5 Activities in Orlando That Don’t Involve Theme Parks
Tourism ads can make Orlando look like one giant theme park. That isn’t the case: the area has a wide range of activities that tourists can enjoy without setting foot in a theme park. Experience these five activities if you want to know what Orlando has to offer.
1. Play Golf at One of Orlando’s Best Courses
Orlando’s warm temperatures and sunny days make it an excellent destination for golfers. The area has a wealth of golf courses and clubs. While some are private clubs, others give tourists the opportunity to play on some of the country’s nicest courses designed by Tom Fazio, Pete Dye, and Jack Nicklaus. No golfer should visit the Orlando area without playing at least one round.
Image by Jason Helle via Flickr
Some of the top golf courses in Orlando include:
- Bay Hill Club and Lodge
- Reunion Resort
- Waldorf Astoria Golf Club
- Southern Dunes Golf and Country Club
Golf is a popular sport for locals and vacationers, so reserve tee times well in advance.
2. Relax in a Luxurious Hotel
Orlando receives about 57 million visitors per year. Hotels know that they have to compete with each other to attract more tourists, so the area has a collection of truly luxurious options. The best hotels often include relaxing spa services, heated pools, and renowned restaurants.
Travelers who plan to visit Orlando can search online to find the area’s best hotels. The Peabody has four restaurants, 24-hour room service, and a spa with a long menu of services. Comparing the descriptions and rates of hotels like the Peabody should help tourists decide which option works best for them.
Image by Corey Seeman via Flickr
3. Visit the Area’s Museums
Orlando isn’t just about welcoming tourists with beautiful hotels and spectacular vacation packages. The city has a population of over 250,000 residents who want access to a variety of museums that can educate and entertain. Some of the best museums in the Orlando area include:
- Orlando Museum of Art
- Orlando Science Center
- Orange County History Center
- The Museum of Arts and Sciences
Those interested in space exploration will want to visit the Kennedy Space Center just outside of Orlando. Millions of people visit the space center every year to learn more about the history and technology of space exploration.
4. Take an Eco-Tour by Kayak
Orlando has a unique environment that makes it the perfect home to several endangered species. Tourists can explore local ecology by touring the area by kayak: experienced guides show visitors around the Northern Everglades to spot birds, mammals, reptiles, and fish. Some guides have tours that put people in close contact with manatees and dolphins.
Orlando’s wildlife has a lot to offer. Unfortunately, a lot of people miss it because they don’t take time away from theme parks to experience the real Orlando.
Image by Bethany Weeks via Flickr
5. Visit the Harry P. Leu Gardens
The Harry P. Leu Gardens offer the beauty of carefully maintained botanical gardens, an art collection, and a restored 19th-century house. Although they span 50 acres of land, the gardens are just a short drive from downtown Orlando, making them a must-see spot for anyone who loves beauty in all its forms.
Orlando’s renowned theme parks are guaranteed to be a great time, but when the novelty wears off, don’t forget to check out all the other attractions this beautiful city has to offer.
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