<!--:es-->Conozca THE OTHER ORLANDO
…What do when you’ve Done Disney and Universal<!--:-->

Conozca THE OTHER ORLANDO …What do when you’ve Done Disney and Universal

Kelly Monaghan, de 63 años, autora de The Other Orlando: What to Do When You’ve Done Disney and Universal, recomienda el Parque Estatal Wekiwa Springs, 20 minutos al norte de Orlando. «Se puede navegar en canoa por ríos que han cambiado muy poco desde que los españoles se establecieron en la península», dice. O visite el Centro Espacial Kennedy, de la NASA, donde puede experimentar —en un simulador— la sensación de un lanzamiento espacial y ver la Tierra, tal como se ve desde el espacio. Pero seguirá sobre la Tierra, y a sólo 45 minutos de Orlando.

Orlando, the top U.S. travel destination, draws over 43 million visitors a year. After they visit the mega-parks, many are looking for other things to see and do. Monaghan lays out the options with wit and charm, covering virtually every area attraction. In-depth reviews let readers pick and choose wisely to suit their tastes, preferences, and pocketbooks.

Welcome to Wekiwa Springs State Park

Located at the headwaters of the Wekiva River, the beautiful vistas within this park offer a glimpse of what Central Florida looked like when Timucuan Indians fished and hunted these lands. Just one hour from most central Florida attractions, Wekiwa Springs offers visitors the opportunity to relax in a natural setting, enjoy a picnic, or take a swim in the cool spring. Canoeists and kayakers can paddle along the Wekiva River and Rock Springs Run. Thirteen miles of trails provide opportunities for hiking, bicycling, and horseback riding. Options for camping include a full facility campground and primitive camping areas. Canoe and kayak rentals are available. For information about rentals, call (407) 884 4311.

Wekiwa Springs is such a wonderful resource for you to enjoy. For those feeling adventurous can take a dip in the cool 72 degree water. Canoe down the Wekiva River and see the sights and sounds nature has to offer. Hike down one of the trails or have an overnight adventure in the campground. Leave your cell phones behind, escape traffic and relax in your state park. If you do plan to camp with us please take necessary precautions dealing with wildlife. We do have a population of Florida Black Bears and they can become a nuisance if their behavior is interrupted by humans.

We recommend while planning your visit to arrive early on the weekends and holidays because we do close the park once we have reached our carrying capacity.

We look forward to serving you and your family.

Wekiwa Springs State Park is approximately 20 minutes North of Orlando and approximately 45 minutes North of the attractions. It is easily located off Interstate 4 at exit 94. Take State Road 434 West to Wekiwa Springs Road. Turn right on Wekiwa Springs Rd. and travel approximately 4 miles to the park entrance which will be on the right. Please call the park if additional directions are needed.

History and Culture

Forty-two million gallons of crystal clear water flow each day from Wekiwa Springs into Wekiwa Springs Run. The run joins with Rock Springs Run to form the beautiful upper Wekiva River. Creeks, later called Seminoles, are the most recent Native Americans to have lived here. Wekiwa means ‘spring of water’ and Wekiva means ‘flowing water’ in the Creek language.

Historic Wekiwa

This area was known as Clay Springs until 1906, when the name was changed to Wekiwa Springs. This photo was taken shortly after the name changed and shows several structures near the Spring. The largest and most prominent structure was the bathhouse, where swimmers would change into their swimsuits. Tourism was an important industry at the time and the springs were touted as medicinal waters that would cure an assortment of ailments. This claim was an attempt to draw northerners to the area and promote tourism.

Apopka Hunt Club

The Apopka Sportsman Club bought the land that is presently Wekiwa Springs State Park in 1941 from the Wilson Cypress Company, which logged the land for hardwoods such as cypress and pine. The Apopka Sportsman Club used the land for hunting and fishing until 1969 when they sold it to the state of Florida to become Wekiwa Springs State Park. The club built several hunting cabins on the property, most of which are no longer in existence, but have been turned into primitive camping sites. One cabin remains and currently serves as a ranger residence.

Ranger Academy

The Florida Park Service Ranger Academy is a bi-annual, two-week training that is aimed at teaching all new park rangers about the mission of the Florida Park Service. The first Ranger Academy was held at O’Leno State Park in 1972. In 1977, Ranger Academy was moved to Wekiwa Springs State Park, where it has been held ever since. This photo shows the Florida Park Service director at that time, Ney Landrum, addressing a new group of park rangers. The mission of the Florida Park Service is to provide resource-based recreation while preserving, interpreting and restoring natural and cultural resources.

Prescribed Fire

Prescribed fire is an essential resource management tool that land managers can use to meet specific objectives. The use of carefully planned prescribed fires can help reduce dangerous vegetative fuel build up, which reduces the chances of having a catastrophic wildfire. Wekiwa Springs State Park has long been known for its successful prescribed fire program through community outreach with neighbors and the hosting of many statewide fire training classes.

Governor Bush

In 2004, Florida Governor Jeb Bush visited Wekiwa Springs State Park and signed into law the Wekiva Parkway and Protection Act. This Act provides a way to build an environmentally sensitive parkway through the Wekiva River Basin while meeting the demanding transportation needs of Central Florida. The Wekiva Parkway will complete a beltway around Orlando that will alleviate traffic congestion while conserving thousands of acres of adjacent land. Governor Bush signed the legislation into law while on the bulkhead at Wekiwa Springs.

Embark on Mankind’s Ultimate Journey

Orlando vacations aren’t complete without a trip to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Just east of the most popular Orlando attractions and theme parks, NASA’s launch headquarters is the only place on Earth where you can tour launch areas, meet a veteran astronaut, see giant rockets, train in spaceflight simulators, and even view a launch.

Experience more on your Orlando, Florida vacation with a daytrip to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, where the sky isn’t the limit – it’s just the beginning.

Kennedy Space Center Attractions

John Glenn, Neil Armstrong, Sally Ride and Jim Lovell are just a few names of the brave men and women who have launched into space from Kennedy Space Center – and now it’s your turn to become part of the space program. At Kennedy Space Center, our exciting attractions feature inspiring exhibits and hands-on experiences, including:

The Apollo/Saturn V Center, where the incredible accomplishments of the Apollo moon program return to life

IMAX® theaters, where you can feel the thrill of space exploration on five-story screens as you «float’ alongside NASA astronauts.

Guided tours into exclusive areas for a behind-the-scenes look at Kennedy Space Center’s working space flight facilities

Interactive space flight simulators at the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®

Click on the links to the right to learn more about Kennedy Space Center attractions and start planning an out-of-this-world experience.