We’re lucky to be in the theme park capital of the world, but sometimes theme parks can be exhausting! We’ve crafted the perfect list of the best things to do in Orlando besides theme parks.
Whether you’re looking for adventure, or just relaxation, we’ve got you covered!
One of the greatest things about Orlando is that we live so close to natural springs! Just a few miles west or north, and you’ll find some of the coolest spots where you can swim, snorkel, glass-bottom boat, or even scuba!
Below are just a few of the springs closest to Orlando, but Florida has so many to offer, so be sure to check them out!
Also check out our blog on 5 Natural Springs Near Orlando.
Right in the heart of downtown Orlando is the iconic Lake Eola. Surrounded by the City Beautiful, this lake has plenty of restaurants and bars around it, as well as a great path around the lake to walk around! You’re sure to run into real-life swans, or you can rent a swan-shaped paddleboard and enjoy a beautiful afternoon on the water!
Every Sunday, they have one of the biggest farmers’ markets, and there are always exciting events happening around the lake.
You’ve probably seen The Wheel from I-4, but did you know there is so much more to offer at ICON Park Orlando? Restaurants, bars, shops, museums, and even an aquarium are all in this 20-acre open-air entertainment district! It’s a great place to bring the whole family and eat and shop in one of the coolest places in Orlando!
Another awesome place to check out in downtown Orlando is the Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts. Not only do they have a gorgeous theater for indoor performances, but they also now have their yard open, which can host socially distant concerts!
Enjoy live performances again in the safety of your own little section, complete with food and drinks! Stay up to date with their social media and website to see who’s performing next.
Orlando sure does have a lot of sports to brag about! Basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, hockey, and UCF games are great ways to spend the day cheering for your favorite teams. This city loves to celebrate, so grab your jersey and head to the games! Check out the websites below for their schedules.
Orlando Magic Basketball
Orlando City Men’s Soccer
Orlando Pride Women’s Soccer
Orlando Solar Bears Hockey
UCF Knights Athletics
Orlando has the perfect weather for gardens, and there are a few beautiful botanical gardens that are a great way to spend a day away from the theme parks. Leu Gardens and Mead Botanical Gardens are located near downtown, and Bok Tower Gardens is located in Lake Wales but is absolutely worth it to go see! Beautiful gardens, a delicious cafe, and a singing tower to explore.
Speaking of Botanical Gardens, if you head north of Orlando to Sanford, you’ll also get a chance to explore Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens. Central Florida Zoo has amazing animals like giraffes, rhinos, llamas, and more! They also have a great conservation program, and you can learn about endangered and rare species from around the world.
Love games? Andretti Indoor Karting and Games is the place to be! Go-karting, laser tag, ropes course, and a new VR game! Bring back your childhood nostalgia with some of the classic games, as well as learn something new with their news games! There’s also a full restaurant and bar so you can have your fun while you play!
Love puzzles? Put your mind to the test with escape games! Orlando has so many different escape games to choose from, whether you want to escape from a space-themed room, an evil scientist’s laboratory, or a mystery travel agency. Be sure to grab your smartest friends and see if you got what it takes!
If you love golf, or even if you’ve never tried it, Top Golf is the coolest experience for anyone! Each party has its own bay, and from there, you’re able to hit the ball and aim for the targets! Whether you’re good or bad, it’s always fun to shoot your shot! There’s also a full restaurant and bar, and it’s a great place for group parties!
Love selfies? Who doesn’t? If you’re looking for the perfect Instagram picture, then be sure to check out these photo studios! Self WRLD just opened up in the Florida Mall and is one of the coolest new spots in town to pose for that perfect selfie.
Wall Crawl is also a great place for photos, and they have over 20 different themes walls that constantly change with the seasons. We love to see it!
A great way to support local Orlando vendors is by heading out to your local farmers’ market! Orlando has so many different ones to choose from whether you’re in downtown Orlando, Winter Park, Winter Garden, or even Celebration!
Enjoy delicious local produce, artisan vendors, and even local food trucks! It’s the perfect way to spend your weekend!
Did you know that there’s a Drive-Thru Safari located near Orlando? Wild Florida Airboats and Drive-Thru allow you to pack up the car and head out to go see amazing animals without even getting out of your seat.
Not only can you drive through the safari park, but be sure to check out the other amazing animals as well!
Thrifting is a great way to spend the day that helps not only local shops but also is great for the environment! Orlando has some really awesome and eclectic shops whether you’re looking for vintage clothing, furniture, or even knick-knacks for your home. Everyone will be asking where you got that!
Learn from experts in a range of courses tailored specifically for women. Whether you are learning how to best carry to stay protected, the requirements to obtain a Florida Concealed Carry License, or self-defense classes with an intro to handguns, there are informative courses for everyone.
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Hi I'm Anna! Originally for Raleigh, NC, I moved to Orlando to follow my lifelong dream of working for the mouse—come visit me at Rise of ...