Location Of Winter Park Scenic Boat Tours
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Cruise Through Tarpon Springs To A Dazzling Island
As early as 1890 Greeks came to Tarpon Springs to dive for sponges. The sponges are long gone but the Greek heritage lives on. One of the best things to do from the Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks is take a boat tour that offers several delights: You tour the Anclote River and hear a little Tarpon Springs history you gaze on the Gulf waters and spot dolphins you get a short stop on Anclote Key a pristine white-sand barrier island reachable only by boat. Anclote Key is a state park with an 1887 lighthouse. These Florida boat tours give visitors a half hour to enjoy Anclotes perfect sandy beaches and do not include visiting the lighthouse. There are two boat companies that operate cruises to Anclote from the Sponge Docks: SunLine Cruises and Sponge-O-Rama
Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour: Celebrity Homes
The scenic boat tour begins at their headquarters in Winter Park at the end of Morse Boulevard on Lake Osceola.
The tour will have you relaxing in one of six 18-passenger pontoon boats. Your tour guide will begin by showing you some famous structures in Winter Park history along the lake shore..
You will leave the boat house on Lake Osceola and head south into Lake Virginia through a beautiful narrow canal canopied by ancient oaks, banana, cypress, and palm trees, ferns and just about anything else that grows in this part of Florida.
The northern shore of Lake Virginia is home to the picturesque campus of Rollins College.
After touring Lake Virginia, the boat heads back north through the same canal and into Lake Osceola for a leisurely cruise along the shoreline and a glimpse into the many historic mansions and exquisite estates.
Another beautiful winding canal takes you north into Lake Maitland where you will see Kraft Azalea Gardens and the breathtaking views of opulent private homes.
Many of the grand homes are on the Isle of Sicily, a man made peninsula that juts into the center of the lake.
The tour guides are locals who know the area well and make the one hour cruise interesting.
Along with the beautiful scenery, many times nature cooperates in the tour by showing you large cranes hunting for fish or a lazy alligator swimming along the shoreline.
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Scenic Winter Park Boat Tour
Yesterday, my husband and I took the scenic Winter Park boat tour. We decided to do this for the morning of our 26th anniversary. Winter Park is a great area to go for restaurants, so we figured we would get lunch after the boat tour, and that’s what we did.
The boat tour takes you on the Lake Osceola, which is located in the middle of Winter Park. It takes you through the beautiful canals, which have a canopy of trees over them. Those are the best part of the tour, but they only last a few minutes here and there. The rest of the boat tour is taking you out on the lake, where you get a look at some of the expensive homes that line the shore.
The captain of the boat tells you about some of the homes, including their values, what famous people owned/own them, or detail about their size, etc. He also pointed out numerous birds that we saw. It was interesting to hear about the homes and area. You also get to see the beautiful expansive campus of Rollins College. Some of the famous people who have had homes around the lake that you get a look at include Fred Rogers.
When we were finished with the boat tour, we went over and had a great lunch at the Winter Park Biscuit Company! Below are pictures and a video from our scenic boat tour. To get more info, .
Old World Winter Park With Boat Tour Includes:
- Round-trip transportation from your hotel
- Parking and admission ticket for a one hour boat tour and guided cruise of Winter Park
- Choose a walking tour: Peacocks, Presidents & Puzzle: The Winter Park Walking TourorHello Neighbor The Mister Rogers Walking Tour
- Shopping/Dining time on your own on Park Avenue
- Assortment of cold drinks
- This tour is not wheelchair accessible
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Be Like Bogie On The African Queen
You cant do this anywhere else: The African Queen boat – the actual steamboat used in the 1951 movie starring Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn – has been beautifully restored to take visitors on Key Largo cruises. Cruises are pricey best for true fans yearning to sit exactly where Hepburn and Bogart did but intimate. The boat is licensed to hold six passengers at a time. The 90-minute canal cruise is $49 and leaves at 10 a.m. noon 2 p.m. 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. On Friday and Saturday nights there is a two-hour canal cruise that includes a three-course dinner at the Pilot House Restaurant and Marina.
Celebrity Spotting Off Miami Beach
Entertainers celebrity athletes and other Miami millionaires pay big money for waterfront views from exclusive addresses. But those same waterfront views mean that from a boat you have an equally good view of palatial estates. Florida boat tours leaving from Miamis festive Bayside Marketplace cruise by Fisher Hibiscus and Star Islands home to Sean Combs Gloria Estefan Rosie O’Donnell and Shaquille O’Neal among others. Visitors also get an up-close view of the Port of Miami and its giant cruise ships plus a postcard-like look at the Miami skyline. The 90-minute Island Queen cruise is $24 for adults on a 140-passenger double-decker boat.
