Orlando, Florida Top 10 Attractions
Though Orlando, Florida
is often visited there are still many hidden treasures that travelers forget to take in. Sure, you can take in Walt Disney World
and Universal Studios
but here are many attractions that will give you a personal view of the area. Take the amazing Lake Eola Park
for instance, a free trip that is full of farmer's market values and gorgeous natural settings. The John F. Kennedy Space Center
and Discovery Cove
are fantastic stops for those who want to see interesting sights and get some learning in. These are just a couple of spots you may have thought about, learn about others below.
You might be wondering why Disney World isn't #1 in this attractions list for Orlando. First of all, Lake Eola Park is a great way to see the "real" Orlando- it's located in the middle of downtown where tourists and locals alike gather for everyday activities, and it's free! There's a fantastic Sunday farmers' market, and it's the perfect venue for a romantic stroll, a play date with the kids, an afternoon jog in the sun, or a fun swan-feeding experience. Go for a ride in one of the swan boats and circle the majestic fountain in Lake Eola's center. Enjoy the sunset on the lake and the art sculptures spattered throughout the park, then head to one of the many restaurants conveniently located close to the park.
Address: 512 E Washington St, Orlando, FL 32801
Literally and figuratively Discovery Cove is an oasis. Relax on a float down the waters of the lazy river and admire the waterfalls and the tropical landscape. Snorkeling is the best way to appreciate the lovely fish here, and doing the dolphin swim is a MUST before exiting the cove. Birds will fly to you and even land on you in the tropical bird section if you have food for them. The ticket price at first glance seems hefty, but it includes a complimentary breakfast at the park, as well as open tickets to Aquatica and Busch Gardens.
Address: 6000 Discovery Cove Way,
Orlando, FL 32821
6: Wishes Nighttime Spectacular
With Jiminy Cricket as a host, you know this event is sure to please. Let all your favorite Disney characters tell you a spectacular tale as you sit in anticipation of the fireworks show to come. The owner description says that "this is a story so big that only the sky can hold it," and perhaps this is true, as Wishes Fireworks is the biggest fireworks event in the entire Magic Kingdom theme park.
Address: Walt Disney World Resort,
Orlando, FL 32830
7: The Outta Control Dinner Show
Perhaps not the main attraction but a reason in itself to go, the unlimited pizza, salad, drinks, popcorn, and desserts are more than enough reason to try out this dinner show! The comedy is just the reason to stay. Laugh your night away at the impersonations and improvisations, and "oooh" and "ahhhh" along with the crowd at the magic tricks. This show's atmosphere has the ability to give you one of your most memorable nights in Orlando. Book tickets in advance though, as reservations fill up quickly!
Address: 9067 International Dr,
Orlando, FL 32819
Originally opened in 1949, this theme park was started as a small-time roadside attraction. Nowadays, it is a 110-acre habitat home to alligators, snakes, crocodiles, and other exotic wildlife that you don't see in the Midwest! Catch a gator wrestling match or a train ride through the swamp. If the ground isn't interesting enough for you, there's a zip line that offers a great aerial view of the park. Gatorland has the world's largest collection of white alligators and is a great place to get educated about the beautiful and oftentimes misunderstood reptiles.
Address: 14501 S Orange Blossom Trl,
Orlando, FL 32837
10: Lake Cherokee Historic District
This area is primarily residential- but don't be put off by that initial description! The Lake Cherokee District has over 160 historical structures and some of the best historical architecture in all of Orlando. Most of the building began in the 1870's so you're sure to find plenty of great photo opportunities here. Lake Cherokee is great for a morning or early afternoon stroll, exercise, and picture-taking session to kick start the rest of your busy Orlando day.
Address: 400 S Orange Ave,
Orlando, FL 32801