With the crowds, giddy rides, and dizzying blasts of music, a break from Disneyland during a vacation in Orlando is not only desired, but for some of us, utterly necessary. On one such day, we chose to swim with manatees (see my blog here). On another day, instead of just sitting pool-side at the hotel, a visit to Disney’s nearby idyllic town of Celebration offered over 10 miles of scenic bike trails through shady boardwalks, alongside picturesque lakes, and through peaceful, postcard-pretty neighbourhoods that are almost traffic-free. Located about 10 minutes away from Disneyland (4.3 miles) along West Osceola Parkway, the town of Celebration is a picturesque planned community located alongside Lake Rianhard. Boasting gift shops, ice-cream parlours, and lakeside cafes, it’s a quiet haven for time away from Mickey Mouse madness.
Cycling alongside Lake Evalyn
We rented bicycles from Kissimmee Bike Rentals, located in the parking lot beside the striking Bohemian Hotel. All bicycle rentals come with a trail map (see below) and a bottle of ice-cold water, and the rental charge is darn-right cheap… which is a nice break from Disneyland’s mortgage-your-house prices.
Once upon our wheeled steeds, we meandered through Celebration along the network of trails, with stops for photos and ice-cream. We saw sunbathing alligators alongside several of the lakes en-route, as well as herons, snakes, turtles and, first thing in the morning, two deer and a fawn nimbly picking their way through a grove. Because there are so many trails, you can make your bicycle route as long or as short as you wish. Our ride also took us through quiet residential villages that looked so American with their verandas, flower-boxes, and Adirondack chairs, it seemed as if we were on a movie set.
After our ride, we ate at the lakeside Avocado Mexican Grill, a short walk from the bicycle rental stall, which had a menu that suited not only the teen and the carnivore, but the vegetarian as well.