Orlando, Florida, is often associated with Disney World, but there’s a plethora of non-Disney things to do in this vibrant city. From outdoor adventures to shopping, art, and culture, there’s something for everyone. In this article, we’ll explore the top non-Disney things to do in Orlando, including five subheadings.
1. Explore the Great Outdoors
Orlando is home to some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the United States. Visitors can explore the scenic parks, gardens, and lakes. Some of the top outdoor activities include:
1.1 Kayaking and Canoeing
Orlando has several waterways and lakes that are perfect for kayaking and canoeing. The Wekiva River is home to some of the most spectacular scenery in the area, and visitors can rent a kayak or canoe and paddle downstream. Another popular spot is Lake Eola, located in the heart of downtown Orlando. Visitors can rent a swan-shaped paddleboat and enjoy the beautiful views of the city skyline.
1.2 Biking and Hiking
Orlando has some great biking and hiking trails, including the West Orange Trail, a 22-mile stretch through scenic landscapes, and the Little Econ Greenway, a 7.2-mile trail that winds through forests and wetlands. For those who want to hike, the Tibet-Butler Preserve is a great option, with several trails of varying difficulty levels.
2. Indulge in Shopping
Orlando is a shopper’s paradise, with several malls and shopping centers offering everything from high-end designer brands to discount outlets. Here are some of the best places to shop:
2.1 The Mall at Millenia
The Mall at Millenia is one of the top shopping destinations in Orlando, with over 150 stores, including high-end designer brands such as Gucci, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton. The mall also has several restaurants and a movie theater.
2.2 Orlando Premium Outlets
For those who love a good bargain, the Orlando Premium Outlets are a must-visit. With over 180 stores, including Nike, Coach, and Polo Ralph Lauren, shoppers can find great deals on clothing, shoes, and accessories.
3. Experience Art and Culture
Orlando has a thriving art and cultural scene, with several museums, galleries, and theaters. Here are some of the top places to experience art and culture:
3.1 Orlando Museum of Art
The Orlando Museum of Art houses a vast collection of American and international art, including contemporary and modern pieces. The museum also hosts several temporary exhibitions throughout the year.
3.2 Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts is a state-of-the-art venue that hosts several shows and performances throughout the year, including Broadway musicals, ballets, and concerts.
4. Visit Unique Attractions
Orlando has several unique attractions that are a must-visit for travelers. Here are some of the top attractions:
Gatorland is a 110-acre theme park and wildlife preserve that’s home to thousands of alligators and crocodiles. Visitors can watch live alligator shows, zip-line over the park, and even get up close and personal with some of the resident alligators.
4.2 The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
While the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is technically located within the Disney World theme park, it’s worth mentioning as a unique attraction on its own. Visitors can explore Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley, ride thrilling roller coasters, and even sample some butterbeer.
5. Taste the Local Cuisine
Orlando has several fantastic restaurants that serve up delicious local cuisine. Here are some of the top places to eat:
5.1 The Ravenous Pig
The Ravenous Pig is a farm-to-table restaurant that serves up delicious Southern-inspired dishes, such as shrimp and grits and pork belly. The restaurant also has an extensive wine list and craft beer selection.
Domu is a Japanese-style restaurant that’s famous for its delicious ramen bowls. The restaurant also serves up small plates and cocktails, making it a perfect spot for a night out.
In conclusion, Orlando has plenty of non-Disney things to do, from outdoor adventures to shopping, art, and culture. Visitors can explore the great outdoors, indulge in shopping, experience art and culture, visit unique attractions, and taste the local cuisine. Whether you’re traveling with family, friends, or solo, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city.
Top Questions About Non Disney Things To Do In Orlando
What are some outdoor activities to do in Orlando?
If you’re looking for some outdoor fun, Orlando has plenty of options to choose from. Here are some of the best outdoor activities to do in Orlando:
1. Go on a wildlife tour: There are plenty of wildlife tours available in Orlando. Take a boat ride through the Everglades to see alligators, turtles, and birds. You can also visit Gatorland, which is a wildlife park that houses alligators, crocodiles, and other animals.
2. Visit a theme park: Orlando is known for its theme parks, and there are plenty of options to choose from. Universal Studios has a variety of rides and attractions, and SeaWorld Orlando is home to marine animals like dolphins and whales.
3. Take a hot air balloon ride: For a unique view of Orlando, take a hot air balloon ride. You’ll get to see the city from a whole new perspective.
