AAA Travel Tips / 9 Orlando Alternatives for Adults

9 Orlando Alternatives for Adults

Diana Beyer / AAA
By AAA Travel Editor Sherry Mims
May 18, 2018
Don’t overlook Orlando, Fla., if you are searching for a destination that appeals to “grown-ups.” Although many attractions cater to the younger set, the area offers everything from peaceful gardens to themed nightclubs.
Diana Beyer / AAA
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Disney Springs®
1780 Buena Vista Dr.
(407) 934-7781
This village-style complex provides shopping, dining and nightlife in one convenient location. Get to know four “neighborhoods,” including The Landing with its waterfront restaurants and boutiques; Town Center, a charming promenade with stores like Sephora and Tommy Bahama; West Side with its entertainment venues; and Marketplace, where you can find a souvenir for anyone.
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Inspector 511 / AAA
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Epcot®
1580 Avenue of the Stars
(407) 824-4321
Would you like a convenient way to learn about other countries and cultures? This AAA GEM® in Walt Disney World Resorts® displays various lands inspired by places around the world. Take a (virtual) hang glider trip with Soarin’ for an overview, or learn more about America’s northern neighbor with O Canada! Plan ahead to attend during one of Epcot’s annual festivals and experience everything from demonstrations to tastings.
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Maria White / AAA
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Harry P. Leu Gardens
1920 N. Forest Ave.
(407) 246-2620
The 50-acre grounds display colorful flowering plants as well as vegetable, herb and butterfly gardens. Join a guided tour to see the two-story Leu House Museum, which is a circa 1880s farmhouse. Afterward there will be plenty of time to enjoy a relaxing stroll and admire the fragrant seasonal rose garden. Surrounded by lush foliage, you will feel a world away from bustling Orlando.
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Diana Beyer / AAA
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ICON Orlando 360
8445 International Dr.
(407) 999-9985
Though there are many attractions and dining options vying for your attention on International Drive, be sure to buy tickets in advance for the complex's ICON Orlando. The 400-ft. observation wheel rotates, and, on a good day, provides a bird’s-eye view right from your capsule of not only the Orlando skyline but also places as far away as Cape Canaveral on a clear day. Splurge for the Champagne Experience during sunset for a sparkling evening out.
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Janet Brindle Reddick / AAA
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Lake Eola Park
512 E. Washington St.
(407) 246-4484
Consider this an oasis in the middle of ever-growing Orlando. The park contains a serene lake with a fountain, swans—including paddleboats shaped like a swan that people can rent for a small fee—and the multicolored Walt Disney Amphitheater. Take time to feed the birds or view the various sculptures around the lake. A 0.9-mile sidewalk makes this an ideal spot for walking or jogging. A farmers market also opens each Sunday from 10-4 at the southeast corner of the park.
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Courtesy of Mall at Millenia
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The Mall at Millenia
4200 Conroy Rd.
(407) 363-3555
Shoppers with high-end tastes convene at this architecturally impressive mall, which features glass ceilings and art. A number of luxury retailers—think Bloomingdale’s, Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co.— join brands such as Apple and Anthropologie in the structure off Millenia Boulevard and Conroy Road. Central Florida’s first IKEA is next door.
Inspector 591 / AAA
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Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort
6550 Adventure Way.
AAA Inspector Rating
(407) 503-4000
Your stay at one of Universal Orlando’s newer hotels will be reminiscent of another era with its colorful retro décor. With several on-site bars and restaurants, you can sip a frosty beverage at the bowling alley or beachy pool area. Then there are nightly movies as well as the Jack LaLanne fitness center to explore. With so many available activities, you will want to spend an inordinate amount of time enjoying your Orlando hotel’s amenities, which may be a bonus if you come during the summer, Florida’s wet season.
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Inspector 591 / AAA
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Universal CityWalk™
6000 Universal Blvd.
(407) 363-8000
This entertainment complex, which connects to the AAA GEM Rated Universal Orlando® Resort theme parks, also encompasses a number of interesting restaurants; picture burgers and sushi (“burgushi”) at The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar. If you want to party late into the night, bring your AAA card to buy a CityWalk® Party Pass. The pass allows unlimited access to several nightlife hot spots, such as AAA Inspector Pick Pat O’Brien’s, which mirrors the famous New Orleans landmark.
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Inspector 591 / AAA
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Victoria & Albert's
4401 Grand Floridian Way.
AAA Inspector Rating
(407) 939-3862
Dress to impress at this AAA Five Diamond Restaurant—considered the best place to dine at Walt Disney World if not Central Florida. With only a few tables cocooned by walls draped in luxurious fabric, Victoria & Albert’s offers a fairytale ending to any day and particularly on a special occasion. Allot at least four hours to savor either the seasonal seven-course menu or the more exotic 10-course chef’s tasting menu. At the end of the evening, you’ll get to bring home a loaf of sweet bread—a delicious memento from your evening.
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