Orlando Beyond the Theme Parks

A weekend off after a week of conference at Orlando allowed me to spend some time there. Without the kids, I decided not to go to Disneyworld. I thought I should explore the lesser known attractions of this wonderful place. Here they are:

The Eternal Everglades

This is a place no one should ever miss! The swamp tours are conducted on an airboat that takes you through untouched swamp land inhabited by all kinds of creatures ranging from the top of the food chain – the Gator, to the dragon flies who have their own colony. There are many tours that do this, but they are usually only 30-60mins, and they are offered as part of a longer day tour. Do not go for those because it is not enough! You need at least 2 hours to enjoy the Everglades swamp tour. This is an eco-tour you dont want to miss. Get up close and personal with the gators – less than a few meters away, without the cage. Enter a dragon fly colony. Sit next to a slithering cotton mouth. You need excellent guides to point stuff out to you, and at this point, I highly recommend Marsh Landings Adventures. Try to ask for Captain Bill – a really great boat captain who will fill you with knowledge of the Everglades. They operate 7 days a head, and you can check with them for a group departure. If you need a taxi to take you there, you can call Andre 321-945-7079. He was the taxi driver who took me there from my hotel. A great guy, totally reliable cab driver. Call him anywhere you want to go. He charges generally cheaper than the hotel called taxis. He can also pick you up at the airport if you have a family.

http://www.orlandoairboattours.com/

Kennedy Space Center

This place will blow your mind with the amazing story of space travel. The feat of space travel is astounding, and for someone who never really was interested in space, this place completely changed my mind on space travel. This is easily one of the greatest story of mankind – breaking through all the ‘impossibilities’ and putting a man to space and back. I love the story of the space shuttle; it is simply a story of ingenuity, determination and grit. There is so much we can learn there. From the science to the never-say-die spirit, this place inspires you to greater heights. Imagine, for a space shuttle to work, more than 2million parts have to work to together without fail!

One interesting thing is that wildlife surrounds the KSC. Gators swim in ponds and canals around the carparks of KSC, and along the way to Cape Caneval, one can see dolphins if lucky. Spot the gator as your guide takes you around in the bus.

There are a lot of options to get to KSC, so just google.

Finally, Orlando is a widely spread out city. Residential areas, commercial and theme parks are interspersed by woodlands, thereby giving you unobstructed views. These sunrise shots were taken from my hotel balcony at the Marriot World Center Orlando. Simply beautiful….

 

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