Year round tropical weather, friendly locals and insane attractions are just a few of the reasons tourists flock to Orlando. Of course Disney is a huge feature here, but as magical as it is there’s so much more to the destination than just this. If you’re looking for a beautiful place to visit, Orlando should be on your list even if you don’t want to visit the magic kingdom or take photos with Mickey Mouse! Here are some of the fantastic things about Orlando.
If you’re not doing Disney in Orlando, there are plenty of other hotels to choose from in Orlando besides the themed Disney ones. You have your standard budget chain hotels that you’d find anywhere, to more luxurious options like the Ritz, Four Seasons and independent resorts meaning there really is something for everyone. Want something a little more private, or traveling with a bigger group? Why not consider a villa, there are loads of Orlando vacation rentals out there. Consider the types of things you’re looking for. Resorts are great if you want everything on your doorstep- shops, attractions, pools and more. Villas and private rented properties are good if you want privacy and are happy to go self-catering. Budget options are good if you only want a place to lay your head and aren’t especially bothered either way.
The Disney parks are fantastic but don’t overlook the other parks and attractions that are available to visit in Orlando which are equally good. Universal Studios is one example- it has rides and interactive experiences that can put any Disney park though it’s paces. If animals are your kind of thing, visit Gatorland, SeaWorld and Discovery Cove. Here you can have fun on the exciting theme park rides, see unique and interesting animals and watch different shows. To get views and photo opportunities of Orlando, why not ride the Coca-Cola Orlando Eye? This four hundred foot observation wheel take you right up to cloud nine. As well as parks, there are lots of other things you can do as well. You could learn more about history, culture, science and more in a museum or educational attraction. Wonderworks are one example, they have over one hundred science exhibits and hands- on ways to learn and discover.
Inside you will see everything from laser tag to a rope course. There’s even a ‘6D’ motion ride for a truly unique experience. It’s educational but it’s still fun, it’s ideal for kids and teens and gives them knowledge and information in a way they will enjoy and want to know more. Another interesting place to consider is Ripley’s ‘Believe it or Not.’ This houses a massive collection of rare items and unusual objects. In fact, there’s everything from a shrunken head to an authentic vampire killing kit! If you’re into the unusual, this fascinating attraction will be for you! There’s the Titanic Artifact Exhibition where you can see genuine items recovered from the ship, something that history buffs (or just fans of the film!) are sure to love. On top of this you have attractions like Madame Tussauds and the Kennedy Space Center which are both fun family days out and sure keep all ages entertained.
With palm fringed white sandy beaches and blue oceans, flying over Florida is a dream come true and will give you some of the most amazing views. If you want a white-knuckle adventure and memories to last a lifetime, how about a helicopter tour or a hot air balloon ride? If the sea appeals more than the air, you could go on a boat tour or even hire a private yacht for your own personal use. Exploring the coasts and ocean around Florida allows you get an entirely new perspective on the destination. There are masses of companies who offer boat hire so finding one to rent or tour on won’t be a problem. To tour by land there are loads of bus tours available, or you could hire a car and cruise wherever you like. Go for a convertible so you can make the most of the gorgeous Florida weather!
Shopping, Dining, and Nightlife
As with any tourist destination, Orlando has no shortage of shopping malls, restaurants, and clubs. Discover a shopper’s paradise like no other destination in Orlando. The Mall at Millenia as well as the Florida Mall are luxury shopping malls home to hundreds of designer shops. Perfect if you want to splash the cash. Orlando has a range of outlet centers, these include Orlando Premium Outlets, International Drive, Vineland Avenue, and the Lake Buena Vista Outlets. All of them feature a huge selection of products from the world’s top designers at incredible savings. For something a little more raw and rustic, you could visit the markets and shop for artisanal products and try out the street food. And speaking of food, you’re in for a real treat. Restaurants and cafes serving every cuisine imaginable, buffets galore, desserts- just about everything you could ever want. You will definitely want to break your diet while you’re away! Finally, you can party the night away at a nightclub or bar. From the Epic Ice Bar, a below- freezing room with a bar carved from ice will help you to escape the scorching Florida heat, To Vain nightclub, three floors of fun if you want to party the night away. To Blue Martini Lounge if you want to do something a little more sophisticated. There’s a massive range of different establishments, you’re best doing some research before you leave to find places best suited to you.
So don’t write Orlando off as a destination that’s just for kids and Disney. There’s so much you can see or do without Mickey and Minnie in sight! As incredible as Disney might be, if you want to do something a little different or see Orlando in a different way you won’t be short on choice.