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The theme parks are undoubtedly the most famous part of Orlando, Florida. Everyone loves seeing the princesses, riding the roller coasters, and experiencing the magic. However, theme parks are also incredibly expensive. If you are planning a vacation to Orlando, you may not be able to visit a theme park every day of your vacation. That is why we created this list to inspire you to experience Orlando outside of the theme parks. Orlando is an exciting city and it is surrounded by lovely natural beauty. We highly recommend adding the following items to your agenda.
Florida is known for its pristine lakes, springs, and rivers. A trip to Orlando is not complete without experiencing the spectacular nature that surrounds the area. Kayaking is the best way to enjoy the crystal clear waters, learn about the local flora/fauna, and spend quality time with your loved ones away from the crowds of tourists. Our favorite thing to do is jump in a clear kayak to see all the wildlife swimming by including alligators, fish, turtles, otters, and more! Get Up and Go Kayaking offers an incredible variety of tours including glow-in-the-dark adventures, sunset excursions, daytime paddles, and bioluminescent tours all in a perfectly CLEAR kayak! This is such a fun activity to do with the whole family, not to mention the incredible photo opportunities!
There are plenty of great things to do at Downtown Orlando, but our favorite is hanging out by Lake Eola. Lake Eola is located in the heart of downtown and offers Instagram-worthy views of Orlando’s skyline. You can rent a swan paddle boat to get up close to the iconic Lake Eola fountain. At night, the fountain illuminates with an amazing display of colored lighting. You can also go for a walk, relax on the grassy lawn, or feed the swans.
Known as “Orlando’s tourism corridor,” International Drive is a destination all on its own. There are countless attractions, shops, recreation activities, and restaurants. You can hop onto the trolley to go up and down the road, exploring all the endless options. Our favorite activity is located just off the busy thoroughfare at I-Drive NASCAR, which is home to the fastest indoor go-kart track in Central Florida! Adults and kids alike LOVE coming here to experience unlimited high-speed thrills. They also have a huge arcade, bowling alley, and billiards. It is such a memorable experience and every member of the family is guaranteed to love it.
The Orlando Magic and the Orlando City Soccer Club are top-tier sports teams and there is always a big crowd at these events. The atmosphere is energetic and lively as everyone is cheering on their team. Even if you do not love sports, going to a game is always a fun outing. There are usually cheap tickets available online if you don’t mind sitting up high. Or, you can get the Ultimate seats and you will benefit from sitting up-close as well as access to the Ultimate Lounge, with all-inclusive food and beverage.
Orlando has several trendy neighborhoods surrounding the downtown area. Thornton Park is nestled just one city block from Lake Eola Park and is known for its bungalow-style homes and brownstones. It has an upscale urban vibe and has several fashionable cafés, boutiques, and farmer’s markets. The Milk District is east of Thornton Park and derives its name from the nearby T.G. Lee Dairy plant. This neighborhood is known for its alternative culture, eclectic restaurants, vintage shops, and frequent food truck rallies. Audubon Park is also known as the Garden District because it is the city’s first Eco District and it focuses on sustainability. Besides the natural beauty of this neighborhood, the food and bar scene here is highly esteemed, as several of the establishments have received culinary awards.
Looking to head into the great outdoors for your next vacation? The USA has some of the top national parks in the world. From beginner to expert, there is something for everyone. Children and adults of all ages will love the spectacular views and exhilarating hikes at these most popular national parks. Let's get started with the Top 10 National Parks in the USA.
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