Orlando - What to do in Orlando area other than WDW and KSC?
Aug 1, 12, 8:24 pm
I'm contemplating going to the Orlando area for possibly 3 of the limited time tours at http://www.kennedyspacecenter.com/ksc-tours.aspx. I'm a 37 year old single guy. Trip is in the air but I'll either go by myself or my mother or parents might come along. I don't know yet. I'd probably be going this month or in September.
Why not WDW? Went to it MANY years ago, before the Animal Kingdom was built. If I go by myself, I probably wouldn't go. I've been to Disneyland (in CA) numerous times and So Cal's Universal Studios a few times.
I have been to KSC before and liked it. It was well before the above limited time tours existed. It was on the same trip that I went to WDW.
I'm not interested in Seaworld, zoos nor outlet shopping.
Anything else that's a must see? If it helps, I like cars, gadgets in technology but the sights don't have to involve any of those.
I will definitely have a rental car and will probably bid on rooms via Priceline. I'm ok w/driving up to 150 miles away from MCO.
I glanced thru this area all the way back to the posts in 2001 already.
Since you've seen most of what the area offers, plus have no interest in Seaword or shopping, well, you've covered just about everything there is to do in the area unless you want to drive to the Tampa area and take in the beaches there.
MCO used to be a "drive-thru" town with nothing but citrus groves as far as the eye could see. The city built up around Disneyworld, and then all the other amusement attractions followed.
If you're not going to visit one of those attractions, the beach is your best option, or just staying at a resort and enjoying the amenities there.
I've never been, but if you are interested in drag racing, there is the Garlits (http://garlits.com/)museum on I-75 near Ocala. On Saturday nights, there is a parade of older cars at Old Town in Kissimmee (http://myoldtownusa.com/car-cruises/saturday-nite-cruise/). The cars are on display beforehand, they have live music during the evening, and admission and parking are free.
For hiking, there are some nice trails in Wekiva Springs State Park (http://www.floridastateparks.org/wekiwasprings/default.cfm) north of Orlando. In the same area, there is canoeing (http://kingslandingfl.com/)down Rock Springs run. It takes several hours to take the trip downstream, and you get picked up at the end. Some drinks and a snack or picnic lunch would be a good idea if you do this. You can also rent a canoe hourly at Wekiva Springs and just paddle around in the crystal clear water.
There are several outfits that offer airboat (http://www.airboatridesatmidway.com/)rides in the wetlands around the St. Johns river east of Orlando.
The Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge Black Point Drive (http://www.fws.gov/merrittisland/Drive.html)is near KSC and is a good place to see herons, egrets, various other shorebirds and waterfowl, and the occasional eagle or osprey.
Aug 4, 12, 1:23 am
Interesting... thanks for the replies! It helps!
Part of the reason why I have no interest in Seaworld is that I'm not that much into going to theme parks alone and I've been to Marine World a few times before (last time was a few years ago).
Heh, about drag racing. I have taken 2 of my former cars drag racing before at a track, but I know zip about professional drag racing other than their cars are WAY faster in the 1/4 mile than anything street legal and have insane fuel consumption (have seen a video of the their fuel pumps in action).
Nah, I'd probably pass on the canoeing. The airboat ride might be interesting. I've never done that before. Just hope I don't get eaten alive by mosquitoes (I tend to get bug bites easily).
Aug 5, 12, 5:32 pm
You can go sky diving. There are everglades tours. Museums, Cirque Du Soleil, beaches, botanical gardens, wild life refuges, race car driving experiences.......Tampa Aquarium,Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa (MOSI), Dali Museum in St. Petersburg,
If you want to stay in Orlando airport area you can priceline at $35 and get the Country Inn and Suites just north of the airport. Good basic hotel with free wifi and breakfast, decent pool, and near many chain restaurants. It is located 5 min north of MCO and easy access to highways. I stayed there many nights when I was working in Orlando.
Aug 19, 12, 10:15 am
Don't know if you're a museum person, but the Morse Museum in Winter Park has some really cool art glass and I actually think the St. Petersburg Art Museum is better tan the much more hyped Dali Museum nearby. (We thought the Dali was a bit of a tourist trap.)
Aug 22, 12, 12:48 pm
There's a cool history museum in downtown Orlando, and some art museums just north of downtown.
The Leu Botanical Gardens are also nice, as is the gardens at Bok Tower in nearby Lake Wales.
There's a small aviation museum out in Polk County right on I-4 that's supposed to be worth a visit.
If you like the outdoors, there are plenty of opportunities around for kayaking, snorkeling, tubing, hiking, airboat rides, surfing lessons, and such.
If you don't mind the drive, St. Augustine is the oldest city in the country and has a nice historical section, including a cool fort.
I know you're not into zoos, but the Brevard Zoo's treetop trek zipline/ropes course has become the new must-visit attraction whenever we have company in town.
Go visit Orlando Brewing if you like beer, or any of the numerous craft beer bars (World of Beer, Redlight Redlight, House of Beer).
Want to play laser tag with military-grade laser simulation weapons? Hard Knocks in Oviedo has you covered.
Go indoor skydiving. Or real skydiving.
Go on a horseback riding trek at Forever Florida.
You also didn't say anything about Universal Studios, so I'm going to recommend that :)
I'll post back as I think of more to do.
Aug 27, 12, 10:28 pm
If you're a golfer, lots of great tracks to be had. World woods in Brooksville (a haul, but worth it) and Eagle Creek (south of the airport about 15 minutes on Narcoossee Rd) are definitely worth playing