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Hop On/hop Off A Water Taxi
One of the best ways to get out on the water in the picturesque Halifax River and Ponce Inlet in New Smyrna Beach is by water taxi on Fridays Saturdays and Sundays. This isnt a formal tour instead the water taxi allows for a customized do-it-yourself tour. It follows a two-hour-and-15-minute route with five stops. You can get on and off for meals or sightseeing including the Ponce de Leon Lighthouse the Marine Science Center plus many waterfront restaurants shops and galleries. You can bring your own food or drinks and enjoy a picnic while you watch for dolphins and see the New Smyrna area from the water. Click on the hyperlink to learn more about theNew Smyrna Water Taxi Express. Miami Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale are also served by an extensive water taxi system. An all-day pass is $20. There are 10 stops in Fort Lauderdale taking you to all the key visitor spots.
See Sunset From The Water In Key West
Key West has turned the daily sunset into a celebration and seeing the sun go down from a boat cruising offshore is a classic Key West memory. There are many from which to choose: Some are all you can drink party boats with DJs and dancing. The pirate-themed Jolly II Rover schooner with its jaunty red sails is $35 and is BYOB. A historic option is Floridas official flagship the Schooner Western Union. The $59 sunset cruise includes champagne beer wine or soft drinks. The Western Union is a 130-foot tall ship built in Key West in 1939 to tend the Western Union cable lines. The schooner trip lets you enjoy the view of Key West and nearby islands under golden end-of-day light. You can compare sunset cruise options during a scenic stroll through the Historic Key West Seaport. Watch for promotions and discounts. Many other Florida port cities offer sunset cruises too so explore options near where youre staying.
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When Is The Best Time To Take The Winter Park Boat Tour
As you might have guessed, winter is the busiest time of year for the Scenic Winter Park Boat Tour. Especially the time right before Christmas.
The cooler months are popular among the snowbirds and people wanting to enjoy the lower temps, so be sure to show up early to claim your spots.
The least busy day of the week is typically Monday unless its a holiday.
The busiest slots tend to be any time after lunch, so the early bird gets the worm!
Discover The Wild Man Of The Loxahatchee
This boat tour takes you to a fascinating destination you cant reach by land. Located inside Jonathan Dickinson State Park in Hobe Sound the narrated tour on the Loxahatchee Queen II takes you down the jungle-y Loxahatchee River which is worth the trip by itself. The highlight though is a visit to the home of Trapper Nelson one of those fabulous characters who helped make Florida funky in the states early days. Nelson started out living off the land as a trapper and fur trader in the 1930s but soon turned himself and his home into one of the areas first tourist attractions Trappers Zoo and Jungle Gardens. No public roads lead to Trapper Nelsons site. The cost to ride on the 25-passenger Loxahatchee Queen II is $20 for adults $12.25 for children 6 to 12 and free for children under 6. Trips leave at 9 a.m. 11 a.m. 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Call 746-1466 for more information.
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What Can You Expect To See On The Ride
Florida is known for its swaying palms and sandy beaches, but theres more to marvel at while cruising the shorelines of Winter Park. While youll see your fair share of palms and lakeshore beaches, you also get a hefty dose of towering cypress trees, grand oaks, lush ferns, and a variety of pretty sub-tropical flowers.
Its fun to imagine what it must be like to own one of the many opulent mansions and estates dotting the shores. Lusting over their expansive gardens and impressive architecture is a fan favorite on this tour.
Critter-wise you can expect to see anhingas, great blue herons, egrets, osprey, red-shouldered hawks, barred owls, ibis, other water-loving birds, and the occasional gator. Alligators are not big fans of the amount of action on the lake, so the chance of seeing one is slim.
Manatees And More On St Johns
One of the highpoints of a winter visit to Florida is a chance to see an endangered manatee in the wild. One of the best spots to do that is Blue Spring State Park in Orange City. When the weather is cold the clear spring can attract hundreds of manatees. TheSt. Johns River Cruise leaves from the park and it specializes in helping you spot wildlife not just manatees but also alligators bald eagles osprey herons egrets sandhill cranes limpkin ibis purple gallinules and more. The two-hour cruise winds through shallow areas of the unspoiled river and even when wildlife is scarce the guide offers lots of history and information about the area. Tickets are $22 for adults $16 for children. There are three trips a day in winter
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What Should You Wear And Bring With You
There are quite a few bridges and low limbs to duck under throughout the tour, so the boats never put up a canopy. That means lots of sun. You should remember to:
- Wear a long sleeve shirt or sunscreen
- Put on sunscreen on your face and neck
- Wear a hat
- Wear breathable clothes and comfy shoes sandals are fine
- Dress warm in the cooler months
You are welcome to bring a cooler along as long as its small. Please note that they do not allow alcohol on board. Water, other drinks, and hats are sold at the ticket window.
There’s No Shortage Of Waterways To Explore And Boat Tours In Florida To Enjoy
The first tourists in Florida arrived by boat Juan Ponce de Leon and his crew 500 years ago and its still the best way to see the Sunshine State.
