Looking for a day-full of fun throughout Central Florida? Our own Georgia Rivas hops on SunRail to scope out some of the hottest spots that are just a train-ride away.
SunRail is a great way to get to and from work, but Central Florida’s commuter rail is also a fun and novel way to see the sights within many of Central Florida’s cities. Whether you’re on a solo adventure or looking for something to do with the whole family, the SunRail’s double-decker passenger train is a great place to start. Hop on board, and you’ll find comfortable seating and tables where you can kick back, relax, and enjoy the traffic-free ride.
There are so many great reasons to take a daycation on Sunrail. Here are eight fun day trips I discovered that are within easy walking or biking distance of SunRail stations.
The DeBary station is the gateway to Volusia County and Gemini Springs Park. Grab your bike for the train ride and get ready for a new adventure. Once you disembark at the DeBary stop, hop on your bike for a casual 10-minute ride to the park, which is free and open to the public. Gemini Springs Park is a 200-acre preserve and features nature and bike trails, a fishing dock, and picnic tables. This is a great place to spend quality time in nature, away from the hustle and bustle.
Take the free Sanford trolley loop from the Sanford SunRail station through historic downtown, Monday to Friday starting at noon. Sanford features a marina, a bustling waterfront and boardwalk, and a vibrant downtown. There you’ll find many shops (retail, gift, and antique), restaurants, breweries, art galleries, parks, and quaint, walkable residential neighborhoods. The trolley schedule and stops can be found at SanfordFL.gov.
The Lake Mary SunRail Station is located within a five-minute walk of the city’s charming downtown area that features restaurants, Central Park, Lake Mary City Hall, and the Lake Mary Historical Museum, where visitors can begin a self-guided walking tour of the city. One of Lake Mary’s most popular events is WineArt Wednesday, hosted on the first Wednesday of every month from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Guests can stroll through the park and enjoy live music, street eats, and more.
A leisurely walk from the Longwood station takes you through the city center, which is home to 37 historic buildings. A self-guided walking tour is available, starting at the recently renovated Longwood Historic Civic Center located at 135 West Church Avenue. Grab a bite or coffee at one of the district’s cute local shops and head to nearby Reiter Park, a beautiful, family-oriented park featuring a playground, splash pad, walking path, basketball court, fishing pier, and tennis court.
The Maitland station is best if you have a bike. However, there are lots of great spots available if you don’t mind walking between 15 to 30 minutes. Visit the free Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida (five-minute bike ride or 15-minute walk), enjoy the exhibits and outdoor gardens at the Art & History Museums Maitland (five-minute bike ride or 20-minute walk), or catch a flick at the iconic Enzian Theater (10-minute bike ride or 30-minute walk). Along the way, be sure to stop by Lake Lily Park to enjoy a taste of nature.
One of SunRail’s most popular stops (and one of my favorites, as well), is Winter Park. The train takes you right into the city center near Park Avenue, an upscale thoroughfare lined with boutiques, sidewalk cafes, and restaurants. You can easily spend an entire day here. Hop on the Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour, visit the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, stroll through the Rollins College campus and visit its free on-campus museum, or enjoy a picnic at Central Park.
The AdventHealth station is a five-minute walk to Loch Haven Cultural Park, which features some of the best family hotspots including the Orlando Science Center, Orlando Museum of Art, and the Orlando Shakespeare and Orlando Repertory theaters. Enjoy easy access to Ivanhoe Village and Orlando’s Antique Row on Orange Avenue and nearby shopping and dining.
This stop takes you into the middle of downtown Orlando. Walk a few blocks from the train station to the Orange County Regional History Center and the Orlando Public Library, both of which host great events for kids and adults. Take a stroll around Lake Eola for some fresh air or enjoy the scenery on a swan-boat ride. For a night out, one of my favorite things to do is see a family-friendly improv comedy show at SAK Comedy Lab for just $16 a person.
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