Lake Mary is a suburban city in Seminole County in central Florida with a population of over 15,000 people.
It is Orlando’s northern suburb and an important center for the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford metropolitan area.
In many ways, its location is perfect, as it’s close enough to the Atlantic coast to make day trips a convenient option, and it’s also just a short drive from many of the region’s world-famous theme parks.
There is absolutely no shortage of entertainment, dining or accommodation options nearby, many of which are very affordable.
Here are 15 things to do in and around Lake Mary, Florida.
1. Lake Mary Farmers Market
Farmers’ markets in Florida are as plentiful as golf courses and beaches, and for those exploring unfamiliar territories, they’re the perfect place to visit first.
Not only are they stuffed with locally grown and produced products, but the suppliers are local farmers, artisans and entrepreneurs who have often lived and worked in the area for years and are great for those who aren’t sure how to use them resources to fill their time.
The Lake Mary Farmers Market takes place downtown on Saturday morning. In addition to produce, there are all kinds of prepared foods, crafts, baked goods, and even flowers.
2. Lake Mary Museum
For those looking for an interesting historical destination that’s easy to find and doesn’t cost a dime, there’s no better attraction than the Lake Mary Museum.
It’s not the largest museum in the state, but it’s full of fascinating exhibits and interesting tidbits of local history, many of which date back to the time before the area was officially settled before the Civil War.
The museum features permanent exhibits and often hosts temporary exhibits from other institutions.
They often showcase the art of local artists and host a variety of events throughout the year, including festivals, guest speakers and holiday celebrations.
3. Pioneer Park
Pioneer Park in Lake Mary is part of a larger sports complex that provides guests with a variety of recreational activities.
The park is open daily from 8 a.m. to sunset, and on hot summer days, there is a splash pad and water park, the perfect place to beat the Florida heat at your own game.
Amenities at the park include playgrounds, walking trails with fitness stations, gazebos, and covered picnic areas with plenty of restrooms.
Some of the park’s facilities are only open seasonally, so check online before special trips. Expect crowds during peak hours, especially on weekends.
4. Emir Biller Planetarium
Located on Weldon Boulevard on the Seminole State College campus in nearby Sanford, the Emil Buehler Planetarium is an engaging, educational, and affordable attraction that offers travelers great returns on their hard-earned vacation dollars.
With comfortable seating, cool air conditioning, and a plethora of live interactive performances related to the space, it is a rare community resource gem that many travelers often overlook.
In addition to more traditional shows, the planetarium also features laser and light shows. Parents who visited with their children noticed that it was fun and rewarding for everyone in their group, regardless of age.
5. Graffiti Connect
Located on trendy Market Promenade Avenue in Lake Mary, Graffiti Junktion is a no-frills destination for those who love hearty, hot meals and meals made with fresh ingredients.
Graffiti Junktion is known for its classic American burgers. They come in a variety of mouth-watering varieties that are sure to tempt even the pickiest eater.
Previous guests have noticed the pleasant atmosphere of the restaurant, which is relaxed and comfortable yet stylish and modern.
They have a lot of adult beverage options, play eclectic music, have indoor and outdoor seating, and have plenty of kid-friendly menu items.
6. Planetary Obstacles
For aspiring ninja fighters, rock climbers, bumper car drivers and all-around adrenaline junkies, there’s no better place than Planet Obstacle in Lake Mary.
With more activity options than those listed here, Planet Obstacle is a perennial favorite for travelers with kids—especially popular when the weather isn’t conducive to going outside.
Most visitors will typically spend a few hours on site and take into account all the included good-value entry fees.
While the facility is primarily geared towards children, active parents will also have ample opportunities to get involved.
7. Timacuan Golf Club
Located on Timacuan Avenue in Lake Mary, Timacuan Golf Club features an 18-hole, par 72 course considered by many astute golfers to be one of the best values in Central Florida.
The course is slightly shorter than many competitors, meaning a typical round takes 3 to 3 ½ hours, leaving plenty of time for other activities.
Nearly every hole has a variety of sand and water obstacles, and most of the course is surrounded by scenic natural habitats.
