City Escape: Orlando, Florida

Text: Alfonse Palaima • Photography: Tom Riles

Seeking to escape the wonderful world of Disney? Take this clockwise loop around Central Florida’s third largest lake (Apopka) and Lake Dora to the city of Tavares, which is known as America’s Seaplane City. This lakeside community of luncheon and landing spots melds perfectly with pilots of both wings and wheels.


Approximately 100 miles

Meet-up spot

The Hess gas station at 1475 E Buena Vista Dr, Orlando, FL, provides a central spot to escape the dreamscape.

Lunch stop

Lunch in Tavares or Mount Dora splits the tour in half. A picnic lunch in Wooton Park (100 E Ruby St), or Al’s Landing (Seafood/Patio), 111 W Ruby St, affords airplane peeping.

Scenery 4 out of 5

Nothing can beat the sunshine and fluffy clouds of Central Florida, even if the roads are straight.

Traffic 3 out of 5

As with any major tourist area, traffic can be terrible. Lakeside roads are mellow.

Difficulty 1 out of 5

With very few winding roads and nary 100 feet in elevation change, riding in Florida is easy peasy.

Road conditions 4 out of 5

There is clean concrete and asphalt construction around most of Florida. This route does include toll roads (see map).