What are some indoor activities to do in Orlando?
If you’re looking to escape the heat or rain, there are plenty of indoor activities to do in Orlando. Here are some of the best options:
1. Visit a museum: Orlando has several museums to choose from, including the Orlando Museum of Art and the Orlando Science Center.
2. Go shopping: Orlando is home to several shopping malls, including the Mall at Millenia and the Florida Mall.
3. See a show: Orlando has several theaters where you can see a variety of shows, including the Bob Carr Theater and the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.
What are some fun activities for kids in Orlando?
Orlando is a great destination for families with kids. Here are some of the best activities for kids:
1. Visit a theme park: Orlando’s theme parks are perfect for kids. Disney World is a classic choice, but you can also check out Universal Studios or Legoland.
2. Go to a water park: Orlando has several water parks, including Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach.
3. Visit a zoo: The Central Florida Zoo is a great option for families with kids. You can see a variety of animals, including giraffes, zebras, and rhinos.
What are some romantic activities to do in Orlando?
If you’re looking for a romantic weekend getaway, Orlando has plenty of options. Here are some of the best romantic activities to do in Orlando:
1. Take a hot air balloon ride: A hot air balloon ride is a great way to see Orlando from a new perspective. It’s also a romantic activity that you and your partner can enjoy together.
2. Visit a spa: Orlando has several spas that offer couples massages and other treatments. The Waldorf Astoria Spa is a great option.
3. Take a sunset cruise: There are several companies that offer sunset cruises in Orlando. You can enjoy the beautiful views while sipping on champagne.
What are some free things to do in Orlando?
If you’re on a budget, there are still plenty of things to do in Orlando that won’t cost you a dime. Here are some of the best free things to do in Orlando:
1. Visit a park: Orlando has several parks to choose from, including Lake Eola Park and Harry P. Leu Gardens.
2. See the fireworks: Disney World and Universal Studios both have nightly fireworks shows that you can watch for free outside the parks.
3. Explore the city: Take a walk around downtown Orlando and explore the shops, restaurants, and street art.
Common Misinterpretations Regarding Non Disney Things To Do In Orlando
When it comes to planning a trip to Orlando, many people think that the only things to do are Disney-related activities. However, there are plenty of other options for entertainment in the city. From museums to outdoor activities, there is something for everyone. Unfortunately, there are still many misconceptions about non-Disney things to do in Orlando.
Misconception 1: There are no good theme parks besides Disney in Orlando
While Disney may be the most well-known theme park in Orlando, there are plenty of other options that are just as exciting. One popular option is Universal Studios, which offers thrilling rides and attractions, as well as a chance to experience the world of Harry Potter. Another great theme park is SeaWorld, which has a variety of marine animals on display and exciting roller coasters.
Misconception 2: There are no outdoor activities in Orlando
Many people assume that Orlando is just a city full of theme parks and indoor attractions, but there are actually plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy as well. For example, there are several beautiful parks in the area, including Lake Eola Park and Harry P. Leu Gardens. Visitors can also go zip-lining, kayaking, or even hot air ballooning.
Misconception 3: Orlando only has touristy attractions
Another common misconception is that all of the attractions in Orlando are geared towards tourists and lack authenticity. However, there are several museums and cultural attractions that locals enjoy as well. For example, the Orlando Museum of Art features a collection of American art, while the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art has a collection of Tiffany glass.
Misconception 4: The food in Orlando is all fast food and chain restaurants
While there are certainly plenty of fast food and chain restaurants in Orlando, there are also many options for those who want to try something new. The city has a vibrant food scene, with a variety of international cuisines and locally sourced ingredients. Some of the best restaurants in Orlando include The Ravenous Pig, which serves modern American cuisine, and The Rusty Spoon, which offers farm-to-table fare.
Misconception 5: There is nothing to do in Orlando besides theme parks and shopping
Finally, some people believe that Orlando is a city that only offers theme parks and shopping malls as entertainment options. However, there are plenty of other things to do in the city. For example, visitors can take a hot air balloon ride over the city, go on a ghost tour, or even visit a chocolate factory. There are also several theaters and performing arts centers in the area, including the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.
Overall, there are plenty of misconceptions about non-Disney things to do in Orlando. While the city is known for its theme parks, there are also many other options for entertainment and activities. From outdoor adventures to cultural attractions, there is something for everyone in this vibrant city. By exploring all that Orlando has to offer, visitors can have a truly unforgettable experience.
Non Disney Things To Do In Orlando