Walt Disney World Orlando

With the sun shining virtually every day and moderate temperatures throughout the year, nearly anytime is a good time to be outdoors and active in Orlando. Surfing, horseback riding, motorcycling, and skydiving just scratch the surface of what's available.

According to folks at the Orlando Convention and Visitors Bureau, there are more than 170 golf courses in the area (although another source, Golflink, pegs the number closer to 60-some), with about 20 golf academies offering lessons. Even the city's recreation department gets in on the act with country club–like golf courses accessible at bargain prices. Meanwhile, inside and outside the theme parks are hundreds of tennis courts (which are vastly outnumbered by thousands of lakes). Yes, in and around Orlando and Central Florida, you can navigate more than 2,000 lakes and waterways via canoe or kayak or airboat—or even on a fishing excursion, which is something to consider when visiting one of the bass-fishing capitals of the world. In addition, unique to Central and North Florida are natural springs where crystal clear waters flow at a constant (and cool) 72 degrees. Above it all, you can take to the air in a sailplane, hot-air balloon, or hang glider. If you prefer to stay firmly planted on the ground, you can explore forested hiking trails and modified rails-to-trails. Orlando’s sports arena and its pro hockey and basketball teams bring in the crowds, and, as they’ve done for more than a century, professional baseball teams venture down from the frozen North to warm up during Spring Training at stadiums across Central Florida.

If your vacation is based at Walt Disney World, you'll find many of these outdoor activities right outside your door. Anglers get hooked on fishing charters, and runners and bikers get their adrenaline rush on trails across the property. Spectators can take themselves out to the ballgame, perhaps catching the Atlanta Braves take on the competition during Spring Training at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. But it's not just baseball. Volleyball, cheerleading, softball, track, and weightlifting are just a few of the other events held here throughout the year in a wide world of competition. For Disney recreation information, call 407/939–7529.