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Katie
Kent (Washington)

Orlando

Weekend getaway ideas

We are going for a 3 day weekend to Orlando this coming weekend and I'm having a hard time figuring out what to prioritize seeing. I want to go to at least 1 theme park, and Kennedy space center.  

Any suggestions for which park to visit and also fun activities to do or see? I'll be very honest I'm not a big fan of touristy things and am totally willing to drive.  

Thank you in advance for your help!


3 Answers

answered by
Courtney from San Diego

Hi Katie,

I agree with a lot of what Crystal mentioned. Especially The Dali Museum 

The draw of Orlando is absolutely the abundance of things to do. In your case, with only 3 days, I'd stay away from Disney Magic Kingdom and do Epcot for a half day, at night, just because it doesn't have to take up your entire day and it's definitely a dining adventure. If you're absolutely set on a theme park, plan to spend the entire day. Check out Universal's Islands of Adventure It was rated the best in the world. How can you go wrong? I l would also recommend the 192 Flea Market which is in Kissimmee, near Disney. Open air shopping and random musings - like a petting zoo. Appropriate for just about anyone you might have along with you.


One tip I'd have, again in terms of your short stay, is to stay OFF Disney properties for your accommodations. You'll just get stuck there and if you're heading out to Cape Canaveral and other places you don't want to get tunnel vision. On-site hotels are amazing don't get me wrong - but in my experience it's Disney/theme parks or nothing, once you check into those places. I stayed at a nice place call The Enclave Hotel which runs a shuttle to the parks (it's still very close to all the action but has an accessible exit for day trips.) I liked how it had a grocery delivery service too, might save you some time. 


Mentioned in this answer:

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  1. The Dali Museum (attraction)
  2. Epcot (attraction)
  3. Universal's Islands of Adventure (attraction)
  4. 192 Flea Market (attraction)
1 thanks


answered first by
Crystal from Anchorage

Hi Katie,


There is definitely a lot to do in that area, so I can see why it might be hard to decide. To give a good suggestion it's good to know what your interests are and what your travel companions are like. Are you going with young kids, with your parents, or with a partner or friend?


It has been a few years since I have been to Orlando but I'll point out some things that I thought were worth while. 


If it is mostly adults, and even older teenagers going, I think Epcot is the best park of choice. It's fun to eat and/or drink your way around the world. They have a few choice rides there too. I also really like SeaWorld, but I love going to aquariums. SeaWorld is good for all ages as well. If it is your first time and want the classic Disney experience Magic Kingdom is probably the park for you.

If you are up for a little bit of a drive, about 1.5 hours north of Orlando is Silver Springs. I wish I could say it wasn't touristy, but it totally is. Like you I usually don't enjoy super touristy things, but the glass bottom boat ride there was legitimately beautiful. I would recommend reading about them on their website or Trip Advisor to see if it's right for you. 

Another day trip you could consider is going the 1.75 hours to Saint Petersburg (Florida). They have a nice gulf side beach there and a few attractions to see. My favorite one (and one of my favorite art museums ever) is the The Dali Museum. If you aren't familiar with Salvador Dali, his most famous painting is probably Persistence of Memory which is the one with the melting clocks in the desert scene. All of his work is really mind bending and, well... trippy.

Also, on a random not I remember really liking Flipper's Pizza. There are at least a couple locations around Orlando and the brick oven (or wood fired?) pizza was delicious.

I'm not sure if this is what you were looking for but I hope this helps!

Happy travels,

Crystal


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  1. Orlando (city)
  2. Epcot (attraction)
  3. SeaWorld (restaurant)
  4. Magic Kingdom (attraction)
  5. Silver Springs (city)
  6. Saint Petersburg (Florida) (city)
  7. The Dali Museum (attraction)
1 thanks


answered by
RosalieAnn

I think you need one day for the Kennedy Space Center In addition to the space center itself, there is also the Canaveral National Seashore, the Port Canaveral and some museums in Titusville (Florida) (such as the US Astronaut Hall of Fame, the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum and the American Police Hall of Fame and Museum.  There's also the US Space Walk Hall of Fame (free)  (Disclaimer - I have not been to the space center or any of the three museums except the police museum and the Space Walk Hall of Fame). 

If you are interested in wildlife, the Canaveral National Seashore has an overlook at the Haulover Canal where you can see manatees, or you can just go to the Titusville Marina where they also hang out.  There is a boat tour of the river area that goes from the marina.  

Port Canaveral is the place where the big cruise ships hang out and there's a big park at the port entrance (south side) which has camping and fishing and you can hang out and watch the ships come in and leave. 

I am not really a fan of Disney.  The last time I went, we just went to Downtown Disney which has no admission charge - we went to the Cirque de Soleil.  And I also went scuba diving in the tank at Epcot - if you have dinner there you can watch the divers bumbling around in the tank.


Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Kennedy Space Center (attraction)
  2. Canaveral National Seashore (attraction)
  3. Port Canaveral (attraction)
  4. Titusville (Florida) (city)




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