Mary, Queen of the Universe Shrine's official name is now 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 '80s and '90s. 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. -Diane Dilov-Schultheis
900 East Princeton Street Orlando, FL 32803 +1 407 246 2283
Loch Haven Park sits on 45 acres (18.2 hectares) north of downtown Orlando and provides visitors a chance to experience Mother Nature and numerous enlightening activities. Encompassed by three lakes and filled with massive oak trees, this park is the site of some of Orlando's top attractions. Spend time enjoying the natural Florida surroundings or visit one of the numerous nearby cultural attractions including the Orlando Museum of Art, Mennello Museum of American Art, Orlando Science Center, Orlando Repertory Theatre, Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, Orlando Fire Museum and Orlando Garden Club. Throughout the year, several of the city's festivals, fairs and special events are held on the grounds of the Loch Haven Park. The park is open from 5a. until sunset.
Any car-enthusiast interested in the best and most exclusive automobiles ever created should plan a trip to the Exotic Car Gallery soon. Find it within the Mall of Millenia in Orlando and get ready to be impressed. This exotic car museum displays various rotating vehicles including such beauties as Maseratis, Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Bugattis, Mercedes and several others. Car fanatics will enjoy getting a close up of some of the most expensive cars in the world. The Exotic Car Gallery features an entertaining racing simulator and a gift shop filled with unusual items from the most prestigious car manufacturers known around the globe. - Diane Dilov-Schultheis
Turkey Lake Park is located southwest of the downtown area and provides a nice getaway from the hustle and bustle of the Orlando hotspots. Encompassing 300 acres, this beautiful park offers families a place to go for swimming (pool), picnicking (pavilions and shelters can be rented for groups), barbecues, fishing, hiking, biking, camping, volleyball, baseball and softball, boating, horseshoe, and it also has a dog park, Ecology Center, plus a nice playground and a kids farm. Bill Fredrick Park at Turkey Lake provides a large natural setting for spending a few hours, a whole day, overnight or even several days to relax and unwind. - Diane Dilov-Schultheis
8615 Florida Rock Road (cross-street East Landstreet Road) Orlando, FL 32824 +1 407 251 3100
Orlando Watersports Complex is located north of downtown and provides its visitors with exciting watersports all year round. This unusual water park offers several ways to play in the water such as waterskiing, wakeskating, wakeboarding and kneeboarding for riders of every level from novice to pro. It is open almost every day of the year (weather permitting) and appointments are available for closed sessions. Courses include cable runs with speed selections starting at 5 miles per hour and going up to 36 miles, along with launch ramps, table-top, barrel, flat bar and other obstacles for wakeboarders and wakeskaters. Orlando Watersports Complex provides special events, lessons, camps, rentals of all gear needed, and several price packages with various options to choose from. - Diane Dilov-Schultheis
8001 South Orange Blossom Trail, Suite 113 (cross-street West Sand Lake) Orlando, FL 32809 +1 407 850 4000
M&Ms World is located in the Florida Mall just a little southeast of downtown Orlando. Come prepared to be awed in this very amazing 16,000-square-foot, brightly colored store specializing in everything M & Ms. Anything you could imagine and anything you couldn't is available here with an added M&M touch. This consists of more than 4000 unique and delicious gift items. Be amazed at the massive wall display of every color of M&M made and create your own collections. It also has the #38 NASCAR M&Ms full-scale racing car on display. - Diane Dilov-Schultheis
Visit the Chocolate Kingdom for one of the sweetest tours imaginable! Visitors will go on a tour through a chocolate factory and museum and see how the delicious dessert is created. The guided tour will let you see the Green House to see the Cacao Trees, old machinery and a "River of Chocolate." This fun tour is perfect for kids. There's even an opportunity to create your own one-of-a-kind chocolate bar!
Mild to Wild Airboat Tours, located south of Orlando in Lake Wales, provides guests a chance to experience the wilder, natural side of the Sunshine State aboard a 6-pack airboat. Glide over swamps and marshlands while observing and learning all about the region's wildlife. You can spot such animals as birds, fish, snakes and gators in their natural surroundings. The narrated tours depart daily, and you can choose among various specialty tours like Nature Tours, Bird Watching, Photo Tours and Sunset Tours, Breakfast Tours. Or, you can customize your own adventure. -Diane Dilov-Schultheis
4715 Kissimmee Park Road St. Cloud, FL 34772 +1 407 891 7955
Wild Willy's Airboat Tours provides adventures the whole family can enjoy. Take a short trip south of Orlando to Saint Cloud to start your journey into the natural wilderness of Florida. Step aboard an airboat and get ready to skim the waters of Lake Toho (Tohopekaliga) witnessing the area's wildlife, including birds, turtles and alligators. Prepare to learn interesting details about the region from your guide during the one-hour tour over the waters. Wild Willy's Airboat Tours offers friendly personalized tours all day long, including custom tours and special sunset tours as well. Call ahead to book your trip. -Diane Dilov-Schultheis
3040 Victoria Drive Kissimmee, FL 34746 +1 321 689 4281
Aquatic Adventures Airboat Tours is located south of Orlando near Kissimmee, and provides exhilarating and educational airboat rides on Lake Toho (Lake Tohopekaliga) aboard a customized, high-performance airboat. Guest will discover the many wonders of the area from informative captains and get a chance to see an abundance of wildlife, such as turtles, birds, fish and gators. Select from general, night or private one-hour tours, combo tours that include a nature walk on an island after the airboat tour, or special gator hunts during gator season annually. Aquatic Adventures Airboat Tours provides unforgettable experiences in natural Florida surroundings. Call ahead to book a tour. -Diane Dilov-Schultheis
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