Skip Orlando’s crowds and discover Florida’s nearby but lesser-known Alexander Springs area. Tropical forests, natural swimming pools and freshwater rivers make this region a dream come true for keen hikers, campers and nature lovers who come to spot bears, manatees and alligators.
Often quieter than nearby Wekiwa Springs, this section of the Wekiva River offers keen kayakers a chance to paddle in peace. Bring your own equipment and launch at Katie’s Landing halfway along the river – the only launch site for kayaks inside the Lower Wekiva River Preserve State Park. Choose to travel downstream for a more relaxing ride with the current, spotting families of otters playing in the water and raccoons scurrying up trees.
Skip the theme parks and sample nature’s very own lazy river at Rock Springs. Bring a tube, or rent one outside the park, then ride the river for almost a mile through the forest. From the head of Rock Springs, a staggering 26,000 gallons (98,421 liters) of fresh spring water are produced every minute. The park has a satin-smooth natural pool for swimming on the way and picnic areas for a picturesque pit stop in the trees.
The name is a clue that this verdant area of forest and wetlands in Seminole County is a paradise for wildlife watchers. Hikers may well encounter languid black bears lolloping across the challenging 7mi (11km) loop trail that tunnels into the trees on raised boardwalks, weaving through a canopy of palm trees and over muddy marshes. More reluctant hikers should stick to the 2mi (3km) wilderness walk that curls alongside the St Johns River.
Moments from the highways, malls and office blocks of Altamonte Springs is a hidden oasis adored by its residents. This midnight-blue lake dappled by sunlight lies at the heart of 120 acres (49ha) of woods and wetlands and is perfect for hiking and fishing from the pier. Nature lovers can visit the octagonal pavilion on the lake for more information on the animals in the preserve, while families can find a spot on the banks for a peaceful picnic.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.