Orlando Summer Bucket List

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Hey Orlando! Although the sunshine state is all sun, all the time, there’s something special about the summertime! Fortunately, to make the most of the few months of the year (hello, vacation!), we’ve got everything you need to enjoy the sunshine in City Beautiful.

Here is the ultimate summer bucket list for Orlando! Get ready to save, check off and explore the springs, outdoors, cheap things to do, resort pools, and more! 

Do you have a need for speed?

Want to be the captain of your own boat and enjoy a day out on the water? 

Luxe Rentals has got you covered—with jet ski and pontoon boat rentals for a number of different durations throughout the day. No matter what option you choose, Luxe Rentals will show you the best time to spend your best day out on the water!

Don‘t want to drive to the beach? No problem. Orlando has a ton of natural springs within driving distance to make a splash this summer. With so many options to enjoy, it‘s the perfect addition to your summer bucket list! Float down the river in an inner tube, kayak, paddleboard, canoe or jump on a glass-bottom boat!

Travel to another world without having to leave Orlando with a fun-themed VRBO! Whether you want to stay in a Harry Potter-themed house, ship off to the next galaxy with Star Wars or immerse yourself in Mickey Mouse, there‘s a VRBO for you!

Take your bucket list to the next level with the ultimate Orlando Challenge! You‘ve driven past by them on I-4, seen their billboards and advertisements, and are constantly bombarded with Orlando‘s biggest attractions. But have YOU done them all?

Off-roading, zip-lining, and indoor skydiving—these are just a few extreme activities in Orlando calling your name. If you’re looking to get your adrenaline pumping, head to the EXTREME guide of Central Florida.

Aside from sunny weather and delicious food, Orlando is home to quite a menagerie of wildlife. While zoos and aquariums provide all day family fun, there are plenty of other animal encounters swimming around the Florida swamplands. Buckle up for a wild ride with animal encounters around Orlando!

Need a drink? Want something non-alcoholic? If you’re in the mood for the taste of an alcoholic favorite sans the boozy ingredients, not to fret – our favorite stops have got you covered. Raise a glass to the most delicious alcohol alternatives and mocktails in Orlando!

Think you have what it takes to make it to the top? The Wheel at Icon Park is an iconic attraction on International Drive that is perfect for a leisurely look at Orlando from up top. Enjoy the slow-moving, 400-foot tall observation wheel. When you’re done, don’t forget to explore the many shops and restaurants available at Icon Park!

Welcome to Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, Orlando edition! Here is the ultimate list of restaurants in Orlando want to see on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives! Guy Fieri already visited a few places in the City Beautiful, but we think he should come back to check out more!

8. Visit a Water Park ✅

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If you need to stay cool this summer, there’s nothing better than spending the day at one of Orlando’s many water parks! From Disney’s Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon, to Island H2O, Aquatica, or Universal’s Volcano Bay, there’s no shortage of water slides in this city! 

Orlando is only a hop, skip, and a jump away from some of the best beaches in Florida and we have the perfect list for you to check them out! Pack your car for the day and hit to road to explore some of these amazing places. Explore space coast beaches like Cocoa Beach, New Smyrna, and Satellite Beach, or head to gulf coast to check out the beautiful Siesta Key!

10. Spend the Day at a Resort Pool ✅

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No pool? No problem! You don‘t have to stay overnight to enjoy Orlando‘s best resorts! We’ve curated the perfect resort pools in Orlando that are perfect for a summer stay. Enjoy a lazy river at the Omni Resort, hidden caverns at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, or the water park at the Gaylord Palms Resort. Many of these resorts you can find on Resort Pass, which is the perfect pool day trip!

You‘re already living in a huge tourist destination—why not enjoy it?! Check out some staycation spots in Orlando! From the Grand Bohemian in downtown Orlando, Ritz Carlton Grande Lakes, or Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, the options are endless for any staycation!

8. Explore the Outdoors ✅

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The outdoors are calling and we must go! Orlando is famous for not just theme parks, but there are plenty of outdoor activities to spend a summer day as well. If you love to bike you can check out the Orlando Urban Trail, or if wakeboarding is more your thing you can visit the Nona Adventure Park. If your idea of outdoors is drinking wine at Lakeridge Winery? We’ve got that too!

If you need a meal in between breakfast and lunch that also includes alcohol, we’ve got the perfect list for you! An Orlando summer bucket list staple has got to be brunch at one of these awesome places that also has bottomless mimosas! On this list you’ll find Santiago’s Bodega,  American Social, and Earl’s Kitchen and Bar to name a few.

We know Orlando can be expensive, so we’ve created this list of some of the best cheap things to do in Orlando! Many museums and gardens like Leu Gardens, Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens, and Mennello Museum of Art are inexpensive, or opt for a farm experience like Southern Hill Farms or Wildflower Farm!

Summer is all about ice cream right? At least we think so! And Orlando ice cream should be on your summer bucket list! Why not cool down with a delicious Cookie Monster from Kelly’s Homemade Ice Cream, or check out downtown’s Greenery Creamery! You can even try liquid nitrogen ice cream at Abracadabra, or ice cream with booze at Mild to Wild Ice Cream Shop.

Being in Central Florida, we are so lucky to be surrounded by SO many incredible sights and activities! From theme parks to beach trips and everything in between, there’s a summer activity for everyone. Check out these adventures within driving distance that are a must for your Orlando Summer Road Trip Bucket List!

Tag us in your posts!

While you cross off things to do from your Orlando Summer Bucket List, be sure to tag us on Facebook and Instagram and use the hashtag #StuffToDoInOrlando. Have a great summer!

Adriana Rodrigues Oswald

Adriana Rodrigues Oswald

Adriana is a City Manager for UNATION and author of the Stuff to Do in Orlando City Guide. For more insight on the best events and things to do in the Orlando area, download the UNATION app and follow @StufftoDoinOrlando on Instagram and Facebook.