What is the first thing that springs to mind when we say the word “Orlando”? Go on, be honest – it’s Disney World, isn’t it? Don’t worry, there’s no need to be ashamed; the self-proclaimed “happiest place on Earth” is the first thing we thought of too!
It’s true – Orlando is the king of theme parks: with Legoland, the Epcot Centre, Sea World, Universal Studios and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (as well as the previously mentioned Walt Disney World Resort!), it is an absolute paradise for any thrill seeker or adrenaline junkie.
However, if you’re not so interested in overpriced snacks, long queues, and nauseating rollercoaster rides, you will be pleased to know that there is still a lot you might enjoy in Florida’s favourite city! Here’s a quick run-down of some of the best activities.
Come on, if you’re going to Florida and not already dreaming about those gorgeous golden sands, there has to be something wrong with you. And sure, Orlando isn’t a coastal city itself, but that doesn’t mean a beautiful beach is out of reach!
Orlando is only an hour’s drive from the Atlantic coast, home of the famous Daytona Beach, but if you want true seaside bliss you’ll want to drive for two hours, straight to the Gulf of Mexico. ¡Arriba!
Okay, so the city seems to be entirely about fun and thrills, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be educational too! There are actually loads of museums in “The City Beautiful”, such as the Pioneer Museum and the Holocaust Memorial Centre.
If you prefer culture to learning, the Mennello Museum of American Folk Art is a great place to start, but there’s something to suit even the quirkiest of tastes – pay a visit to the Tupperware Museum of Historic Food Containers!
If you’re looking for a good meal before heading out and getting your party on, Highway 192 is known all around the world for its selection of great restaurants, covering the spectrum of cuisines from sushi joints to good old American steak houses!
After you’ve eaten your fill, it’s time to paint the town red. Maybe you’d like to start off the night with some comedy? If so, The Orland Improv is probably your best bet! The Cirque du Soleil has regular shows on in the area as well.
As for places to get liquored up, we would suggest Hanson’s Shoe Repair – a former cobbler’s shop, now repurposed as a speakeasy! For something unique, visit Howl at the Moon: it’s a duelling piano bar! Don’t let your transatlantic travel expenses eat into your nightlife fund either, visiting http://www.cheapflights.co.uk/flights/Orlando/ is a great place to start for finding the lowest airfares.
Just a few minutes’ walk from the downtown area you will find the Harry P Leu Gardens, stretching for more than 50 acres along the shoreline of the placid Lake Rowena.
Entry is free on Mondays, so you’ll be doing your wallet a favour, and the variety of plant life on show is staggering – from oaks to orchids, from palms to azaleas, with more than 75 different types of roses! There’s something for every green fingered individual here.