Everybody knows the best place in the Eastern United States to see Mickey Mouse is in Orlando, Florida. People come from every country to spend time at Walt Disney World. It is a magical place where kids can dream, and adults can be kids. It’s the world’s largest and most visited recreational resort. True, Disney World is popular reason to visit Orlando, but it’s not the only reason. In fact, most of the touristy reasons to visit Orlando aren’t even in Orlando. They’re actually in the Orlando Metro area, which includes Lake Buena Vista, Winter Park, Kissimmee, Davenport, and Altamonte Springs.
The Orlando metropolitan area has just fewer than 2.1 Million residents, making it the 27th largest metro area in the United States. A quick rewind lets us know Orland hasn’t always been the World City that it is now. Incorporated in 1875, Orlando was originally the center of the state’s most fruitful (pun) citrus-growing region. Then, in 1965, Walt Disney announced plans to build Walt Disney World. He’d originally considered Miami and Tampa for his theme park, but Orlando’s inland location and decreased risk of hurricane damage won out. Add to the equation, an average high of 83 and an average low of 62, and you’ve got year-round comfort for outdoor activities.
There are other things to do in Orlando, but we all know the most popular reason to visit is the area’s theme parks. If you are looking for non-theme park based attractions consider these:
|Harry P. Leu Gardens|
The Harry P. Leu Gardens are beautifully landscaped gardens set in 50 acres. The gardens are home to the largest rose garden in Florida and, outside of California, America’s largest camellia collection.
The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art is home to the world’s most comprehensive collection of the works of Louis Comfort Tiffany, the creator of Tiffany art glass, leaded glass windows and other glass art.
At Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Orlando Odditorium, visitors can explore the bizarre, the strange and, the macabre. The building itself is constructed to appear as though it’s collapsing. Several interactive exhibits make this a great stop for the whole family.
|Walt Disney World|
Among the major attractions in the area are: Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Adventure Park, Orlando, Aquatica, Discovery Cove, and Gatorland. There is far too much to see at any one of these parks, so check out the links and make plans to visit.
So, pack up the family and head out to the airport as soon as possible. All of this fun is a short flight from Destin/Ft. Walton Beach via the Northwest Florida Regional Airport to the convenient Orlando Sandford International Airport (SFB) aboard Vision Airlines with low fare, non-stop service four times per week.