Orlando Sports & Activities
Orlando has it all, including the most incredible, year round warm weather which is ideal to play sports,
and here at Gotta Go Orlando Going Out Guide we've got all the info you need.
Visitors and locals alike have a multitude of sporting activities to enjoy including over 150 top rated golf courses, miles of walking and cycling trails and triathlon certified training at the National Training Center,
as well as the 64 acre United States Tennis Association (USTA) National Campus and all the facilities at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, a multi sports facility that can host over 60 sports.
Orlando offers miles of running terrain, bicycle trails, pristine fishing spots, and other outdoor adventures for the whole family, Orlando is the premier destination for sports people of all ages and skill levels.
The mild climate makes outdoor recreational pursuits a year round lifestyle choice here in Central Florida.
With our year round great weather and more than 120 golf courses, many golf academies and lots of mini golf, it's really no surprise that golf is a way of life here in the Orlando sunshine.
Thanks to stunningly gorgeous greens designed by professional players and acclaimed architects including Arnold Palmer, Nicklaus Fazio and Greg Norman, you won’t want to miss playing some of the best golf courses!
Professionally Designed Golf Courses in Orlando
Many of golf's biggest legends and sought-after designers have created golf courses in Orlando, inviting you to master some of the most gorgeous, challenging greens you'll ever play.
One of the most prestigious in that regard can be found in the heart of Orlando is Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club & Lodge. More Palmer designs await at Shingle Creek Golf Club, adjacent to International Drive, and Orange Lake Resort, close to Walt Disney World, plus all three exceptional courses at Walt Disney World Golf are operated by Arnold Palmer Golf Management.
You'll find another Palmer-designed course at Reunion Resort, which is also the only club in the world with courses created by Palmer, Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus. Want more Nicklaus? Just 10 minutes from Disney, Grand Cypress Golf Club boasts 45 holes of Jack Nicklaus Signature golf. And that's just the start of pro-designed golf courses in Orlando.
The Nations Best Courses
There are more than 1,250 golf courses in Florida, more than any other state. If you can’t enjoy golf in Florida, then you can’t enjoy it anywhere. Orlando is home to some of the best courses in the state and the country.
Planning an epic golf trip to Orlando leaves the door wide open in terms of courses, resorts, and style of play. Choose from nationally known courses or stay at resorts with more than enough courses to fill your golf vacation.
Course in Central Florida are endless, Rosen Shingle Creek, Grande Lakes and Grand Cypress Golf Resort, all in Orlando. Mission Inn Resort & Club in Howey-in-the-Hills, and the Orange County National Golf Center and Lodge in Winter Garden. Plus the top resorts Ritz-Carlton Orlando and Waldorf Astoria Orlando, have their own golf courses. Kissimmee has blossomed into its own golf mecca with Reunion Resort, Orange Lake Resorts and Falcon's Fire Golf Club. Don't miss Celebration Golf Club in Celebration, Southern Dunes in Haines City and Victoria Hills Golf Club in DeLand, either. The fun and games and golf never ends in O-town.
Must Play Courses
Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge
Designed by its namesake legend and home to the Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by MasterCard, Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge offers 27 holes of championship golf paired with exceptional service in a private club setting. The links are open exclusively to club members and lodge guests, but fortunately, lodge accommodations are available to non-members and members alike.
Grande Vista Golf Club
Part of Marriott’s Grande Vista, Grande Vista Golf Club sits on the headwaters of the Florida Everglades, surrounded by magnificent oaks and beautiful cypress trees. In addition to a nine-hole, par-32 course designed by Ron Garl, it features 35 acres of dedicated practice areas, a full slate of instructional opportunities and even custom club-fitting programs from the onsite Marriott Golf Academy.
The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Orlando, Grande Lakes
The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Orlando, Grande Lakes offers 18 holes of Greg Norman Signature golf that’s enjoyable for duffers of every skill level, not to mention nature-lovers, given the course’s status as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. Part of The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes, the championship level course is complemented by a clubhouse and instructional opportunities.
Shingle Creek Golf Club
A par-72, 18-hole championship course that was reinvented by Arnold Palmer Design Company, Shingle Creek Golf Club is part of Rosen Shingle Creek near International Drive. Situated at the headwaters of the Florida Everglades, it features 7,213 yards of undulating fairways and interconnecting waterways against a backdrop of dense oaks and pines. It’s also home to the Brad Brewer Golf Academy, where players of all ages can take
Grand Cypress Golf Club
Part of Villas of Grand Cypress, Grand Cypress Golf Club has The New Course: a Jack Nicklaus Signature-designed, Scottish links course that serves as Nicklaus’ homage to the famous Old Course at St. Andrews. In the spirit of its predecessor, The New Course features double greens, stone bridges, gorse mounds and more, while steeper and more challenging bunkers and slopes add a heightened dimension of play.
