Special Issues » Annual Manual

Listings: sports and recreation


Central Florida was made for the sports enthusiasts – during most of the year, the weather is perfect for hiking, running, biking and kayaking, and when it’s not, we have plenty of sports teams you can cheer on as a spectator.

Root for your home team: Teams that call Orlando home

Orlando City Soccer Club

Major League Soccer

Season: March through October

Orlando Citrus Bowl

1610 W. Church St.



Orlando Magic

NBA basketball

Season: October through April

Amway Center

400 W. Church St.



Orlando Predators

Arena Football League

Season: March through August

Amway Center

400 W. Church St.



Orlando Solar Bears

East Coast Hockey League

Season: October through April

Amway Center

400 W. Church St.


UCF Knights

NCAA College Football

Season: August through January

Bright House Networks Stadium

University of Central Florida




Cady Way Trail

Entrance is 1/4 mile north of State Route 50 on Herndon Avenue

This 6.5-mile paved path connects Orlando and Winter Park and the Cross Seminole Trail in Seminole County. It features water fountains, rest stops and mile markers, as well as a cool suspension bridge that crosses Semoran Boulevard.

Econ Trail

Dean Road, just north of State Road 50

This ever-expanding trail in East Orlando begins at Jay Blanchard Park and extends all the way to Alafaya Trail. It runs alongside the Little Econlockhatchee River, which offers pretty views and plenty of good spots to fish, canoe or just sit in the grass and enjoy a riverside picnic.

Wekiwa Springs State Park

1800 Wekiwa Circle, Apopka, 407-884-2008, floridastateparks.org/wekiwasprings

You can canoe or kayak here (rentals are available), but this park also has 13 miles of pristine, wooded hiking, biking and horseback-riding trails. This park is popular, particularly in summer when visitors like to swim in the clear blue spring. When the parking lot fills, the park entrance closes. So get there early.

Rock Springs Run State Reserve

30601 County Road 433, Sorrento, 407-884-2008, floridastateparks.org/rockspringsrun

The park, located about 10 miles west of I-4 on County Road 433, is really just a giant swatch of underdeveloped land. It features 17 miles of multi-use trails.

West Orange Trail

501 Crown Point Cross Road, Winter Garden

This 22-mile trail stretches through Winter Garden, Apopka and Orlando. It's open to walkers and bikers, and some parts are open to horses, too. Four trailheads with parking are located at various points along the way.


Ace Metric

1844 E. Winter Park Road, 407-790-7802, acemetric.blogspot.com

This bike shop rallies cycle enthusiasts from all around and carries cool gear for those on the go, too. The new location, next to Stardust Video & Coffee, is sleek and stylish and industrial.

Kyle's Bike Shop

203 N. Primrose Drive, 407-228-7088, kylesbikeshop.net

Bike sales and service, including repairs and custom wheels. Kyle's also has a parts junkyard, so if something's broken on your bike, they might be able to save you some money on the repair with a gently used part rather than ordering new.

Loco Motion Bikes

1776 Jake St., 407-898-6411, locomotionbikes.com

In addition to sales and demos, this bike shop also offers rentals, a service that's particularly appealing because of its Baldwin Park location, just a leisurely ride away from a paved bike path that winds around Lake Baldwin.

Mr. Bikes n Boards

950 W. State Road 434, Longwood, 407-790-4964, mrbikesnboards.com

This is the former Mesh Skate park owner's store. It leaves the park behind and goes heavy into skateboard and cycle culture. Mr.'s repairs old bikes and sells new ones.

Orange Cycle

2204 Edgewater Drive, 407-422-5552, orangecycleorlando.com

This is the area's largest bike store, and it not only carries cycles, clothing and gear – it's also a hub for the cycling community. This shop holds bicycling events and repair clinics, and its website is full of useful information if you're looking for bike paths or trails.

