Orlando

Orlando is a diverse town. The Downtown area, though small, is dynamic, thanks to an ever-changing skyline of high-rises, sports venues, museums, restaurants, nightspots, a history museum, and several annual cultural events—including film festivals and a world-renowned theater fest. Downtown also has a central green, Lake Eola Park, which offers a respite from otherwise frantic touring.

Neighborhoods such as Thornton Park (great for dining) and College Park (an outpost of quirky shopping) are fun to wander. Not too far to the north, you can come in contact with natural Florida—its manatees, gators, and crystal-clear waters in spring-fed lakes.

Closer to the theme-park action, International Drive, the hub of resort and conference hotels, offers big restaurants and even bigger outlet-mall bargains. Sand Lake Road, between the two, is Orlando's Restaurant Row, with plenty of exciting dining prospects.

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  • 1. Bok Tower Gardens

    Garden

    You'll see citrus groves as you ride south along U.S. 27 to the small town of Lake Wales and the Bok Tower Gardens. This appealing sanctuary...Read More

  • 2. Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art

    Museum/Gallery

    The world's most comprehensive and important collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany—including immense stained-glass windows, lamps, watercolors...Read More

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  • 3. Harry P. Leu Gardens

    Audubon Park | Garden

    A few miles outside Downtown—on the former lakefront estate of a citrus entrepreneur—is this 50-acre garden. Among the highlights are a collection...Read More

  • 4. LEGOLAND Florida

    Amusement Park/Water Park

    In addition to its 1:20-scale LEGO reproductions of U.S. cities and sights, the park features more than 50 rides, shows, and attractions throughout...Read More

  • 5. Mennello Museum of American Art

    Lake Ivanhoe | Museum/Gallery

    One of the few museums in the United States devoted to folk art has intimate galleries, some with lovely lakefront views. Look for the nation...Read More

  • 6. Orlando Science Center

    Lake Ivanhoe | Museum/Gallery

    The expanded, 11,000-square-foot Kids Town remains the center's most popular attraction. With exhibits about the human body, mechanics, computers...Read More

  • 7. SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium

    International Drive | Zoo/Aquarium

    In the shadow of a 400-foot observation wheel and within the ICON Park entertainment complex stands a kaleidoscope of underwater colors, where...Read More

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  • 8. The Wheel at ICON Park

    International Drive | Amusement Park/Water Park

    Only 15 miles from Walt Disney World and near Universal Studios Orlando, ICON Park attractions include Madame Tussauds, SEA LIFE Orlando aquarium...Read More

  • 9. Wekiwa Springs State Park

    Park (National/State/Provincial)

    Wekiva is a Creek word meaning "flowing water"; wekiwa means "spring of water." The different spellings appearing on signs are correct: each...Read More

  • 10. Crayola Experience Orlando

    South Orlando | Amusement Park/Water Park

    One of Crayola's six "experiences" in the country is a 70,000-square-foot haven of color at the Florida Mall. An overwhelming 26 interactive...Read More

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  • 11. Fun Spot America

    International Drive | Amusement Park/Water Park

    You can see the neon-lit rides from miles away as you approach International Drive. Four go-kart tracks offer a variety of driving experiences...Read More

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  • 12. Gatorland

    Amusement Park/Water Park

    This campy, 110-acre attraction near the Orlando–Kissimmee border on U.S. 441 has endured since 1949, despite competition from the major parks...Read More

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  • 13. Lake Eola Park

    Downtown Orlando | City Park

    Ringed by an ever-expanding skyline of modern high-rises, this peaceful, beautifully landscaped, 43-acre park is the verdant heart of Downtown...Read More

  • 14. Orange County Regional History Center

    Downtown Orlando | Museum/Gallery

    The center takes you on a journey back in time to discover how Florida's indigenous peoples hunted and fished the land, what the Sunshine State...Read More

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  • 15. Ripley's Orlando

    International Drive | Museum/Gallery

    A 10-foot-square section of the Berlin Wall, a pain-and-torture chamber, two African fertility statues that women swear have helped them conceive...Read More

  • 16. WinterClub Indoor Ski & Snowboard

    Sports Venue

    Snow enthusiasts can opt for the truly unique experience of skiing and snowboarding in shorts and a T-shirt at this indoor ski slope, proving...Read More

  • 17. WonderWorks Orlando

    International Drive | Amusement Park/Water Park

    The building seems to be sinking into the ground—at a precarious angle and upside down. Many people stop to take pictures in front of the topsy...Read More

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