Club Lake Plantation Fall Festival

Club Lake Plantation is a 43-acre site in Apopka, FL that serves as a wedding venue and fall festival site. The owners call it Agritourism, where farmers and ranchers host weddings and other events. The lakeside vista is graced by moss-draped oaks and tall pines. It looks more like a tree farm, with rows of potted trees shown during the hayride.


We went to their Fall Festival and our grandson had a blast. Admission costs $16.95, although the country store and pumpkin patch out front are free. The store had more pumpkins for sale along with jams and honeys. Concession stands sell hot dogs, chicken wings, and burgers so you won’t go hungry. This place has real restrooms, too, rather than portable ones.


Our grandson was amazed by the number of slides and bounce houses for kids. Various games abound around the site, too, like ring tosses or get the ball in the hoop type of contests. From this site, we strolled along the lake.


The lakeside setting was lovely with clever Halloween decorations scattered throughout.


There’s a corn maze for the adventurous. We chose to do the hayride. This journey took us past rows of potted trees. We laughed during the Cow Wash, which was like a car wash with a spray of water, as we ducked to not get too wet. Otherwise, it’s a tranquil ride and not very bumpy.


We each selected a pumpkin at the pumpkin patch after browsing in the store. This completed the day with perfect blue skies and balmy weather.




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Wekiva Island

If you’re looking for a weekend spot north of Orlando where you can kayak, canoe, and hang out by the river or in a tiki bar, Wekiva Island is the place for you. It was not the place for us old fogies. The structures had a dilapidated look about them, except for the bar that appeared much more appealing.


The café, while offering an interesting menu, looked no bigger than a food truck and had outdoor seating. Even the view wasn’t as expansive as I’d expected. It was more like a canal.


I could see the appeal for young adults but not seniors like us who prefer more atmosphere for a lunch venue. We came on a quiet weekday but I understand they can get lines of cars waiting to get in on weekends. Artists had set up their easels along the waterfront on the day we visited. A sign warned of gators and snakes so swim at your own risk if at all and don’t fall out of your boat.


We walked around the perimeter in about ten minutes. For a scene in a mystery, however, this place could serve as a model. The various buildings, including one set up as a classroom, harbored intriguing nooks and crannies.

For lunch, we drove to The Southern Deli in Apopka since I’d been wanting to try it. The food was tasty if you enjoy southern fare, but next time I’d rather go to a deli with traditional favorites like grilled cheese, tuna melt, and nova on a bagel. My meal here was chicken in BBQ sauce over cheese grits and my husband had a burger.

It’s fun to go out exploring and trying new places even if it’s a One and Done experience.

Nancy J. Cohen explores Wekiva Island. #Florida #Orlando Share on X


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Kelly Park

Kelly Park is a 355-acre site in Apopka, Florida originally donated by Dr. Howard A. Kelly in 1927. It holds picnic pavilions, a playground, walking trails, a concession stand, volleyball courts, and the famous Rock Springs Run that is approximately three-quarters of a mile long. If you’re looking for a campsite, that’s available, too. There was a $3.00 fee for us to enter.


We started out meandering from the parking lot to find our bearings. Gentle slopes are graced by tall oaks with Spanish moss and other shrubbery to provide an oasis from civilization. Trails appear to be numerous, although we didn’t venture too far. Even with a map, I was afraid we’d get lost.


We followed people holding tube floats toward a breathtaking grotto. The natural spring flows at an average of 26,000 gallons per minute with a temperature around 68 degrees. This chilly prospect didn’t deter the crowds of people splashing in the water. The spring in this spot was shallow and crystal clear. It travels nine miles to join the Wekiva River.



At the other end in this park is a beach area with a deeper pool that’s even more popular.


We completed our exploration by getting ice cream sandwiches at the concession building that also houses restrooms. You can get lunch here with burgers and hot dogs on the menu along with other goodies. Picnic tables provide outdoor seating on the deck.


If you’re looking for peace and tranquility, to commune with nature, or to admire the magnificent natural springs in a lush green setting, this is the place to go. Kelly Park is located at 400 East Kelly Park Rd in Apopka, FL.


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