In another city, a travel guide might suggest seeing a movie. But in Orlando, they'll steer you towards Universal Studios, where you can step inside of one. Or perhaps, in a different city, they'd send you to an aquarium to spy the whales. Here, they would simply point to SeaWorld, where you can swim with them. An interactive playground of theme parks and unique attractions, Orlando offers an abundance of exciting things to see and do.
This city is most widely known for the Walt Disney World® Theme Park, a 30,000-acre family destination that unfolds in four theme parks, two water parks, five golf courses, and the Downtown Disney® Marketplace.
But that iconic mouse wasn't the only mammal to steal Orlando's heart. Shamu the orca whale solidified SeaWorld's reputation as a premier maritime wonderland, and visitors can marvel at Shamu's brethren as they whirl and dive through the air to a choreographed spectacle of lights and music. For a closer look, visitors can don a wetsuit and swim with a friendly beluga whale, and for some aerial perspective, they can soar high on one of the park's many thrilling roller coasters.
At Universal Studios Florida, Hollywood is not an exclusive California neighborhood but rather a sensory-stimulating theme park full of move-themed rides and attractions. Here, the barrier between set-piece and audience slowly dissolves during a bicycle ride with E.T. Beloved characters, once animated, waltz into reality fully fleshed out during The Simpson's Ride and the Shrek 4-D experience.
But in a city known for its theme parks, its important to balance sensory stimulation with tranquil quietude, and the Henry P. Leu Gardens is just the place to unwind. Visitors can escape the roar of roller coasters as they quietly stroll through 50 acres of citrus groves, butterfly gardens, and native wetlands. Nature is also on display at the Orlando Art Museum, albeit on a slightly different canvas. Here, the natural splendor captured by Georgia O' Keefe and Ansel Adams sits side by side with classic and contemporary masterpieces.
Another way to enjoy Orlando's landscape is to play golf at Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club & Lodge. This scenic 270-acre course, spread across the shores of the Butler Chain of Lakes, is a popular spot on the PGA golf tour, and a great place to measure yourself against the masters. If you're a fan of spectator sports, head to the Amway Center and watch the Orlando Magic take on the NBA's famed crop of ballers.
And though Orlando is known for its sunshine, there's plenty to do after dark. Sun-soaked visitors can cool off at ICEBAR Orlando and sip drinks inside a bar made from 50 pounds of carved ice. The laughs never run cold, though, at the SAK Comedy Lab, an improv club located in Orlando's bustling downtown district.