Sophie is a family travel expert and a Disney enthusiast. She loves exploring the parks with her kids and sharing her tips for making the most out of a Disney vacation with children.
Orlando, Florida is known for its world-famous theme parks and attractions, but did you know that there are also some hidden gems and offbeat destinations waiting to be discovered? If you're looking to explore beyond the usual tourist spots, here are some little-known places to visit in Orlando:
1. Leu Gardens: Nestled in the heart of Orlando, Leu Gardens is a stunning botanical oasis spread across 50 acres. Take a leisurely stroll through its lush gardens, admire the beautiful flowers, and explore the scenic trails. Don't miss the chance to visit the Leu House Museum, a historic home that offers a glimpse into the region's past.
2. The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art: This hidden gem is home to the world's most comprehensive collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany. Marvel at the exquisite stained glass, intricate jewelry, and stunning art pieces. The museum also features American pottery, paintings, and decorative art from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
3. Winter Park: Just a short drive from downtown Orlando, Winter Park is a charming and picturesque town with a vibrant arts scene. Explore the cobblestone streets, visit the Morse Museum, and take a scenic boat tour on the Winter Park Chain of Lakes. Don't forget to stop by the Winter Park Farmers' Market for some local produce and unique crafts.
4. Harry P. Leu Gardens: If you're a fan of Harry Potter, you won't want to miss this hidden gem. Located in the heart of Orlando, Harry P. Leu Gardens is a magical place inspired by the beloved books and movies. Explore the themed gardens, discover hidden surprises, and immerse yourself in the world of Hogwarts.
5. Orlando Science Center: While not exactly a hidden gem, the Orlando Science Center is often overlooked by tourists. This interactive museum offers a wide range of exhibits and hands-on activities for all ages. From exploring the cosmos in the planetarium to learning about the wonders of nature, there's something for everyone to enjoy.
6. Lake Eola Park: Located in downtown Orlando, Lake Eola Park is a peaceful oasis in the midst of the bustling city. Take a leisurely walk around the lake, rent a swan-shaped paddleboat, or enjoy a picnic with stunning views of the city skyline. Don't forget to check out the iconic Lake Eola Fountain, which lights up in vibrant colors at night.
7. The Holy Land Experience: Step back in time and immerse yourself in the biblical world at The Holy Land Experience. This unique theme park offers live shows, interactive exhibits, and reenactments of biblical stories. Explore the replica of Jerusalem, watch a musical performance, and learn about the history and culture of the Holy Land.
8. Gatorland: For a truly unique experience, visit Gatorland, the "Alligator Capital of the World." This 110-acre wildlife preserve is home to thousands of alligators and crocodiles. Watch thrilling gator shows, take a zip line adventure over the alligator-infested marsh, or even get up close and personal with these fascinating creatures.
9. The Orlando Eye: Get a bird's-eye view of the city from the iconic Orlando Eye. This 400-foot observation wheel offers breathtaking panoramic views of Orlando and its surrounding areas. Take a ride during the day to see the cityscape, or visit at night to admire the sparkling lights below.
10. The Milk District: If you're looking for a unique and offbeat neighborhood to explore, head to The Milk District. This eclectic area is known for its vibrant street art, local breweries, and quirky shops. Grab a cup of coffee at one of the hip cafes, browse through vintage stores, and soak up the artsy atmosphere.
These are just a few of the little-known places to visit in Orlando, FL. So, if you're looking to discover some hidden gems and offbeat attractions, be sure to add these destinations to your itinerary. Happy exploring!