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Something different in Orlando

Orlando’s theme parks are certainly captivating… but for explorers seeking the road less travelled, it’s worth venturing beyond their gates for a taste of something different. From once-in-a-lifetime experiences like the Astronaut Training Experience at the Kennedy Space Center to the hoppy temptations served up by Orlando’s destination worthy craft breweries, there’s much do in the region beyond meeting Mickey Mouse.

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Orlando golf courses

The sun, the palm trees, the brilliant blue sky: Orlando offers up picture picture golfing conditions. If you’re eager to practice your swing, you’ve got ample opportunity; the city is home to dozens of top-flight golf courses. From Dubsdread, which has hosted PGA legends, to the stunning Shingle Creek, which stretches across 70,000 square feet of beautiful Floridian landscape, these courses should challenge even the most practiced putters.

The top golf courses in Orlando

Florida craft breweries

Like much of the rest of the United States, Orlando has been caught up in the booming craft beer trend – good news for travellers looking for a frosty pint to wash down the Floridian sun. Of all the local craft breweries, Orlando Brewing may be the best place to begin. Its taproom offers up 24 different brews on draught at any given time, from rye IPAs to dry porters, and it hosts free brewery tours six days a week.

Craft beer in Orlando: The hoppiest place on Earth?

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Astronaut Training Experience

For anyone who’s ever dreamed of being an astronaut – kids and grown-ups alike – a visit to the Astronaut Training Experience at the Kennedy Space Center is bound to be a holiday highlight. Attendees will be privileged with an inside glimpse of what life is like for NASA’s space explorers, from astronaut meet-and-greets to low-gravity simulators.

Florida holidays: Adventures for active kids

Bioluminescence Kayaking Tour

Speaking of memorable experiences: encountering glow-in-the-dark creatures on a nighttime kayaking mission isn’t something most travellers will easily forget. A Day Away Kayak Tours hosts summertime bioluminescence trips, which allow visitors to discover this magical phenomenon up close. A swirl of your paddle in warm lagoon waters will reveal a beautiful, blue-green glow.

Florida holidays: Adventures for active kids

Universal’s Islands of Adventure

If movies are your more your thing, head over to Universal’s Islands of adventure and bring the screen to life. Wander around the corridors of Hogwarts Castle at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter before exploring the shops of Diagon Alley where you can pick up anything from wands to Butterbeer.

Travelling with teenagers in Orlando

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Image credits:

Orlando golf - Metro West © Metro West

El Campeon golf course © Mission Inn

Craft beer palettes © iStock

Space Shuttle Explorer © iStock

Canoe Florida state parks © iStock

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter © Warner Bros Entertainment Inc.