Ragin Cajun

1809 S. Orange Ave., 407-999-9821, ragincajunbikeshop.com

Commuters, tricycles, mountain bikes, fixies and even unicycles – this family-owned south Orlando bike shop is friendly, full-service and caters to cyclers of all ages and interests.

Retro City Cycles and Greenway Bicycles

1806 N. Orange Ave., 407-895-2700, retrocitycycles.com

The owners of Retro City Cycles don't just run a bike shop – they sort of run a cycling community. They're members of various biking organizations, they helped found women's mountain biking club the Dirty Divas, and they select the bikes they sell in store with the help of customer feedback.


Bill Bennett Boot Camps

1035 N. Mills Ave., 407-242-5333

Camp Gladiator

Various parks and locations around Orlando, 214-205-1334, campgladiator.com

Forte Fitness Boot Camp

2501 General Rees Ave., 407-340-7618, fortefitness.com

Not Your Average Boot Camp

401 S. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-865-2876, notyouraveragebootcamp.com

Orlando Fit Body Boot Camp

1223 N. Mills Ave., 407-536-9540, fitobdybootcamp.com


Blue Spring State Park

2100 W. French Ave., Orange City, floridastateparks.org/bluespring

Covering more than 2,600 acres, Blue Spring State Park is a designated manatee refuge. It is an excellent place for a swim, paddling or a picnic. During manatee season, mid-November through March, the waterways are closed – you can look at the dozens of manatees that winter here, but you won't be allowed in the water.

Econlockhatchee River

Chuluota, dep.state.fl.us/gwt/guide/paddle.htm

An absolute jewel hidden at the eastern edge of the Orlando sprawl, the Econ can be easy or difficult, depending on the water levels (high in the summer, low in the spring). Paddlers will be able to catch a glimpse of a diverse array of wildlife from sandhill cranes to bald eagles to bears along the 19-mile stretch.

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

Near Titusville, fws.gov/merrittisland

This refuge offers somewhat limited paddling opportunities since paddling is not permitted in refuge impoundments, but what is available to paddlers can be spectacular. You might see manatees, scrub jays or an alligator if you're lucky. We also suggest Turnbull Creek and Eddy Creek for paddlers.

Rock Springs Run-Wekiva River

Apopka-DeBary, dep.state.fl.us/gwt/guide/paddle.htm

Put in at King's Landing near Apopka, if you want to experience the entirety of this 27-mile respite from congestion and travel a designated wild and scenic river right in the heart of the Orlando metro area. Stop at Wekiwa Springs State Park on your way for a swim in the clear blue springs.

1,000 Islands

Cocoa Beach, kayakcocoabeach.com

This site is found on the Banana River in Cocoa Beach. Paddlers often find themselves a bit geographically challenged when they are visiting here, so bring a compass with you.

Bioluminescent Bay

Mosquito Lagoon, near Titusville

If you can't afford to travel to Puerto Rico's famous bioluminescent bay, Florida's Indian River and Mosquito Lagoon come alive with bioluminescence from May through September. The luminescence is caused by dinoflagellates (tiny things you can't see), which glow neon-blue whenever the water is disturbed. Guides are recommended for this paddling adventure, but they are not necessary.


Savage Race

March 28-29, 17951 Hamilton Road, Dade City, savagerace.com

This aggressive 6.5-mile race requires participants to conquer 25 insane obstacles with names like the Colon Blow, the Mud and Guts, and the Nutt Smasher.

IOA Corporate 5K

April 16, Lake Eola, Central Boulevard and Eola Drive, corporate5k.com

Insurance Office of America has sponsored this event since its inception 21 years ago; business and nonprofits form teams to participate, and more than 18,000 runners and walkers from 700 organizations participate.

The Color Rave 5K Glow Run

April 18, Bill Frederick Park, 3401 S. Hiawassee Road, thecolorrave.com

Run/dance/walk your way through this nighttime 5K, in which runners are decked out with glow sticks, glowing paint and other glowing gear. Pre-party it up before the race and get decked out for your run, then party at the finish line at the Electric Glow electronic dance party.

