Starting off as a modest production house and staging two of the Bard's plays around two decades ago, the Orlando Shakespeare Theater today has a permanent house to feature an entire catalog of Shakespeare's works. The 50,000 square foot complex houses various theaters. Aside from staging the works of the Bard through 29 in-house productions, adaptations of prominent books are also undertaken such as Robinson Crusoe, A Christmas Carol, Dracula and Frankenstein.
If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, Lake Eola is an ideal escape without having to leave the city. The lake is a part of a park complex that includes a lovely walkway, which encircles the lake and serves as a running track. The park is a whopping 43.2 acres (17.48 hectares), which makes it easy to feel like you really have left the city. Visitors can use the picnic facilities located throughout the park, or rent a boat to take out onto the lake.
Mary, Queen of the Universe Shrine is officially named as Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe. This Roman Catholic Church is located in Orlando and was just an idea in the 1970s, but became a reality in the 1980s and 1990s. Originally built to accommodate the tens of millions of Catholics coming to the area on vacations, the church offers a place for travelers to worship or attend Mass among magnificent statues, sculpted entryways and adorned walls. On the church's property, you will also find beautiful gardens, a museum and a gift shop.
Disney's Typhoon Lagoon is a dynamic water park with much more than just water slides, although it does have those in abundance. At Shark Reef, if you dare, you can snorkel in salt water with real sharks and tropical fish. Go early or stay late to learn how to surf in one of the world's largest wave pools. If you are searching for a more classic water park, Typhoon Lagoon has these attractions as well. Take a ride on the slow and relaxing Castaway Creek, let the little ones play in Ketchakiddee Creek, or go for the big thrills with speed slides or a water coaster!
This lovely 50-acre botanical garden is situated on Lake Rowena and promises to offer visitors a chance to escape into Old Florida. Wander miles of paved paths through forests of giant camphor, oaks and palms. The formal Rose Garden is one of the largest in the South, but don't pass up the opportunity to visit the herb, butterfly, palm and bamboo gardens as well. Towering over all this natural wonder is the Leu House. Built-in 1888, it now serves as a decorative arts museum.
Opened on 9th October, 2003, the Orlando Repertory Theatre is meant for the young crowd as well as families. It holds many plays, classes, camps, and offers performance opportunities for young artists. ThisLearn place promotes reading, literacy, and verbal skills through the use of books and plays as literature.
While renowned for the conglomeration of Disney-inspired parks that lay scattered across its greater limits, Orlando has also always packed in a diverse range of sights and experiences apart from its animation-inclined wonders. Surrounded by lakes, Orlando has seldom rested on its Disney-driven laurels, and instead built an enriching cultural hub around the tenets of history, art and music. Downtown Orlando is a captivating mix of history and culture, replete with quiet, leafy avenues that are dotted with independent boutiques and shops, an array of art museums and galleries, and concert and theater venues that offer some of the best entertainment. It is also packed to the brim with an eclectic range of bars, cafes and restaurants that differ from one another in terms of budget and cuisine, as well as streets that come alive during festival season. After the star-studded allure of Orlando's Disney parks unravels, travelers typically find solace in this versatile city's quieter core.
Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts is one of the major events centers in the city established in the year 2011. It was built in the under the guidance of the renowned architect Barton Myers. It has spaces like Walt Disney Theater, Steinmetz Hall, DeVos Family Room and the Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater, all of which are well-equipped with modern light and sound installations. If you are a lover of performing arts then do visit this place while in the city.
Plaza Cinema Café 12 is downtown Orlando’s first movie complex in decades. It is located in the heart of downtown and is more than your average movie theater. It boasts large, comfy chairs with connected small tables and drink holders for all of your snacks and beverages. There are 12 screens showing the latest movies, and two are 21 and older only. Plaza Cinema Café has two wine bars that also serve beer and overlook Orange Avenue below, while the snacks offered are more than the typical popcorn and candy. Choose from a number of American favorites including appetizers, entrees and desserts.
A historical depot and block, featuring a state-of-the-art retail center and entertainment zone, the Church Street Station is a popular tourist attraction in Orlando, Florida. This commercial establishment also includes a SunRail stop, which is a famous commuter rail service in the Greater Orlando region. The iconic depot was built in 1889 by the South Florida Railroad Company and served multiple railroads up until 1926. During the early 1970s, the station and surrounding buildings were developed into an entertainment and commercial zone, featuring bars, lounges, restaurants and event spaces. This revamped Church Street Station today serves as one of the prime nightlife destinations in Downtown Orlando.
SAK Comedy Lab is out to tickle your funny bone but not shock your sensibilities. Snack food is served, and beverages are available here. Adhering strictly to a "no obscenities" rule, the club lures both local folks and visitors, who flock here for an evening of fun, free of the concern that the amusement will rely on shock value. Be warned though, if you wear socks with sandals or hang a touristy camera around your neck, chances are you will be heckled. Apart from putting up a range of shows that are appropriate for the whole family, SAK also organises improv classes and can even organize entertainment for private parties.
The Orange County Regional History Center allows visitors to explore 12,000 years worth of Central Florida history. The detailed exhibits go as far back as the Seminole Wars, and cover everything from natural disasters to the arraignment of Ted Bundy. You can even find out what Orlando was like before the establishment of Walt Disney World. Be sure to explore the gift shop for some excellent souvenirs.