Todd DeFeo

Say yes to Orlando without the theme parks

Photos by Todd DeFeo / (c) 2012

ORLANDO, Fla. — From Walt Disney World to Universal Studios to Sea World, there is so much to see and do in Orlando.

But, what if a Central Florida vacation didn’t include a visit to one of the area’s major theme parks? No theme park, no problem.

There is plenty to see and do in and around Orlando that doesn’t involve a mouse, a wizard or a killer whale.

Take Winter Park, for example. This bucolic community located less than 10 miles north of Orlando’s city center, features gardens, museums and tree-lined streets with enough shopping and dining to make most people forget about the bevy of roller coasters within a 30-mile radius.

In downtown Orlando, Lake Eola Park features swan-shaped paddle boats, an amphitheater and a playground for children. Dating to the 1880s, the park’s swan-filled lake centers around a fountain and offers a pleasant view of the city’s skyline, making it the perfect midday escape or a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Beyond the Theme Parks is an ongoing series about sights to see in Central Florida, excluding the world famous theme parks that call the Orlando area home.

About Todd DeFeo
Todd DeFeo loves to travel anywhere, anytime, taking pictures and notes. An award-winning reporter, Todd revels in the experience and the fact that every place has a story to tell. He is owner of The DeFeo Groupe and also edits Express Telegraph and Railfanning.org.

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