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Orlando Airboat Tours

Aren’t you guys always looking for new and exciting things to do in Central Florida? Perhaps a little excursion an hour or two away, a little adventure? Me, too. Enter Orlando Airboat Tours located in the Kissimmee area. Now, candidly I don’t venture out to that part of Central Florida too terribly often. We were recently invited*, though, to come enjoy this outdoor adventure–which, oddly, has been on my “to do” list for months-and-months–and did a friend and I did so a couple of weeks ago.

First off, my adventure companion and I headed over to the Orlando Airboat Tours headquarters (address below) to check in, and then quickly zipped over to the boat boarding site, which is actually just down the street from the headquarters base. And it went something like this:

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Our Chariot.

The boat (helmed by Captain Bill on this day) typically seats up to six people. We were joined by two other folks so ours only had a total of four.

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Getting started.

I was a little bit nervous about the weather as we started out…really even before I left my house in downtown Orlando. But the sky eventually opened up and the afternoon turned out to be quite beautiful. So we hopped on our boat and started our journey down a very, very long waterway. This afforded us the opportunity to pick up some speed and build anxiety for all of the wild creatures we were praying not to…err, hoping to encounter.

Now, we didn’t quite get to see all of the wild animals (i.e., alligators) we were hoping to. We later learned from Captain Bill that this is alligator season, so most of them were hiding out…with good reason. But we did have a few chance encounters with some baby gators, and then this happened:

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Beyond breathtaking, and for me personally, the highlight of the tour. Stunning, right? Obviously there are no guarantees for a replication of this for every adventure, but here’s what most visitors can expect:

“As these airboat tours are in a natural, living environment (Central Florida’s subtropical climate promotes the growth of lush vegetation providing natural habitats for a variety of species) taking you through the swamp marsh and wet prairie they are not only educational, but fun and enjoyable.”

I mean, who doesn’t want to spend a Saturday afternoon this way?

Location deets:

Orlando Airboat Tours
4275 Neptune Road
St. Cloud, FL 34769


Here’s a fun hyperlapse video we captured on our excursion:

* Full disclosure: Pulse of Central Florida was provided two (2) complimentary tickets to experience Orlando Boat Tours. Big thanks to the team!

Mead Garden (The Clay Pit)

Ever visit Mead Garden in the Winter Park area? Like, recently? Well, first of all, if you’ve never been it’s really one of Central Florida’s best-kept secrets (if it’s even a secret). You’ve gotta check it out….

I’ve been several times in the past for events–primarily weddings–but have recently started going there on weekend bike rides (when the weather’s nice). And let me tell you there’s quite a bit going on!

More on some of the developments later, but something interesting I stumbled on during a visit a couple of weeks ago is this, the “Clay Pit” project:

Untitled Untitled In doing a little research, here’s what I found:

Winter Park received a federal EPA grant in 2006 for $270,000 to construct storm water improvements in and around Mead Garden. The grant was administered through the Florida Department of Environmental Protection…. The first phase will create more storm water storage in the “clay pit” area near the western end of the park by Denning Drive. Improvements will include construction of low berms to allow water to stage up (store before it flows) and debris to settle out during rainfalls; building of boardwalks and trails; and reforestation of the pit with native wetland species.

You can read about the entire initiative on the Mead Gardens website, which includes an interview with Tim Egan, Winter Park’s Environmental Resource Manager. But what are your thoughts on this? A good thing?

Oh, and hey – I’ve you haven’t ever visited Mead Garden , here are the location deets:

Mead Garden
1500 S. Denning Drive
Winter Park FL 32789

Central Florida Life on Instagram

More of Central Florida seen through the Instagram lens. Enjoy (and if you know where any of these places are, chime in)!



East End Market in Audubon Park

As many times as I’ve driven by it, I’ve never fully noticed East End Market being developed in Audubon Park. It’s right near Blue Bird Bake Shop and Ice Cream Treats & Eats. Of course, curiosity got the best of me (as it always does) so I had to do a little research.

East End Market in Audubon Park

East End Market is a neighborhood market and cultural food hub inspired by Central Florida’s local farmers and food artisans. Through collaboration and creativity, we strive to cultivate an appreciation for our true sustenance, a better understanding of our food system, and a dynamic local economy.”

