What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear “Orlando?”

If your imagination conjures visions of Cinderella’s Castle and Mickey Mouse, you’re only just beginning to scratch the surface. While a trip to Disney World is always an enchanting experience, there are hundreds of other sights to see in the Central Florida area.

Orlando’s vibrant culture and year-round sunshine combine to make the City Beautiful a place unlike any other in the United States. From the Space Coast to the theme parks, Orlando has something just right for you:

Harry P. Leu Gardens

Leu Gardens are semi-tropical and tropical gardens in Orlando, FL. The gardens contain nearly 50 acres of landscaped grounds and lakes, with meandering trails shaded by 200-year-old oaks and forests of camellias. The gardens are open to the public and are the perfect place to visit with your family before or after a long summer day.

Pink Roses

Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts is a non-profit 501( C) 3 organization operating the new state-of-the-art performing arts center in downtown Orlando, Florida. Launched in November of 2014, the two-block community destination features the 2,700-seat Walt Disney Theater, 300-seat Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater, and the Seneff Arts Plaza, among other event rental spaces.

Wekiva Island

Just up river from Wekiwa Springs State Park you’ll find a favorite attraction among Orlando locals. For just $1 you can spend the day lounging on the water and getting an up close and unique way to experience nature and wildlife in Central Florida. Adventure seekers can grab a kayak or canoe while leisure travelers can grab a beer or cocktail. Everyone wins!


Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

The visitor center attracts 1.5 millions visitors on average every year and is located at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. It features a variety of family-friendly exhibits such as historic spacecraft and memorabilia, two shows, two IMAX theaters and a simulated ride into space. The family-friendly attraction also encompasses the separate Apollo/Saturn V Center and United States Astronaut Hall of Fame.

The Amway Center

Sports or music fan? Be sure to catch a game or show at the Amway Center! The Amway Center is a sports and entertainment venue in Orlando, Florida, located just in the heart of Downtown. It is part of Downtown Orlando Master Plan, a multi-tiered approach involving improvements to the Citrus Bowl and a new performing arts center. The arena is home to the Orlando Magic of the NBA and the Orlando Solar Bears, so be sure to buy tickets in advance if you’re in the area and want to catch a game!

While Disney World is a once-in-a-lifetime trip for many families, it’s important to keep in mind that Orlando has hundreds of other attractions to see and visit as well. So, take a break from the theme parks and be sure to make time to explore Central Florida off the beaten path.

Have you recently taken a trip to the City Beautiful? We can’t wait to hear about your experience. Share your stories with us in the comment section below.