15 Best things to do in Orlando, Florida

It will not be very inaccurate to state that Orlando and theme parks are synonym to each other. With a host of theme parks, Central Florida is easily one of the main draws of the state when it comes to tourism. But should you be anyone like me, who shrieks at the thought of theme parks, there are plenty of opportunities Orlando offers that are way more satisfying than the touristy, overdone and super dizzy theme parks. If you are in company of someone heading to this city with the sole purpose of the adrenaline rushing theme parks, save yourself with this list of things to do in Orlando apart from theme parks!

1. Bask in the Beauty of Orlando Downtown from the Coca-Cola Orlando Eye

Coca-Cola Orlando Eye - ImageImage Source: Youtube.com

If London’s got the London eye, Orlando has the Coca-Cola Orlando Eye. This is one of the best things to do in Orlando that bestows you with a bird’s eye view of downtown Orlando. As you explore Orlando, you are bound to notice this icon dominating the city’s skyline. Before you begin your flight, you are introduced to the attraction with an enlightening family oriented film. There is a gift shop in the premises, that serves as the perfect souvenir stop once you are done with the flight. A word of advice- Head here in the evenings for a mesmeric sunset!

Address: 8401 International Dr #100, Orlando, FL 32819, USA
Entrance fee: USD 25 per adult

2. Wander Leisurely Around the Tibet-butler Nature Preserve

Tibet-butler Nature Preserve - ImageImage Source: Youtube.com

Orlando’s hedonism can get a little overbearing after a while, when all you want to do is escape into some place boasting of tranquility. The Tibet-Butler Nature Preserve is one such place, nestled in the lap of nature and abundant with soul-touching wilderness. There is no ride in any of the theme parks that can do what a stroll at this trail also considered to be one of the best alternative attractions in Orlando, can do. The butterfly garden, accessibility by wheelchair and a dense vegetation of longleaf pine forests make this place an ideal picnic spot.

Address: 8777 Winter Garden Vineland Rd, Orlando, FL 32836, USA
Entrance fee: Free entrance

3. Spend a Day of Enlightenment at the Kennedy Space Center

Kennedy Space Center - ImageImage Source: Pixabay.com

Located at hardly an hour’s distance from central Orlando, the Kennedy space Center is such a break from all the adrenaline rush. This a great place to be at for both kids and adults alike. There are plenty of highlights in here that marks the significance of not just America’s history but the world’s space history! It’s a good idea to wear comfortable shoes, as you are going to be walking around a lot in here. There are guided tours available, and are the best way to get maximum knowledge of every aspect of this place. Being managed by NASA, is the main draw of this place!

Address: Headquarters Bldg 1317, Orlando, FL 32815, USA
Entrance fee: USD 50 per adult; USD 40 per child

4. Dine at One of the many Themed Restaurants

Things to do in Orlando - ImageImage Source: Yelp.com

Orlando’s vividly themed restaurants are a great place to enjoy a culinary experience making them count as one of the top things to do in Florida apart from theme parks. The best part of these restaurants are their locations, that give you a feel of not missing out on all the entertainment they boast of. They are constantly abuzz with visitors heading to the theme parks here. Mythos, Captain America Diner, Be Our Guest Restaurant, Rainforest Café and the Raglan Road Irish Pub are good options. These restaurants are certain to delight you, irrespective of the time you visit.

Address: Universal City Walk and Downtown Disney
Entrance fee: Subjective to the restaurant you choose to visit

5. Visit Gatorland: The Alligator Capital of the World

Alligator Capital of the World - ImageImage Source: Wikimedia Commons

What does a thought of a 110-acre amusement park do to you? Shriek you out or make you curios? Whatever it does it is definitely something a theme park won’t do! Rightly referred to as the “The Alligator Capital of the World”, Gatorland is one of Orlando’s most important protected lands. Look forward to by entertainment by some of the world’s deadliest creature. There are reptile shows, swamp walks, aviaries and everything you never thought of! Once you are done with the reptiles there are numerous birds that you can seek entertainment through. All the shows here are a great blend of education and entertainment.

