ORLANDO FLORIDA DAY TRIPS

The Orlando Florida day trips and one tank trips described on Florida Backroads Travel are all within 100 miles of Orlando. 

Since Orlando is smack dab in the middle of Florida, there are many places you can go on the four corners of the compass.

We calculate that the average car can go at least 250 miles on a tank of gas. Many compact cars get a lot more than that. Your Orlando Florida day trips to the places mentioned on this website will leave you plenty of gas for exploring the back roads as well as visiting your destination.

Here are some things to do and places to see within 100 miles of Orlando.

The map below shows you some of the major cities within 100 miles of Orlando, and many of them are great destinations for Orlando Florida day trips.

Places to see within 100 miles of Orlando, Florida.Places to see within 100 miles of Orlando, Florida.

Recommended Orlando Florida Day Trips

Avon Park is a small town along the scenic drive through citrus country south of Lake Wales.

Babson Park is also on the scenic drive through the citrus groves of central Florida, and is the home of Webber College.

Bok Tower Gardens is a botanical and architectural treasure near Lake Wales. The beautiful tower houses a carillon that plays at regular intervals.

Brevard Zoo is an animal habitat built entirely by volunteers and has become one of the most popular central Florida attractions.

Cassadaga is a historic village of spiritualists, mediums, and healers, that is open to the public.

Central East Florida Day Trips is a page on this website that has maps showing interesting back road drives in the coastal area east of Orlando.

Central Florida Day Trips is a page on this website that has maps showing interesting back road drives around Orlando from Ocala in the north to Lake Placid in the south.

Cherie Down Park has a beautiful beach in Cape Canaveral just north of Cocoa Beach. You can also visit Ron Jons, the Cocoa Beach Pier and other locat attractions.

Cocoa is a Space Coast town worth visiting because of its beautiful downtown area, Cocoa Village, noted for its fine restaurants and shopping.

Cross Creek was the home for many years of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, author of "The Yearling" and "Cross Creek".

Daytona Beach is a motor city and beach city. You can drive on the hard packed beaches and visit the NASCAR track in town.

Deland is the home of Stetson University and has a wonderful downtown area with restaurants and shops in restored historic buildings. Lots of trees and murals throughout the town.

Doctor Phillips is a community south of Orlando along Sand Lake Road. It is loaded with many restaurants and shops, and is close to Universal Studios and the attractions along International Drive.

Eustis is an old Florida town northwest of Orlando that has a neat little downtown area and parks along the southeastern shore of Lake Eustis.

Evinston is a small community near Cross Creek and home to the old Wood & Swink General Store on the National Register of Historic Places.

Flagler Beachfront Winery is in Flagler Beach, right on the ocean.  Enjoy wine tasting with an ocean view.

Florida Citrus Tower is a 65 year old attraction in Clermont west of Orlando. An elevator to the top takes you to a wonderful view of all central Florida.

Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville is the state's largest and is on the campus of the University of Florida.

Fort Gates Ferry is a historic ride across the St Johns River between the Ocala National Forest and Fruitland.

Gainesville also has plenty to look at in addition to the university and the museums. The town has many historic neighborhoods and buildings, and a lot of nice restaurants.

Gatorland north of Kissimmee was entertaining tourists and locals long before Walt Disney World came on the scene.

Gatorland Kissimmee Florida

Highlands Hammock State Park near Sebring is one of the finest examples of unspoiled natural Florida. Camping and day activities.

Highland Park is a small golf course town in the rolling hills south of Lake Wales. It has one of the oldest golf courses in Florida.

Lakeland is located among several lakes and has a lot of wonderful statuary to look at in downtown.

Lake Placid is the Caladium Capital of the World and has transformed its typical little downtown areas with murals on the buildings.

Lakeridge Winery is near Clermont.  Watch wine being made, enjoy tasting and tours.  Also lots of entertainment and music.

Lake Wales is the center of the citrus industry and is close to Bok Tower Gardens, a treat you should not miss.

Leu Gardens in Orlando has almost 50 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds, lakes and trails.  Enjoy 200 year old oaks and acres of camelias.

