Menacing crew? Hmmm…not sure we’d want to be part of their posse.
(Location: Dr. Phillips area near Universal.)
Aren’t you guys always looking for new and exciting things to do in Central Florida? Perhaps a little excursion an hour or two away, a little adventure? Me, too. Enter Orlando Airboat Tours located in the Kissimmee area. Now, candidly I don’t venture out to that part of Central Florida too terribly often. We were recently invited*, though, to come enjoy this outdoor adventure–which, oddly, has been on my “to do” list for months-and-months–and did a friend and I did so a couple of weeks ago.
First off, my adventure companion and I headed over to the Orlando Airboat Tours headquarters (address below) to check in, and then quickly zipped over to the boat boarding site, which is actually just down the street from the headquarters base. And it went something like this:
The boat (helmed by Captain Bill on this day) typically seats up to six people. We were joined by two other folks so ours only had a total of four.
I was a little bit nervous about the weather as we started out…really even before I left my house in downtown Orlando. But the sky eventually opened up and the afternoon turned out to be quite beautiful. So we hopped on our boat and started our journey down a very, very long waterway. This afforded us the opportunity to pick up some speed and build anxiety for all of the wild creatures we were praying not to…err, hoping to encounter.
Now, we didn’t quite get to see all of the wild animals (i.e., alligators) we were hoping to. We later learned from Captain Bill that this is alligator season, so most of them were hiding out…with good reason. But we did have a few chance encounters with some baby gators, and then this happened:
Beyond breathtaking, and for me personally, the highlight of the tour. Stunning, right? Obviously there are no guarantees for a replication of this for every adventure, but here’s what most visitors can expect:
“As these airboat tours are in a natural, living environment (Central Florida’s subtropical climate promotes the growth of lush vegetation providing natural habitats for a variety of species) taking you through the swamp marsh and wet prairie they are not only educational, but fun and enjoyable.”
I mean, who doesn’t want to spend a Saturday afternoon this way?
Orlando Airboat Tours
4275 Neptune Road
St. Cloud, FL 34769
Here’s a fun hyperlapse video we captured on our excursion:
* Full disclosure: Pulse of Central Florida was provided two (2) complimentary tickets to experience Orlando Boat Tours. Big thanks to the team!
This might possibly be one of my new favorite places to grab a drink in Orlando. The Thirsty Topher isn’t technically that new, I suppose – it’s actually been open for about a year – but I’m just now getting around to giving it a look-see.
I popped in with a friend not too terribly long ago after a show at The Venue. The location, nestled in the Ivanhoe Village just a few blocks north of Virginia Avenue, is almost a word-of-mouth find for locals. Walking up, the bar is quite welcome, tucked behind a wall of foliage yet an open concept once you pass by it.
One of the best things about The Thirsty Topher is, of course, their drinks. A huge offering of craft beers (including one of my new obsessions), it’s easy to get lost in the variety of the delicious menu. The ambience is also extremely conducive to chatting with whomever you might’ve shown up with…or perhaps the stranger sitting next to you. Low lights when it’s dark outside and high ceilings. I do recall music playing, but not overwhelmingly loud like many places around town. I’m actually really looking forward to spending some time here in the fall, when we hopefully start to experience some cooler temperatures here in Central Florida.
If you haven’t been yet here’s a little of what you can expect:
The Thirsty Topher
1609 Alden Rd
Orlando, FL 32803
Haven’t had a chance to check out The Thirsty Topher yet and want some other opinions? See what local residents are saying on Yelp.
And here are some other local articles:
One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.” – William Shakespeare
Think about it. Not to get totally mystical here but nature really does connect us. With each other, creatures, the earth.
I frequent a couple of Central Florida parks fairly regularly, typically for an afternoon/evening jog or Boot Camp fitness class. I’m always enamored by the nature that’s right underneath my nose…and something I feel most ignore or don’t appreciate so much.
I snapped (no pun intended) this amazing pic one night last week while jogging around Lake Eola in downtown Orlando:
Pretty amazing, right? I need to remind myself to take note of scenes like this way more often. How about you? Where are some of your favorite places to soak up nature? Would love for you to share some pics with us.
Wanna find out where other Pulse fans like to spend their time enjoying nature? Check out this poll we did last year.