Hawk’s Landing Golf Club
With a scenic blend of native Florida wildlife and tropical vegetation spread out over 220 acres of lush nature, Hawk’s Landing Golf Club at Orlando World Center Marriott is a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. More importantly to golfers, it offers a 6,600-yard, par-72, 18-hole course that delivers a fun and challenging experience for duffers of all ages and abilities.
Orange Lake Resort
Designed by Arnold Palmer, The Legends is one of Orlando’s best-kept golf secrets, and you can only play it at Orange Lake Resort in Kissimmee. In addition to The Legends, which evokes Scottish-style golf on the front nine and the Carolinas on the back, this resort also offers 18 holes at The Reserve, specifically designed to be in harmony with local nature, and the nine-hole Cranes Bend.
Reunion Resort Golf Courses
Many golf clubs are lucky to have a single course created by a professional golfer but Reunion Resort Golf Courses at Reunion Resort & Golf Club has three. Specifically, it’s the only location in the world where you can play designs by Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson! The Watson Course was the first in Florida to be designed by the former PGA Tour champion, providing beauty and challenge in equal measure. Not to be outdone, the parkland-style Nicklaus Course boasts long horizon lines and elevated tee boxes and greens, while the Palmer Signature Course creates a unique variety of risk/reward shots. Play all three for the ultimate golf challenge!
Tranquilo Golf Course at Four Seasons Resort Orlando
If you want to play the 18-hole, Tom Fazio-designed Tranquilo Golf Course at Four Seasons Resort Orlando, you’ll have to be a member of the Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club or a guest of Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World but given that you’ll be staying at Central Florida’s only AAA Five Diamond-rated accommodation, we think the tradeoff is well worth it! You’ll also get access to a 16.5-acre practice facility, an 18-hole putting course and other amenities before and after you tackle Fazio’s picturesque, secluded course.
Waldorf Astoria Golf Club
Created by Rees Jones, Waldorf Astoria Golf Club at Waldorf Astoria Orlando was the first golf course for the Waldorf Astoria brand, and that stately positioning shines through in every aspect of the experience. Covering 7,108 yards, the par-72, 18-hole course is visually stunning and immensely playable, winding through a large wetland preserve with long stretches of shimmering lakes.
Walt Disney World Golf
Operated by Arnold Palmer Golf Management, Walt Disney World Golf at Walt Disney World Resort has three 18-hole championship options, including Disney’s Palm, Disney’s Magnolia and Disney’s Lake Buena Vista Golf Courses, as well as the family-friendly, nine-hole Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course. What’s more, guests of Disney’s official hotels can enjoy discounted equipment rental at the championship courses.
Dubsdread Golf Course
Originally designed in 1924 and renovated in 2008, this 18-hole public course was one of Orlando’s first and is still going strong. The winner of several “No. 1 golf course in Central Florida” honors, Dubsdread Golf Course also features a practice facility and one of the area’s best restaurants: The Tap Room at Dubsdread. Dubsdread Golf Course is in Orlando’s College Park neighborhood, about 10 minutes north of downtown.
Lake Nona Golf & Country Club
Lake Nona has emerged as one of the country’s top golfing communities, and Lake Nona Golf & Country Club has much to do with it. Designed by Tom Fazio to embody the purity of the game, the 18-hole championship course has been ranked as one of the best by Golf Week. Although this course is normally only open to Lake Nona Golf & Country Club members, the facilities are made available to select charities and organizations seeking to create golf-focused outings.
Winter Park Golf Course
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and dating back to 1900, this public course is one of the oldest in Florida. It offers nine holes of gorgeous, affordable golfing in the heart of its namesake city, with narrow, tree-lined fairways and gorgeous greens fortified by bunkers, just 15 minutes north of downtown Orlando.
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Open to the public, and the home of American tennis, the USTA National Campus in Lake Nona
invites tennis enthusiasts of all skill levels and ages to watch, learn and play at one of the world's largest
tennis facilities, and the great thing is, many of its courts are free to play for visitors of all ages.
Whether you're a player or coach, beginner or expert, or even a spectator, you'll enjoy unparalleled tennis experiences at this one of a kind location.
