Ah, the good, ol’ City Beautiful. If you’re no stranger to the high humidity and excessive heat of Florida summers, then come on down to Orlando, and partake in the wonders that this amazing city has to offer.
In this little article, we’re going to describe for you 12 of the best attractions to see and experience in the City Beautiful for your next holiday. Let’s go!
1. Disney’s Magic Kingdom
Maybe the most prominent attraction in Orlando, and the reason it’s getting so many visitors each year is, of course, Disney’s Magic Kingdom.
Founded in 1971 by ol’ man Disney himself, it has since become the most famous and most amazing theme park in the world. In it, you can meet a variety of your favorite Disney characters, go on rides, eat splendid food, and just enjoy that whimsical Disney magic.
Another in the long line of Disney’s amusement parks, Epcot is a little bit unique, in that it’s more centered around adults.
So, once you’ve satisfied your kids and their need for that Disney magic, you yourself can head over to Epcot and enjoy things like the Food and Wine Festival, as well as a good number of other adult-centered festivals.
3. Universal Orlando Resort
If movies are your thing and you’ve had your fill of Disney, there’s always Universal and their famed resort.
There you can enjoy a wide variety of activities, but all themed after well-known and loved Universal movies such as Jurassic Park, a number of Marvel superhero movies (Marvel Super Hero Island), and Harry Potter (Wizarding World of Harry Potter on the Islands of Adventure).
The whole complex is fairly vast, and it includes a water park, a whole section devoted to nightlife, and a number of hotels, including some of the best Red Lion hotels.
4. Discovery Cove
Animal lovers also have plenty to see in Orlando. If you like critters of the deep, head over to Discovery Cove, where, for an entire day, you can make friends with all kinds of sea creatures.
Snorkel with the rays, enjoy a dolphin show, or just gaze at the myriad colors of the tropical fish aquarium.
5. Kennedy Space Center
Don’t worry, science lovers, Orlando’s got you. If space exploration is your thing, then head over to the Kennedy Space Center.
There, you can marvel at many pieces of technology that put a man into space and on the Moon, as well as have an extraterrestrial trip in one of their simulators, or even arrange a meet-and-greet with a veteran astronaut.
6. Blue Man Group Orlando
One of the most famous and most unusual examples of post-post-modern art is the Blue Man Group.
As you probably already know, the shows consist of three people, mute, and painted blue, enacting musical and interactive performances with various themes pertaining to modern life.
The most attractive part is the interactive performance, where the audience becomes as much a part of the performance as the blue men themselves.
7. Church Street
How can we talk about the City Beautiful, and not mention Church Street!
Church Street is centered around the 1889 Railroad Depot and is one of the oldest parts of town, replete with colonial-era architecture, but also modern-day commodities and nightlife.
8. Cornell Fine Arts Museum
For the more artistically inclined, we have another must-see spot: the Cornell Fine Arts Museum.
The museum contains over 5000 pieces of art, from ancient to post-modern. It is the only museum in the US that also contains exhibits of the European Old Masters, but it also contains plenty of exhibits celebrating contemporary American artists.
The location itself is also a visual treat, being situated in the heart of Winter Park and overlooking Lake Virginia.
9. Harry P. Leu Gardens
A walk in nature, you say? The city is too urban, you say? Don’t worry, we’ve got something for you too!
If you’re looking for a sublime garden where you can rest your weary bones, or have a nice walk and enjoy the sunshine, head over to Harry P. Leu’s botanical gardens.
The gardens were formed by the eponymous Harry P. Leu, and his wife, who traveled across the world, bringing back plants from all over their travels.
For one, the garden contains a staggering 240 varieties of camellias, as well as many other exotic and rare plants.
10. The Everglades
For a more local treat, there are always the wetlands of the Everglades. If you’re interested in nature largely untouched by man, the Everglades will definitely scratch your itch.
Go on a boat ride through its many lakes and rivers, enjoy the lush marshlands, spot many different species of birds, and maybe, if you’re attentive enough, you’ll also spot a gator or two.
11. Lake Eola Park
If you’re a nature lover, but in a more urban setting, Lake Eola Park is the right place for you. This 23-acre piece of urbanized nature is a favorite place for both the locals and the tourists to rest, relax, have a picnic, and get away from their daily troubles for a while.
The park itself is built around the pristine Lake Eola and is home to an amphitheater hosting many interesting events all year round, as well as a playground for your younguns, and an exotic Chinese pagoda.
Finally, we must mention the famous eponymous Eola Fountain, a wonderful centerpiece of the entire park.
With wetlands come reptiles, and with reptiles come reptile lovers. However, to prevent mishaps miles away from the nearest hospital, the best place to enjoy the sight of our scaly friends is Gatorland.
Gatorland is, essentially, a zoo focusing on our very own American alligators. Within it, you can see everything from small hatchlings to massive beasts basking in the Florida sun.
The zoo also hosts a number of shows with said gators, with trained professionals performing various tricks with their favorite scaly pets.
The zoo also features a zipline, as well as a petting zoo, and an aviary, displaying the diversity of wetlands fauna.
And there you have it, some of the most popular attractions you can enjoy in our beautiful city of Orlando.
So, come on down, and enjoy some of that Florida sunshine and have a great time in the City Beautiful.