Welcome to Orlando, Florida – one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. This vibrant city is known for its theme parks, beautiful weather, and vibrant nightlife, and truly has something to offer for everyone. In this article, we will be sharing the top 11 things to do in Orlando.
1. Explore Lake Eola Park
Lake Eola Park is located in the heart of downtown Orlando and is a must-visit attraction for anyone visiting the city. Take a relaxing stroll around the lake, which is just under one mile in circumference, and take in picturesque views of the downtown skyline. Rent a swan paddle boat to get out on the water with the live swans or explore the Walt Disney Amphitheater, which hosts live concerts, movies, and performances.
This park, which dates back to 1888, also includes a playground and a Chinese-style pagoda that provides a pretty lakeside overlook. Every Sunday, the lake’s southeast corner is filled with vendors for the weekly Farmers Market, featuring produce, prepared foods, arts and crafts vendors, and more.
2. Universal Studios Orlando
Universal Orlando Resort is known for its impressive Harry Potter and Jurassic Park-themed areas. While both are great for families, adults looking to cool off and enjoy the summer days ahead will want to go to Universal’s Volcano Bay. Here, you can lounge near the wave pool with a towering volcano just over the water’s edge or grab a colorfully swirled Waturi Fusion ice cream cone.
As one of the fun things to do in Orlando, Florida, Universal Studios will teleport you from one fantasy world to the other with its amazing rides. From its Back to the Future and Jaws rides, this theme park has now evolved into a contemporary and magical wonderland with sought-after rides such as Harry Potter and The Escape from Gringotts and Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem. Expect more Hollywood movie-inspired entertainment here.
3. Walt Disney World
We can’t talk about things to do in Orlando without mentioning Walt Disney World. This is arguably the top attraction in the area for people of all ages. The Walt Disney World Resort encompasses four theme parks that you can choose from – Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Many people opt for a park hopper pass to visit multiple parks during their stay. The resort complex offers visitors everything they need for a magical vacation.
The resorts are all themed stunning and offer something for almost every budget. Magic Kingdom gives happiness to every little prince and princess who visits – your kids will absolutely love it. They’ll be able to encounter their favorite Disney characters and enjoy the parades. Meanwhile, you can find some adrenaline-pumping activities such as Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Haunted Mansion. No matter what time you visit, plan to stay late to witness the fireworks – your Disney adventure is not complete without seeing this nightly event.
4. Water Parks
Florida has some beautiful weather almost year-round, but it can get unbearingly hot in the summer. So, if you’re looking for a great way to beat the heat, you can visit one of the several fantastic water parks in the area. Many of these are part of the Disney World and Universal resort complexes, but some aren’t. Each water park offers a fun theme, plenty of water slides, wave pools, and places to soak up the sun.
The best water parks in the area include Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon, Disney’s Blizzard Beach, and Universal’s Volcano Bay.
5. Helicopter Night Tour over Orlando’s Theme Parks
Explore Orlando from a helicopter and have a bird’s eye view of the theme parks, the Orlando Eye, the Florida sunset, or even catch some fireworks on your sightseeing chopper tour. The pilot’s commentary will fill you in on all the details of the sights of the city, making this ride one of the highlights of your trip.
6. Kennedy Space Center
The Kennedy Space Center has been hurtling humans and shuttles into space since 1968 and is still a primary site for NASA launches. Parts of the sprawling campus are open to the public, with daily tours offering opportunities to interact with real astronauts, test your skills with a simulated space flight, and see artifacts from the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs.
7. Saint Augustine Day Trip from Orlando
Take a trip back in time with a visit to enchanting Saint Augustine – one of America’s oldest towns. This full-day tour from Orlando arrives in Saint Augustine by mid-morning, giving you hours to spend on your favorite activities. Stroll along cobbled pathways, admire Spanish Colonial architecture, indulge in delicious seafood at a waterside restaurant, see historic landmarks, and add on an optional sightseeing cruise or trolley tour.
8. The Wheel at Icon Park
Being at the heart of the attractions area, Icon Park Orlando has multiple attractions. Some of these things to do may seem geared towards families, but couples will find their own fun here too. Icon Park is an entertainment complex located on one of Orlando’s main drags – International Drive, commonly known as iDrive.
Opened in 2015, Icon Park is home to a variety of restaurants, shops, and attractions including an aquarium, Madame Tussauds, and a 400-foot-tall wheel, which is the centerpiece of the park. This district is home to lots of entertainment venues, but if you’re looking for shops and restaurants, you’ll find plenty of casual options. Choose from chains like Shake Shack, Outback Steakhouse, Buffalo Wild Wings, and more.
9. Sunset Sailing Tour on Lake Fairview
Enjoy the opportunity to get out on the water and soak up the sunset views on this private sailing tour of Lake Fairview. Meet your sailor guide right at the Lake Fairview Park boat ramp and hop aboard your 25-foot sailboat. Then, just sit back and relax as you admire the scenery complete with whichever bring your own food and beverage options you prefer.
10. Everglades National Park Boat Tours
Orlando is where you can find the headwaters of the Everglades. That’s right, and in the marshy swamp area, you can take an airboat ride through the tall grasses and deep waters to see some natural Florida that hasn’t been inhabited by animated animal characters yet. The Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures take you through the headwaters on an adventure that lasts either 30 minutes or one hour. Throughout the tour, you’ll see animals like turtles, alligators, fish, and various birds that make up the delicate ecosystem of the headwaters.
11. Legoland Florida Resort
This Lego-centric theme park is known for kid-friendly rides featuring Lego characters and a Lego Pirate Island hotel that is a swashbuckling good time for the entire family. This year, Legoland Florida Resort is celebrating its 10th anniversary and continues to bring new entertainment to the park. The most recent addition is a new water stunt show – Brickbeard’s Water Stunt Show – which takes place on the lake and the backside of the park. Oh, and be sure not to leave the park without trying the iconic apple fries, which are fried apple sticks tossed lightly with cinnamon.
Whether you’re visiting with family or friends, there’s no shortage of fun activities to enjoy in this exciting city. From theme parks to boat tours, helicopter rides, and outdoor adventures, there’s something for everyone in Orlando, Florida. So, pack your bags, grab your sunscreen, and get ready for an unforgettable vacation.