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Staff Pick

Best Place to Get Away From the Noise 

Split Oak Forest Wildlife and Environmental Area

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Photo by Monivette Cordeiro

Split Oak Forest Wildlife and Environmental Area

When Orlando gets too loud, this nearly 1,700-acre jewel of a preserve on the outskirts of Lake Nona is the perfect place to reconnect with yourself and old Florida. Named after a 200-year-old tree on the property that survived being split down the middle (probably by lightning, but no one's sure), Split Oak is home to threatened gopher tortoises, Florida scrub jays, sandhill cranes, gopher frogs, deer, indigo snakes and bald eagles. Enjoy it while it lasts, though – Central Florida transportation officials are proposing to extend a road right through it.

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)



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