The 23 Best Things To Do in Orlando, Florida

Orlando, Florida is one of the top tourist destinations in the United States, drawing over 75 million visitors per year. Known as the “Theme Park Capital of the World”, Orlando is home to world-famous attractions like Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort, and SeaWorld. But beyond the major theme parks, Orlando offers a diverse range of activities and adventures perfect for couples, families, solo travelers, foodies, nature lovers and more.

23 Best Things To Do in Orlando

From unique entertainment shows to scenic nature excursions, here are the 23 best things to do in Orlando, Florida:

1. Dinner and a Show at the Pirates Dinner Adventure

For a unique dining experience, head to the Pirates Dinner Adventure. This interactive show includes an exciting pirate-themed performance with action-packed stunts, aerial feats, sword fights and more. The arena is set inside a large pirate ship with intricately designed decor. Enjoy a delicious three-course meal as you watch the captivating show. It’s the perfect activity for families and pirate enthusiasts of all ages.

Address: 6400 Carrier Drive, Orlando FL 32819

2. Go On a Manatee Encounter

Get up close with gentle giants on a Manatee Encounter Kayak Tour. Paddle through Orlando’s natural springs and waterways as expert guides lead you to the best wildlife viewing spots. It’s a special opportunity to observe and photograph manatees and other native species in their natural habitats. Tours run 2 to 3 hours and provide a peaceful retreat from the city.

3. Visit the Kennedy Space Center

No trip to Orlando is complete without visiting the historic Kennedy Space Center. Go behind the gates of NASA’s launch headquarters and explore their impressive space shuttle exhibits. Take a bus tour to see Apollo/Saturn V Center, the actual launchpad for the Apollo moon missions. See the Rocket Garden, the Astronaut Memorial and more at this iconic site where human spaceflight made history.

Address: Space Commerce Way, Merritt Island, FL 32953

4. Take a Helicopter Flight Over the Theme Parks

Get a bird’s eye view of Orlando’s famous parks and attractions on an exciting helicopter tour. Soar over Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and other major theme parks in the city. Large viewing windows allow you to take stunning aerial photos of the panoramic views below. Knowledgeable pilots will point out highlights and landmarks as you glide over the Orlando Eye, Cinderella Castle and more.

Address: 4010 4th St, Kissimmee, FL 34741

5. Go Kayaking/Paddleboarding at Night

Experience Orlando’s natural springs in a whole new light with a magical nighttime kayaking or paddleboarding tour. Equipment like clear kayaks and LED-lit boards create a neon glow as you paddle through the water at night. Peacefully navigate the river under the moonlight and stars for unforgettable views and memories.

Address: 344 NE Ivanhoe Blvd, Orlando, FL 32804, USA

6. Go for a Stroll at Lake Eola Park

Lake Eola Park is a lovely retreat located right in downtown Orlando. Take a relaxing stroll around the picturesque lake and stop to enjoy panoramic views of the city skyline. Rent a swan-shaped paddleboat, check out the farmer’s market on Sundays, relax by the fountain and more. The park also hosts fun events like outdoor concerts, food festivals and 4th of July fireworks.

Address: Orlando, FL 32801

7. Watch a Medieval Times Dinner Theater Performance

Dinner theater combines a delicious feast with an exciting, interactive show. At Medieval Times watch an exhilarating tournament with knights on horseback competing in jousting, swordsmanship and other games. Cheer for your knight over a four-course medieval-style banquet in your castle-themed seating section. It’s a unique experience that transports you back to the 11th century.

Address: 4510 W Vine Street, Kissimmee, FL 34746

8. Catch a Basketball Game

Sports fans will love catching a pro basketball game in Orlando. See the NBA’s Orlando Magic take on rivals like the Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers and more at the state-of-the-art Amway Center arena. Soak up the lively energy as you cheer alongside passionate local fans.

Address: 400 West Church Street, Orlando, FL 32801

9. Visit the Beautiful Harry P Leu Gardens

Nature lovers will adore the stunning Harry P Leu Gardens. Stroll 50 acres of lush botanical gardens, walking trails, and lakes – right in the heart of Orlando. See vibrant tropical plants like hibiscus, ginger and orchids, roses, camellias and more. Admission is free on the first Monday of the month.

