The inside of a theme park shouldn’t be the only thing you see while you’re in Orlando. Long before it was home to Disney World and Universal Studios, it was known as The City Beautiful. And for good reason. Outside the gates of its many theme parks is a vibrant Floridian city worth exploring. Here are three ways to start exploring Orlando.
Try some Florida Foods
As a southern state, with close proximity to the Caribbean and Latin America, Florida offers a fantastic variety of cuisines. Fresh seafood, spices, tropical fruits and hearty southern dishes come together to create truly unique.
The must try while you’re in Florida is the key lime pie. Key limes are found on the coastal areas of Florida, but the key lime pie has spread in popularity far beyond. The stronger acidity of the key lime gives it a more aromatic and tarty flavour. Combine this with a cinnamon biscuit crust and a meringue filling, and you’ve got yourself the perfect tropical dessert.
Other famous Floridian dishes include the amazing Cuban sandwich, the Cuban variation on a ham and swiss cheese sandwich. When it comes to seafood you can’t miss stone crab. A local of the warm waters around Florida, the meat is delightfully tender (and more delicious) than your average crab. Another favourite seafood dish is conch fritters. These fritters take the meat of sea-snail and deep fry it in a batter using a mix of spices and jalapeno.
To hit the foodie hotspots of the city take a walk down Restaurant Row (Sand Lake Road) or head to downtown Orlando.
Explore the Great Outdoors
You’re in the Sunshine State, so why not escape the crowds and experience the great outdoors of Orlando.
The Tibet-Butler preserve is a short 12-minute drive from Disney World. Enjoy walking through a variety of natural habitats typical of Florida; swamps, marshes and forest land. The gentle 5.7km hiking trail is a walk the whole family can enjoy.
Temperatures in Orlando are warm right throughout the year so no matter what time you’re visiting, a swim is in order. At Wekiwa Springs State Park you’ll find a crystal clear natural swimming pool along with rivers, hiking trails, and spots for canoeing and kayaking.
No trip to the US is complete without a day of outlet shopping. And if you’re in the theme park area of Orlando, you’re in luck! Two Simon Premium Outlets® are a short drive from Disney World and Universal Studios.
Orlando International Premium Outlets® is a beautiful open-air centre 15 minutes from Disney World. You’ll find more than 180 designer and brand-name stores with savings of up to 65% every day. Shop til you drop at Calvin Klein, Tory Burch, Polo Ralph Lauren, Steve Madden, Michael Kors, kate spade new york, Coach and many more.
To shop all your favourite luxury brands, head to Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets®. Located just minutes from Disney World and Seaworld, enjoy surprising savings at brands such as Bottega Veneta, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Jimmy Choo, kate spade new york, MaxMara, Prada and more.