This possibly should be titled Central Florida - Arts & Culture because the Greater Orlando area encompasses more than just the City of Orlando when you talk about a subject such as this. We ain't New York City, but we do have culture and attractions here other than Mickey Mouse, Shamu and Jurassic Park.
One would be quite surprised of the amount of Fine Arts and Culture that can be found in the Greater Orlando/Central Florida area. We have the usual trappings of most large cities. You'll find the theater, ballet, opera, museums, music, botanical gardens, festivals and the list goes on.
As I'm preparing this article, I'm realizing that I will only be able to touch upon many of the main attractions even though the others carry a great weight as well.
The Orlando Museum of Art located in Loch Haven Park features American art, African art and Ancient American art. Right next door you'll find the Orlando Science Center. Here you'll find fun and education for all ages, a domed theater and an observatory among the many exhibits. Adjacent to this you can find the Mennello Museum of American Art. Right down the road in Winter Park, you'll come across The Morse Museum of American Art, which houses the largest collection in the world of work by Louis Comfort Tiffany. Just down the road, literally, you will find the Rollins College Cornell Fine Art Museum, housing a collection of American and European art.
One of the most beautiful places that you will find in Orlando are the Harry P. Leu Botanical Gardens with their impressive Orchid house. Additionally, there is a Butterfly Garden; America's largest Camellia collection outside of California; the largest formal Rose garden in Florida; a 2 acre Tropical Stream Garden; and, a restored turn of the 20th Century house that Harry P. Leu lived in.
You can find the Orlando Ballet, the Orlando Opera, the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. As to theater offerings, they run the gamut from Broadway Across America series at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre to the Mad Cow Theatre with its many plays running the gamut from classical to contemporary.
There are festivals galore such as the recent Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities in nearby Eatonville; the Orlando Shakespeare Festival; and the Bach Festival which is housed at the Rollins College Knowles Memorial Chapel.
And then there is the Enzian Theater, which is a not for profit alternative theater, with some pretty awesome showings. Here is housed the Florida Film Festival, Jewish Film Festival and Gay Orlando Film Festival amongst others.
You think there is nothing to do in Orlando. We have many arts festivals throughout the year bringing artists from all over the country. This week there is Mount Dora's and soon after Winter Park will have one as well as Maitland and Lake Mary/Heathrow. These bring thousands upon thousand of people together in a wonderful atmosphere.
We've only just begun to touch the surface, but I think you get the idea.
Come on down and visit Orlando - you'll fall in love again!
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