Address: 1920 N Forest Ave, Orlando, FL 32803

10. See the Stars at Madame Tussaud’s Celebrity Wax Museum

Madame Tussaud’s is one of the best wax museums, featuring incredibly lifelike figures of A-list celebrities, historical icons, sports stars and more. Pose for selfies with accurate replicas of Taylor Swift, Johnny Depp, Barack Obama, Selena Gomez and many others. The wax figures are frequently updated to include current pop culture stars.

Address: 8387 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819

11. See Breathtaking Views from The Orlando Eye

The Orlando Eye is a unique way to see the city from 400 feet in the air. This giant observation wheel provides unparalleled views of downtown Orlando, theme parks and attractions from air-conditioned glass capsules. Special experiences like dining or drinking in a private capsule are available for a memorable time.

Address: International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819

12. Dinner and Live Entertainment at Mango’s Tropical Cafe

Experience an exciting dinner show at Mango’s Tropical Cafe on International Drive. Sip tropical cocktails and savor Floribbean cuisine while you watch chart-topping performances like salsa dancing, Latin pop, disco hits, Broadway classics and more. With regular shows throughout your meal, it’s nonstop entertainment at one of the liveliest spots in town.

Address: 8126 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819

13. Play and Learn at Wonderworks Orlando

At WonderWorks get hands-on with over 100 interactive STEAM exhibits that educate while entertaining. Feel like you’re upside down in their iconic inverted building. Play laser tag, lie on a bed of nails, design rollercoasters and more. It’s a wonder-filled indoor amusement park perfect for kids and adults alike.

Address: 9067 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819

14. Join an Everglades Airboat Tour

Just outside Orlando, explore Florida’s Everglades ecosystem on a thrilling airboat ride. Zoom through shallow marshes and wetland areas inhabited by alligators, birds and other wildlife. Operators offer 30-minute to 1-hour tours that provide an exciting adventure in central Florida’s iconic swamps and grasslands.

Address: 3301 Lake Cypress Rd, Kenansville, FL 34739

15. Have a Meal at the Hard Rock Cafe

For tasty American classics in a lively rock n’ roll-themed setting, check out Hard Rock Cafe. They have something for everyone with options like burgers, ribs, salads and gluten-free choices. Sip a unique cocktail as you soak in the rock memorabilia lining the walls and energetic ambiance. A Orlando icon located right in Universal CityWalk.

Address: 6050 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819

16. Enjoy a Glass of Wine at Lakeridge Winery

Sample award-winning wines at Lakeridge Winery, just outside Orlando in Clermont. Tour the vineyard grounds and production facilities to see how their signature wines are made. Visit on weekends for live music, festivals and special events. Relax with a wine tasting paired with cheese and chocolates.

Address: 19239 US Hwy 27, Clermont, FL, 34715

17. Go Blueberry Picking at Southern Hill Farms

From spring through summer, u-pick farms like Southern Hill Farms let you pick fresh blueberries by the bucketful. Enjoy the experience with your family and fill up on delicious berries. Some farms have games, playgrounds and food vendors for a full day out. Southern Hill Farms also hosts fun harvest festivals and events.

Address: 16651 Schofield Rd, Clermont, FL 34714

18. Enjoy Food & Drinks at the Margaritaville Resort

Escape to the laid-back paradise of Margaritaville Resort for Floribbean-inspired cuisine, drinks and entertainment. Laze in the pool or hot tub, relax at the spa, play mini golf or volleyball. Catch a movie on the lakeside screening wall or a live concert on the main stage. With fun activities for all ages, it’s easy to while away the days here.

Address: 8000 Fins Up Cir, Kissimmee, FL 34747

19. Get Off the Beaten Track on a Quad Bike Adventure

Off-road enthusiasts will love traversing over 1,000 acres of picturesque wetlands and orange groves on a guided Quad Bike tour from Clermont. Ride your own 2 or 4-wheeled quad through muddy tracks and hills for an adventure away from the hustle and bustle. Along the way, spot native species like wild hogs, birds, turkeys and alligators.

