Get super adventurous with any of our day trips and excursions from Orlando when you visit the Kennedy Space Center with its popular shuttle launch experience and impressive rocket and space-related exhibits. Looking for the beach? Within an hour from Orlando you can surf some waves and swim in the clear, blue ocean. Nature lovers will also find plenty of things to do, especially with several choices for tours that depart Orlando and bring guests to various points along the Gulf Coast. You can swim with wild manatees, visit wildlife parks and strap in for an adrenaline-fused airboat ride through the Florida Everglades.
About an hour’s drive east of Orlando, the Kennedy Space Center is one of the most popular day trips from the city. You don’t have to be a budding astronaut to appreciate the excellent attractions at this famous NASA facility, from rocket exhibits and launch pads to astronaut encounters, 3D IMAX films, and a poignant memorial to NASA’s fallen heroes. Favorite exhibits include the Space Shuttle Atlantis, with a two-hour Shuttle Launch Experience; the 30-minute Rocket Garden tour; and the two-hour bus tour of the Kennedy Space Center and Apollo/Saturn V Center.
If you’re a wildlife lover, few experiences are more thrilling than a face-to-face underwater encounter with an endangered 1,500-pound West Indian manatee. These gentle giants, sometimes called sea cows, swim in the warm waters of the Crystal River, about 90 minutes by car northwest of Orlando. Tours led by wildlife experts include a chance to swim and snorkel with the animals in their natural habitat. You can usually spot them at any time of year, but November through March is the prime time, when they come here to escape cooling sea temperatures.