It’s a known fact that Orlando can get surprisingly touristy – especially the theme parks – whether peak season or not. If you’re in town, there are many places you can explore without spending on the expensive admission tickets, or even waiting on long queues. Here are a few places that will prove that Orlando has much more to offer.

Wekiwa Springs State Park

The highlight of the park is the spring which is a source of water to the Wekiwa River. The area features a swimming area and an interesting 20 feet cavern that allowed cave diving several years back. From picnic to kayaking to camping, visitors can find great outdoor activities to unwind.

Harry P Leu Gardens

Photo by Global Heartbeat via Trover.com

Set on a 50 acre land, the Harry P Leu Gardens dates back to 1930s when the Leus family accessorized the garden with exotic plants brought back from their travels. The meandering trails in the garden are towered by many varieties of oaks and camellias. To learn more about the Leu house Museum, sign up for guided tours. Mrs Leu’s favorite flower was Rose and it is not doubt that the most beautiful display has to be Mary Jane’s Rose Garden, by the lake.

Organic Brewery

There is no better place to learn about organic brewing than at Florida’s Organic Brewery. Free tours are held six days a week except Sundays. Although the Brewery is located in an Industrial area, visitors will love the casual evening with a relaxed outdoor seating and a live band. If you’re in Orlando on a budget during the end of the month, be sure to sample a beer at “Beer 30”, an event held on the 30th of every month – where all drinks are $2 off a regular price. The Red Irish Ale is the popular drink at the Organic Brewery.

American Art Museum

Photo by visitorlando

Adorned with the works of Earl Cunnigham, the Museum interiors exude a mix of Contemporary American Folk Art. The museum majestically sits on the shore of Lake Formosa in Loch Haven Park. Held every February, the Orlando Folk Festival is of particular interest to art aficionados – also noteworthy is the Lakeside Sculpture Garden. Like the locals, consider spending a few hours at the museum to experience the cultural activities in the vicinity.

Mount Dora

An hour’s drive from Orlando, Mount Dora invites all visitors who’d like to experience Florida’s quaint countryside. Shops around the area offer an array of antiques ranging from estate jewelry to traditional collectibles. Visitors will stay occupied with the plethora of outdoor cafes and restaurants.

Where to Stay

Stay at the hotels in Orlando downtown if you’re not interested in the usual theme park vacation. In addition to the freedom to explore the real Orlando, you’ll be away from the bustling mass-tourism. Another option is choose one of the unique properties from Airbnb, where visitors can enjoy the perks of staying with a local to gain some pointers on the city.