Discover the renown Czech-born American sculptor Albin Polasek, whose works are on display inside and among the gardens of his former retirement home. Now a living museum, the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens pays homage to this influential artist and educator.
The Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens is the preeminent authority on renown Czech-born American sculptor Albin Polasek.
Originally the retirement home of Polasek, the museum and sculpture gardens is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It features more than 200 works by the artist, along with a chapel, an outdoor sculpture garden and a gift shop.
Polasek immigrated to the U.S. as a young woodcarver in 1901, then honed his art at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the American Academy of Art in Rome.
He was an influential artist and educator, and was commissioned to create numerous public sculptures both in Europe and America. He also served as the head of the Department of Sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago for 30 years.
The Polasek is considered a living museum, and its outdoor gardens date to 1949. In fact, many of the original plantings were cultivated by Polasek and his family.
Other special areas to explore include the butterfly garden, two water gardens and the cycad collection along the museum's main entrance.
Gaze at the exotic animals of Busch Gardens, a theme park that offers guests an up-close view of amazing animals in a variety of outdoor settings. Walk through the Serengeti Plains, the deep jungle and a rain forest. Themed rides like the Kumba roller coaster offer plenty of thrills.
Connect with the outdoors and the animals at the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens. Featuring more than 400 creatures, the zoo holds fascinating educational and interactive opportunities for visitors, including Keeper Chats and Elephant Encounters.
Can you imagine coming face-to-face with a dinosaur in the great outdoors? Experience it at Dinosaur World, where more than 150 life-like recreations stand among the trees and open space. There's also a fossil-dig where kids can sift through the sand like a real paleontologist!
Venture into Disney's Animal Kingdom and visit the largest animal park in the world. Encounter exotic animals within the park's different themed sections. You can even pet some of the tamer ones in the petting zoo area.
Step into the real Florida, filled with gators, rugged wilderness and natural beauty. You'll find it all at the Forever Florida, a 4,700-acre eco-ranch and wildlife conservation area. Go on a zip-line safari, coach safari or horseback safari while you're there.
Spend some time outdoors and meander along the winding paths and fragrant sections of the Harry P. Leu Gardens, a 50-acre segment of landscaped grounds and lakes shaded by 200 year-old oaks and forests of camellias.
The Harry P. Leu Gardens feature more than 50 acres of southern-styles gardens, including America's largest Camellia flower collection outside of California.
The themed gardens are designed to entertain, delight and enlighten. Weekend warriors will want to take notes while strolling the more than 3 acres of idea gardens, perfect for short project with big impact.
Also on display is a large, formal rose garden, a house museum dating from the 1880s, a tropical stream garden, veggie and herb garden and a butterfly garden.
All of these semi-tropical and tropical gardens are meant to highlight some of the natural flora and fauna that are prevalent in this area of Florida.
Float down a lazy river in an inner tube at Kelly Park at Rock Springs, one of the most gorgeous outdoor settings in Central Florida. Crystal clear springs bubble up from a rock outcrop to create the meandering stream.
Enjoy the great outdoors at Lake Eola Park, a central meeting point for active Floridians. Walk, jog, bike or hike around the .9-mile trail around the lake. Rent paddle boats or other watercraft for a change of pace.
Pick your very own oranges right from the trees at Showcase of Citrus. More than 50 varieties of sweet, succulent oranges await. Spread out a blanket for a picnic outdoors or go for a thrilling swamp buggy ride and eco tour.
Rediscover nature in the middle of bustling Orlando at the Tibet-Butler Preserve. This 440-acre outdoor oasis includes four miles of hiking trails and elevated boardwalks that start at the Vera Carter Environmental Center.