Secluded Family-Friendly Resort and Golf Course Close to Orlando
Less than 2 miles from Walt Disney World® Theme Parks, a palm-flanked pool with a bubbling waterfall represents the day’s last attraction—and this one doesn’t require a 45-minute wait in line. The pool (one of four) belongs to Mystic Dunes Resort & Golf Club, a family-friendly retreat situated a short shuttle ride from Walt Disney World® Theme Parks, Universal Orlando Resort, and SeaWorld.
Furnished with plush couches, glass tables, and king- or queen-size beds, the resort’s one- and two-bedroom villas feature fully appointed kitchens and soaker tubs. The property’s quartet of pools includes Dunes Lagoon, which boasts a two-story water slide and private cabanas.
With this Getaway, you’ll get a City Perks Pass, as well as passes to Wild Florida wildlife park, home to a number of native Florida species as well as zebras, water buffalo, and emu. While you’re here, you can feed and even touch some of the animals.
Mystic Dunes Golf Club’s championship course was designed by PGA Tour alum and television analyst Gary Koch, who incorporated 80-foot elevation changes, rolling dunes, and scenic vistas. The front nine recalls the Carolinian Lowcountry—all wetland, marsh, and cypress forest—and the back nine transports players across the pond with British-style links punctuated by pot bunkers and lush fairways.
Kissimmee, Florida: Easy Access to World-Famous Theme Parks and Major Orlando Attractions
Located on the banks of Lake Tohopekaliga, Kissimmee sits about 22 miles from downtown Orlando and just 16 miles from the Walt Disney World® Theme Parks. The world’s most-visited entertainment resort spans roughly 30,000 acres, encompassing four theme parks, two water parks, five golf courses, and the Downtown Disney® Area. There’s no shortage of things to do here: begin your day at Magic Kingdom® Park by boarding Space Mountain® Attraction, a rocket-shaped three-seater that climbs to 180 feet before entering a deep black tunnel and racing past stars, satellites, and constellations. After that, ride past the ghastly goofballs inside The Haunted Mansion. For dinner, head over to Epcot® to sample cuisine from Morocco, Mexico, France, Italy, and several other countries at the World Showcase. As one of the most popular family destinations in the world, sunny Orlando is home to other theme parks including Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld Orlando.
Those hoping to shake up the typical theme-park-dominated itinerary can head into downtown Orlando’s vibrant arts district. The neighborhood boasts venues such as the CityArts Factory, a multifaceted patchwork of gallery spaces, and SAK Comedy Lab, which holds improv shows five nights a week.
About a 10-minute drive north, you’ll find several cultural institutions surrounding Loch Haven Park, including the Orlando Museum of Art; the collection features pieces by Georgia O’Keeffe, Robert Rauschenberg, Ansel Adams, and Andy Warhol. The park is also home to the Orlando Shakespeare Theater and the Orlando Science Center, where you can take a rover across a simulation of Mars or race model cars down a 70-foot pinewood-derby track.