Expedition Everest Challenge

May 1-2, Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom Park, rundisney.com

An obstacle-laden 5K race and scavenger hunt that takes place at Animal Kingdom. This is the last chance you'll get to run this race, because this is the final one Disney's planning to host.

Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend

Nov. 6-7, Walt Disney World Resort, rundisney.com

A series of races for runners of all ages, including a Jungle 5K, runDisney kids races and the Wine and Dine half-marathon, which concludes with a finish line party at Epcot's International Food and Wine Festival.

Tough Mudder

Nov. 7-8, Location TBA, toughmudder.com

Hard-core obstacle race along a 10- to 12-mile-long course.

OUC Orlando Half Marathon and Track Shack Lake Eola 5K

Dec. 5, Lake Eola and downtown Orlando, trackshack.com

More than 6,000 runners take to the streets of downtown Orlando for this annual event, which is one of the biggest road events in the Southeast.

Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend

Feb. 18-21, 2016, Walt Disney World Resort, rundisney.com

A weekend of "majestic" runs in the Magic Kingdom. Special courses, princess events and Disney princesses along the running route to cheer you on.


8Coed Sports and Social


Soccer, flag football, kickball and softball played in parks around the city. Open to players 18 and older.

Orlando Bike Polo


Drink casually while playing polo on a bike – just be careful, willya?

The Orlando Shuffle


Free shuffleboard games the first Saturday of each month at the Beardall Senior Center, 800 Delaney Ave.

Orlando Sport and Social Club


Fun sports league offers soccer, flag football, sand volleyball, softball, kickball and more. After the game, meet your teammates for a beer at one of the league's sponsoring bars.

WAKA Central Florida Coed Kickball


This World Adult Kickball Association league is open to players 21 years of age and older

XL Soccer

825 Courtland St., 407-641-4791, xlsportsworld.com

Adult and youth indoor and outdoor soccer leagues, offering games for all experience levels. After a game, get a bite and a beer at the Sideline Pub.


Bikram Yoga Orlando

3218-B E. Colonial Drive, 407-896-2530, bikramorlando.com

Invigorating 90-minute hot yoga classes are this studio's forte.

College Park Yoga

3029 Edgewater Drive, 407-999-7871, collegeparkyoga.com

This studio teaches ashtanga, vinyasa and power yoga classes, but also offers a yoga-for-wimps beginner class. For those on a tight budget, "community yoga" is offered every Saturday at 9 a.m. for $5.

Full Circle Yoga

972B Orange Ave., Winter Park, 407-644-3288, fullcircleyoga.com

This busy studio offers classes seven days a week. Full Circle has spacious studios and variations on traditional yoga styles.

Harmony Yoga Studio

110 N. Orlando Ave, Suite 2, Maitland, 407-234-6454, yoga.harmonywellnesscenter.com

This studio offers something for everyone: gentle yoga for beginners, prenatal yoga for expecting mothers, yoga for fitness and a sampling of specialty classes, including laughter yoga and Mysore yoga.

Inspirit Yoga Studio

7575 Kingspointe Parkway, 407-203-6866, inspirityogastudio.com

Hot yoga, power yoga, ashtanga, vinyasa and more are offered at this drop-in-friendly yoga studio.

Orlando Power Yoga

2415 E. South St., 407-719-0101, orlandopoweryoga.com

The Baron Baptiste-style of power yoga takes the spotlight at this yoga sanctuary. Don't be surprised if the air conditioning's not on; to raise students' internal heat, this studio stays ablaze at 85-90 degrees.

Shine on Yoga

619 N. Thornton Ave., 321-236-2068, shineonyoga.com

This yoga studio believes yoga should be affordable and accessible to all – based on that philosophy, all classes are now donation-based, pay-what-you-can. Cash only.

Yoga in Lake Eola Park


Free yoga classes outdoors in downtown's Lake Eola park, taught by a rotating team of yogis. Check Facebook for exact meeting spot. n

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