Visitors to Orlando's tourist corridor know about the area's world-famous attractions and those familiar with the area know that there is much more to see and explore! Museums, historical attractions, beaches, eco and wildlife tours, sporting events and more are within easy reach!
ART GALLERIES & MUSEUMS
Mennello Museum of American Art - Tucked away on the picturesque shore of Lake Formosa in Loch Haven Park, the museum showcases changing exhibitions featuring American art of all genres and time periods, including originally curated and traveling shows.
Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art - The Morse Museum in Winter Park houses the world’s most comprehensive collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848–1933), including the artist and designer’s jewelry, pottery, paintings, art glass, leaded-glass lamps and windows; his chapel interior from the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago; and art and architectural objects from his Long Island country estate, Laurelton Hall. The Museum’s holdings also include American art pottery, late 19th- and early 20th-century American painting, graphics, decorative art.
Orange County Regional History Center - An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the History Center explores 12,000 years of the area's rich history with interactive exhibits, artifacts, archives and special shows.
Orlando Museum of Art - Features traveling exhibitions and permanent collections of American and African art, lectures, art appreciation classes and children's activities.
Orlando Science Center - Located close to downtown Orlando in the 45-acre Loch Haven Park, the Science Center provides family fun with four floors of exciting exhibits, amazing giant screen movies and engaging live programming.
Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts - Located in Eatonville, the nation's oldest incorporated African-American community, celebrating the works of the local author and other artists of African descent.
PERFORMING ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts - Located in the heart of downtown Orlando, the $429 million Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts is the new home for Broadway productions and Orlando Ballet among other performances. The arts center includes two performance theaters, a 300-seat community theater, outdoor plaza and banquet room.
Mad Cow Theatre - One of Orlando's most respected professional theatre companies, with a passion for both classic and contemporary plays and musicals.
Orlando Ballet - Central Florida's professional ballet company. Season runs from September through May.
Orlando Improv - Improv Comedy Club and Dinner Theatre has been the career launching pad for dozens of the familiar faces of television and film for 40 years.
PARKS & GARDENS
A beautiful slice of old Florida can be found right in the I-Drive area. Rosen Shingle Creek Resort is located on a 230-acre site nestled along Shingle Creek, the headwaters of the legendary Florida Everglades. The spectacular facility is surrounded by enchanting flora and wildlife, much of which has been preserved to create a natural backdrop for this property. Guests may venture out and immerse themselves in the fantastic Florida surroundings. The hotel’s eco-tourism offerings include nature trails for hiking, walking, and birding, plus fishing by reservation along the legendary Shingle Creek.
Blue Springs State Park - Designated as a Manatee Refuge, the park offers visitors an up-close look at this endangered species - from mid-November through March.
Bok Tower Gardens - Located on peninsular Florida's highest point - 298 feet (91 meters) above sea level. The sanctuary's carillon includes 60 bells, the largest of which is roughly the weight of eight cars stacked on top of each other.
Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens - Showcases hundreds of rare or endangered animals, including cheetahs, Amur leopards, Indian rhinoceros and some of the most venomous snakes in the world. There's also ZOOm Air Adventures zipline experience.
Harry P. Leu Gardens - Leu Gardens includes 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) of paved scenic walkways, a butterfly garden, tropical stream garden, bamboo and palm gardens and 1880s house museum. Offers free storytelling for young children on the third Monday of every month and free admission to the gardens from 9 a.m. - noon on Mondays.
Wekiwa Springs State Park - Features naturally refreshing springs, which are great for canoeing. The park also offers boating, fishing, swimming, camping, hiking, picnic areas, a nature museum and exhibits in the park's Nature Center.
Golf - Eagles, birdies and pars fill the scorecards at the nearly 200 Orlando-area golf courses designed by famed architects such as Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman, Robert Trent Jones and Tom Watson.
Tennis - Orlando serves up more than 800 tennis courts at area tennis centers, resorts and hotels. Visitors can leave the racquet at home as most facilities rent and sell equipment and can arrange lessons or matches for players of all levels.
Collegiate & Professional Sports - The University of Central Florida and Rollins College sports programs offer a terrific lineup of local collegiate competition. Thousands of college gridiron fans pack the recently rebuilt Camping World Stadium every January to support their favorite Big 12 or SEC team in the highly regarded VRBO Citrus Bowl. The Camping World Bowl, the nation's fastest growing bowl game, features teams from the Big Ten and ACC in a late December match-up. Meanwhile, the Florida Classic pits historical rivals Bethune-Cookman University and Florida A&M University against each other each November.
Professional sports fans won't be disappointed as Orlando hosts the NBA's Orlando Magic and the Orlando Predators of the Arena Football League in the state-of-the-art Amway Center. Orlando is also home to the ECHL Premier ‘AA' Hockey League team, the Orlando Solar Bears, and the American professional soccer team, Orlando City Soccer Club, which will soon become an MLS franchise.
Just a short drive from the world-class attractions and resorts of International Drive are some of Florida's best beaches. Drive about 90 minutes east and you experience some of Florida's most popular Atlantic coast beaches: Daytona Beach, New Smyrna Beach, Canaveral National Seashore and Cocoa Beach. Head west for two hours and you are at the closest Gulf beaches of St. Petersburg/Cleawater, Treasure Island and Anna Maria Island.