When most people think of Orlando, they automatically think of theme parks and beaches, two of Central Florida’s staple attractions. Electrifying roller coasters and year-round sunshine may sound enticing, but the reality is that this thriving metropolitan has so much more to offer. The vibrant local art scene has grown immensely over the past decade, and there’s certainly no shortage of culture and history to be found throughout the city. From world-class sporting events to extravagant shopping and dining excursions, Orlando provides gratifying experiences for visitors from all walks of life.
They don’t call it the theme park capital of the world for nothing: Orlando is home to over a dozen unique attractions, from aquatic sanctuaries like Seaworld Orlando to exhilarating water parks like Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon. Whether you opt to embark on an once in a lifetime experience swimming with dolphins at Discovery Cove, let your imagination run wild at Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park, or spend the afternoon riding harrowing roller coasters at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, the possibilities are truly endless. But don’t be fooled – there’s more to Orlando than its signature theme parks.
Get gussied up and visit the brand new, state-of-the-art Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts to check out a renowned Broadway play, or if you’re pining for a more laid-back experience, catch a late night comedy show at the SAK Comedy Lab. Orlando offers an array of thought-provoking museums catering to a mixture of diverse cultures, including the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, Menello Museum of Art, Orlando Museum of Art, and Cornell Fine Arts Museum, to name a few. You’ll find public sculptures constructed throughout the flourishing city, a testament to the fact that Orlando values and appreciates its local artists.
For those seeking to immerse themselves in the great outdoors, the city beautiful boasts numerous gorgeous parks and gardens. Leu Gardens is a scenic park sprawled out over 50-acres of land, offering a fun experience for the entire family. Stop by Lake Eola Park every Sunday to partake in the weekly farmer’s market, offering up everything from fresh produce to locally made candles. If you’d prefer to spend your free time floating down the Wekiva River in a canoe, Wekiwa Springs is only a short drive from the city center and is the perfect destination for one wishing to relax and unwind.
Tourists and locals alike can both agree that Orlando is celebrated for it’s outstanding shopping – and rightfully so. Pamper and indulge yourself at one of the city’s many shopping centers, or head over to the Premium Outlets to try and score a deal on all of your favorite designers. Should you wish to do more than just shop, the newly renovated Disney Springs offers everything from fine dining to a two-story bowling alley. If shopping isn’t your thing – Orlando is also home to several award-winning sports teams, including the Orlando Magic and the Orlando City Soccer Club.
Orlando is a city of inspiration and hope – a place where one comes to make their dreams come true. From a vivacious local art scene to legendary theme parks, you’ll find that there’s something here for everyone. No matter what brings you to Central Florida, it has a way of making you feel right at home.