Orlando, FL, is probably one of the ultimate vacation places in the United States. Disney World, SeaWorld and Universal are just three of the major theme parks to see while you’re in town. Although you could easily spend a week at Disney World, consider making some time to visit some of the faith-based sites where you can learn more about religion and culture. Here are just a few of the must-see sites that will enhance your faith.
Wycliffe Discovery Center
Wycliffe is known for Bible translations. The Discovery Center is an interactive experience about the Bible in countries around the world. You can tour the facility or take one of the education programs. Students have the opportunity to learn geography, culture and language while learning why it’s so important to translate the Bible into different languages.
Holy Land Experience
This theme park offers dramatic productions, a museum, a library and much more. You’ll be able to experience the biblical world in an interactive way. The museum has a vast collection of religious artifacts, documents and manuscripts. Currently, the live show list includes Roman Soldier Training Camp, Lazurus’ House and The Story of Maria Magdalena. The tagline for the Holy Land Experience is, “Where the Bible comes alive!”
Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp
This small town is home to psychics, mediums and spiritual healers. Although it’s not technically Orlando, it’s a short drive from the center of town. Tour the town to see what’s around. The official tour will take you through two historical buildings. Visit the bookstore for a huge inventory of books on spirituality and metaphysics. Make sure to explore the seven different parks and meditation gardens to connect with nature.
Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe
This Catholic Church is Orlando’s largest, but its beauty is why you should make time for it. The mosaics and paintings that are on the walls of the church are stunning. The church also has an outdoor chapel and lush rosary garden. Take some time to walk through the Museum of Christian Art, which houses artwork from around the world.
You’ll have the opportunity to see a replica of an 1800s historic church when you tour Pioneer Village. It’s a taste of life during a different century when the blacksmith crafted nails and tools. Many of the structures are authentic, having been relocated to the present location. While technically it’s not a faith-based museum, it is a great place to see how people lived in the past and how religion fit into their life.
Orlando Science Center
Another non-faith-based museum where you can discover the world and cultures around you. The NatureWorks exhibit celebrates diverse ecosystems, especially those in central Florida. In DinoDigs, explore the ancient world and examine fossils from both sea and land. The Crosby Observatory lets you see the range of the universe. Make sure to check the theater schedule for educational movies about life in other places.
Harry P. Leu Gardens
This 50-acre botanical garden is just a few minutes from downtown Orlando. Take your cell phone and use the QR scanner to get information about many of the plants in the garden. Stroll under the canopies and recharge in nature. Sit down on one of the benches and read a book. Imagine the creator making the beautiful plants and trees.
The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art
Many of the most stunning stained-glass windows were designed and made by Louis Comfort Tiffany. Stop in at this museum to learn more about the artist, because the museum has the largest collection of Tiffany glass in the world. That knowledge will certainly help you understand what goes into church windows.