Have you ever wondered what being a local in Central Florida is like? Just think about all the exciting adventures right outside your door! From world-famous theme parks and water parks to airboat riding and incredible golfing, we have it all.
One of our local influencers Angela Jones (@theangelajones) went on a staycation in Kissimmee and has the lowdown on some of the dining and outdoor adventures you can experience while in our sunny destination. Check it out!
Q: How long have you lived in Central Florida?
A: I was born here but moved away to California for two years so a total of 27 years! I was born and raised here.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about living here?
A: The sunshine. It gets so hot, but I love the weather. I love that it’s a vacation destination, so all my family wants to come and visit. The outdoor lifestyle with all the springs and kayaking and theme parks is so rare and there’s always something for everyone here.
Q: How did you get started with your blog?
A. I didn’t intend on starting a blog but when I moved to Los Angeles, I thought it would be fun to keep my family and friends updated on my adventures so I started documenting that whole process. Once I got on Instagram, I started meeting other bloggers and it grew from there.
Q: What are 3 words you’d use to describe Kissimmee?
A: 1. Florida – honestly, I feel like it’s Florida in a nutshell. So many swampy areas but a ton of golfing, too.
2. Getaway – kind of out on its own so you feel like you’re not around a major city so you just feel at ease.
3. Adventure – everything we did was so outdoorsy and there was so much to do.
Q: What were your top 2 favorite things you and your husband did while on your staycation?
A: The kayaking was phenomenal. We’ve been before but this was such an incredible place to kayak. You’re driving down the main road and then you don’t expect this hidden gem to be right there. We had the best tour guide; he kept picking up little creatures while we were kayaking like turtles, and it was so cool. Our second favorite was a tie between the Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park and Wild Florida airboat rides. The airboat ride at Wild Florida was so awesome. We saw baby alligators and other animals which was a blast!
Q: We heard you were afraid of heights, how did you overcome that at Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park?
A: We’ve done a ropes course before, but Tree Trek was so incredibly safe. You’re always connected to the wire for safety.
Q: What’s your favorite restaurant in Kissimmee?
A: Jaleo at Disney Springs for sure. Every course we ate, we just kept looking at each other like, wow! We will for sure be back there because it’s genuinely one of my favorite places now. I’ve never been there before this so every single course was a surprise.
Q: Out of the many things you ate and drank, what was your favorite combo?
A: The Salt Air Margarita at Jaleo was amazing. It’s a margarita with a salt foam on top instead of around the rim. It was a weird science project but so good. We did the chef’s tasting menu, so we tried one of everything. It’s all tapas style so you could try a lot all at once – which I recommend!
Q: Was this the first time staying at a Kissimmee vacation home? What did you think?
A: It was the first time! The house was so gorgeous, and I loved the theming. It was the biggest house I’ve ever been in. All the different bedrooms were themed, so it was super cool. There was a game room upstairs with tons of games that connected to the kids’ rooms and then a master suite downstairs.
Q: What would be your ideal date in Central Florida with your husband?
A: Day dates are ideal for us. We’d start with brunch at Island Grove Wine Company at Formosa Gardens then kayaking at The Paddling Center at Shingle Creek and finally we’d lay by the pool at the resort.
Q: What’s your biggest travel pet peeve?
A: My husband could probably name a few for me haha. I think mine would be that some airports aren’t dog friendly so it’s hard to find pet relief centers.
Q: If you weren’t an influencer, what would your job be?
A: Well before I had my blog, I was working as an event manager at Universal Orlando Resort and I would still be planning events in Orlando for sure.
Q: Do you have a favorite weekend spot that’s dog-friendly?
A: Bok Tower Gardens would be a really cool place to take our dog. There was so much space to walk around and explore!
Q: What’s the most surprising thing you encountered during your staycation?
A: The most surprising thing was seeing how adorable Kissimmee is. I had no idea that the winery was on that side of town and it was really cute. Reunion Resort is absolutely huge and there’s so much to do there. You don’t even have to leave – there’s a water park, restaurant, golfing – whatever you’re looking for! I’ve never experienced that before, so I thought it was a great place to be.
Q: If you could spend the whole day at the theme parks or kayaking, which would you choose?
A: Kayaking for sure. I have a spot in my heart for Universal Orlando Resort and love drinking around the world at Epcot but there’s something about being outside and enjoying nature that I love more.
Q: Based on your experience, how much time/how many days would you recommend active couples like yourselves allocate for a trip to Kissimmee?
A: If they did everything on our list, they’d need a full week. You need ideally two days to lounge and relax, while the rest of the days should be for exploring.
Q: Who would you recommend a visit to Kissimmee to and why?
A: I’d recommend a trip to Kissimmee for families first. Everything we did was so family friendly. Although we didn’t get to the hang glider, they said it was for everyone ages 3-100. You could also make it a date trip with your significant other.
Q: What would you like to do when you return?
A: Hang gliding at Wallaby Ranch for sure. We can’t wait to go back!
Q: Who else would you ideally love to bring with you on your next visit to Kissimmee?
A: I’d go back with my husband again. But all my girlfriends were jealous so I may have to do a girl’s trip as well.