Winter Park Scenic Boat Tours: Old Fashioned Christmas Cruise

One of the best places to see the Christmas lights in Central Florida is in historic Winter Park. 

Of course, you can see the lights up and down Park Avenue and in many of the neighborhoods, but if you want a hidden tour of lights, then you have to hit the water! 

Original Orlando Tours is currently doing the Old Fashioned Christmas Cruise through the holidays. The boats take off from the docks on Lake Eola and wind their way through several lakes that are connected by canals throughout Winter Park.  

"We started it during the pandemic because as the choral goes, "We need a little Christmas," right?" said Rich Bradley, the tour operator.

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It's an hour and a half sail under the skies, complete with Christmas cookies, music, and stories.  Bradley said, "Well, it's amazing because the amount of money that some of these folks put into their decorations is just incredible. You'll see lights like you won't find anyplace else."  

The interesting part is to see how much decorating the residents do on the back sides of their homes.  

"It's a totally a total immersion into Christmas," according to Bradley.   

You will also see some of the biggest homes in the Orlando area in a way you don’t normally get to see them. And there might even be a few celebrity sightings as well.  

"Well, I would say this," said Bradley. "Carrot Top leaves a clue out there somewhere, so you have got to come out on the boat to see it."