The course has a variety of tee options to suit players of most ages and ability levels.
8. Lower Wekiva River Preserve State Park
The Lower Wekiva River Preserve State Park includes lands in Lake and Seminole counties, through which the Wekiva and St. Johns rivers pass.
The park has multiple entrances for visitors from different regions to visit. It’s especially popular with nature lovers and outdoorsmen who prefer fresh air and open space over crowded theme parks and well-developed beaches.
Park activities include kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing, hiking and mountain biking. Many visitors choose to stop at the visitor center to pick up a map and venture out into the wild on their own.
9. Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art
Located in nearby Winter Park, the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art has one of the most complete collections in the country, featuring objects made by world-renowned artist and craftsman Louis Comfort Tiffany.
Objects on display at the Hosmer Morse Museum include paintings, drawings, pottery and, of course, the man’s most famous bronze lamps and stained glass lampshades.
Many of the objects were created in Tiffany’s studio in Long Island, New York, and there is a lot of historical content related to his life.
Admission is inexpensive, students get discounts, and they also offer free Friday night admission.
10. Universal CityWalk
Universal CityWalk is one of Orlando’s most popular attractions and a very different destination than Universal Studios.
CityWalk is less of a theme park and more of a self-sufficient town filled with dining, shopping and live entertainment options that is popular with a slightly older crowd compared to many other regional destinations welcome.
Home to well-known restaurants such as Margaritaville and Hard Rock Café, it’s a popular late afternoon and evening venue, often featuring live music and Vegas-style shows like the Blue Man Group.
There’s also an IMAX theater, mini golf and lots of chill watering holes for the adult crowd.
12. Universal Island of Adventure
Universal’s Islands of Adventure opened in 1999 and has since become a favorite destination, especially for all Harry Potter lovers who are magically drawn to the wizarding world of Harry Potter on the island.
The island is made up of seven different areas, including The Lost Continent, Jurassic Park, and Marvel Super Heroes Island, to name a few.
From amusement park-style rides and flight simulators to stunt and fireworks displays and a variety of live entertainment, Islands of Adventure has no excuses for boredom.
Universal’s Islands of Adventure is known for attracting tourists for days on end, but for those interested in other attractions, there are plenty more nearby.
13. The Magic Kingdom
Disney’s Magic Kingdom was the first of Walt Disney’s theme parks and remains one of the most popular, attracting an estimated 20 million visitors a year.
Needless to say, this isn’t a place for those looking for a little peace and quiet, but for activity-minded travelers with kids, it’s the perfect place to spend a few days.
The kingdom consists of six different regions, including Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, and Frontierland. They include fascinating, informative and very interesting historical, cultural, artistic and technological elements.
Entering the kingdom doesn’t come cheap, and while it’s not easy for a typical family to spend hundreds of dollars, it’s one of the most memorable experiences for many Florida visitors.
14. Kennedy Space Center
Kennedy Space Center is located on Merritt Island on the Atlantic coast east of Lake Mary.
It’s one of the most iconic non-theme park destinations in the state, and many of the facility’s tours originate in Orlando, near Lake Mary.
Kennedy Space Center has been ground zero for the country’s space program for decades, and there’s no better place to get a full overview of it.
From control rooms and launch sites to rockets and the space shuttle Atlantis, here’s a behind-the-scenes look you won’t find anywhere else.
These tours take a long time, but most include round-trip transportation, and many stop at nearby outlet centers for those who want a little retail therapy.
15. Gatorland Orlando
No trip to the Sunshine State is complete without coming face-to-face with the toothy and often huge alligators, which call Florida’s lakes, rivers, and lagoons home.
Gatorland Orlando is home to alligators and alligators and many other amazing animals.
Think of Gatorland as part zoo, part theme park and part science museum. In addition to the animal exhibits, park staff offer a wide variety of activities, including guided tours, regularly scheduled animal shows, and zip lines.
Keep in mind that general admission doesn’t cover all activities, so you’ll need some extra just in case.
Where to Stay: Best Hotels in Lake Mary (FL), FL
Lowest price guaranteed.