Orlando is well-known for Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld, but there is plenty more to the city than theme parks. Orlando is home to countless attractions all within an afternoon drive. When you tire from the theme parks, hop in the car and head out of the city.
Escape the City
The Kennedy Space Center is located just 45 minutes east of Orlando. Enjoy a tour of the Space Center along with IMAX films. Explore iconic NASA landmarks or take a tour of the Launch Control Center to get a behind-the-scenes look.
Next, make your way to Gatorland, the “Alligator Capital of the World.” It is located just 15-20 minutes away from Walt Disney World. Gatorland offers night tours, adventure hours, and even a trainer-for-a-day activity that offers a glimpse into what it’s like to work with these dangerous animals.
Beat the Heat
Orlando’s heat getting to you? Cool off at Wet’n Wild Water Park, located a short drive from the theme parks. Wet’n Wild Water Park offers something for both the thrill-seekers and the kids. It is a great way to take a break from the crowds at other parks with the family.
If you haven’t seen enough gators during your stay in Orlando, Boggy Creek offers gators in their natural habitat. Explore the Everglades in an airboat and hunt for alligators, birds, and turtles along the way. Located near Orlando, the wetlands of Central Florida offer a glimpse into real Florida. Boggy Creek is also a nice break from the hectic crowds of tourists at the theme parks. Get away from it all in your own airboat for the afternoon and enjoy the sites.
Explore the National Parks
Central Florida is home to multiple state and U.S. national parks. Start your park tour at Ocala National Forest, about a 90-minute drive from Orlando; it’s worth the trek. The forest sprawls over 608 square miles and offers horseback riding, ATVs, fishing, and mountain biking for the adventurous travelers. Camping is an option at Ocala National Forest, but many day-trippers are simply drawn to the beauty of the natural springs. This park won’t disappoint, so be sure to make it a top priority when making a day trip from the city.
Enjoy a Day at the Beach
Take a day to relax at the beautiful beaches all located a short drive from Orlando. Most people don’t associate this Central Florida city with the beach, but that doesn’t mean you should overlook them. Daytona Beach is an hour-drive from Orlando and makes a great day trip or overnight adventure. Hit the beach where you can enjoy paddle boarding, kayaking, jetskis, or surfing. Daytona Beach has it all.
Orlando is a Perfect Home Base
There is a lot more to Orlando than crowded theme parks. Use Orlando as your home base to explore the great state of Florida. All you need to do is rent a car and hit the road to start exploring everything Central Florida has to offer. Remember there are a lot of great travel resources to help you plan your next adventure to Orlando’s lesser-known sites.