Here’s a rendering of what the final development is expected to be (source: :

East End Market Graphic

Cute, right?!

You can find out more information about this by visiting, and specifically their “About” section. You can also Follow @EastEndMkt on Twitter and on Facebook. And if you have any info or insight about the development of this initiative we’d love to hear about it.

Central Florida Life on Instagram

Central Florida has many great “photo opps.” Sometimes ya gotta look for them, often they find you (you just have to be ready). And when we are ready we try to capture them on Instagram. While some of these great photos make their way into our posts, they mostly don’t warrant a full blog post, so we Instashare them.

For these, we thought it’d be fun to start a little series called “Central Florida Life on Instagram,” where from time-to-time we’ll feature various photos caught over a week or two. Here’s the first…we hope you enjoy!


Know where any of this were snapped? We’d love to hear it – let’s make this interactive. And if you’re on Instagram yourself and aren’t yet following us, and would like to, feel free at (handle @PulseofCFL on the App).

Central Florida Seasons

Our weather has been all over the place the past few weeks, and right now we seem to be experiencing something magical! Curious to know, which season do you most enjoy in Central Florida?

BRINK Magazine 2013 Calendar

We’ve been supporters of Central Florida arts/entertainment/culture magazine BRINK pretty much since the beginning (and they’ve been big supporters of ours as well). Great content, and the folks at the helm are pretty rad. So we’re happy to share with you all that the BRINK 2013 calendar is currently available for sale here. Why not support this fantastic local project for simply $4.99? (There’s also a free digital version, if you prefer, but why not shell-out the cash?!)

Brink Calendar

BRINK Magazine 2013 Calendar

Additional information can be found and purchases made here.

Hands Across the Sand

Photo Credit:

Orlando may not have a beach, but that doesn’t mean the city won’t have its own Hands Across the Sand event. The event, which focuses on saying No to filthy fuel sources and Yes to clean energy sources, started in Florida in 2000, but is now a global event.

These gatherings will bring thousands of American and Global citizens to our beaches and cities and will draw metaphorical and actual lines in the sand; human lines in the sand against the threats Fossil Fuels and offshore oil drilling pose to our present and future planet.

Participants are asked to meet at Lake Eola, Saturday, August 4 at 11 a.m., wearing a black T-shirt or tank to represent drawing a line against dependency on oil/fossil fuels. The goal will be to have enough supporters to join hands around Lake Eola.

Check out HandsAcrossTheSand.Com for more info.

Audubon Center for Birds of Prey

You’ve probably seen this sign a bunch of times, and if you’re like me, you probably wondered what it was all about.  Well, Saturday afternoon, I finally found out!

That sign leads to the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey on the border of Maitland and Downtown Eatonville.  Amazingly, the Center has been around since 1979 and has treated more than 12,000 injured or orphaned birds of prey.

The Center is set amid lush landscape and provides an intriguing look at birds of prey that you’d likely never see in the wild.  From bald eagles to barn owls to red-shouldered hawks, it’s a really cool place to just wander around.

Admission is donation-based.  The Center also offers a number of educational opportunities and tours, which can be arranged by calling their education department directly.

The Center is located at 1101 Audubon Way in Maitland and is open Tuesday – Sunday from 10 to 4 p.m.  Closed Mondays and holidays.

Check it out for a chance to see these guys, and more, in real life!

Favorite Central Florida Gem?

Our beautiful Central Florida has so much to offer, so much to see and do! We try to cover as much as we can here on our little site, but we’re only two folks with full-time jobs. So we want to hear from you guys–our awesome audience–about some of your favorite gems in Central Florida. Maybe some place we haven’t been or blogged about, something we haven’t yet experienced.

A couple of my personal faves are Harry P. Leu Gardens when the weather’s nice (which we haven’t yet covered) and Wekiva Island (which Kim wrote about several years ago)!

Leu Gardens

Give us some tips by leaving a comment or emailing us, and we’ll try to feature it here on the site! It could be a place to go or see. A person we should know about. An exciting event we just haven’t caught. Some nightlife, or even something touristy. Let us hear!

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