I'll be in Orlando for work during the last weeks of May and I have couple of full days free I'd like to spend traveling a bit around that area and do some activity like kayaking and possibly wildlife sightseeing (particular interested in alligators and turtles).

From my researches looks like a good place to enjoy nature in Florida is the Everglades National Park but it's a bit too far from Orlando, considering the small amount of days I have at my disposal. I restricted the choices between the "Space Coast" where there is, for example, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Canaveral National Seashore (turtles! but in May?) or the "Tampa Bay Area" where there is, for example, the Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park and the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.

Are this really the best options I have around Orlando? Where I have the highest chances for the best wildlife sightseeing and diversity?


1 Answer 1


Depending on your willingness to drive a bit, up in northern Florida at Paynes Prairie you have good chances to see alligator and native water birds, Just hike La Chua Trail and they will likely be laying out sunning along the route.

You are a bit late for seeing manatees in the springs, but maybe around the coastal areas. The springs will still have turtle, snake, etc sunning themselves.

Other wildlife like deer, bear, raccoons, is purely the luck of the draw, as they tend to keep to the forests and don't make their presence known to passerby.

For canoeing head up to Ocala National Forest, Juniper Springs or Alexander Springs runs.

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