I don’t know about you, but this summer just flew right by for me. And it left me, well, vacationless. Luckily, not all is lost ... because I live in Central Florida. And here, summer literally lasts forever due to that year-round warm, sunny weather.
Especially if you live somewhere cold and snowy in the winter, you might be looking to extend your summer season just a little bit longer. Even though summer, spring break and Christmas are super popular times to vacation in the Sunshine State, I’ve got a little local insider’s tip: Florida during the fall season is a great time to visit. There are still plenty of blue skies and sunshine (but without the scorching-hot summer temperatures) and tons of outdoor activities that are much more enjoyable with a cool breeze every now and then.
Looking to ride some coasters? The theme parks are open and ready with new safety measures. Not ready to ride just yet? There’s a bunch of other cool things to check out in Central Florida during the months where the average temperature cools to a milder 83 degrees (instead of the sizzling 92+ in summer).
Plus, if you’ve never visited Orange Lake Resort outside of summer vacation time, well, you’re in for a real treat. (There’s a reason this resort is a Club member favorite!) Our team has loved welcoming families back to Orange Lake Resort for their fun-in-the-sun vacations since we reopened on May 28. And we’ve been gearing up for those fun fall family vacations now, too.
With golf, watersports, a lazy river, seven pools, mini golf, reopened dining options and more, we’re back to offering about 90% of our amenities again (bingo’s back, baby!). All while still operating at reduced occupancy and implementing our new Safe Travels program to keep everyone’s health and safety a top priority.
So, if you’re ready for a much-needed Florida getaway (aren’t we all?), check out these seven ways to experience the ultimate family vacation at Orange Lake Resort this fall. See if you can check them all off your list!
1. Soak up the sun and splash the day away
- Settle down on the (safely spaced out) loungers and relax right by one of our seven pools, including:
- North Village’s Splash Lagoon Pool
- The lush and tropical pool (and lazy river!) at River Island
- Our three West Village pools, Stage, Southern Magnolia and Water’s Edge (which offers fun poolside activities throughout the day)
- The two beautiful, crystal-clear pools in East Village
- Get some tubes and float along River Island’s 1,200-foot lazy river
- Watch the little ones have a blast on the splash pad in North Village and at several of our child-friendly, zero-entry pools
- Zip down the waterslide in River Island
- Treat yourself to a private family cabana rental (for a small booking fee) beside our River Island, Splash Lagoon or Water’s Edge pools
(Oh, and just a couple of friendly notes about all our pools right now: Expect some brief, daily closures for pool disinfecting during the early afternoon. Also, pool towels will be provided to you in your villa for use throughout your stay. Be sure to bring your towels with you when you visit our pools—they won’t be offered in the pool areas—and put that in-villa washer and dryer to good use when you need to freshen them up.)
2. Go wild with watersports on the lake at Water’s Edge Beach Club in West Village
- Zip around the 80-acre lake on a jet ski
- Take a spin on a serene swan boat ride
- Have a blast tubing and jumping over the waves
- Try your hand at stand-up paddleboarding
- Take out a kayak and paddle your way across the waters
- Round up the whole family for a pontoon boat ride
(Another quick note: There’s an additional rental fee for all of these fun watersports.)
3. Have a little friendly family competition
- Play a game of mini golf at Island Golf in River Island or Putt-Putt® over in West Village
- Practice your golf swing at The Legends driving range, or even play a full 18-hole round at The Legends at Orange Lake golf course in East Village
- Serve up a friendly game of sand volleyball at River Island
- Play to win at the Water’s Edge Arcade in West Village and Treasure Cove Arcade in River Island
- Go for a slam dunk during a game of basketball, perfect your backspin playing tennis and ace a game of pickleball at the sports courts in West Village and throughout the resort grounds (Psssttttt: We’re not currently offering equipment rentals, but please feel free to bring your own to enjoy the sports courts.)