Melbourne is on the Space Coast and Indian River Lagoon. Its downtown area is historic and renovated with lots of shops and restaurants.

Maytown Road is a lightly traveled paved road through one of Florida's last large wilderness areas.

Mount Dora is a small town on Lake Dora in the hill country northwest of Orlando. It has become an antique and art center with plenty of shops and frequent festivals and other events. It is one of our favorite Orlando Florida day trips.

New Smyrna Beach is where Orlando natives like to visit the beach. It is a charming small town along the Atlantic Ocean and Intracoastal Waterway.

Ocala is the center of the thoroughbred horse industry in Florida. A lot of great horse statues are scattered throughout downtown and the whole city is surrounded by beautiful rolling horse farms.

Old Florida Carpenter Gothic Churches.  See 5 of these rare historic churches in the Orlando area.

Orlando itself is loaded with more tourist attractions than one can possible visit. It also has many beautiful neighborhoods and a revitalized downtown business district. Get away from the bustle of Universal Studios and Walt Disney World and visit a real Florida city. Since the city is in the center of the state, it is the logical place to enjoy your Orlando Florida day trips.

Orlando Tree Tour is a self-guided tour of several significant trees in the City of Orlando, many of them hundreds of years old.

Orange County Regional History Center in Orlando has a lot of exhibits about the Orlando area that will entertain adults and kids alike.

Ormond Beach is the birthplace of automobile racing.  You can visit The Casements, famous home of John D. Rockefeller.

Paisley is a small town north of Orlando where an old cemetery is the resting place of Walt Disney's grandparents.

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse is south of Daytona and offers you a climb to the top for a magnificent view.

Princess Place Preserve is north of Palm Coast and is a nature conservation area that was once the home of a pioneer princess.

SeaWorld Orlando is home to dolphins, whales, sharks and a lot of entertained tourists. One of the original big three Orlando attractions.

St. Augustine is one of Florida's favorite tourist attractions. Visit some of the oldest neighborhoods and buildings in the United States.

Central Florida Tourist Attractions that were here before Walt Disney World opened in 1971 and are still operating.

The Villages is a planned community northwest of Orlando that is developed around numerous golf courses. Lots of good dining and shopping.

Universal Studios Orlando is near SeaWorld and has a lot of shows and activities based on Universal movies. Islands of Adventure is loaded with thrill rides.

Vero Beach has some of the nicest beaches in Florida. Disney also has a beach resort just north of Vero in Wabasso.

Walt Disney World is the most visited theme park in the world. You can spend your entire vacation here, but you will pay dearly for it.

Webster flea markets are open only on Monday.  The biggest flea market in Florida.

Windermere, a small town near Walt Disney World with canopied streets and Old Florida ambience.

Winter Garden, a small town west of Orlando with a revitalized downtown business district.

Winter Haven, a pretty town among the lakes south of Orlando.  The home of Legoland on the grounds of the former Cypress Gardens.

Winter Park , a small upscale enclave in the Orlando metro area on the north side. Great shopping, dining and art festivals. Morse Museum with a lot of Tiffany objects, and Rollins College. A great place to stay while you enjoy your Orlando Florida day trips.


Central Florida Scenic Drives


Maitland to Orlando through Winter Park

Central Florida Day Trips Winter ParkOrlando - Winter Park Scenic Drive

Park Avenue from US-17/US-92 in Maitland south through Winter Park to the beautiful campus of Rollins College on the shore of Lake Virginia. Then meander along the residential streets on the lake shores south into Orlando. Beautiful old homes, sparkling blue lakes and green tree canopies. Great shopping and dining on brick paved Park Avenue in downtown Winter Park. One of my favorite central Florida day trips.About 12 miles.

Rollins College, Winter Park

Lake Buena Vista to Windermere on SR-535

Central Florida Day Trip Lake Buena Vista to WindermereLake Buena Vista to Windermere

State Road 535 from Lake Buena Vista north to Chase Road, then east to Windermere. Old Florida houses, well maintained orange groves, crystal clear lakes and the pretty little tree shaded town of Windermere to enjoy lunch and strolling.  Surrounded by gated communities that are home to the rich and famous.  About 12 miles.

