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5 Seriously Cool Things to Do in Orlando—That Aren’t Theme Parks

5 Seriously Cool Things to Do in Orlando—That Aren’t Theme Parks
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Photo: Paul Williams/Florida State Parks

Orlando hosts its fair share of guilty pleasures—’90s boy bands, theme parks, sporting conventions—but take a closer look and you’ll find this sunshine city offers far more than flashy, youth-centric spectacles. Surprisingly enough, Orlando makes a strong case as the optimal millennial destination, given that it falls between the two Floridian extremes of “intense club scene” and “sleepy retirement haven.” (Plus, it’s warm all year round.)

With so many options at hand—top-notch dining, low-key outdoor adventures, and relaxation galore—Orlando may be one of the most overlooked vacation spots that’s actually affordable.

To prove our point, we rounded up five Orlando locales you don’t want to snooze on, along with the Coach items you need to pack and wear for the trip. Consider this your new and improved “adult” guide to Orlando. Still, it promises to deliver as much fun as the inner child in you expects.

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What to Pack and Wear

Protect your eyes with a pair of sleek acetate sunglasses—these have a lush vibe with gradient light-brown lenses that are guaranteed to keep things fresh. An all-white outfit is a befitting look in Florida, and this airy tiered minidress with walkable slip-on sneakers is sure to keep you comfortably chic. A leather moto vest is an optional layer in case the air-conditioning is on blast, while a structured satchel is the perfect carryall for essentials.

Signature Square Sunglasses, $170, at Coach; Surf Biker Vest, $995, at Coach; Applique Sporty Tank Dress, $895, at Coach; Ace Satchel 14, $295, at Coach; C103 Sneaker, $345, at Coach

Wekiwa Springs State Park, 1800 Wekiwa Circle, Apopka

For a taste of the great outdoors, head on up to Wekiwa Springs State Park, roughly an hour drive north of Orlando. You'll find there's plenty to do—hiking, camping, canoeing, fishing, biking, bird-watching, snorkeling, and more—so you may want to reserve an extra day to cram it all in.

Photo: Paul Williams/Florida State Parks

Aerostat Adventures, 2775 Florida Plaza Boulevard, Kissimmee

When given the opportunity to fly in a basket carried by a colorful balloon, do yourself a favor and go for it. This bird's-eye experience, offered through Aerostat Adventures, will certainly leave you speechless as you soar above the resorts, theme parks, and wildlife below.

Photo: Aerostat Adventures

Cask & Larder565 West Fairbanks Avenue, Winter Park

Who knew Orlando has killer farm-to-table restaurants? Awaken your taste buds with a meal at Cask & Larder, where the menu changes often based on what's fresh and which local ingredients are in season. Rest assured, seafood and ale options are aplenty, no matter what time of year it is.

Photo: Cask & Larder

Rifle Paper Co. Studio Shop, 558 W. New England Avenue, Winter Park

Can't ever get enough beautiful stationery in your life? We know the feeling. Stock up on all your paper needs at the Rifle Paper Co. flagship, located within the company's studio in Winter Park. Notebooks, postcards, greeting cards, calendars, and more are waiting to be bought—just bring a roomy tote for your inevitable paper haul.

Photo: Rifle Paper Co.

The Pop Parlour431 East Central Boulevard

Cool off at this straightforward-yet-brilliant shop that exclusively sells artisanal Popsicles. The Pop Parlour uses all local and organic ingredients to create unique, limited-edition flavors and separates them into three simple categories of "Fruity" (Blackberry Kiwi Lemonade), "Creamy" (Avocado Coconut) and "Boozy" (Strawberry Champagne). Try one of everything for a real chill session.

Photo: The Pop Parlour

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