Fun Things For Couples To Do In Orlando

Couples find that Orlando has more than theme parks and offers a variety of romantic escapades.

Couples can ride roller coasters together, of course, and the Orlando area has a wide variety to choose from. But if you want a little more intimacy for couples, get aboard the Rivership Romance.

The 98-foot-long boat takes hundreds of visitors daily on the historic St. John s River, where Florida's natural splendor is only a few feet away. There's also dining and dancing, of course.

Luncheon and dinner cruises are available. There's a moonlight dining and dancing cruise with a bountiful buffet of hors d'oeuvres specially tailored to romantic couples. Cocktails are also available.

Either before or after a cruise, couples enjoy strolling the newly renovated downtown historic district of Sanford. Shops line the brick streets.

There are a lot of fun things to do in the Central Florida area that are particularly appropriate to couples.

Getting back to Orlando itself, another romantic stroll is along the mile-plus pathway that circles Lake Eola Park in the heart of downtown. Couples can picnic here or site side-by-side while paddling rented swan boats. Boaters pass the cascading fountain in the middle of the park and are able to se a variety of birds and ducks that call the park home.

Later, couples might want to rent a horse-drawn carriage for a tour of the historic downtown.

In the evenings, GondEole offers a variety of Venetian-style cruises. The trips are offered seven days a week, from 5 p.m. to midnight. The trips come with dinner and personal song presentations by the gondolier.

To smell the roses, many couples choose to visit the 50-acre Henry P. Leu Gardens, which has the largest camellia collection and formal rose garden in the south.

For other walking interludes, the quaint and nearby city of Winter Park offers a number of things to do. Many couples choose to simply browse the upscale shops that line Park Avenue, ala Rodeo Drive and other upscale retail destinations. A trip can be broken up by stepping into one of the many nearby restaurants that offer bistro, continental, French, Italian and Mexican food, among others.

Also nearby is the Scenic Boat Tour. The most popular site along the way: the many mansions perched on the shores of a chain of lakes.

Orlando is full of movie theaters, but the most unique and perhaps romantic is the Enzian Theater in the suburb of Maitland. The theatre itself rests under immense oak trees. The theatre shows the area's best independent films while serving homemade pizzas and other food, and offering food and wine.

If you want to cook your own food, together, Orlando has a wide variety of cooking classes. Just one of them is offered at Truffles & Trifles, where for 20 years Caribbean and French cooking classes have been on the menu.

Hand in hand, couples might want to sample the many spas in the area. Just one example is the 20,000-square-foot facility at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center. A 2004 Mobile Travel Guide Four-star winner, the hotel's spa has a huge variety of treatments that include stone massages and replenishing facials.

For those who want to escape the frenetic pace of the theme parks, Chalet Suzanne is a perfect place for couples seeking fine dining in a romantic setting. The Chalet in nearby Lakes Wales, little more than an hour's drive from Orlando, has been attracting couples for more than 75 years. The Hinshaw family has been making guests welcome for over 75 years. The enchanting inn of 30 rooms, nestled on a 100-acre estate, is a gracious oasis.

Each Chalet guestroom is different. No cookie cutter hotel here. But the real essence of the Chalet's is its cuisine, food that "Gourmet Magazine" has called "glorious" ... served in a unique setting of five quaint rooms on many levels, all overlooking the lake. Every corner glows with antiques, stained glass and old lamps from far away places. Many couples choose to meander through the well-kept grounds to the lake on the property or take midnight swims in the inn's pool.

Various hotels also provide packages designed specifically for couples. One recent example was the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress offering its "Love is in the Air" package. It included a limousine from the airport to the hotel, champagne at check-in and hand-drawn baths in the hotel suite's Roman-style Jacuzzi. Couples found rose peddles placed upon their beds. Elaborate, perhaps, but romantic, certainly.

© High Speed Ventures 2011