Beyond the Theme Parks:
Exploring Central Florida

Benjamin D. Brotemarkle


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"Take a break from theme-park madness."--Florida Today

"A useful guide for both locals and tourists interested in enjoying something different." -- Daytona Beach News-Journal

"Brotemarkle takes us on a leisurely tour of 15 of central Florida's most interesting towns and cities, offering much more than the standard thumbnail sketches of each place. . . . The book is full of gems, along with a useful appendix which includes listings of Florida's arts and cultural organizations, a listing of historic sites, and a calendar of events. This book is a keeper!" -- Travel Writers International Network

"Brotemarkle shows there is much more to Central Florida than glitzy theme parks. He takes readers on a tour of ‘real’ Florida."--Tampa Tribune

"A valuable resource for anyone planning to get acquainted with the center of the state"--Florida Times Union

"What a great book! Every resident of and visitor to Central Florida should read Beyond the Theme Parks. It’s a splendid introduction to the cultural heritage of our area."—Glenda E. Hood, mayor of Orlando

"History, historic preservation, and our cultural organizations are all facets of the same jewel: the community of central Florida. Ben brings them together in a way that makes sense for those of us who live here and those who visit."--Sara Van Arsdel, executive director, Orange County Historical Society

"Ben Brotemarkle is the ideal arts journalist—inquisitive, attentive to detail, insightful. His work is a much-needed guide to ‘the other Florida.’"--N. Y. Nathiri, executive director of Preserve Eatonville and of the Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities

This book invites you to visit the number one vacation destination in the world and see sights that tens of millions of people miss every year!
Whether you're a central Florida resident or a tourist in the Orlando area, this illustrated guide takes you to attractions within easy driving distance, where you can enjoy and explore a rich real-life heritage more varied and extensive than any theme park:
· cowboy culture and competition (a century in the making),
· the London Symphony Orchestra at their official summer home,
· Zora Neale Hurston's legacy in the oldest incorporated African-American municipality in the United States,
· a hotbed of antiques and collectibles and the most comprehensive collection of Tiffany glass in the world,
· a thriving spiritualist community (since 1894),
· a working Pioneer Florida settlement,
· the home of American space exploration,
· the biggest stock car races and motorcycle rallies in the country,
· art communities and festivals, architectural marvels, and examples of historic preservation throughout the region.

Benjamin D. Brotemarkle, host and producer of "The Arts Connection" on radio station 90.7 WMFE-FM in Orlando, has won journalism awards for his coverage of central Florida history and culture. His features have been heard around the world on Voice of America radio, around the country on National Public Radio, and throughout the state on Florida Public Radio.

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Awards
James J. Horgan Award - 2000

"This is the kind of 'guide' I really appreciate. Brotemarkle takes us on a leisurely tour of fifteen of central Florida's most interesting towns and cities, offering much more than the standard thumbnail sketches of each place. . . . The book is full of gems along with a useful appendix which includes listings of Florida's Arts and Cultural organizations, a listing of historic sites and a calendar of events. This book is a keeper!" -- Travel Writers International Network
--Travel Writers International Network

"Beyond the Theme Parks is a valuable resource for anyone planning to get acquainted with the center of the state, to learn something of its history, to see its cowboys, to find insights on antiquing in the area and the best times to check out Daytona and Cape Canaveral." -- Florida Times-Union
--Florida Times-Union

"Part tour guide and part historical resource, this book will be useful both to visitors and to residents, old and new, of central Florida." -- Library Journal
--Library Journal

"A useful, colorful guidebook by a veteran journalist, who knows his Florida culture and history." - DeLand Beacon
--DeLand Beacon

"Brotemarkle shows there is much more to Central Florida than glitzy theme parks." -- Tampa Tribune
--Tampa Tribune

"Benjamin D. Brotemarkle imagines a world in which day-trippers have a great time without paying exorbitant parking and admission fees. . . . What Brotemarkle's suggestions lack in thrills, they make up for in historic significance." -- Melbourne Florida Today
--Melbourne Florida Today

"A useful guide for both locals and tourists interested in enjoying something different than the larger tourist destinations in Central Florida." -- Daytona Beach News-Journal
--Daytona Beach News-Journal

"How Central Florida's heritage impacts its current culture is richly captured in Beyond the Theme Parks: Exploring Central Florida. . . , a colorful quilt of Central Florida culture." -- Orlando Weekly
--Orlando Weekly

"Brotemarkle's book provides a rich palette of sites more varied and extensive than any theme park. . . . More than a guide, this book offers a unique blend of heritage and history."--Florida Historical Quarterly
--Florida Historical Quarterly

"Here is a book I often refer to for information seldom found in other books. The subtitle is 'Exploring Central Florida' and has suggestions for seeing and visiting places you may not even know about." "What this book underscores is that Florida is rich in history."
--News Chief (Winter Haven, FL)

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