Exploring Orlando, Avoiding Disney

A trip to Orlando is one that you and your family will remember for years to come. Fortunately, there are tons of things to see and do without even setting foot in the Walt Disney World Resort complex. Not sure where to start? Here are some suggestions.

Visit Downtown Orlando

A mere 15 miles away from Disney, you’ll find the stunning downtown section of Orlando. Within this area of the city you’ll find a wide variety of sport complexes, restaurants, nightclubs, museums, and shopping venues.

One of the most notable museums is the Mennello Museum of American Folk Art. This particular museum is the only of its kind in Florida, and is one of only a few located in the United States. Inside you’ll find incredible folk art collections by great artists (many of whom were self-taught) like Wyeth, Cassatt, and – of course – Earl Cunningham.

Exploring Kennedy Space Center

Located southeast of the city of Titusville, not too far outside of Orlando, is the famous Kennedy Space Center. While exploring the main building, you’ll learn about the development of the space program, the art of space exploration itself, and how space exploration has shaped the history of the United States.

The bus tour, included with your admission, is one trip you won’t want to miss. You can get on and off the bus as many times as you’d like as you explore the complex. If you get off at the Launch Complex 39 Observation Gantry, you’ll have the chance to see the center’s two launch pads up close.

You’ll also want to take some time to pay your respects at the Astronaut Memorial. The memorial was constructed to honor those who have given their lives in an effort to pave a path into the unknown.

Window Shopping on Sand Lake Road

Sand Lake Road is one of the most prestigious neighborhoods in Orlando, located just outside of Disney. The area includes a wide variety of elaborate homes and the business district is full of upscale shops and restaurants. Indulge in a special treat, enjoy a romantic dinner with your love, or simply window shop – it’s up to you. After window shopping, you might want to head back towards International Drive where the price tags are a bit more reasonable.

There are tons of cheap flights to Orlando available on a daily basis. Grab your tickets, pack your bags, and you’re on your way!

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