The feeling in Central Florida’s Seminole County is relaxed and unhurried. Visiting groups can immerse themselves in nature, with eco-tours on Lake Jesup, which has the largest population of alligators on any lake in North America, and the St. John’s River, Florida’s longest. Another spot is the Wekiva River, one of only two National Wild & Scenic Rivers (protected by an Act of Congress for their special character) in the state.
A popular choice is an airboat ride; these flat-bottomed boats have propellers powered by either an aircraft or car engine and are able to enter shallow waters to get closer to the wildlife. The biggest ones can accommodate groups of up to 18.
All of this exists just 45 minutes from the bustle of Orlando and the theme parks. “We’re one of the few areas in Florida that specializes in smaller groups,” says Stephanie Hunicke, Seminole County Convention & Visitors Bureau group sales manager. “This location provides meeting planners with a natural setting that’s less crowded and more relaxed than Orlando.”