Orlando hosts around 75 million visitors a year, while some come to attend conferences and trade shows or tour the Orlando houses for sale, many come to enjoy the major theme parks like Disney World and Universal Studios. No matter what the reason you plan to visit, there are four other places, you really must go before leaving the city.
If you have any interest in alligators, don’t miss Gatorland. While it is a theme park, it was around long before the Disney parks, established in 1949, and still retains charming old-fashioned kitsch while offering close encounters with the state’s oldest creatures.
The park and wildlife reserve houses thousands of crocs and alligators as well as hosting many different attractions for experiencing them. Some of the attractions include alligator feeding shows, alligator wrestling shows, an off-road swamp vehicle tour, a petting zoo, and a breeding marsh with an observation tower and boardwalk.
Orlando Watersports Complex
There may be no better way to beat the heat and enjoy some thrills than a visit to Orlando Watersports Complex. One of the country’s largest cable wakeboard parks, it’s solely focused on water sports like water skiing, kneeboarding, wakeskating and wakeboarding.
It includes two full-size cable systems, a two tower system and a lake for boating. There’s something for just about every comfort zone and age range making it ideal for active families.
Ever wanted to feel the rush of jumping out of a plane but not sure if you could actually do the real thing? iFly is an indoor skydiving center where you can experience the sensation without making the leap. You’ll float in the air as if you were free falling without having to worry about your parachute not opening and crashing to the ground.
It has a vertical wind tunnel that provides the free-fall conditions you’d get if you were skydiving, but in a safe environment. Everyone from kids as young as 3 to seniors of any age can enjoy it.
Kennedy Space Center
If you have any interest in space, or maybe you wanted to be an astronaut when you were growing up, Kennedy Space Center is a place you really can’t miss. Indulge your inner kid to get a sense of what it’s like to be in space. The Shuttle Launch Experience offers the next best thing to flying in a space shuttle, and you can even meet a real astronaut in the “Astronaut Encounter.”
A veteran NASA astronaut is there to shake hands, answer questions and take a picture with you too. There are IMAX shows in the theater that will take you into space and numerous exhibits like the Rocket Garden with rockets from NASA’s Apollo, Gemini and Mercury programs. Some, you can even climb into.
There’s also a Space Center Bus Tour that will take you into restricted NASA areas while learning about the history of the space program and seeing the very pads where the Saturn V rocket was launched, taking Neil Armstrong to the moon. It’s still in use today, with NASA planning to launch astronauts far into space.