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The Best Things to Do in Orlando

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Say the word "Orlando" and most people picture a mouse in shorts or a young wizard in glasses. While Orlando is proud of its Universal Orlando Resort and Walt Disney World, there's more to the City Beautiful than waterparks and roller coasters. The lush Florida setting means lakes and wetlands (with paddle boats and spectacular wading birds), tropical gardens, and lots of wildlife.
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1920 N Forest Ave, Orlando, FL 32803, USA
While Orlando typically inspires images of amusement parks, the city is also home to sites that are completely separate from the manufactured worlds of Disney and Universal—such as the Harry P. Leu Gardens. The urban oasis teems with...
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6000 Discovery Cove Way, Orlando, FL 32821, USA
An all-inclusive experience, Discovery Cove, which is owned by SeaWorld, treats guests to an in-water interaction with the park’s resident dolphins, generous breakfast and lunch buffets, and free drinks (including beer and wine). The lushly...
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512 E Washington St, Orlando, FL 32801, USA
Orlando’s centerpiece lake sits right in the middle of downtown, close to the pretty neighborhood and dining district of Thornton Park. A pedestrian-only path fringing the water stretches for nearly a mile, offering visitors a great place to...
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Thornton Park, Orlando, FL 32801, USA
A stroll through this pedestrian-friendly neighborhood near Lake Eola in downtown Orlando yields plenty to see and do. Design a T-shirt on the spot at Mother Falcon’s pop-up factory, see what’s happening at the creative collaborative...
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6000 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819, USA
One of the most popular attractions in Orlando, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a two-part experience. Visit Hogsmeade at Universal’s Islands of Adventure and then take the Hogwarts Express to Diagon Alley at Universal Studios for the...
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2901 Osceola Pkwy, Orlando, FL 32830, USA
Opened in 1998, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park is home to animals, animated attractions, and thrilling rides for the entire family. The animal lovers in your entourage will swoon over the fun, informative Kilimanjaro Safari Rides, during...
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6000 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819, USA
If thrilling roller coasters, mind-blowing 3-D animation experiences, and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter sound like your trifecta of fun, then Universal’s Islands of Adventure is really the only park you need to visit during your...
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Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830, USA
Rebranded in 2016 by Walt Disney World, the former Downtown Disney outdoor shopping, dining, and entertainment complex is now known as Disney Springs. Admission is still free, but gone is Pleasure Island, the adult-oriented party zone with...
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6000 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819, USA
Similar to Disney Springs, Universal CityWalk offers adult-oriented—but totally family-appropriate—fun for when you’ve wrapped up another theme park day. An entertainment zone with free admission, it connects the Universal...
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445 N Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789, USA
If you’ve ever admired Louis Comfort Tiffany’s intricate lamps, you’ll appreciate the chance to visit this museum wholly dedicated to the artist himself. Called the Morse Museum for short, this Winter Park institution houses the...
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1800 Wekiwa Cir, Apopka, FL 32712, USA
With all of Orlando’s man-made attractions, it’s refreshing to get deep into nature at this wonderful state park, located north of downtown and the theme-park corridor. Spread across 7,000 acres of pristine central Florida forest, the...
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501 Crown Point Cross Rd, Winter Garden, FL 34787, USA
Spanning more than 20 miles from Winter Garden to Apopka, this paved trail is a local favorite for jogging, biking, in-line skating, or just plain strolling on a pleasant day. Kick off your adventure at the Killarney Station, which features...
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1 Legoland Way, Winter Haven, FL 33884, USA
Opened in 2011 in Winter Haven, Legoland Florida has more than 50 rides, shows, and attractions, making it the second-largest location of its kind in the world (only the U.K.’s Legoland Windsor is bigger). You’ll even find a...
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29 S Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32801, USA
Believe it or not, Orlando has an impressive—and ever-growing—arts and culture community. To get a feel for the scene, visit CityArts Factory, a collective of contemporary art galleries in the heart of downtown Orlando. Admission is...
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900 E Princeton St, Orlando, FL 32803, USA
Located on a pretty lakefront expanse in Loch Haven Cultural Park, this museum draws visitors with an impressive collection of folk art. Browse constantly changing exhibits on all aspects of American art, then pop by the gift store and shop curios...
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200 Epcot Center Dr, Orlando, FL 32830, USA
Leave it to Disney to give visitors the chance to travel the world without leaving a theme park. At Epcot’s World Showcase, you’ll find several countries re-created to surprisingly realistic effect, all surrounding a centerpiece...
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College Park, Orlando, FL 32804, USA
In recent years, this pretty neighborhood, located just five minutes north of downtown Orlando, has become a dining, shopping, and entertainment destination in its own right. Edgewater Drive is lined with restaurants, shops, and offices, while the...
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4266 W Vine St, Kissimmee, FL 34741, USA
Active travelers can kayak down Shingle Creek, which is the headwaters of the Everglades, and is rated one of the best paddling trails in Florida by Canoeing and Kayaking Florida. The experience is truly magical. Paddling into the old growth...