Address: 14501 S Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, FL 32837, United States
Entrance fee: USD 27 per adult

6. Take a Refreshing Boat Ride in the Winter Park Region

Winter park region - ImageImage Source: Experience Kissimmee/flickr.com

This place is likely to give you a vibe of some exotic place in South East Asia. Absolutely refreshing and rejuvenating, the winter park region boasts of several waterways perfect to take a boat ride over. Most of these rides last for about an hour or so, charging you with a enlivened zeal to get on the best things to do in Orlando. The rides take you through slim manmade canals in the backwaters of three lakes of the seven this region is home to. What’s more? These engulf also engulf some celebrities’ homes. You might spot an alligator or two too!

Address: 312 E Morse Blvd, Winter Park, FL 32789, USA
Entrance fee: Subjective to the tour operator you choose

7. Get Awestruck at Madame Tussauds Orlando

Madame tussauds Orlando - ImageImage Source: Youtube.com

If you have ever fancied a rendezvous with your favorite celebrity crush, the Madame Tussauds is the place to head. Have your fangirl/ fanboy amount as you rest your eyes on these absolute look-alike figures of everyone from actors to politicians! Everyone’s going to love this place because there’s everyone here, even Kung Fu Panda and the uber sultry Scarlett Johansson. Click pictures to your heart’s content, so you can boast about it later, at this self-explanatory attraction. You can easily spend about half a day here in absolute admiration, although a recommended time to visit Madame Tussauds is two hours.

Address: 8387 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819, United States
Entrance fee: USD 20 per adult

8. Socialize at the Coffee Shops

Places to visit in Orlando - ImageImage Source: Pexels.com

There is no better place to experience local Orlando at the many coffee shops doting the downtown area. This is a favorite leisure activity of all the locals. On exploring these coffee shops, you are also bound to meet some very friendly baristas, who may give you further insights on all the local experiences you can get, ditching the touristy glitz. The best part of the local cafes is you are in for a savory treat, including the likes of some delicious baked vegan goods, redolent teas, sandwiches and more. Drunken Monkey Coffee Bar, Downtown Credo, Stardust Video & Coffee, Achilles Art Café and WaWa are some of the best coffee shops in Orlando.

9. Hike at the Lake Baldwin Trail

Baldwin Trail - ImageImage Source: cityofwinterpark.org

Hiking at the Lake Baldwin Trail is one of the most fun things to do in Orlando for free, for more reasons than one. Stretching at roughly 2.5 miles, you can enjoy a beautiful hike here. A great place to get your dog to in case you are traveling with one. This is an easy to moderate level hike, so it is anything but a hike that will leave you panting! It lies very close to the downtown area. So, this is an incredible way to spend the evening; walking around downtown and then hiking at the Lake Baldwin Trail.

Address: Lake Baldwin Ln, Orlando, FL, USA
Entrance fee: Free

10. Shop till You Drop

Shopping in Orlando - ImageImage Source: Wikimedia Commons

Okay let’s admit it, shopping is a good idea anywhere, anytime whether or not it is one of the best things to do in Florida apart from theme parks! And it gets only better if you are shopping or window shopping at some of the most gorgeous upscale boutiques at the Winter Park’s Park Avenue, local art works at the Sunday Eola Market, Mount Dora, or the Artegon Marketplace for some local goodness. As you do so, you are ought to realize how Orlando is underrated as a shopping destination. A little indulgence never hurt anyone.

11. Sign up for a spa treatment

Spa treatment - imageImage Source: Wikimedia Commons

So, you are done with all the fantasies of the crazy theme park rides, moving around them, walking at hours on end in the sweltering heat? It is no brainer, what good will a blissful spa treatment do to you. There is a surfeit of spas in this city, which is a reason why there is never a question of what to do in Orlando for adults. Resorts and spas across the city, will leave you spoilt for choice with their world-class treatments. There are many in the vicinity of the theme parks itself, like the Mandara spa next to Walk Disney.

12. Enroll the Kids for Circus School Class

Circus school class - ImageImage Source: Mike Baird/flickr.com

Consistently counted as one of the best things to do in Orlando with kids, the Circus School never disappoints. It is no news what a delight the circus is for kids. How about getting them to learn some tricks of the trade themselves? A host of technique like juggling, tumbling and dancing can be endeavored at this school, with the help of practical equipment like trampolines, hula hoops and the likes. Their flying trapeze classes are one of the best sellers. A great place to take the kids too on a rainy day. They are not going to want to leave!