Historic Windermere School

Orlando to Winter Haven on US-17

Central Florida Day Trips Orlando to Winter HavenOrlando to Winter Haven

US-17 from Orlando to Winter Haven and Legoland through Kissimmee and Haines City. Orange groves, small towns, big oak trees as you enjoy your Central Florida day trips.  Visit Legoland while you are in Winter Haven.   About 47 miles.

Polk Hotel, Haines City

Orlando to Mount Dora on US-441

Central Florida Day Trips Orlando to Mount DoraOrlando to Mount Dora

US-441 from Orlando to Mount Dora through Apopka. Rolling country, great art galleries and shows in Mount Dora, and a large antique center at Renningers.  Make sure to visit Mount Dora on at least one of your Central Florida day trips.  About 27 miles.

Mount Dora Lighthouse

Clermont to Lake Wales on US-27

Central Florida Day Trip Clermont to Lake WalesClermont to Lake Wales

US-27 from Clermont to Lake Wales through Haines City. Some congestion in the area where you cross I-4, but beautiful groves and rolling hills as you get south of the interstate.  Southern central florida day trips are much less congested than the areas further north. About 50 miles.

Downtown Lake Wales & Walesbilt Hotel


Lake Wales to Lake Placid on US-27

Central Florida Day Trip Lake Wales to Lake PlacidLake Wales to Lake Placid

US-27 from Lake Wales to Lake Placid through Avon Park and Sebring. Interesting small towns, a large observation tower in Lake Placid (closed as of September 2010), and dozens of colorful murals on the commercial buildings in downtown Lake Placid. About 50 miles.

Lake Placid Mural

Mount Dora to Groveland on US-19

Central Florida Day Trip Mount Dora to GrovelandMount Dora to Groveland

SR-19 from Groveland to Mount Dora through Howey In The Hills, Tavares and Oakland Park. Take Old 441 from Tavares oninto Mount Dora. Rolling hills, old groves, little towns, art, antiques. Stop at Boondockers on Little Lake Harris in Howey In The Hills for a beer and good food. One of the nicest central Florida day trips. About 26 miles.

Howey Mansion, Howey In The Hills

Winter Haven to Wauchula on US-17

Central Florida Day Trip Winter Haven to WauchulaWinter Haven to Wauchula

US-17 from Winter Haven to Wauchula through Bartow, Fort Meade and Bowling Green. Old Florida again, small towns, healthy little downtowns, many of them in the Florida Main Street program. About 36 miles.

Fort Meade Historical Society

Lake Wales to Frostproof on Scenic Highway 17

Central Florida Day Trip Lake Wales to FrostproofLake Wales to Frostproof on Scenic 17

Old Scenic Highway 17 from Lake Wales south to Frostproof through Highland Park and Babson Park . Rolling groveland, heart of citrus country. The smell of orange blossoms in the spring will make you want to live in Florida forever. At least that's what happened to me more than a half century ago.  This is one of the central Florida day trips that convinced me to move to Florida many years ago.  About 14 miles.

More about the towns on Old Scenic Highway 17

Casa Josephina, Highland Park

Polk City to Auburndale on CR557 and CR559

Polk City to Auburndale

SR-557 from Polk City to SR-559 at I-4 to Auburndale. Rolling groveland and pretty little towns. Drive around the big lake in the heart of Auburndale and enjoy the old houses and the crystal clear waters. About 10 miles.

Downtown Auburndale

Mount Dora to Altoona to Villages and Return

Central Florida Day Trip Mount Dora to The VillagesMount Dora - Ocala National Forest - Villages Scenic Loop

This trip starts from Mount Dora going west on Old US441 until it meets State Road 19. Take 19 through Eustis and Umatilla to Altoona, where you will turn west on State Road 42. Beautiful wooded rolling terrain along the south side of the Ocala National Forest. Take 42 all the way to US-27/441, then go south to The Villages. Stop in the main square for lunch, a drink, a concert, or all of those. Leave The Villages and continue south on US-441 all the way back to Mount Dora. About 60 miles.

