Florida Guide > Other Activities
A stroll around Celebrations lakes and residences. Part 1
If you fancy some time away from the hustle and bustle of the theme parks, then why not spend a couple of hours strolling around the lakes and the residential area of Celebration.
Leave your car in one of the free car parks or in one of the many on street parking spaces and make your way to the front of the lake in the centre of Celebration. Avoid being seduced by the rocking chairs on the terrace of the lake; they will be your reward when your walk is complete!
Set out walking clockwise around the lake, following the path and keeping the lake to your right. You will pass the fountains, where on days when there is even a suggestion of warmth, you will find children cavorting through the spurting towers of water. These were once described to me as the best free attraction in the Orlando area.
As you walk along the shady bank keep your eye out for alligators which can often be spotted swimming in the lake or basking in the reeds along the edge of the bank. Don’t harass or feed them – this is a violation of Florida state law. Admire them from a distance and they will ignore you.
You will pass the entrance to Celebration’s Lakeside Park and, if you choose, you can cut across the edge of the park to the other side of the lake. You may be tempted by the communal pool or the children’s play area but these are strictly for residents only. It is in this area that you may see the dog walkers, where a pampered pooch being pushed along in a stroller by its owner, gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “walking the dog”! (Celebration has its own store selling clothing for dogs and housing its own doggie bakery) You may also spot the areas’ yummy (and some not so yummy) mummies exercising complete with their pushchairs and tiny tots. They play follow the leader around the park’s pathways, stopping to lunge and squat at intervals along the way, using the stroller handles as makeshift pieces of apparatus.
If you choose not to cut through the park, carry on along the path until you reach the bridge in front of the sandy coloured condos. Cross the bridge to the right, stopping to admire the profusion of lily pads, sometimes occupied by turtles enjoying the warmth of the Florida sunshine.
You will pass by the tennis courts where tots, barely reaching the top of the net, can be observed taking tennis lessons. Their return of the ball must surely rival that of the Williams sisters at the same age. A future Wimbledon Champion in the making perhaps?
The path meanders through the conservation area, where, on a hot day you will be glad of the shade provided by the trees and vegetation. As you leave the boundaries of the Lakeside Park, keep left along the path stopping to read the first of the information notices about the birds which inhabit the area – the red cardinal, the blue jay and the mourning dove to name but a few.
Continue along the path, stopping to admire the pretty town centre of Celebration and its colourful buildings on the other side of the lake. If your legs are beginning to tire there are frequent benches along the way, but, be warned, you may be joined by a grey squirrel or two who seem remarkably tame.
Further along, on the left hand side of the path, a small platform affords views over the conservation area and a second notice gives information about the water birds that call the lakeside their home – the wood duck, the snowy egret, the great blue heron and the sand hill crane are amongst the occupants. On our journey we spotted the latter two birds at the water’s edge, in addition to a red cardinal perched on the post by the bridge. We are now approaching the second part of the walk.
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