LG’s Guide to Orlando (No visit to Mickey required)

Orlando — By on April 11, 2012 at 11:34 am

By Kristen Kuchar
Special to the Lost Girls

Orlando is known for Disney, Universal, and kid-centered activities in general. But if tea cups and Dumbo rides aren’t on your itinerary for a trip, it doesn’t mean that Orlando is not an option. In fact, there’s plenty of reasons to visit this sunny paradise in Central Florida besides those prominent attractions.

Things to Do

If you’re looking for a girls weekend or just to unwind, relax at The Spa at the Hilton Orlando. This elegant spa offers a plethora of services including various types of manicures, pedicures, body therapies, massages, and facials. There’s plenty of opportunity for some retail therapy at
The Mall at Millenia or Orlando Premium Outlets which has more than 180 stores with great bargains.

For the outdoor lover, there’s plenty of parks, golf courses, and beaches to experience. Check out the beautiful Harry P. Leu Gardens which is 50-acres of botanical gardens.

Art enthusiasts will be satisfied with Orlando’s art scene. The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art has the world’s largest collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany work and Orlando Museum of Art features every style of art you can imagine.

Whether it’s a spa, shopping outdoor activities, or museums, the day is not over when the sun goes down. There are endless options for dining. Whatever ethnic cuisine you desire or whatever your price range, there’s something to satisfy your hunger. Two favorites are Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar and Dragonfly- Robata Grill & Sushi.

Just as versatile as the dining, is the nightlife. From dancing the night away to quietly lounging with friends, there’s a spot for you. Beer lovers will feel like a kid in Disney at World of Beer Dr. Phillips which has more than 500 beers from around the world. Visit the dueling piano bar, Howl at the Moon for a good time

If you’re looking for more entertainment, there’s Sleuths Mystery Dinner Shows, the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra and plays, events and classes at Orlando Shakespeare Theatre.

Getting Around

If you’re landing in Orlando International Airport, there’s plenty of transportation options for you. At the airport, you’ll have the opportunity to rent a car, hire a driver, park overnight, and access out of town shuttles.

As far as public transportation goes, the Orlando bus service serves Orange, Seminole, and Osceola county and covers 2,500 square miles.

When traveling throughout downtown Orland, The LYNX LYMMO is the way to go. It’s a totally free service that rides throughout downtown Orlando all day in a designated lane on the road.

Places to Stay

There are dozens of hotels in downtown Orlando that have nothing to do with Disney. No matter what your budget is or the type of amenities you’re looking for, there’s a hotel for you. Familiar chains like Days Inn, Embassy Suites, and Sheraton are available, as well as hotels unique to Orlando like the posh Eo Inn and Spa. For something different, check out the historic bed and breakfast, The Veranda. The beautiful estate is a classic European-style that dates back to the 1900s.

Kristen Kuchar is the author of Mac n’ Cheese to the Rescue.

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