April 22 is a big day in Kissimmee (and all around the world). That’s because it’s Earth Day.
Every year on April 22, we love to celebrate the beauty of our planet, and, more specifically, the beauty of Central Florida. If you’ll be spending your Earth Day with us in Kissimmee, here are a few of our favorite activities that put Mother Nature in the spotlight.
1. Take a guided biking tour through Celebration.
A bike is a perfect way to see Celebration and the surrounding area. Not only is it good for you, it’s also good for the environment. At Celebration Bike Rental, you can take a seven-mile guided tour that winds its way through the nostalgic heart of town before reaching the scenic nature trails and waterfront pathways. While you’re out on your tour, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for local wildlife, including turtles, birds and alligators.
2. Meet the rescued alligators of Gatorland.
With over 2,000 alligators calling Gatorland home, this destination has earned its reputation as the “Alligator Capital of the World.” What you may not know is that trappers have rescued many of the alligators that live in Gatorland. If not for the kind folks who have dedicated their lives to alligators, many of these animals may have met an untimely demise. Instead, they thrive at Gatorland, alongside snakes, lizards, wild cats and more. While you’re here, be sure to visit the breeding marsh and bird rookery, and visit some cuddly residents in the petting zoo.
3. Visit the big cats at the Central Florida Animal Reserve.
Lions, tigers, leopards and cougars all call the Central Florida Animal Reserve (CFAR) home. These big cats may look intimidating, but the truth is that before they made their way to CFAR, they had nowhere to call home. CFAR protects these beautiful animals and acts as caretaker for their wellbeing. They also work to educate the public about these oft-misunderstood creatures and the work that is being done to protect them.
4. Get out on the water at The Paddling Center.
There’s even more to experience here in Kissimmee when you make your way from the land to the water, and there’s no better place to enjoy a relaxing water excursion than at the Shingle Creek Paddle Center. Here, you can kayak, canoe and even enjoy a stand-up paddleboard session in the headwaters of the Everglades. If that’s not enough, once you finish your time on the water, you can check out the many nearby hiking and biking trails. It’s a real nature lover’s dream.
5. Explore the impressive Disney Wilderness Preserve.
As the home of more than 1,000 different species of plants and animals, the Disney Wilderness Preserve is a national model for sustainable development. This sprawling 11,500-acre preserve is run by the Nature Conservancy and offers visitors a glimpse at Florida in its natural state. That means plenty of plants, diverse habitats and lots of rare wildlife. Bird watchers will particularly enjoy the walking trails, as they offer the perfect vantage point to catch a glimpse of bald eagles, red-cockaded woodpeckers, sandhill cranes and more winged residents who call the Disney Nature Preserve home.
6. Take the outdoors inside at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center.
Earth Day never has to end if you stay at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center during your time in Kissimmee. This stunning resort features a glass atrium that encompasses nearly five acres of meandering rivers, picturesque gardens, cascading waterfalls and some of Central Florida’s most impressive wildlife — including even more alligators.
Celebrate earth’s beauty every day in Kissimmee.
From the natural beauty of the region to the people working tirelessly to protect and care for the animals who call this part of the world home, we love celebrating the planet every day here in Kissimmee. To learn more about all the incredible things that nature lovers can do here, check out Experience Kissimmee at ExperienceKissimmee.com.