Keep Oviedo in mind if you want to make the most out of a visit to Seminole County in central Florida.
All the fun things to do in Oviedo and its various amenities have elevated this city as one of the most livable in the US.
European homesteaders, principally Swedish immigrants, came starting in 1865 after the US Civil War as among the first settlers of Oviedo.
Initially, their settlement was called the Lake Jesup Community, adopted from the name of the prominent lake in the local area.
With its post office established in 1879, the settlement was renamed Oviedo, a take from a city in northern Spain well-known for its academe and magnificent buildings.
It was not until 1927, however, that Oviedo was incorporated as a Florida City and began solidifying its stature as among the most livable cities in the Sunshine State.
Peek at the city’s transformation and development of this city through its points of interest and the following list of things to do in Oviedo.
Explore the Little Big Econ State Forest
Just a little over 3 miles east of downtown Oviedo, you can enjoy exploring the Little Big Econ State Forest.
The name of this forest of about 10,336 acres is a play on the names of Little Econlockhatchee River and the larger Econlockhatchee River joining as one south of the forest.
From Oviedo, you can access the forest via the trailhead on Barr Street at the city's northeastern edge.
You can then follow the forest’s hiking trail of 16.3 miles amid varied ecosystems, including pine flatwoods, sandhill, scrub, and the majestic oak-palm hammocks.
Hiking along this trail can lead to other outdoor activities, such as canoeing, wildlife observation, and even hunting in some areas of the forest.
Experience Lukas Nursery & Butterfly Encounter
This garden center on Slavia Road is a charming place to visit, as it features more besides the wares and services that it is selling.
This horticulturists’ delight also boasts a year-round butterfly and bird conservatory where you can have the rare pleasure of hand-feeding butterflies.
Besides its unique butterfly collection, Lukas Nursery & Butterfly Center also takes pride in its covey of button quail and an aviary with colorful and exotic finches.
In this garden center, you can pick from the largest inventory of butterfly host and nectar plants.
Its shop also sells extraordinary butterfly art and other nature-themed gifts, as well as rustic home décor along with jams and jellies.
Enjoy Lake Jesup at Overlook Park
Get up close to the 25-square-mile Lake Jesup, one of the central Florida features that helped draw settlers of Oviedo.
Overlook Park on Lake Street, accessible from South Florida 417 Toll Road, is a great start to explore this 13-mile long lake.
The county park spreads over 3 acres, featuring a boardwalk and offering fishing opportunities.
Drop a baited line, and you can catch a variety of fish, including Bluegill, Largemouth bass, Black crappie, and Alligator gar.
Overlook Park’s lakeside walkway likewise provides a chance for you to spot an osprey or alligator.
In addition, the park features barbecue grills in a picnic pavilion under the canopy of mossy, mature oak trees.
Browse on Oviedo’s History at the Lawton House
Tour the vintage Lawton House at West Broadway, where the Oviedo Historical Society displays artifacts antiques, preserving glimpses of the city’s history.
Notably, the owner of the historic house, Robert James Lawton, was a noted Florida academician and from a family prominent in Oviedo’s history.
The exhibits in the Lawton House include items collected from the households of notable families of Oviedo in the past.
From these mementos and other community memorabilia, you will learn Oviedo’s close ties with citrus farming.
Displays in the Lawton House will likewise let you gain insight into why Oviedo was once called the "Celery Capital of the World.”
Each first Saturday of the month, the Oviedo Historical Society holds a farmers market selling local produce at the spacious yard of the Lawton House.
Hike the Lake Jesup Conservation Area
Experience a hike within the wild spaces of the Lake Jesup Conservation Area on the flanks of a highly urbanized slice of the Orlando metro.
The Lake Jesup shoreline that the conservation area protects stretches for approximately 30 miles.
Residences are few along the lakeshore, even as it directly flanks Oviedo, as well as the cities of Sanford and Winter Springs.
The paltry residential development on the shoreline is largely due to the lake’s floodplain and the limiting influence of the conservation area’s establishment.
There are several tracts along the Lake Jesup Conservation area, all of which are accessible for free and open 24 hours.
All told, you can hike 7.5 miles in the four trails in this area, covering not only Oviedo but also the Sanford side on the north.
Leashed dogs are allowed in these trails, but be conscious that you and your pet can encounter alligators along trail sections edging to the shoreline.
Get to Know Little Econ at Riverside Park
Located off Lockwood Boulevard, Riverside Park abuts the Little Econlockhatchee River, otherwise known as “Little Econ.”
The Oviedo banks of this river offer a lightly used out-and-back trail accessible from the back end of the park year-round.
Hiking this 2.3-kilometer trail takes you to a small waterfall, and you can take your pet dog on this walk.
You may also want to tarry longer at Riverside with its plentiful facilities, including air-conditioned racquetball courts, four tennis courts, and a junior Olympic swimming pool.
The park’s complex likewise boasts a skating facility, bandshell, picnic shelters, grill, multipurpose field, and a multi-purpose room for socials like bingo night.
Test the Links at Twin Rivers Golf Club
A scenic 18-hole play awaits golfers at the Twin Rivers Golf Club, so named because it spreads between the Big and Little Econlockhatchee Rivers.
The golf club’s par 72, 6,600-yard links were masterfully developed to preserve the natural environment.
Because of the remarkable conservation measures in this facility, Audubon International awarded Twin Rivers Golf Club a Certificate of Achievement for Environmental Planning.
Extra efforts were also taken to ensure that this championship layout can offer challenging play to golfers of all abilities.
