Orlando, Florida has been a leader in U.S. tourism for decades, repeatedly breaking its own record numbers. As if to make up for its inland location in a state known for its coastline, the city has pulled out all the stops, ensuring a trip to this family-friendly destination is memorable for everyone involved. There are no shortage of great tourist attractions in Orlando.
Print a map and get your bearings from the top of the ICON Orlando Ferris wheel. The 30 air-conditioned pods offer a brilliant view of the city and beyond. After your ride, have a burger at Shake Shack and check out the live music at Tin Roof every day of the week.
The Tibet-Butler Nature Preserve is a great place to break away from the crowds and lines of the theme parks. Choose from six trails that branch off from the trailhead; they range from a half-mile to four miles in length. Wildlife is abundant, so keep your eyes peeled for the creatures concealed in the bushes and water, from armadillos and tortoises to river otters and alligators.
Orlando offers its share of theme parks, water parks, themed restaurants and family fun. When those excursions become overwhelming, however, find your way to some of the beautiful, peaceful locations, like the Harry P. Leu Botanical Gardens. The site spans roughly 50 acres, and guided tours point out the abundant flora to botanical hobbyists.
Disney owns Orlando so don't fight it. Embrace your inner child for a day or six. Between Disney World, EPCOT Center, and two of the three most-visited water parks in the world, you'll soon find yourself basking in youthful enjoyment.
While it's great to play a round on the 36-hole Orange County National, sometimes it's just fun to watch your child get their first hole-in-one. Congo River offers four courses peppered throughout Orlando, and Pirate's Cove is the ultimate in putt-putt.
This water park doesn't disappoint the daredevil or the faint of heart. You can find yourself screaming for dear life and then building yourself up for a return trip down that death-defying slide or go on a simple tube ride down a lazy four-mile river. Wet n' Wild was designed to impress all generations in one park.
Space truly is the final frontier, but the Kennedy Space Center visitor complex celebrates the brave astronauts that risked life and limb to give you an understanding of what lies out there. The complex is home to exciting experiences and attractions, real rocket launches, fun photo ops, and more.
Masaharu Morimoto had a vision for kitchen stadium as well as a restaurant that celebrated his love of all things food. Grab a drink and tuck into some of the best Pan-Asian cuisine that the world has to offer in this two-story foodie dream-come-true. Try your best to get a table next to the high-energy kitchen to see firsthand the work that goes into each plate.
The Charles Homer Morse Museum is a great follow-up to exploring the boutiques and quaint downtown of Winter Park, just 20 minutes from Orlando. Louis Tiffany was a glass genius, and this is the largest collection of his work. Take a break from the heat to appreciate this classic, high-class art.
If glassworks aren't your speed or you're just looking to mix it up, check out Revolution Off-Road and its selection of ATVs and dune buggies. Located just outside Orlando, this is the place to go to get muddy on four wheels, but if splashing through the muck isn't for you, the site also offers clayshooting, fishing, and archery.