When we talk about Orlando, it is almost impossible not to relate it to the Disney parks and Universal Studios. But this amazing city and its surroundings offer you much more to see. That is why we leave you some options for all tastes, from parks and lakes to the best places to enjoy nightlife and shopping:
1. Harry P. Leu Gardens
Upon arrival in this beautiful park, travelers receive a map so they can have a self-guided tour of the spectacular trails and, furthermore, visit the Casa Leu, which was built in 1888 as a residence and now functions as a museum of decorative art.
During the walk through the park, you can see huge trees, such as oak and palm trees, huge plantations of camellias and roses, tropical species and an orchard.
Location: 1920 North Forest Avenue, Orlando
Hours: Open every day (except December 25) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., last admission time 4:30 p.m.
Tickets: adults 10 USD, 4-17 years 5 USD, children under 3 free.
2. Downtown Orlando
Most tourists who visit Orlando and want to enjoy its nightlife choose Universal City Walk, although the Downtown Orlando area has many more options and a variety of prices, even Church Street is one of the places preferred by locals.
In this place, there are cinemas, theaters, shops, bars, clubs and restaurants such as the famous Rainforest Café, Planet Holywood.
3. Wekiva Island
Escaping to Wekiva Island is a perfect plan to take a break from the crowds and technology to reconnect with nature and sport. It is only 30 minutes north of Orlando and you can go for the day or rent one of the cabins for the night.
At the Wekiva complex, you can rent canoes, double or single kayaks and stand up paddleboards to tour an incredible river that is fed by springs and is home to many indigenous species.
Location: 1014 Miami Springs Drive, Longwood, Florida 32779.
Hours : Summer: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Winter: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Sunday to Thursday and from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday
4. Lake Eola
A visit that cannot be missed while passing through Orlando is this oasis in the middle of the city. The beautiful park that surrounds it is great for those traveling with children and pets. One of the typical activities to do on the lake is sailing on swan-shaped water bikes. You can also enjoy free shows and concerts in the park’s amphitheater.
As in other cities, in Orlando, there are fairs of local producers and entrepreneurs that take place on the shores of this lake. Fair hours: The fresh fruit and vegetable market is held every weekend and the Downtown Orlando Farmer’s Market is held every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
5. Kennedy Space Center
The Cape Canaveral Kennedy Space Center is 45 minutes from Orlando and is one of NASA’s most important strategic bases. The place is not an amusement park, but visiting it is a great experience for lovers of astronomy and for those who want to know everything about the operation of spaceships and the life of astronauts.
Huge rockets that once were in space are exhibited in the Rocket Garden and you can even see the inside of some; view projections of recordings made by astronauts; Try a launch simulator and the most exciting thing is to be able to witness a real one, to do it you have to check the calendar on the Kennedy Space Center website and reserve a place.
This park is almost an hour from Orlando and there are transports from Orlando Premium Outlet- Vineland Ave, with return between 5 and 6 p.m., when the park closes. In Legoland, the protagonists are children and everything is designed for them, the ideal age is between 3 and 12 years old.
In the place are all the imaginable figures made with Lego pieces, from the classic Disney characters to Star Wars figures and spectacular replicas of cities like Las Vegas. In addition, there are games, roller coasters, pools and water slides.
As in other parks, it is almost impossible to know it completely in one day, that’s why its creators opened a Lego hotel, following the theme, just outside the park, so that families can stay and spend at least two days in Legoland.
7. Shopping Centers (Outlets)
For some people, shopping is almost an obligation and they cannot return from a trip empty-handed. The good thing is that Orlando has some of the best outlets in the United States.
Premium Vineland Ave and Premium International Drive have more than 150 stores each and the vast majority are from top clothing brands. In these two outlets, there are two unmissable businesses for lovers of the world of Disney and its characters, this is Disney Character Warehouse, where you can find clothes, toys, costumes and original memories that were created for Disney in previous seasons and are one Much lower price than inside the parks.
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