Importantly, too, the city of Oviedo has acquired the Twin Rivers Golf Club that now operates as a semi-private destination that can easily accommodate visiting golfers.
Pick a Lane at the Oviedo Bowling Center
You can have a good time without burning a hole in your pocket by playing at the Oviedo Bowling Center on East Broadway Street.
The rates, including those for beers and snacks, are affordable here, and discounts are even available on certain days.
For snacks, you can try curly and yummy fries with chili and cheese in this family-owned bowling alley.
If spares and strikes elude your game, you can shift to the Oviedo Bowling Center’s Pinball Lounge, which boasts some 20 machines.
The games in this lounge can range from classics like Batman and Indiana Jones to more recent releases, such as The Simpsons, Spiderman, and Twilight Zone.
Have Fun at Center Lake Park
Many of the recreational activities in Oviedo are concentrated at Center Lake Park, as it offers numerous facilities.
Local folks and visitors also congregate in this park at Center Lake Lane because of its convenient location in the middle of the city.
Kids love to visit this park not only because of its playgrounds but also especially for its splash pad.
Center Lake Park, in addition, features a marina where boat rentals are available so visitors can relax paddling on the lake.
The park is a well-developed facility that can accommodate special events in its large amphitheater and small outdoor stage.
Center Lake Park also boasts a Cultural Center with a spacious banquet room where dances and socials can be accommodated.
Visit the Oviedo Mall
Take a look at the Oviedo Mall off Red Bug Lake Road, where you can find more than a mix of shopping, dining, and entertainment venues.
Formerly known as the Oviedo Marketplace, this mall opened in 1998, with Dillard's among its anchor stores.
Other major tenants of the Oviedo Mall include Barnes & Noble Booksellers and the movie theater Regal Cinemas.
But what’s remarkable about this mall, among other things, is that it is also host to a wedding chapel and cosmetology and art schools, including the Penguin Point Productions and its in-house theater.
The Oviedo Mall also flaunts murals of Oviedo’s historic areas and photos of the early European and African settlers in Central Florida.
Have a Drink and More at Oviedo Brewing
Oviedo Brewing, which opened in 2019, is located in Oviedo Mall and claims as the city’s only craft brewery and gastropub.
Remarkably, entrepreneurs from India who are more known in the US for their IT skills established this craft brewery.
Its restaurant’s menu, all but naturally, offers a lot of savory appetizer options that are perfect to pair with beer.
One of Oviedo Brewing’s most popular craft beers is the Oviedo-Zen, a German-style Hefeweizen beer known for its smooth and clean finish.
Watch out too for the night market that Oviedo Brewing hosts in its parking area that draws some 40 small vendors offering affordable local products.
Watch the Games at the Oviedo Sports Complex
Oviedo is growing its reputation as a leading destination for blue-ribbon sports tournaments.
The city now has a magnet for these events—the Oviedo Sports Complex on East Broadway Street.
Its top-of-the-line facilities include 12 fields on Bermuda grass suitable for youth and adult softball and baseball.
Each of these fields has electronic scoreboards, and the complex also provides batting cages for practice.
Additionally, the Oviedo Sports Complex provides air-conditioned restrooms, a playground, and concessions.
It also makes available the services of full-time staff to help manage tournaments from start to finish.
Other Things to Do Nearby
Tour the University of Central Florida Arboretum
Visit the arboretum in the main campus of the University of Central Florida (UCF) on Central Boulevard, Orlando.
This 80-acre arboretum is accessible via Scorpius Street at the UCF campus, just about four miles south of Oviedo.
You can tour the arboretum via its Wildflower Loop trail that will allow you to appreciate more than 600 plant species, including a garden collection of over 100 bromeliads.
Along the 1.2-mile trail, you can take a breather at the Timothy R. Neumann Nature Pavilion.
The arboretum is open for free to the public during daylight hours throughout the year.
Indulge on a Hispanic Treat at Lechonera Orlando
This counter-serve Puerto Rican restaurant is located on East Colonial Drive corner Dean Road in Orlando, some 10 miles south of Oviedo.
Its specialties include seasoned roasted pork, pernil (marinated pork leg or shoulder), and rotisserie chicken.
Expect to enjoy at Lechonera Orlando a convivial atmosphere while relishing the aroma of food simmering in the kitchen.
Prepare for a mouth-watering experience, especially in the hearty stews and meats you ordered by the pound enriched in seasonings and spices.
To top off the Lechonera Orlando meal experience, you can choose from a variety of rice, side items, and desserts.
Reflect on Oviedo’s Black History at Round Lake Park
The 12-acre Round Lake Park on East Broadway Street takes pride not only in its enticing recreational facilities.
This park also celebrates the Black History of Oviedo in a colorful mural that took 1,000 hours to complete in 2021.
African Americans were notably among the first Oviedo settlers onward 1865 after the US Civil War and the abolition of slavery.
The park’s mural contains 20 elements representing the iconic personalities that molded Oviedo’s Black community.
Besides offering insights into Oviedo’s inclusive character, the park provides sports facilities for basketball, tennis, and racquetball.
It also offers a spacious playground, grill and picnic shelters, restroom, and a board and fishing pier.
All the trappings of the good life are just around the corner when you visit the city of Oviedo.
It’s a relatively small town, but full of urban lifestyle delights rubbed on by its proximity to major cities like Orlando.
The things to do in Oviedo also have a healthy mix of outdoor recreational activities, thanks to its well-preserved natural setting that helped immensely make it a coveted place to live in.