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.
Café Tu Tu Tango
8625 International Drive
Nile Ethiopian Restaurant
7048 International Drive
Funky Monkey Bistro and Bar
9101 International Drive
8967 International Drive
Howl at the Moon
8815 International Drive
Orlando Premium Outlets
4951 International Drive
9101 International Drive
Titanic: The Experience
7324 International Drive
Fun Spot America
5700 Fun Spot Way
Sleuths Mystery Dinner Shows
8267 International Drive
6464 International Drive
March 21-23, 2014
Orange County Convention Center
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
Twice-yearly gatherings of horror movie stars, cosplayers, tattoo artists and musicians.
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