Orlando may be the home of some of the biggest theme parks in the U.S., but the city has more to offer its tourists than The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Disney World. If you find yourself with some downtime during this year's PSP Expo, it's worth checking out some of these restaurants and attractions.

DINING

  1. Chatham's Place (4.8 stars on Google) – Fine dining with fresh produce from the chef's garden. Live piano music every night. (7575 Phillips Blvd.)
  2. Itta Bena Restaurant – Orlando (4.8 stars) – Contemporary Southern cuisine on the second level of Pointe Orlando. Orlando's hidden gem. (9101 International Dr. #2210)
  3. K Restaurant (4.6 stars) – Situated in a remodeled house with a garden, the menu changes daily based on the availability of locally sourced ingredients. (1710 Edgewater Dr.)
  4. Kres Chophouse (4.6 stars) – Award-winning steakhouse in a historic building with happy hour specials and late-night dining. (17 W. Church St.)
  5. Eddie V's Prime Seafood (4.5 stars) – Steak and seafood with live jazz in the lounge starting at 4 p.m. (7488 W. Sand Lake Rd.)
  6. Ocean Prime (4.5 stars) – Upscale chain restaurant with steak, seafood and a long wine list. (7339 Sand Lake Rd. #400)
  7. Norman's Restaurant (4.5 stars) – Celebrity Chef Norman Van Aken's restaurant. Specializes in "new world" cuisine. (4012 Central Florida Pkwy.)
  8. Q'Kenan Restaurant (4.5 stars) – A highly-rated restaurant featuring Venezuelan cuisine at affordable prices. (8117 Vineland Ave.)

NIGHTLIFE

  1. 3NINE At The Plaza – A poolside bar with live music and dancing.
  2. B.B. King's Blues Club – Live blues and southern-style comfort food.
  3. Minus5° Ice Bar Orlando – Ice bar with cocktails, LED lights and warm coat rentals.
  4. Howl at the Moon Orlando – Dueling piano bar.
  5. Murphy's Arms Pub – Fish 'n' chips, pints and soccer on TV.
  6. Sleuths Mystery Dinner Shows – Dinner theater with a funny murder mystery performance.
  7. Universal CityWalk – A retail district with dining, dancing and more.

ATTRACTIONS

  1. Ripley's Believe It or Not! – A museum with oddities you wouldn't believe.
  2. The Escape Game Orlando – Guests have one hour to solve the puzzle and escape the room.
  3. Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition – A museum with artifacts and recreations of the Titanic.
  4. Magical Midway Amusement Park – Adventure park with go-karts, bumper cars and boats, thrill rides and an indoor arcade.
  5. Coca-Cola Orlando Eye – An observation wheel featuring enclosed air-conditioned glass capsules and an aerial view of Orlando.
  6. iFly – An indoor wind tunnel where guests skydive indoors.
  7. DRIP – A live painting show where the performers splash the audience with paint.
  8. WonderWorks – This attraction features hands-on science exhibits, laser tag and a ropes course.
  9. Madame Tussauds – Museum of wax mannequins of celebrities and historical figures.
  10. SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium – Family-friendly exhibits with a variety of sea creatures.

 

CONVENTION HOTELS

If you're attending the PSP Expo and need a place to stay, it's hard to beat the roster of official show hotels, which are priced competitively for expo attendees:

Hyatt Regency Orlando 9801 International Dr. (.5 miles from PSP Expo)
Rosen Centre Hotel 9840 International Dr. (.2 miles)
Rosen Plaza 9700 International Dr. (.57 miles)
Hilton Orlando 6001 Destination Pkwy. (.3 miles)
Las Palmeras by Hilton Grand Vacations 9501 Universal Blvd. (.26 miles)
Avanti Resort 8738 International Dr. (.86 miles)
Castle Hotel, Autograph Collection 8629 International Dr. (.89 miles)
Courtyard Orlando International Drive/Convention Center 8600 International Dr. (1.03 miles)
Embassy Suites International Drive/Convention Center 8978 International Dr. (.87 miles)
Hampton Inn – Convention Center 8900 Universal Blvd. (.6 miles)
Homewood Suites by Hilton International Drive 8745 International Dr. (.7 miles)
Hyatt Place Orlando/Convention Center 8741 International Dr. (.83 miles)
Residence Inn Orlando Convention Center 8800 Universal Blvd. (.9 miles)
Rosen Inn and Pointe Orlando 9000 International Dr. (.7 miles)
Springhill Suites Orlando Convention Center 8840 Universal Blvd. (.9 miles)

 

Kathryn Howard is Assistant Editor of AQUA Magazine.