Address: 6809 Visitors Cir, Orlando, FL 32819, USA
Entrance fee: USD 25 (onwards) per child

13. Take a Yoga Session on a Paddleboard

Yoga session - Image

Image Source: moonlightsleeper/flickr.com

Trust this city to throw unexpected opportunities at you to the most unique things to do in Orlando. Like this one right here. Wondering how to get this act straight, that too on a paddleboard, when even ground seems to a far reality?! Take a class with the experts! Work up at that core as you do suryanamaskars, downward dog, and that dreadful tree pose on a paddleboard at these very beginner-friendly classes. Sign up for their evening class for an incredibly rejuvenating experience. Face that fear to find out how delightfully relaxing yoga on a paddleboard can be.

Address: Lake Ivanhoe, Lake Sybelia
Entrance fee: USD 35 per person onwards

14. Visit the Orlando Museum of Art for the “First Thursdays”

Orlando museum of art Image Source: Tricia/flickr.com

There are a lot of cheap things to do in Orlando, but if you are willing to shell out some you can avail some of the most cherishing experiences of your life in this city. The “First Thursdays” at the Orlando Museum of Art are a fine example of what I am trying to say. On this day, the museum holds special exhibits, along with some soul stirring live music, and even a cash bar. All this and more are an absolute delight to observes the incredible collection of art from the continents of Africa, and of course America.

Address: 2416 North Mills Avenue, Orlando, Florida 32803
Entrance fee: USD 10 per person

15. Go Clubbing at Universal’s City Walk

Universal’s City Walk - Image

Image Source: Russ Sanderlin/flickr.com

And finally, on this list we have the ultimate activity that people love to count as one of the best things to do in Orlando at night, clubbing! There is a plethora of nightclubs, restaurants, lounges and beer bars fringing Orlando’s areas like the Universal’s City Walk. These clubs have a terrific sound technology along with sound effects that make you want to dance the night away. Most of these clubs are multilevel, so it gets all the more fun. Additionally, there are standalone complexes too in the city that cater to activities like shopping and entertainment, like the Pointe Orlando.

Indeed, Orlando has so much more than its theme parks that make for a wholesome experience of the city. What’s your favorite thing to do in Orlando, besides its theme parks? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Orlando, Florida

Must see places in Orlando ranked on popularity. Here is the complete list of best attractions in Orlando and point of interests to visit.

  1. Walt Disney World

    #1 of 3138 Things To Do in Orlando
    Walt Disney World

    Tags: Outdoors, Amusement Park, Theme Park, Water Park

    Address: Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando, FL 32830, United States

    Timings: 09:00 am - 11:00 pm Details

    The Walt Disney World Resort, obviously better known as Disney World, is an amusement complex that opened 1971. Since then it has become the most frequently visited theme park on the planet.  Thi...Read more

  2. La Nouba - Cirque Du Soleil

    #2 of 3138 Things To Do in Orlando
    La Nouba - Cirque Du Soleil

    Tags: Entertainment, Performance

    Address: Disney Springs Area 1478 Buena, Vista Dr, Orlando, FL 32821, United States

    Timings: 06:00 pm - 09:00 pm Details

    A Part of The Disneyworld in Florida, the theatre called La Nouba plays host to the Cirque du Soleil. It is a huge attraction just on its own. The circus consists of acrobats, trapeze artists and perf...Read more

  3. Universal Orlando

    #3 of 3138 Things To Do in Orlando
    Universal Orlando

    Tags: Theme Park, Restaurant, Entertainment, Rides

    Address: 6000 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819, United States

    Timings: 09:00 am - 07:00 pm Details

    Universal Studios Florida are home to most of Disney’s production sets. If your kids are fans of Disney it is a no-brainer that this place should be on your Orlando sightseeing list. Opened to t...Read more

  4. SeaWorld

    #4 of 3138 Things To Do in Orlando
    SeaWorld

    Tags: Theme Park, Aquarium, Entertainment, Boating

    Address: 7007 Sea World Dr, Orlando, FL 32821, United States

    Timings: 09:00 am - 07:00 pm Details

    This water themed park has a variety of activities on offer. It mixes an aquarium and a learning centre with recreation and entertainment. The park has several marine animals on display, of course but...Read more

  5. Gatorland

    #5 of 3138 Things To Do in Orlando
    Gatorland

    Tags: Amusement Park, Zoo, Entertainment

    Address: 14501 S Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, FL 32837, United States

    Timings: 10:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    Gatorland is a 110-acre amusement park and protected land situated along South Orange Blossom Trail in Orlando. "Alligator Capital of the World," Gatorland will give you access to view alligators and ...Read more

