If you’re one of the millions of incoming visitors to the Orlando area this year odds are you’ve heard about its world-famous theme-parks. While there is nothing wrong with visiting these wonderful tourist destinations it’s certainly not the only attraction Orlando has to offer.

If you’d like to go against the grain and take on Orlando in style, with a little help from a local, then here are five of the best options families choose from while staying in the City Beautiful this summer.

Fun Spot America

Fun Spot, off International Drive, has something to satisfy every person who is traveling with you. For the gamer in the family Orlando Midway offers classic carnival-style games-of-chance to test their luck and prove their worth. For the thrill-seeker Fun Spot is home to White Lightning – Florida’s tallest wooden roller coaster – not to mention all kinds of family-friendly bumper car options to choose from.

Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament

If you’re looking for a rousing good time complete with grilled mutton, enthusiastic trumpeters and wild stunts performed on horseback by knights in shining armor then Medieval Times is the perfect way to spend an evening with your family. Daring knights from all across the King’s land compete in courageous challenges to earn the right to be called his champion. Plus there’s a medieval torture chamber on-site!

Lake Eola

Located in the heart of downtown Orlando, Lake Eola is a picturesque oasis which allows visitors to feed swans and watch live entertainment at the Walt Disney Amphitheater. The big draw to Lake Eola is total emersion in local culture with delicious cuisine, a weekly farmer’s market and best of all, a ride on one of the famed swan paddle boats!

Orlando Science Center

The Orlando Science Center is located just fifteen minutes from downtown Orlando and houses four floors of educational fun for kids of all ages. Start off in the ever-popular planetarium exhibit where visitors can see over a million starts all at once. Don’t forget to visit the archaeological-themed DinoDigs exhibit which brings history to life with hands-on excavation.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

If you’ve got a space cadet in the family, there is no better place to see than Kennedy Space Center. About an hour’s drive from Orlando, this NASA-run visitor’s complex has a real-life space-flight simulator, Astronaut Hall of Fame and an assortment of replicas from some of NASA’s greatest achievements like the Hubble telescope.

When it comes to choosing how to spend your days while in the beautiful Sunshine State there really isn’t a bad way to go but steering clear of giant crowds and overpriced attractions can only help make for a genuine experience.

Remember that picking a convenient hotel is integral to having a great time with your family when you visit Orlando. Check out the reservation specials that Westgate Resorts offers, with pools, waterpark options and more right on the properties.

Katie Parsons is a reservation specialist with Westgate Resorts. She lives in Central Florida and blogs about her family travel on her blog MumblingMommy.com.