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.