Orlando, Florida has made a pretty big name for itself as a top family destination in the United States. With three major theme park franchises, and plenty of kid-friendly offshoots, Orlando is a global leader in family vacations.
Orlando isn’t just about Walt Disney World or for parents looking for a magical experience for their kids, though. There is plenty for adults to enjoy about the City Beautiful, located in the heart of the Sunshine State. Look at a few places you’ll want to check out if you plan your own grown-up trip to Orlando:
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
If you grew up with dreams of space exploration, your inner child will geek out at Cape Canaveral. In addition to historic exhibits on space travel and advancements, NASA’s new push to put people on Mars in this lifetime has a strong presence throughout the complex. You can get up close to the Space Shuttle Atlantis, on permanent display at the visitor’s complex and upgrade your ticket to enjoy special excursions like visiting a launch pad or meeting an astronaut.
Admission for adults is $50 and there are discounts for senior citizens and military personnel.
This dinner theater experience is unlike anything you can imagine from history books. Step back into the Middle Ages with this evening event that includes dinner, beer and wine, and a live tournament. When you aren’t watching the live show, tour the grounds and get an idea of what life was like in the Middle Ages – there’s even a torture chamber to explore!
Admission for adults is $62 and includes dinner and drinks.
If you want a feel for what the real Orlando is like, visit Lake Eola Park located in the heart of downtown. A walking path winds around a lake that is home to ducks, turtles and the iconic Orlando swans. Throughout the year, outdoor concerts take place in the amphitheater and swan-shaped paddle boat rentals are available. At night, the Lake Eola fountain illuminates in a light show that accents the backdrop of the tallest buildings in the city. Visitors can enjoy food and drink at several nearby restaurants, some with outdoor seating that overlooks Lake Eola. There is some free street parking and some metered parking, along with normal parking garages.
Admission to the park itself is free.
Image: Diggersstory – Pixabay
Another downtown Orlando attraction worth frequenting is the Henry P. Leu Gardens. With hundreds of different plant and flora species, this 50-acre garden is walkable and has paths for wheelchairs, too. Plaques accompany plants so visitors can learn a little something while enjoying the surroundings. There are also scheduled guided tours for those who want to learn more from the expert volunteers. Expect to see the wildlife the plants draw, too, including butterflies and hummingbirds.
Admission to the gardens is free.
Make sure you book sophisticated accommodations, too. Check out the reservation specials that Westgate Resorts offers, where you have dining, golf, spa options and more right on the property.
Don’t let its family-friendly reputation scare you off; adults can have a great vacation in Orlando, too. If you’ve visited, what would you add to our list?