International Drive 

Traffic, tourists and hidden treasures

Mention to most locals that you’re planning to take a leisurely trip down to International Drive, and you’re likely to get eye-rolls. The city’s most clogged commercial strip is a congested artery of chain restaurants and crappy gift shops. But if you look beyond the hordes of sunburnt Brits and half-baked tourist traps, there’s a surprising wealth of ethnic eateries, oddball amusements and innovative entertainments to be unearthed along here. From the massive outlet malls on the northern end – which attract free-spending South Americans like moths to a high-fashion flame – to the ginormous convention center, natives know how to hit the strip’s highlights commando-style without getting stuck in the snarl. Just be sure you have a full tank of gas and some emergency rations before trying to cross the infamous intersections at Kirkman and Sand Lake roads.

EAT

Café Tu Tu Tango
8625 International Drive
407-248-2222
cafetututango.com

Nile Ethiopian Restaurant
7048 International Drive
407-354-0026
nile07.com

Funky Monkey Bistro and Bar
9101 International Drive
407-418-9463
funkymonkeywine.com

DRINK

ICEBAR Orlando
8967 International Drive
407-351-0361
icebarorlando.com

Howl at the Moon
8815 International Drive
407-354-5999
howlatthemoon.com

SHOP

Orlando Premium Outlets
4951 International Drive
407-352-9600
premiumoutlets.com

Pointe Orlando
9101 International Drive
407-248-2838
pointeorlando.com

PLAY

Titanic: The Experience
7324 International Drive
407-248-1166
titanictheexperience.com

Fun Spot America
5700 Fun Spot Way
407-363-3867
funspotattractions.com

Sleuths Mystery Dinner Shows
8267 International Drive
407-363-1985
sleuths.com

WhirlyDome
6464 International Drive
407-212-3030
whirlydome.com

GO

MegaCon
March 21-23, 2014
Orange County Convention Center
megaconvention.com
Sci-fi and fantasy fan convention with film, television and comic book celebrities like Stan Lee, Wil Wheaton and Ron Perlman.

Spooky Empire’s Ultimate Horror Weekend
May 30-June 1 and Oct. 24-26, 2014
Doubletree by Hilton near Universal Orlando
spookyempire.com
Twice-yearly gatherings of horror movie stars, cosplayers, tattoo artists and musicians.

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