Welcome to Orlando, Florida: America’s wetlands capital, a water-world of gators and airboats, space centers and sculpture gardens, theme dinners and thrill rides, and so much more…
Landmarks and Attractions in Orlando
A most definite destination during your stay is the unforgettable vibrant Walt Disney World. Its theme parks, water parks, and other themed resorts together exceed the expanse of Boston! Apart from the rides, there are daytime and nighttime parades (don’t miss the Main Street Electrical Parade!), fireworks, shows, and character meals. Get a second dose of rip-roaring fun at Orlando’s other multi-park destinations, such as Wonderworks and Universal Orlando (which includes Seuss Landing, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Thrill Rides, and Universal Studios Orlando). Here at America’s wetlands capital, also discover unaltered territory of the Everglades astride a Boggy Creek Airboat Ride or a Dolphin Racer Speedboat. Be sure to visit the alligators (and so much more!) at the 110-acre park of Gatorland.
Nightlife and Family Fun in Orlando
Young and old alike will delight in the mime-percussion-antics performance of the Blue Man Group at a Universal Orlando theater. Snorkel and swim with dolphins and stingrays in the Discovery Cove, a sea-world-type park molded as a deluxe simulation of a Caribbean island. Take your family for more exciting fun at Aquatica, Wet’n'Wild waterpark, and Jungle Island. For a different but no less memorable experience, check out Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum, enjoy The Orlando Shakespeare Theater, or take a tour at the Kennedy Space Center.
For a true thrill ride, sports fanatics can team up with a professional instructor and zoom beyond 150mph at Richard Perry Driving Experience, hit some (unlimited) balls at Orlando golf courses with Tee Time USA, or cheer on the Orlando Magic as they take on the league’s best. And once the sun goes down, keep up the fun by visiting Downtown Disney’s Pleasure Island or taking a spin in antique cars at the Saturday Nite Cruise at Old Town.
Off the Beaten Path in Orlando
For a themed attraction with a spiritual twist, try The Holy Land Experience, a living biblical museum that transports you 2000 years ago and 7000 miles away. Journey to The Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens in Winter Park and be astounded by the wood, bronze, stone, and plaster creations of one of the 20th century’s most prominent sculptors. Try out the lesser-known but no less breathtaking Maitland Art Center with its lovely Garden Chapel, Audubon Center for Birds of Prey, and much contemporary artwork.
Shopping and Restaurants in Orlando
Enjoy a stroll through the shopping-entertainment zone of Downtown Disney, legendary for its Rainforest Café, Ghirardelli’s ice cream, and the Lego Imitation Store (you can also check out an indoor theme park or a Cirque de Soleil performancethe latter most famous here for its “La Nouba” show, created for this location). Another such zone is CityWalk down at Universal Florida, which will delight kids with its theme restaurants. Treat yourself to an Orlando Dinner Show, a blending of fine dining and delightful entertainment!
From classic American chains to local diners to family-style Old and up-scale restaurants, there are plenty of options in Orlando. Old Town in Kissimmee features open-air shopping, delicious dining, and thrilling amusement parks. Shop great deals and save big at Orlando Premium Outlets, hosting 110 of the finest names in designer brands, or explore The Mall at Millenia, commended for its great styles, quality, and prices. Also be sure to explore the Lake Ivanhoe Antique District downtown for numerous restaurants and retail establishments, or the Festive Bay Mall for another unique experience of shopping, dining, and entertainment in Orlando.
Photos provided by: Ed Schipul, Dryad & Sprite Photography