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6 Daytona Beach and International Speedway If you

first_img6. Daytona Beach and International SpeedwayIf you fancy dipping your toes into the Atlantic on Florida’s East Coast, Daytona Beach might be the place to try. Daytona Beach is unusual in that it allows cars on the beach, and the town as a whole is famous for its motor racing. It’s home to the Daytona International Speedway, which hosts the NASCAR meets and various other races. Take a tour, and experience the thrill of being in a race in one of its simulators. Keep an eye on the race calendar if you’d like to be in the crowd. 2. Lake Kissimmee Swamp TourSee some of Florida’s wonderful wildlife by taking a ‘swamp tour’ on one of the state’s most well-known bodies of water, Lake Kissimmee. Several companies offer tours, for which you can find money-off coupons in local tourist brochures. Swamp tours take you on an exhilarating high-speed boat trip through the lilypads and swamps that form an ecosystem that’s home to countless species of flora and fauna. Look out for sandhill cranes, bald eagles and, of course, alligators. 3. See the lakes from the airThe landscape to the north of Orlando is peppered with lakes, and the best way to see just how many there are is from the air. Take to the skies in a floatplane and you’ll not only see the lakes from above, but you’ll get to land on them, too. There are several floatplane schools that can be easily reached from Orlando; Jones Brothers & Co in Tavares is a particularly good one. 4. Mr Ripley’s Believe It or NotIf the Florida heat gets a bit much, Mr Ripley’s Believe It or Not on International Drive is a fun place to retreat for air-conditioned comfort. The innumerable curiosities in this bizarre 1930s museum were amassed by the eponymous Mr Ripley, housed in a building that appears to be half-sinking into one of Florida’s infamous sinkholes (don’t worry, it’s not really). All kinds of weird and wonderful things await visitors to this ‘Odditorium’, from a model of the world’s tallest ever man to a fragment of the Berlin Wall.5. Go DowntownDowntown Orlando is the city’s business district, and its skyline has high-rise buildings aplenty. It’s best enjoyed in the evening, when the place comes alive as its restaurants and bars buzz with activity. Orange Avenue is particularly noted for its eating establishments, so it’s perfect for dinner. If you visit during the day, Lake Eola Park is worth a look for the insight it gives into what Orlando was like before Disney brought mass tourism to the area. 7. Clearwater Beach and the West CoastFlorida’s impeccably white sandy beaches on its Gulf of Mexico coast make for a great day trip from Orlando. Clearwater Beach is one of the most popular in Florida. Watch pelicans dive-bombing into the sea catching fish, and stroll along Pier 60, from which you can see shoals of fish swimming below. Between 6 and 9pm every night, the pier is the setting for Sunsets at Pier 60, with craft stalls and family entertainment, as the sun sets over the Gulf.Find flightsFind hotels in OrlandoDiscover more of The Sunshine State:Top 10 things to do in Fort LauderdaleHow to save money at Disney WorldSkyscanner is the world’s travel search engine, helping your money go further on flights, hotels and car hireReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map It may be best known for its theme parks – from Disney World to Universal Studios – but there’s a lot more to Orlando than rollercoaster rides and costumed characters.In fact, there’s enough to do in and around Orlando that you need never go near such things as giant mice, so don’t write off the Sunshine State as a holiday destination if theme parks aren’t your cup of tea. Rachel McCombie shares seven of her favourite things to do in Orlando, and there’s not a mouse in sight.1. Kennedy Space CenterEven if you were to do nothing else in Florida, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, on Florida’s Atlantic coast, just an hour-and-a-half’s drive from Orlando, would more than make the trip worthwhile. As well as its space museums, a must-do is the bus tour of Cape C’s working facilities, including the launchpad from which Apollo 11 left for the Moon. Unveiled in 2014, the most impressive exhibit is none other than the Space Shuttle Atlantis, until recently part of the iconic fleet that was NASA’s means of shipping astronauts from Cape Canaveral’s launchpads out to the International Space Station. Suspended from the ceiling as though in flight, you’ll get so close that you can almost reach out and touch it. RelatedEverything you need to see and do in OrlandoIn the heart of The Sunshine State and home to the ‘happiest place in the world’, it’s hard to think of reasons NOT to visit Orlando. It’s scattered with dazzling attractions and wall-to-wall rollercoasters, but if you think this place is reserved for the most avid of theme park fiends?…Exploring the Sunshine State – A Family Friendly Guide to FloridaDreaming of the ideal destination to spend your next family holiday? With its warm and sunny weather all year round and almost never-ending adventures for you and your kids, Florida might be just the destination you’re looking for. In partnership with VISIT FLORIDA When is the Best Time to Visit…Our money-saving hacks to visiting the best of Florida without breaking the bankWhen we mention Florida, the first things that spring to mind are probably its mind-blowing theme parks and 825 miles of sandy beaches. While these are definitely top reasons to visit Florida, the Sunshine State is bursting with more budget-friendly things to see, do and discover. In partnership with VISIT FLORIDA…last_img

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