From a boat you can reach special places where there are no roads and glimpse views you cant see any other way. Some of the boats themselves are one-of-a-kind attractions.
And theres no shortage of waterways to explore Florida has 1 800 miles of coastline and 12 000 miles of rivers and streams.
While some visitors will rent kayaks motor boats houseboats or sailboats on a Florida vacation the easiest and least expensive way to go is on a boat tour and there are hundreds to choose from.
Here are 10 favorites that illustrate the variety of cruises available around the state:
Take a guided entertaining and educational scenic boat tour of the Indian River Lagoon and estuary.
– Fort Pierce Tours
The heads of passengers cast shadows on an airboat as it skims across the Everglades, in just inches of water.
– Peter W. Cross for VISIT FLORIDA
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Come Sail Away: Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour
All photos by Kelsey Walters
Orlando and the surrounding areas have no shortage of things for tourists and locals to explore. In fact, it can be pretty overwhelming when deciding what park to visit, where to dine and what to do in between to maximize your vacation, or staycation. Given its close proximity, Orlando loves to flock to our beaches, and in turn, Volusians spend just as much time in the central Florida area at major attractions.
One of the most stressful parts about being on vacation is, well being on vacation. Planning and the hustle of getting from place to place usually falls on one persons shoulders and the stress of it all can be very taxing. The exhaustion of visiting theme parks and more can make you second-guess your entire visit. There are, however, plenty of things you can do to actually relax and take a break during your time away!
Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour is just 10 minutes outside of downtown Orlando, but it feels like a world away. This one-hour lake and canal cruise is the ideal way to relax, where the only thing you have to do is sit back and enjoy the scenery. Whether youre looking for a break from your trip, or a quick afternoon getaway before dinner downtown, this tour is lauded by Floridians as a must do in central Florida. Plus, its a great, cost-conscious, activity to have on-hand when you have visitors in town.
Take A Scenic Boat Trip In The Heart Of Winter Park
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. â Central Florida has plenty of historic spots and attractions of but of the longest running ones you can find right in Winter Park. Spectrum News hops aboard the Scenic Winter Park Boat Tour to celebrate their milestone 85th year in business in this week’s Florida on a Tankful.
With the turn of a key, a journey across the glistening waters of Lake Osceola begins. A journey that might be a first for you, but one that Captain Tom here has taken many times.
Tom is a seasoned veteran at Scenic Winter Park Boat Tours. He’s been giving them multiple times a week for the last 12 years, which means he knows quite a lot about the history and how to put a smile on your face, something he attributes to his previous career.
Before picking up this job in his retirement he owned operated and managed restaurants and bars in and around Orlando and Winter Park, something he says lends itself well to this job as a tour boat driver.
âI was always in hospitality and this is pretty hospitable, isn’t it?â
While Tom started driving boats for the scenic boat tour 12 years ago, his love of boating and the Central Florida area started long before that.
âI have lived in the same place here in Winter Park for the past I think 48 years and I’m fortunate enough to have a boat dock right on Lake Virginia.â
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Zip Through The Everglades On An Airboat
The loud flat-bottomed airboats that ride over water and swamp are unlike any other boat ride youll take. Invented by Alexander Graham Bell airboats first came to Florida in the 1920s and have been a classic tourist experience ever since. Airboat tours take you into roadless areas to see wildlife but a big part of the experience is the wind noise and thrilling speed. There are no airboat roads in Everglades National Park but there are plenty of options throughout South and Central Florida. With so many airboat tours out there you should consult tourist offices near where you are staying for suggestions. Two long-time airboat operators areCooperstown Airboats on the Tamiami Trail near the Shark Valley entrance to Everglades National Park andAirBoat Rides at Midway east of Orlando in Christmas. Rates range from $20 to $40 for adults.
Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour
312 East Morse BoulevardTel: 407-644-4056
By Mike Miller Updated July 30, 2022
The Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour is a one-hour tour you will enjoy whether it’s your first time or hundredth time.
The attraction began its operation in 1938. It’s first trip was led by Captain Tom and dubbed the “Venice of America” tour.
Today it is one of Florida’s most interesting off-the-beaten-path experiences.
What makes it unique is the route the tour boats take through Lakes Osceola, Virginia, and Maitland.
Although its location in Winter Park is only ten minutes north of downtown Orlando in Central Florida, and a quick 5 minute walk from busy Park Avenue, the tour route feels like a completely different world.
It’s one of the best ways to enjoy a taste of both worlds.
You will see tropical trees such as large palm and beautiful cypress trees, lush ferns, tropical flowers and many tropical birds along the route.
You will also see some of the most spectacular mansions in the state along the route.
Some of these mansions have been owned by movie stars or other famous people and the guide will point them out.
The Winter Park chain of lakes includes seven lakes, with the larger five being connected to each other by narrow beautiful canals.
These canals were built by lumber interests in the late 19th century to float logs harvested from the surrounding forests to the sawmill locations.
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