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A Stroll around Celebration Lake - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Accommodation

We have been visiting central Florida for a number of years now and had often past the Celebration water tower on US192 with hardly a second glance.

Until earlier this year we had absolutely no idea what Celebration village had to offer and we were pleasantly surprised by what we found.

It was originally built by the Walt Disney Corporation in 1994 and consisted of several phases of residential development each with its own unique identity but very much part of the Celebration experience. Today much of the responsibility for day to day administration has passed to a number of Home Owner Associations but Disney still retain a number of business units in the locality.

To reach the downtown area we took a right off US192 at the intersection with Celebration Avenue, which is just east of the I-4 and after a couple of miles parked the car just off Front Street, well within walking distance of the shops, restaurants and other attractions. The only odd thing here is that all the parking lots are for residential permit holders only yet on-street parking is permitted throughout the village for visitors.

We will return again to sample the delights of the chic retail outlets and the plethora of pavement cafes and bars but our first evening was one of general exploration and we decided a walk around Celebration Lake was the order of the day.

The start of our walk saw a number of children, giddy with laughter, trying to second-guess when random jets of water from the lovely village fountain would next appear and from which direction. Most, of course, getting it wrong with a penalty of a good soaking.

The path then skirts by a lakeside development where its residents were enjoying a leisurely game of Petanque in the late evening sunshine.

The area is full of wildlife and we met a few people indulging in what they described as alligator spotting, although we none were evident during our stroll. However, strategically placed placards identify and describe the creatures likely to be encountered, and these range from birds such as ospreys and egrets to armadillos and racoons.

As the circuit of the lake nears completion there is an added bonus. Anyone wishing to extend their walk by a further half-mile can take the wooded boardwalk trail, which emerges on to Lake Evalyn and the pretty clapperboard houses around its shoreline.

By the time you return to the downtown starting point there are several coffee houses and ice cream parlours ready to tempt you into a little refreshment before you leave.

Well worth a visit.

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