.

For more sites to explore in the Bradenton area, contact us at Tropical Ford.

Take Your Ford to Get the World’s Best Donut

world's best donut - Dandee Donut Factory | Tropical Ford Blog | Orlando, FL

If you’re looking for your next food adventure in your Ford, the perfect place to go is the Dandee Donut Factory, home of the world’s best donut.

Dandee has been around since the 80s — and it’s been satisfying donut cravings ever since. No matter what kind of donut you’re in the mood for, you can get it here. That’s because Dandee Donut Factory has over 50 varieties of donuts.

All of these donuts are delicious and some are unlike any you’ve tried before. The folks at Dandee only use high-quality ingredients to ensure that every bite is irresistible. The shop makes each donut from scratch, so that means you get a unique donut, fresh out of the oven, each time you place an order.

If you have a long commute, stop by Dandee for a donut (or six…) and some coffee. The venue offers both iced and hot beverages, depending on your preference.

Dandee Donut Factory has three different locations — Hollywood, Pompano Beach, and Deerfield Beach — with the latter two being open 24 hours, 7 days a week! Visit one of these joints to have an impromptu donut picnic in the bed of your Ford F-150, or in the front seat of your Ford Focus.

For more dining suggestions in the Orlando area, contact us at Tropical Ford. We’ll be happy to recommend other favorite locations.