Florida: Orlando to the Ocean

Florida: Orlando to the Ocean

7 Day Inn Tour

Tour Information

Date: 11/05/23 - 11/11/23
Meet: Orlando, FL
Time: 3:00pm
Tour Price: $3290
Single Upgrade: $900

With a growing network of beautifully paved paths that will eventually create an uninterrupted bike route from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean, Florida is fast becoming a cyclist’s paradise. This brand new tour introduces you to the eastern stretch of Florida’s Coast to Coast Trail. Travel from the “hill country” of Clermont east through charming towns, nature preserves, semi-tropical forests, and cattle pastures until we reach Florida’s Space Coast near Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center. We promise that you’ll have a blast!

Guaranteed

The tour still has space. Make your travel arrangements.

Leisurely

Leisurely

Flat terrain on paved bike trails with a little bit of sidewalk cycling. Beginner cycling level.

6 nights lodging, 5 breakfasts, 5 picnic or sack lunches, 5 dinners, snacks, river kayaking, detailed cue sheets, maps & GPS files, van support and trained guides.

Map

Florida: Orlando to the Ocean

$195 for Specialized women-specific hybrid or road bicycles. $350 for electric-assist ebikes.

Fly in and out of Orlando, FL, and take a complimentary shuttle to our starting hotel. WomanTours will shuttle everyone back to the Orlando airport by 10:30am.

Melanie Derry

Melanie Derry
Tour Leader

Beth Orenstein

Beth Orenstein
Tour Leader

Tour Itinerary


DAY 1:  We meet at our starting hotel near the Orlando airport. We’ll start the rental bike fitting at 3:00pm, have our orientation at 5:00pm and then dinner at 6:30pm. If you’ve arrived early, consider visiting Universal Studio’s CityWalk, where live performances, celebrity appearances and cooking demonstrations punctuate a day of shopping, dining and theater. 0 miles.

DAY 2: After breakfast at our hotel, we shuttle to Winter Garden. This thriving small city on the western outskirts of Orlando welcomes cyclists in a big way by having the West Orange Trail run through its primary downtown corridor.

We ride west on this well-manicured paved trail under a canopy of majestic oaks and other native trees draped in beautiful Spanish moss, turning around where the trail ends. You might be surprised to feel some gentle undulations on this day, as our route crosses the Lake Wales Ridge, an ancient chain of islands that stayed above sea level while the rest of the Florida peninsula rested on the ocean floor.

There are opportunities to explore off the bike as well. A short hike in Oakland Nature Preserve takes you through wetlands and the shore of Lake Apopka, with the possibility of meeting a gopher tortoise or screech owl along the way.

After a picnic lunch at Clermont Waterfront Park, cycle or shuttle back to Winter Garden, where you’ll have time to explore the shops and galleries before dinner and our night at a historic hotel. 36 or 27 miles, ±1023’ for longer route.

DAY 3: Today we follow the West Orange Trail eastward through suburban Orlando, then transition to the Seminole Wekiva Trail for plenty of scenic diversity. You’ll ride through the Paint the Trail project, where a Florida artist has reinterpreted iconic celebrity images on the back side of privacy fences. It’s like floating through your own private gallery. There will be a picnic lunch waiting for you at a nearby trailhead.

As we approach the final leg of the ride crossing the St. Johns River, we’ll be rewarded with magical spring-fed streams, lush green fields and the jungle-like woodlands of Gemini Springs Park. It’s possibly some of the nicest cycling you’ll experience anywhere. We’ll finish the day with dinner together and spend the next two nights in DeBary. 38 miles, +705’/-807’.

DAY 4: Central Florida’s Wekiva River is one of only two rivers in the state that carries a federal designation as a National Wild and Scenic River. You’ll get to see for yourself just how wild and scenic it is as we kayak a portion of the river this morning with a local guide.

Floating through lush tropical hardwood hammocks and backwater swamps, expect to see alligators (don’t worry, they keep their distance), turtles, baby blue herons, limpkins, kingfishers, and if you’re lucky, manatees, as these gentle marine mammals often swim inland when water temperatures are warm enough. This is truly a “get away from it all” experience.

After a picnic lunch by the river, the group shuttles to Sanford, on the southern shore of Lake Monroe. We recommend pedaling to our DeBary hotel from here, so you can enjoy the new wide bike path along the lake before getting a second chance to ride through Gemini Springs Park. We’ll return to Sanford later for dinner at a popular German eatery. 9 miles, ±138’.

Day 5: Today’s ride is truly about rural Florida. Agriculture is the region’s economic driver, and you’ll see both cattle pastures and tree farms along the route as you pass through the communities of Osteen, Farmton, Maytown and Mims.

Enjoy the peace and quiet along these miles, as well as the diversity in vegetation and animal life. We’ve seen bobcats along this stretch of trail, along with turkeys, osprey, eagles and turkeys. The diversity of trees is also astounding, from cypress to swamp tupelos.

We follow a spur trail north to New Smyrna Beach, where we will stay in an inn on the Indian River. You’ll have time to explore the downtown district’s art galleries and shops, and you’ll have plenty of restaurants to choose from as dinner is on your own. 40 miles, ±223’.

DAY 6: Our final ride is a shorter one, partly retracing some of our tracks from the day before, then rejoining the Coast to Coast Trail. Final cycling destination? The White Sands Buddhist Center.

The temple holds Sunday meditation services, but the gardens are open to the public daily. We’ll enjoy a picnic lunch on the grounds, and have time to explore the three large granite statues of the Buddha, the gardens and the small shop and visitors center.

Then we’ll shuttle to our final hotel on Cocoa Beach, where you’ll have time to swim in the ocean or simply stroll on the sand. This area is known as Florida’s Space Coast, as NASA’s Kennedy Space Center was established 15 miles north of Cocoa Beach in the 1960s. It’s not uncommon to see launchings of satellites, rockets and other missions, so keep your eyes scanning the skies.

Our final dinner together will be at a local restaurant, where we will share a toast to the coast and all our adventures to get there. 27 miles, ±87’.

DAY 7: Breakfast is on your own this morning. We will shuttle anyone who needs to get back to the Orlando airport or back to the starting hotel, arriving by 10:30am. Safe travels home and we hope to see you again soon.