Address: 4000 FL-33, Clermont, FL 34714

20. Color Your World at the Crayola Experience

The Crayola Experience located inside the Florida Mall brings the iconic crayon brand to life. Kids can star in their own coloring pages, name and wrap their own crayon, learn how crayons are made and more. With 25+ hands-on activities, it’s a colorful indoor playground perfect for young creative minds.

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

21. Witness Orlando’s Polynesian Fire Luau

Orlando’s Polynesian Fire Luau dinner and show perfectly captures the spirit of the Pacific Islands. Enjoy a delicious three-course meal as you watch performances from Hawaiian, Tahitian, Tongan and Maori cultures. Dynamic dances like the hula and warriors’ fire knife dance are not to be missed.

Address: 6464 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819

22. Rent a Jet Ski

Zoom across a private lake on your very own jet ski rental. Located minutes from downtown Orlando, this family-friendly spot provides life jackets and basic riding lessons for newbies. Build up your skills riding solo or tandem across the beautiful waters – a thrilling change from usual theme park visits.

Address: 13245 Lake Bryan Dr, Orlando, FL 32821

23. Stroll Through the Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition

Pay your respects to the famed ocean liner at Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition. Featuring over 150 authentic artifacts recovered from the wreck site, you’ll gain insights into the Titanic’s tragic demise and the personal stories of its passengers and crew. An educational and reflective experience.

Address: 7324 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819

Frequently Asked Questions About Visiting Orlando

What is Orlando known for?

Orlando is most famous for being the “Theme Park Capital of the World”, home to massive resorts like Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, SeaWorld Orlando, and other major theme parks and attractions. The city also boasts natural beauty like freshwater springs, lakes and parks.

When is the best time to visit Orlando?

The best times to visit Orlando are in the cooler months of mid-January through April when crowds are lower and temperatures are mild. Late August through November also see fewer tourists. Summertime is hot and humid with peak crowds.

Is Orlando worth visiting?

Yes! Beyond the theme parks, Orlando offers a huge variety of activities from airboat rides to museums, gardens, dining and outdoor adventures like zip lining, making it perfect for all interests. You’ll find family fun, date nights, group trips and more in this vibrant city.

How many days should I spend in Orlando?

At minimum, 4 to 5 days are ideal to visit Orlando’s multiple theme parks without feeling rushed. A week or more allows time to also explore area attractions like Kennedy Space Center, shopping malls, gardens and side trips to beaches, wineries or nature preserves.

Is Orlando safe?

Yes, Orlando is generally very safe for tourists. The theme parks and most tourist areas have visible security presence and take safety precautions. Standard precautions like avoiding isolated areas at night apply. Overall, Orlando sees very low rates of violent crime.

What is the most popular thing to do in Orlando?

The Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando theme parks are by far the most popular Orlando attractions. Top Disney parks include Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. At Universal, guests love thrilling rides at Islands of Adventure and shows/entertainment at Universal Studios.

What is the best beach in Orlando?

Orlando is inland but visitors can access nice beaches within a 1 to 2 hour’s drive. Top nearby beaches include Cocoa Beach with its famous pier, New Smyrna Beach, Siesta Key Beach near Sarasota and Clearwater Beach on the Gulf coast.

What foods should I try in Orlando?

Iconic Orlando foods to try include classic theme park snacks like Disney’s Dole Whip, Universal’s Butterbeer, and Turkish ice cream. The city offers a diversity of cuisines – seek out Southern comfort food, Cuban sandwiches, Brazilian churrascarias, Vietnamese pho, and Florida’s fresh citrus and seafood.

Is 3 days enough in Orlando?

While you can see highlights in 2 to 3 days, it’s a bit rushed. To fully experience even one theme park (Magic Kingdom, Islands of Adventure etc), you need a full day. Three days allows you to see a few top parks, or one park plus other area attractions at a more relaxed pace.

Conclusion

From world-famous amusement parks to alligator-spotting airboat rides, Orlando offers unforgettable experiences for travelers of all ages and interests. In addition to its reputation for theme park thrills, the city impresses visitors with cuisine at all price points, vibrant nightlife, shopping, outdoor recreation and cultural attractions. For the ultimate Orlando getaway, mix and match from this list of the top things to do.

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