Set along the shores of Lake Rowena, the lovely Harry P. Leu Gardens provide a bucolic escape from the glitz and flash of the theme parks. Paths wind through a stunning showcase of camellias, moss-draped oaks, cicadas, giant camphors, and wetlands.
A highlight is the formal rose garden, a fragrant collage of roses, orchids, azaleas, desert plants, and colorful annuals and perennials. Harry P. Leu Gardens also have palm, bamboo, and butterfly gardens. For a different experience, visit the Leu House, an 18th century mansion appointed with Victorian and Chippendale treasures.
The Harry P. Leu Gardens feature an outdoor movie the first Friday of every month from March to November, storytelling every third Monday, and occasional concerts. Advance reservations are required for a tour of the Leu House. To get to the Harry P. Leu Gardens, take I-4 from Orlando to exit 85. Free parking is available.