Many hotels and resorts also offer tennis courts for guests including racket hire, plus there are over 50 public courts including Fort Gatlin Tennis Complex and the Orlando Tennis Center.
Central Florida is blessed with miles of rivers, lakes and canals that are quite simply perfect for fishing, and that's not including the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico that are just over an hour away.
Central Florida freshwater lakes and rivers swarm with all kinds of fish, especially largemouth black bass but also perch, catfish, sunfish, and pike.
You can discover unforgettable action for every skill level at Walt Disney World, for example, you can fish the Seven Seas Lagoon, where options include two hour guided trips, kid's fishing and canoe pole fishing.
For those looking where to go running in Orlando, there are several trails, parks, and wilderness preserves to choose from, and are perfect for any level runner looking to be active.
Remember, he weather in Orlando can be both appealing and unappealing for runners. November through April is generally delightful for running, mild to warm, with the occasional hot snap or cool snap, and drier than summer. May through September are very hot and humid, with little relief, and there can be periods of heavy rain. Plan hydration carefully. And be wary of thunderstorms, an almost daily occurrence in the warmer months here.
Downtown Orlando Tour
5 miles. Start: Parking lot at Publix, Lake Eola.
This is a tour of downtown Orlando that can be started from numerous points depending on where you’re staying. Downtown is a mix of urban jungle and some lovely lakes, some with trails around the perimeter. The signature segment of this run is a tour of lake Eola, which is 0.8 miles around. Lake Davis is also a highlight.
Gaston Edwards Park/Orlando Urban Trail
6 miles. Start: Gaston Edwards Park (2 mi. north of Lake Eola)
This is another good option near downtown. This route, which starts at Gaston Edward Park, 2 miles north of Lake Eola, follows lakeside paths and roads, plus the Orlando Urban Trail. The run incorporates 6 lakes: Ivanhoe, Highland, Rowena, Estelle, Sue, and Winya. Other landmarks include the Orlando Science Center, Orlando Museum of Art, and the Botanical Garden.
Cady Way Trail
5.8 miles Start: south: just north of Fashion Square Mall; north: Cady Way Park
This is some of the closest off road running to downtown Orlando. Starting at Fashion Square Mall, which is 3.5 miles northeast of downtown, the trail runs nearly 6 miles toward Winter Park, ending at Cady Way Park. A nice connection/add-on is Baldwin Lake, 1 mile from the southern terminus of the Cady Trail.
If walking the parks isn’t enough and you have an opportunity to sneak out, there are some decent running options in the Disney area. It does take a little research and planning, as some of the hotels inside and outside the Disney resort are on very busy roads and/or don’t have sidewalks. Working with New Balance, Disney has created and identified more than 16 miles of running/walking trails winding throughout Walt Disney World Resort.
Convention Center & Universal Studios Area
Don’t despair if you are located at one of the Convention Center hotels. Running along International Drive is OK, there is a paved path along the way and it is pleasantly landscaped. It’s pretty busy, but it’s fine for a quick run.
Celebration, FL is a master planned community, the homes are lovely with porches facing the street, the roads are quiet and lined with sidewalks, and there are numerous community sites along the way. This is a worth it place to use as a destination run, plus, The Celebration Town Hall Marathon runs at the end of January and is very popular.
Blue Jacket Park/Baldwin Lake
6 miles NE of downtown. 1 mile around park; 2.5 miles around lake
A worthwhile destination if you’re staying downtown and looking to get off the road. 15 minute drive from downtown and a nice tour around the lake. Also a running track in the park. Also connects to the Cady Way Trail, just to the east of the lake, which continues another ~5 miles north toward Winter Park.
Winter Park Tour
7.5 miles. Start: Downtown Winter Park @ Park Ave. & Morse
Winter Park is a pleasant suburb 7 miles north of Orlando. There is a pleasant downtown with restaurants and bike shops, parks, lakes, and pretty residential streets, and a few different trails. We’ve put together a “highlights of Winter Park” run, which includes the cute, shaded Park Ave., a jaunt out to Lake Maitland and the Kraft Azalea Garden, and some of the lovely residential streets west of the lake and east of the Winter Park Village Mall.
West Orange Trail
22 miles Start: Join at any section, especially Winter Garden.
Popular for biking and running, the West Orange Trail is a world-class rail trail through urban and suburban sections of Orange County. The trail runs from the Killarney Station trailhead on SR50 west of Oakland, through Winter Garden and to Apopka, ending at Welch Road.
Cape Canaveral/Cocoa Beach
6.5 miles, following half-marathon route from Cocoa Beach Pier to Orlando Beach.