Orlando: Beyond the theme parks

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Courtesy riotgirl/myBudgetTravel
In Orlando, Old Town is a mix of mom and pop stores plus a Ferris Wheel and carousel

There's more to Orlando than jolly theme songs and hour-long lines at theme parks. Check out some of the notable things worth seeing in the city itself.

Get your coffee on at Natura Café in the morning or come back in the evening for jazz, acoustic open mic nights, and a concert series. Stardust Video and Coffee also serves up a mighty cup with free WiFi, video rentals, and poetry readings.

A day at the 57-acre Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp may be an interesting exit from touristy Orlando. Learn about séances and the Cassadaga psychics on a walking tour for $15 a person. Or take the family out to the Li'l 500 go-kart racing track. Tickets are about $4.

For the theater buffs, head down to the Enzian Theater for contemporary and classic movies. (It has six film festivals yearly.) Or go to the downtown Winter Park shopping district for Central Park Popcorn Flicks, free movie nights for all ages on the second Thursday of each month. Shady Park Popcorn Flicks is also free and held four times a year. The Mad Cow Theatre is also downtown and features plays or musicals, and all seats are $15 on Mondays.

After the show, head to Independent Bar for dance music or Tanqueray's Bar & Grill for a more underground jazz club scene.

—David Cumming

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