  6. Orlando Science Center

    #6 of 3138 Things To Do in Orlando
    Orlando Science Center

    Tags: Science Museum

    Address: 777 E Princeton St, Orlando, FL 32803, United States

    Timings: 10:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    The Orlando Science Center is a private non-revenue driven enterprise that is a very good tourist attraction especially for families. The interactive exhibits have all been designed to increase the in...Read more

  7. Wet N Wild

    #7 of 3138 Things To Do in Orlando
    Wet N Wild

    Tags: Water Park, Entertainment, Leisure, Rides

    Address: 6200 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819, United States

    Timings: 10:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    Orlando is home to one of the parks from the Wet 'n Wild chain. Interestingly, it is also where the water theme park craze began making it quite a memorable place as well. Wet n’ Wild ensures lo...Read more

  8. Ripleys Believe It Or Not - Orlando

    #8 of 3138 Things To Do in Orlando
    Ripleys Believe It Or Not - Orlando

    Tags: Entertainment

    Address: 8201 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819, United States

    Timings: 09:00 am - 11:59 pm Details

    Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Orlando and its wacky and out of the ordinary "Odditorium" appears as though it’s falling into a Florida sinkhole. The whole place is swimming in oddities and e...Read more

  9. Kennedy Space Center

    #9 of 3138 Things To Do in Orlando
    Kennedy Space Center

    Tags: Educational Site, Exhibition , Workshop

    Address: Kennedy Space Center, Florida 32899, United States

    Timings: 09:00 am - 06:00 pm Details

    Cape Canaveral is home to a space station par excellence. This place is managed by the famous NASA and has been engaged in research for many years. But now, parts of it can be visited through the Kenn...Read more

  10. IFLY Orlando

    #10 of 3138 Things To Do in Orlando
    IFLY Orlando

    Tags: Outdoors, Adventure, Water Sport, Sky Diving

    Address: 6805 Visitors Cir, Orlando, FL 32819, United States

    Timings: 10:00 am - 10:30 pm Details

    At IFLY Orlando you get a taste of what it is like to be a bird. This amazing adventure can be undertaken without any body apparatus. Their machines use the power of wind to simulate an actual flying ...Read more

  11. International Drive

    #11 of 3138 Things To Do in Orlando
    International Drive

    Tags: Tour

    Address: International Dr, Orlando, FL, USA

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Popularly known as the I-drive, this is a major 11.1-mile (17.9 km) thoroughfare that runs through Orlando in Florida. Built in 1992, this international drive acts as the city...Read more

  12. The Orlando Eye

    #12 of 3138 Things To Do in Orlando
    The Orlando Eye

    Tags: View Point, Entertainment

    Address: 8401 International Dr #100, Orlando, FL 32819, United States

    Timings: 12:00 pm - 10:00 pm Details

    As the name suggests, the Orlando Eye offers you a journey of the bird’s eye view of this lively city and across. Also known as the ‘City Beautiful’, Orlando looks simply captivating...Read more

  13. Harry P Leu Gardens

    #13 of 3138 Things To Do in Orlando
    Harry P Leu Gardens

    Tags: Museum, Garden, Botanical Garden, Historical Site

    Address: 1920 North Forest Avenue Orlando, Florida 32803

    Timings: 09:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    Established in 1961, Harry P. Leu Gardens offers visitors a nature’s escape with 50-acre gardens replete with winding pathways through over 40 different plant collections, including a butterfly ...Read more

  14. The Florida Mall

    #14 of 3138 Things To Do in Orlando
    The Florida Mall

    Tags: Entertainment, Mall, Shopping Center

    Address: 8001 S Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, FL 32809

    Timings: 10:00 am - 09:00 pm Details

    The Florida mall in Orlando is one of the prime shopping destinations for the locals as well as the visitors alike. This is Central Florida’s largest shopping centre that houses a range of brand...Read more

  15. Disney's Boardwalk

    #15 of 3138 Things To Do in Orlando
    Disney's Boardwalk

    Tags: Walking Area, Broadway, Performance, Games

    Address: 2101 Epcot Resorts Blvd, Orlando, FL 32830, United States

    Timings: 06:30 am - 11:59 pm Details

    Disney’s Broadwalk is a lively quarter-mile promenade that houses exquisite dining, unique shops and exciting nightlife within its folds. This promenade will keep you enticed with its beautiful ...Read more

Tourist Attractions Near Orlando

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Top Orlando Activities And Tours

Explore the best things to do in Orlando. These are the most preferred tourist activities.

