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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
If you’re living near Tropical Ford in Orlando, Florida, you may have been busy this summer taking weekend trips to the beach or spending days at Disney World or Universal Orlando. Extend the fun this season when you pack up your Ford for a family road trip. If you’re looking for a unique destination, you won’t be disappointed with a trip to the Museum of Discovery and Science in Fort Lauderdale.
This museum offers Summer Sea Turtle Walks where visitors of all ages can get an amazing look at the life of sea turtles. Each year between spring and fall, sea turtles come out of the ocean to build nests on the beaches of Florida. Here they lay eggs at night time and return to the ocean while the eggs remain protected in the nests for an incubation period. Once the eggs have hatched, the baby sea turtles journey from their nests to the ocean.
The Summer Sea Turtle Walks at the Museum of Discovery begin in the evenings with a presentation on the life of sea turtles. From there, visitors are lead for a night walk on the beach by expert guides who will show the nesting grounds of sea turtles. Often times these walks feature breathtaking sea turtle sightings, but even when they don’t this unique Florida activity is worth the day trip.