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things to do in orlando 8 things to do in Orlando, Florida (excluding theme parks)

things to do in orlando 8 things to do in Orlando, Florida (excluding theme parks)

Space shuttles, swamps, shops and car racing tracks. Besides the theme parks, let’s find out what to do in Orlando.

Orlando is world famous for its theme parks – like Disney World or Universal Studio. But there’s more to Orlando than just its roller coasters and costumed characters.

Truth be told, there’s enough to do in and around Orlando that you won’t have to go say hi to the giant mouse. Even if amusement parks aren’t your cup of tea, Florida is still a fabulous travel destination. Rachel McCombie reveals what to see and what to visit in Orlando.

1. Kennedy Space Center

The Kennedy Space Center is located in Cape Canaveral along the Atlantic coast, just an hour and a half drive from Orlando. If you had to visit only one thing in Florida, visit this famous NASA space center. You can visit space-themed museums and take a bus tour of the various buildings of Cape Canaveral. In particular, you can visit the launch site from where Apollo 11 left for the Moon. Do not miss to admire the space shuttle Atlantis. Until recently, it was used by NASA to send astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) from Cape Canaveral. Following the end of the program in 2011, the shuttle has been accessible to the general public since 2014. The shuttle is suspended from the ceiling as if it were in flight. Impossible to visit Orlando without going to Cape Canaveral.

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2. Take a “swamp tour” at Lake Kissimmee

If you plan to visit Orlando, take the time to go a little further south. Admire Florida’s incredible wildlife on a “swamp tour” on Lake Kissimmee – one of Florida’s most famous lakes. Several agencies organize tours, and you can find discount coupons in local tourist brochures. Board a large boat and observe the rich ecosystem of the swamp, made up of many plant and animal species. Look for sandhill cranes, bald eagles and – of course – alligators that inhabit the area.

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3. Admire the lakes from the sky

Head north this time if you only know what to visit in Orlando. The landscapes north of Orlando are dotted with lakes. To make the most of the scenery, take to the skies and climb aboard a seaplane. This will allow you to admire the lakes seen from the sky, but also to land on them. There are many seaplane schools easily accessible from Orlando. Jones Brothers & Co – located in Tavares – is one of the best of them.

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4. Mr. Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum

If the Florida heat is getting scorching and you still don’t know what to see in Orlando, the museum Mr. Ripley’s Believe It or Not, – located along “International Drive” – will allow you to be entertained and enjoy the comfort of air conditioning. This strange museum – which dates back to the 1930s – houses countless curiosities amassed by the eponymous Mr Ripley – one of the most famous American adventurers of the early 20th century. The museum appears to sink into one of Florida’s many sinkholes, but rest assured it doesn’t. You can admire all kinds of weird and wonderful things in the “Odditorium”, like a reproduction of the tallest man in the world or a fragment of the Berlin Wall.

5. Explore downtown

Downtown Orlando is home to the city’s business district and is home to many skyscrapers. The evening is the best time to visit Orlando and this neighborhood in particular, when the trendy restaurants and bars start to come alive. Orange Avenue is particularly known for its many restaurants, so it’s the perfect place to dine. If you visit the city center during the day, Lake Eola Park is worth a visit. You can admire what Orlando looked like before Disney caused the explosion of mass tourism in the region.

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6. Daytona Beach and the International Speedway Race Track

If you fancy dipping your toes in the Atlantic, on Florida’s east coast, Daytona Beach is one of the best places to go. The beach at “Daytona Beach” is unusual, because it is allowed to drive on the beach! The city is famous for its famous motor racing. It is home to the “Daytona International Speedway” racing circuit which is used in NASCAR (one of the most famous car races in the United States) as well as for a number of other races. During your visit of this car track, you will be able to experience the thrill of being a racing driver in one of the simulators. Take a look at programming if you want to attend a car race.

7. Clearwater Beach and the West Coast

If you still don’t know what to do in Orlando, head to the West Coast. The pristine white sand beaches along the Gulf of Mexico are the perfect place to spend a day from Orlando. Clearwater Beach is one of Florida’s most popular beaches. Watch as pelicans swoop into the sea to catch fish, and stroll along Pier 60 where you can see schools of fish swimming just below you. The quay is home to the festival every evening from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunsets at Pier 60 where you can have fun with the family while watching the sunset over the Gulf of Mexico.

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8. Go shopping in Orlando

Finally, shopping enthusiasts will love Orlando! Here, there are shops of all kinds, from factory outlets to luxury stores and shopping malls. You can shop in Orlando on no less than 4.6 million square meters. 9 shopping centers including Festival Bay on International Drive and Florida Mall and its 250 shops welcome you. At Downtown Disney, children will have their eyes shining. The largest Disney store in the world is full of treasures for cartoon fans. Downtown is also perfect for shopping in Orlando. There are shops of all styles, a space is even dedicated to fair trade, Ten Thousand Village. That’s also a visit to Orlando!

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