While renowned for the conglomeration of Disney-inspired parks that lay scattered across its greater limits, Orlando has also always packed in a diverse range of sights and experiences apart from its animation-inclined wonders. Surrounded by lakes, Orlando has seldom rested on its Disney-driven laurels, and instead built an enriching cultural hub around the tenets of history, art and music. Downtown Orlando is a captivating mix of history and culture, replete with quiet, leafy avenues that are dotted with independent boutiques and shops, an array of art museums and galleries, and concert and theater venues that offer some of the best entertainment. It is also packed to the brim with an eclectic range of bars, cafes and restaurants that differ from one another in terms of budget and cuisine, as well as streets that come alive during festival season. After the star-studded allure of Orlando's Disney parks unravels, travelers typically find solace in this versatile city's quieter core.
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