- Have the best holiday card in the neighborhood this year by taking a family photo with the River Island waterfalls in the background
4. Take part in special activities scheduled throughout the day
For all of these fun activities, just be sure to check your activities guide for current offerings, locations, dates and times. They can definitely vary, but they’re all a blast:
- Play bingo by the pool (and shout your heart out when you win!) at Water’s Edge Beach Club in West Village (Just know our poolside bingo is weather permitting.)
- Create some sand art in River Island! Pick a special container, fill it with vibrantly colored sand and bring your creation home with you as a special Orange Lake souvenir.
- Let the kids get their hair braided with their favorite colors in River Island
- Test your family’s smarts with a fun-filled game of resort-hosted trivia
- Catch live music and fun games by the pool at the Water’s Edge Beach Club in West Village
- Show off your singing talents, or sit back and just enjoy the show, during an entertaining night of karaoke
- Get together for a family movie night on the lawn at the River Island soccer field
Again, just be sure to check for days, times, weather, and what’s being offered activities-wise when you arrive.
5. Spend some quality family time together back at the villa
- Have a family game night (Yahtzee!)
- Try your hand at recreating some resort-inspired villa recipes in your kitchen
- Give cooking a rest and gather ‘round your dining room table with some yummy local take-out or a to-go pizza from Paisans Pizzeria (Pro tip: you can get Paisans delivered directly to your villa, too!)
- Watch the sunset on your villa’s patio or balcony (and keep an eye out for our Insta-famous resident sandhill cranes)
- Set the kids up with some coloring activities while mom and dad enjoy a little R&R time
- Cuddle up and watch a family flick together in the living room
6. Stay active and energized
- Take a lap around the property
- Practice yoga or Pilates at Mussels Fitness Center in River Island
- Start your morning with our 10 a.m. Splash & Stretch class in both River Island and West Village. (This one’s weather permitting, too, but check your activities guide for times.)
- Work out with a free trial of Peloton’s virtual running classes on your mobile phone or tablet using the treadmills at the West Village fitness center
7. Fuel up with yummy food and drinks (+ caffeine)
- Head over to River Island in the morning and enjoy some “me-time” with a Starbucks coffee from Currents Café
- Grab some quick sandwiches from Anchors and enjoy them poolside in River Island
- Try a signature cocktail, like the Lakeside Lemonade or Gulf Coast Hurricane, from River Island’s Leeward Bar
- Get a taste of the Florida Keys with seafood and sandwiches from Breezes Restaurant & Bar in West Village (The fish tacos are a member favorite!)
- Take full advantage of daily specials on ice cold beer buckets at Windward Pool Bar in River Island
- Head to the West Village Water’s Edge Bar and order the “drink of the day” from our legendary veteran bartender, Miriam
- Watch the sunset over the pool and listen to live music underneath beautiful market lights, while eating a delicious pizza from Paisans Pizzeria
- Treat yourself to an ice cream cone from Currents Café in River Island
- Go back to Breezes Restaurant & Bar during the evening for a night filled with good food, live entertainment, performers and karaoke
Phew! I can safely say there are still a ton of fun, active, relaxing and spaced out things to do both at Orange Lake Resort and in Central Florida. (Plus, our nearby Orlando Breeze Resort is another great option for an Orlando getaway, too.)
To really get into the spirit of the season while you’re here, be sure to check out some awesome only-in-fall events like: the fan-favorite Taste of Epcot International Food and Wine Festival at Walt Disney World Resort®, Brick or Treat at Legoland® Florida Resort, Magical Dining Month (from August–October) and movie nights at Leu Gardens.
One thing I know for sure? With so many amazing activities both on and off property, Orange Lake Resort is one family vacation you’re going to fall in love with this fall.
All information is subject to change. This article includes curated local things to do and is neither sponsored nor considered an official endorsement. Please be sure to check information directly with our resort and/or any/all listed off-property tours, park, guides or companies for the most up-to-date and direct details.
Tori is a writer and editor for the Checking In travel blog. She’s a wine lover, dog mother and adventure seeker who revels in finding those little-known, hidden gem spots. Her travel niche includes super budget-friendly, couples weekend getaways, and her absolute favorite vacations are the ones where she gets to explore new places with her husband, Brooks, and her fur son, Deagon.