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  • Dr P. Phillips House

    211 N Lucerne Cir

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Church Street District

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Berlin Wall Segment

    6000 Universal Blvd

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Tinker Field

    1610 W Church St

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Rogers Building

    37-39 S Magnolia Ave

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Audubon Park the Garden District

    3201 Corrine Dr

    Historic and Protected Sites
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  • Lake Bryan

    Blue Heron Beach Dr

    Lakes
  • Lake Underhill Park

    4355 Lake Underhill Rd

    Lakes
  • Lake Holden

    Lakes
  • Lake Claire Recreation Area

    4000 Central Florida Blvd

    Lakes
  • Lake Baldwin Medical

    New Broad St

    Lakes
  • Big Sand Lake

    Lakes
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  • Wycliffe Discovery Center

    11221 John Wycliffe Blvd

    Museums
  • Orlando Science Center

    777 E Princeton St

    Museums
  • Orange County Regional History Center

    65 E Central Blvd

    Museums
  • Orlando Museum of Art

    2416 N Mills Ave

    Museums
  • Mennello Museum of American Art

    900 E Princeton St

    Museums
  • Orlando Fire Museum

    814 E Rollins St

    Museums
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  • Magical Midway

    7001 International Dr

    Amusement Parks Arcades
  • Ripley's Believe It or Not! Odditorium

    8201 International Dr

    Amusement Parks
  • Airheads

    33 W Pineloch Ave

    Amusement Parks
  • Discovery Cove

    6000 Discovery Cove Way

    Amusement Parks
  • SeaWorld Orlando

    7007 Sea World Dr

    Amusement Parks
  • America's Escape Game

    8723 International Dr

    Amusement Parks
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  • O'Shucks Pub & Billiards

    7467 International Dr

    American Bars Billiard and Pool
  • Nice & Easy Bar & Grill

    5470 Hoffner Ave

    Bars American Barbecue
  • Bart

    1205 N Mills Ave

    Bars Arcades Restaurants
  • The Cloak & Blaster

    875 Woodbury Rd

    Bars American Arcades
  • Stogies At The Village

    13502 Village Park Dr

    Bars Restaurants
  • Player 1 Video Game Bar

    8562 Palm Pkwy

    Bars Barbecue Arcades
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  • Southern Music

    1830 Atlanta Ave

    Casinos and Gaming
  • Dirty Bingo

    431 E Central Blvd

    Casinos and Gaming
  • Ship & Shore Casino Tours

    3956 W Town Center Blvd

    Casinos and Gaming
  • Vegas Casino Events & Entertainment

    11100 Astronaut Blvd

    Casinos and Gaming
  • Casinos by Vegas Casinos

    11100 Astronaut Blvd

    Casinos and Gaming
  • My 3 Sons Vending

    5325 Old Winter Garden Rd

    Casinos and Gaming
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  • Wekiwa Springs State Park

    1800 Wekiwa Cir

    Natural Parks
  • Little Big Econ State Forest

    1350 Snow Hill Rd

    Natural Parks
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  • Barber Park

    3701 Gatlin Ave

    Playgrounds Dog Parks
  • P Phillips Community Park

    8249 Buenavista Woods Blvd

    Playgrounds Dog Parks
  • Downey Park

    10107 Flowers Ave

    Dog Parks
  • Mathews Park

    205 E Hazel St

    Playgrounds Dog Parks
  • Eagle Park

    2950 Hunters Creek Blvd

    Dog Parks
  • Barber Park Dog Park

    2201-2499 Watauga Ave

    Dog Parks
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  • Daytona Beach

    Beaches
  • Wilderness Lodge Beach & Playground

    Wilderness Lodge

    Beaches
  • Polynesian Resort Beach

    Polynesian Village

    Beaches
  • El Palomar

    Beaches
  • Lake Fredrika Beach

    Beaches
  • Clementine's Beach

    Beaches
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  • Jay Blanchard Trail

    Hiking
  • Gertrude's Walk

    Hiking
  • Trail To UCF

    Hiking
  • Bear Creek Nature Trail

    1555 Winter Springs Blvd

    Hiking
  • Black Hammock Trailhead

    Hiking
  • I-4 Overpass

    Hiking
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