Orlando, Florida, is practically the Disney capital of the world.
Whenever somebody talks about Orlando, the first thing to pop to mind is usually theme parks, roller coasters and Mickey Mouse.
And although I’m a huge ambassador of all things Disney and their incredible theme parks *I can’t even hide how much I legitimately love them* there are some really cool experiences to be had in Florida that get dwarfed by Disney World.
So, here is a list of 5 things you can get up to in Florida after visiting Disney World!
The Sunshine State is a magical place to be. With the balmy humidity and gorgeous sunlight – it’s no mystery that it’s so popular. I absolutely love visiting Florida and you can read about my adventures in the beautiful state right here.
#1 Go Swimming with the Manatees at Crystal River
At the heart of the Nature Coast, Crystal River in Florida is an oasis for manatees to spend their time year round.
Most active during the winter months, you can usually find families of the endearing sea cows meandering their way through the still springs at any given time. Last summer, during my last visit to the Sunshine State, Scott (the beau), one of our best friends Clare and I were intent on meeting manatees up close but in a non-disruptive way: which is exactly what we managed to achieve. If you want to read more about my adventures swimming with (and respecting) manatees, then look no further.
#2 Have a Private Sloth Encounter at Wild Florida
Aimed at preserving and protecting the native wildlife, Wild Florida, found at Lake Cypress in the Northern Everglades, is a wildlife park like no other. Rescuing and recuperating their animals, the park aims at protecting and preserving not just species but the natural beauty of the Everglades too from man-made destruction.
A fantastic place to visit in general, the park also offers private ‘animal encounters’ where you can meet, greet and even feed some of their friendlier occupants – from sloths to porcupines! Last summer, I had the pleasure of meeting one of their resident sloths, George, and I basically died there and then. I’ve loved sloths for as long as I can remember, and to finally meet and hear about George’s past made my heart swell with happiness. It was a special day that I’ll never forget, and an experience that I can’t recommend enough!
#3 Attend a Football Game at the Amway Centre
Coming from England, I haven’t had much experience with American sports. I loosely know what American football is, but I compare it most to English rugby except wearing body armour. Boy, was I wrong!
Visiting the Amway Centre and taking in my first American football game (go Orlando Predators!) I was FLOORED by the entertainment aspect that American football games bring. Those things are an E-V-E-N-T. I’m talking the game stopping every 3 minutes for something new and crazy and exciting to happen, kind of events.It’s the kinda thing that me, someone who never watches sports in England, would probably find myself going to a few times a year if I lived in the States because holy heck it was so much fun! If you’ve never seen an American football (or any other sport tbh) game then I can’t recommend it enough, and while you’re in Florida you should definitely check it out because it’s like another level of entertainment!
It’s the kinda thing that me, someone who never watches sports in England, would probably find myself going to a few times a year if I lived in the States because holy heck it was so much fun! If you’ve never seen an American football (or any other sport tbh) game then I can’t recommend it enough, and while you’re in Florida you should definitely check it out because it’s like another level of entertainment!
#4 Embrace Your Inner Astronaut at the Kennedy Space Centre
Okay, this entry is probably something you’ve definitely already thought about doing, but the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida is another world of brilliant.
On the border of Titusville, Kennedy Space Centre is a love letter to all things space-related and holds exhibit after exhibit of incredible space-mission history.
The Centre itself is also a live launch base and holds rocket launches throughout the year from their port in Cape Canaveral. It’s such a magical place, and it’s something you can do in Florida and Florida only. Don’t give this a miss if you’re looking for something unique to do in the Sunshine State!
#5 Explore International Drive
Just off the i4, International Drive is a strip of land dedicated to restaurants, quirky experiences and family-friendly adventures.
Every time we visit Orlando, we can’t help but stay on International Drive because nothing feels friendlier than walking the strip beneath the glittering lights and feeling the atmosphere of the place. You could lose yourself for days there, with no end to a number of things that you can get up to! Definitely worth a look in, especially if you’re staying close to Orlando anyway. You won’t regret it!
I’d love to hear what you would get up while in Florida (and not visiting the theme parks!) – if I missed any other cool Orlando adventures be sure to let me know in the comments below or by tweeting/Instagramming me @mileinmyglasses!
I hope you’ve had a wonderful day,