Altoona Church

Lake Griffin Scenic Loop via Lady Lake & Weirsdale

Weirsdale - Lady Lake - Lake Griffin Scenic Loop

Leave US-441 at Lady Lake, go east and meander left until you reach Lake Griffin Road.  Follow it all the way to where it ends at the Harbor Hills development.  Turn left on dead end Matthews Rd and take a peek at an old Florida fish camp.  Then go back to Lake Griffin Road and turn right on Marion County Road.  Go north to tee intersection, then turn left.  Go to SE 155th Ave and turn right (north).  Go to State Road 42, then left to Weirsdale, south on State Road 25 back to Lady Lake.  Rolling fields and hills, sparse development, neat old houses, one of the quietest central Florida day trips yet so close to a rapidly urbanizing area.  The way Florida used to be and still is here.  Next door to The Villages Florida.


Yalaha Scenic Loop from Howey in the Hills

Howey in the Hills - Yalaha Scenic Loop

Start in downtown Howey-In-The-Hills.  Go west on Number 2 Rd to Bloomfield Ave, then north across State Road 48 to Lakeshore Drive.  Follow Lakeshore along shore of Lake Harris.  Turn left at old church built in 1875, then continue to Lime Ave and back to State Road 48.  Follow State Road 48 back to Howey or take State Road 19 across the lake to Tavares.  Rolling farmland, old houses, beautiful lake shore, old houses.


Mount Dora to Melrose via Ocala National Forest

Mount Dora to Melrose thru Ocala National Forest

Ocala National Forest Drive from Mount Dora to Melrose.  Start in downtown Mount Dora and take Donnelly St north past US-441 until it becomes SR-44.  Turn west at stoplight and turn right (north) in one block on Estes Road (CR44A).  Stay on CR44A into Umatilla, then north on SR-19.  Follow SR-19 north to past Salt Springs, then west on CR316 to Fort McCoy.  Then north on CR315 to Orange Springs.  Then north on CR21 to SR-20.  Then west on SR-20 to SR-21.  Then north to Melrose.  No other central Florida day trips can match the quiet grandeur of the Ocala National Forest. About 90 miles one way.

Trinity Episcopal Church, Melrose

Mount Dora to Cross Creek, Micanopy, McIntosh

Mount Dora to Cross Creek, Micanopy, Evinston and McIntosh via the Ocala National Forest.  Take SR-44 north from Mount Dora.  Turn west (left) at stoplight and turn right (north) in one block on Estes Road (CR44A).  Stay on CR44A into Umatilla, then north on SR-19.  Follow SR-19 north to past Salt Springs, then west on CR316 to Fort McCoy.  Turn right about 5 miles west of Fort McCoy on NE 175th Street Road.  Follow this road to US-301.  Turn right on US-301 to Citra.  At Citra, turn left on County Road 325 to Cross Creek.  Stay on CR-325 through Cross Creek and turn left on CR-346 to Micanopy.  From Micanopy, turn right on US-441 then turn left on NW 230th St to CR-225.  Turn left and visit Wood and Swink Store and U.S. Post Office.  Go south on CR-225 to US-441 and McIntosh.  Go south on US-441 from McIntosh through Orange Lake to County Road 318.  Turn left on CR-318 back to Citra.  About 80 miles one way.

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Home

Mount Dora to St Leo through Dade City

Mount Dora to Dade City and St. Leo.  Take Old 441 from Mount Dora through Tavares to SR-19.  Turn left on SR-19 and go south through Howey In The Hills to SR-50 in Groveland.  Turn right on SR-50 and go west to U.S.-301/U.S.-98.  Turn left and go south to Dade City.  In Dade City turn right on SR-52 and follow it to St. Leo University and Abbey.  About 65 miles.

