Orlando is world famous for its many theme parks and its beautiful weather, but trust us, there’s a lot more to the sun-soaked Central Florida city than those things.
In an around Orlando, you’ll find a number of unusual and offbeat attractions, many of which don’t appear in guidebooks. They’re not always easy to find, but they’re absolutely worth checking out if you’ve got an adventurous streak.
Without further ado, here are four Orlando attractions you won’t find in your guidebook.
Jack Kerouac House
It’s not exactly common knowledge, but legendary American novelist and poet Jack Kerouac spent his final years in Orlando. In fact, the house where he died still stands today.
The house, which is located at 1418 Clouser Avenue, is completely unassuming, but has become a popular destination for fans of the writer’s work, which includes novels like On the Road, Big Sur, and The Dharma Bums—the latter of which he actually wrote at his Orlando home.
While the house is occasionally inhabited by contemporary writers, thanks to a fantastic program created by the Friends of Jack Kerouac society, it’s still definitely worth checking out for any visiting literature buffs.
Harry P. Leu Gardens
When most of us go on vacation, we bring back generic souvenirs—maybe a knick-knack, or a t-shirt. Harry P. Leu and his wife brought back plants.
Ultimately, their collection of exotic plants got so extensive that they created Harry P. Leu Gardens—a kaleidoscopic expanse of colorful plants that you ordinarily wouldn’t encounter in Central Florida.
While the Leus have since passed away, their garden was donated to the City of Orlando, and is still maintained by diligent caretakers today. If you’d like to see the Leu’s collection, which includes bromeliads, magnolias, ferns, roses, palms, lilies, and camellias—as well as occasional installations like the recent “Dinosaur Invasion“—head over to 1920 North Forest Avenue.
Tupperware Confidence Center
Where would be without Tupperware? In a hellish world where leftovers are not stored nearly as easily, and luxuries like meal-prepping are nearly impossible—that’s where.
If you find yourself in Orlando with an urge to learn about the history of Tupperware, you’re in luck. Nearby Kissimmee is home to a the Tupperware Confidence Center, which is effectively a museum dedicated to these ever-so-useful plastic containers.
Within the museum you’ll find endless information on the history of the company, interactive touchscreens, and of course, plenty of Tupperware products. It’s even rumored that there is a Tupperware casket located somewhere on site—though that could just be an urban legend.
The museum is open Monday to Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m, and is free to enter.
Randall Knife Museum
The Randall family first started making knives in Orlando way back in 1936. They’re still doing so today, though the family patriarch and founder of the knife business has since passed away.
You’ll find the Randall family’s small but industrious factory on South Orange Blossom Trail near Lake Tyler. Beside the factory, you’ll also find a can’t-miss museum that is filled to the rafters with over 7000 knives—knives that have been carried by hunters, generals, U.S. presidents, and even astronauts.
The museum is open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.