Florida is known for its amusement parks and miles of sandy beaches. While those are great for families, and even some couples, there are many other romantic day-trip opportunities. So don't limit yourself to life-sized characters and random public beaches. Take a day to explore central Florida with your partner. Romance abounds in the land of gators, golf courses and retirees.
Harry P. Leu Gardens
Take your lover to the Harry P. Leu Gardens in Orlando. Find romance in Florida’s “largest formal rose garden” with roses blooming all year. Some of the varieties include Bermuda Mystery, Floribunda and miniature. The Butterfly Garden gives you an up-close and personal experience with butterflies and moths, while the Kitchen Garden shows you various herbs and vegetables you can plant and use to complete your home-cooked specialties. Guided tours are available every 30 minutes through the Leu House, but only from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. In 2010, Harry P. Leu Gardens is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but admission is not allowed after 4 p.m.
Harry P. Leu Gardens 1920 N. Forest Ave. Orlando, FL 32803-1537 407-246-2620 leugardens.org
Central Florida Zoo
For the animal-loving couple, check out the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens. The zoo is home to more than 400 creatures, maintains an Animal Adventure Children’s Zoo of domestic animals and shares an impressive herpetarium filled with non-venomous and venomous native reptiles. On a hot day, visit the Wharton-Smith Tropical Splash Ground and share a picnic with your partner. If you like an adrenalin rush, challenge each other at the ZOOm Air Adventure Park. The zoo, in 2010, is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and parking is free.
Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens 3755 NW Hwy 17-92 Sanford, FL 407-323-4450 centralfloridazoo.org
Kennedy Space Center
If you and your date appreciate aeronautics, history and space, take a romantic day trip to the Kennedy Space Center. Take a two-hour bus tour to the “LC-39 Observation Gantry and the Apollo/Saturn V Complex,” or enjoy a self-guided tour through the Visitor Complex. Check out the Rocket Garden, the Astronaut Hall of Fame and gift shop before snuggling up for an IMAX movie. Though the experience looks more technical than romantic, Kennedy Space Center provides plenty of opportunity for holding hands, sneaking kisses and dreaming of your future. Hours of operation in 2010 are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and admission includes a parking pass.
SR 405 Kennedy Space Center, FL32899 866-737-5235 kennedyspacecenter.com