Orlando is a major leisure and business travel destination. Finding the best places to run in the Orlando and Disney/Universal area takes some planning. It’s possible to get stuck at a hotel near Disney or the Convention Center where it’s unpleasant or even unsafe (no sidewalks) for running. But there has been greater attention to making Orlando more run-able and walk-able. There are some nice parks, lakes, and trails just north of downtown Orlando. Winter Park, a suburb 7 miles northeast of Orlando has great running options: numerous trails, parks, pleasant residential streets, and a pretty downtown/commercial area. In the resort area, Disney has been working to create running routes at its properties. The best bet in that area is Celebration, a planned community a 15-minute drive from Disney. If you want a great beach running option and have the time, drive the 70 miles to the Cape Canaveral/Cocoa Beach area, where there’s 10+ miles of packed, flat beach running heaven. For a unique and rural run, drive 1/2 hour west of Orlando and enjoy the famed 10-mile Clermont Clay Loop. There’s nice trail running and water activities in Lake Louisa State Park.
In thinking about Orlando geography, better to think about “areas”: Downtown; Disney/Universal/Convention Center/Celebration; some of the wonderful running north in Winter Park and surrounding areas; and some nice spots west of Orlando. We have a separate guide to the Space Coast area, from Canaveral/Titusville to Palm Bay.