St Leo Benedictine Abbey

Lake Apopka Loop: Apopka, Montverde, Howey

This is the Lake Apopka Loop.  The drive starts in Mount Dora and is a round trip on the toll free back roads.  Take Clayton south from Mount Dora and follow it when it turns sharp right to Dora Drive.  Stay on Dora Drive to Sadler Road.  Turn left on Sadler to US-441.  Turn right on US-441 and go under the 429 toll road bridge in Plymouth.  Turn right immediately after the bridge and follow the road for several miles until it reaches SR-437A.  Turn right and follow this road through Ocoee and past State Road 50 and all the way into Windermere.  Go through Windermere and stay on Main St until it bends right and becomes Chase Road.  Take Chase to Winter Garden-Vineland Road.  Turn right and go north on that road to  downtown Winter Garden.  Plant Street is SR-438.  Turn left on SR-438 and go through Oakland until the road becomes Old County Road 50  Stay on that until you can turn right on CR-455.  Stay on CR-455 through Montverde and Ferndale until it hits CR-561.  Turn right on CR-561 until CR-48 in Astatula.  Stay on CR-48 until it becomes CR-448A.  Follow it a short distance to CR-448 (Sadler Drive) and turn right to Dora Drive.  Left on Dora Drive and follow the same path back into Mount Dora.  About 65 miles round trip.

Downtown Winter Garden

Emeralda Island Scenic Loop west of Eustis

This drive is known as the Emeralda Island Scenic Loop and begins west of Eustis.  From CR44, take Emerelda Avenue north to the fork in the road.  Turn left and continue north on Emeralda Island Road past the Emeralda Marsh Conservation Area.  After an easterly run, the road intersects CR452.  Turn south and drive past Lake Yale Baptist Conference Center and then veer right on Felkins Road to Goose Prairie Road.  Turn right on Goose Prarie Road and follow it until you are back on Emeralda Avenue.  You will be in unspoiled Old Florida all the way with very few houses or other structures, and will enjoy many rolling hills and canopied roads along the way.  About 15 miles.

Permanent Parking on Emeralda Island Road

Haines Creek Lock between Lakes Griffin & Eustis

Haines Creek lock is located at about the midpoint of the six mile long canal and creek that connect Lake Eustis to Lake Griffin. Access to the lock by car is from CR44 by Lock Road which is next to Bonfire Mobile Home Park.  The lock is a quiet place to enjoy watching the pleasure and fishing boats that go through in both directions.  There is room for two or three cars to park near the lock operator's booth, and it's fun to watch the machinery at work.  The lock is usually in operation between 700 am to 700 pm with an hour off at noon when the operator takes off for lunch.

Lock on Haines Creek Between Lake Eustis and Lake Harris

Fort Gates Ferry Across the St Johns River

This is the Fort Gates Ferry drive.  Take SR-19 north through Eustis to Salt Springs in the Ocala National Forest.  Look for sign and turn right (east) onto FR-29, a U.S. Forest Service road.  Go to the end and take the $10 ferry across the river.  Drive from the fish camp to the paved road and turn (right) south to CR-308.  Take it into Crescent City and explore.  Then take US-17 south to SR-40 and go through Astor back to SR-19 and south to the beginning. About 140 miles.

Fort Gates Ferry Looking East Across the St Johns River

Green Mountain Scenic Byway

This is an official Florida Scenic Highway that begins in Winter Garden and meanders along the south and west shores of Lake Apopka into Mount Dora.  It is a favorite route for cyclists because the rolling hills present a challenge unlike anything else in the state.

The trip is about 45 miles.


Sugarloaf Mountain Loop, Ferndale, Montverde

The Sugarloaf Mountain Loop.  Start on CR455 in Ferndale (north of Montverde) and turn west on CR561A.  Less than one mile later turn right on Sugarloaf Mountain Road. Follow it to CR561, then north to CR455 at the traffic circle and go east back to Ferndale.  Beautiful rolling countryside, views of Lake Apopka, and the second highest peak in the State of Florida.  About 9.5 miles.

Green Mountain Scenic Overlook, Lake County

From On Top of the World take SR-200 northeast into Ocala to US-301.  Stay on US-301until SR-20.  Take SR-20 to SR-21. Take SR-21 north into Melrose.

Trinity Episcopal Church, Melrose, Florida


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