Orlando, also referred to as the City Beautiful, is known worldwide for being the No. 1 tourist destination in the country and one of the top places to visit in the entire world. Central Florida is home to countless world-class theme parks, including the Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, Sea World and Discovery Cove, among others. But, Orlando and the surrounding areas offer many more entertainment options outside of the theme park corridor such as International Drive along with some hot spots for nightlife with great romanitc spots and getting up close and personal with animals. Below offers a look at some of the best places to explore greater Orlando and some things to do.
The Orlando Magic
is Central Florida’s only professional sports franchise. Entertaining thousands of fans since the 1989-90 NBA season, the Magic
proudly boast a trip to the NBA Finals in 1995 and a long-standing tradition of excellence on the basketball court and in the Central Florida community. The Magic play all 41 regular-season home games at Amway Arena, which is located in downtown Orlando, a short 15-mile drive from the attractions area. Ticket highlights for the 2007-08 season include: a franchise-most 8,417 seats priced $ 25 or under per game, a $ 25 lower bowl ticket and, for the 10th straight year, tickets priced at $ 10 per game. With two All-Stars anchoring the team this upcoming NBA season (Dwight Howard and Rashard Lewis), taking in a Magic game during your vacation is a sure-fire way to please any sports fan in the family!
Windermere Country Club offers the entire family a get-away from the hustle and bustle of Orlando. Among the activities at the Windermere Country Club include golf, swimming, tennis, social events and other activities. Enjoy a competitive game of golf on their 18-hole championship golf course or dine with the family in the spacious clubhouse. If you are looking for luxury and relaxation at its finest, the Windermere Country Club is the place to go!
The Richard Petty Driving Experience at the Walt Disney World Resort offers guests an option for fun that you won’t see anywhere else. At the Walt Disney World Speedway, guests can either ride along with a professional driver in a two-seat stock car or take the reigns and drive themselves around the mile-long tri-oval track. For more information on the Richard Petty Driving Experience, which is located just outside the Magic Kingdom Park’s parking lots, or to book reservations click here.
Gatorland has been attracting guests to Central Florida even before Walt Disney World moved in! This attraction, founded in 1949, is 110 acres of protected habitat for thousands of alligators and crocodiles. This theme park and nature conservatory features a breeding marsh with a boardwalk and observation tower, one-of-a-kind shows featuring these daunting creatures, an aviary, petting zoo, education programs and much more. One of the more affordable family fun options in Orlando, any wildlife lover will enjoy a walk on the wild side at Gatorland.
Explore the wetlands of Central Florida on the Boggy Creek Airboat rides! Dubbed as Florida’s Ultimate Natural Attraction, Boggy Creek Airboat rides offer tours through the unaltered wilderness of the Central Florida Everglades. See natural wonders and wildlife in their natural habitat as you ride along with a certified U.S. Coast Guard Captain at speeds of up to 45 mph. If you are looking for a change of pace to your vacation, read more about the Boggy Creek Airboat rides by clicking here!
The Kennedy Space Center, located at the “Space Coast” in nearby Cape Canaveral (about a 45-minute to one-hour drive from Orlando), is a must-see for any visitor to Central Florida! NASA’s launch headquarters is the only place on Earth where you can tour launch areas, see the giant rockets, train in space simulators, meet an Astronaut or even view a real live launch. For an out-of-this world experience, be sure to visit this section with everything you need to know about the Kennedy Space Center.