Things To Do in Near Orlando
Orlando, Florida is widely celebrated for its world-class theme parks and attractions, but beyond these iconic destinations lies a wealth of additional activities to partake in. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker, nature enthusiast or history buff, the surrounding areas of Orlando offer an abundance of engaging and entertaining experiences. In this article, we’ll explore the top things to do near Orlando and provide some ideas for how you can make the most out of your visit, all while avoiding the crowds and exploring beyond the theme parks.
1. Explore the Natural Wonders of Wekiwa Springs State Park
Located just 20 minutes north of Orlando, Wekiwa Springs State Park provides visitors with a chance to explore Florida’s stunning natural beauty. The park offers a range of activities, including hiking trails, canoeing, kayaking, and swimming, as well as the opportunity to witness the thriving wildlife that calls the park home. The park is open every day of the year from 8 am until sundown, giving visitors plenty of time to soak up the sunshine and experience natural Florida.
The Wekiva River is one of the park’s most popular attractions, thanks to its crystal-clear waters and picturesque scenery. The river offers fantastic opportunities for kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding, all while taking in the breathtaking Florida wilderness. For those who prefer to stay on land, the park offers over 13 miles of hiking trails that wind their way through the forest and past the park’s myriad of springs and waterways.
2. Visit The Kennedy Space Center
The Kennedy Space Center is a must-visit destination for any space enthusiast. Located just 45 minutes east of Orlando on Florida’s Space Coast, this iconic attraction is the only place on Earth where you can relive the story of NASA’s human spaceflight program. The Center offers a range of opportunities for visitors of all ages, including guided tours, interactive exhibits and the chance to witness a rocket launch.
Visitors to the Center can explore the Atlantis exhibit, which features the iconic shuttle orbiter Atlantis, as well as a range of interactive exhibits that showcase NASA’s space achievements. Other highlights include the Rocket Garden, which features dozens of historic rockets, and the chance to meet real-life astronauts and learn about their experiences in space.
3. Relax at the Beach
While Orlando may be landlocked, there are plenty of stunning beaches nearby that offer an escape from the theme park crowds. Some popular options include Cocoa Beach and Daytona Beach, both of which are located within an hour’s drive of downtown Orlando. Cocoa Beach is known for its surf culture, while Daytona Beach is home to the famous Daytona International Speedway, where visitors can catch a NASCAR race.
4. Explore the Charm of Winter Park
Located just a few miles north of downtown Orlando, Winter Park is a charming town filled with unique boutiques, cafes, and galleries. Visitors can take a stroll around the town’s famous Park Avenue, which is lined with stunning trees draped in Spanish moss. The town is also home to several museums, including the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, which boasts the world’s largest collection of Tiffany glass.
5. Dive Into Orlando’s Thrill Rides
While Orlando may be best known for its theme parks, there are plenty of other attractions that offer a rush of adrenaline. One such attraction is I-Drive NASCAR, which features indoor kart racing on a quarter-mile track. Visitors can reach speeds of up to 45 mph as they compete against one another in fast-paced races.
Another popular attraction for thrill-seekers is the Orlando Slingshot. Located on the famous International Drive, this ride launches guests into the air at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour, providing a bird’s eye view of the surrounding area. Visitors can also take a ride on the StarFlyer, the world’s tallest swing ride, which stands at 450 feet tall.
Orlando, Florida may be best known for its world-class theme parks, but there are plenty of activities and attractions to explore beyond these iconic destinations. From natural wonders to historic sights and thrilling experiences, visitors to Orlando and the surrounding areas are encouraged to step outside of the theme parks and discover the diversity of attractions that await them.
Common Inquiries Regarding Things To Do In Near Orlando
What are some family-friendly things to do in Orlando?
Orlando is a popular destination for families with children. Whether you want to visit theme parks or spend some time in nature, there are plenty of options to keep everyone entertained. Here are three of the most important things to do:
- Visit Walt Disney World: This iconic theme park is a must-see for families. From the classic rides to the character meet-and-greets, there is something for everyone.
- Explore Universal Orlando Resort: Another famous theme park in Orlando, Universal offers a variety of rides and attractions, from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to thrilling roller coasters.
- Go to SeaWorld Orlando: This aquatic-themed park is home to a variety of animal encounters, including dolphin and sea lion shows, as well as roller coasters and other rides.
What are some outdoor activities to do in Orlando?
Orlando may be known for its theme parks, but there are also plenty of opportunities to explore nature and the great outdoors. Here are a few options:
- Visit Wekiwa Springs State Park: This park offers miles of hiking trails, as well as kayaking, canoeing, and swimming in natural springs.
- Explore Lake Eola Park: Located in downtown Orlando, this park features a lake that you can walk or jog around, as well as swan boat rentals.
- Go on an airboat ride: Take a tour of the Florida Everglades on an airboat and see alligators and other wildlife up close.
What are some indoor activities to do in Orlando?
If you’re looking for indoor activities to escape the heat, rain, or crowds, Orlando has plenty of options. Here are three to consider:
- Escape room: Put your problem-solving skills to the test by trying to escape one of Orlando’s many escape rooms.
- Orlando Science Center: This hands-on museum has exhibits on everything from dinosaurs to the human body, as well as a planetarium and IMAX theater.
- Madame Tussauds Orlando: Rub elbows (or at least take selfies) with wax figures of famous people from history, pop culture, and politics.
What are some cultural things to do in Orlando?
Orlando may not be known for its cultural attractions, but there are plenty of museums, galleries, and theaters worth checking out. Here are three:
- Hannibal Square Heritage Center: This museum highlights the history and culture of Winter Park’s African American community.
- Orlando Shakespeare Theater: Enjoy performances of classic and contemporary plays from one of the top regional theaters in the country.
- Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art: This museum houses the world’s largest collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany, as well as American art from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
What are some shopping options in Orlando?
Orlando is home to a variety of shopping options, from outlet malls to high-end boutiques. Here are three to add to your list:
- The Mall at Millenia: This upscale shopping center features designer brands like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Prada.
- Orlando International Premium Outlets: Score discounts on top brands like Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren, and Tommy Hilfiger at this outlet mall.
- The Florida Mall: With over 250 stores, including major department stores and specialty shops, this is one of the largest malls in Orlando.
Misbeliefs About Things To Do In Near Orlando
Common Misconceptions about Things To Do in Near Orlando
1. Theme parks are the only things to do in Orlando
One of the most common misconceptions about things to do near Orlando is that theme parks are the only things to see and do there. While it is true that the area is home to some of the most famous amusement parks in the world, there is plenty to do for people who don’t want to ride roller coasters, see shows, or explore magical kingdoms.
2. Orlando is only for families and children
Another common misconception is that Orlando is only for families with children. Although many visitors go to Orlando because of its child-friendly attractions, the city is also popular with couples and singles. There are plenty of adult-only areas, such as bars and nightclubs, and upscale restaurants and shopping centers.
3. You need to stay in a theme park hotel to have fun
Many people believe that staying in a theme park hotel is necessary for having a good time in Orlando. While it is true that theme park hotels offer certain benefits, such as early access to the parks or transportation to other nearby attractions, there are plenty of other options available for finding a place to stay in Orlando. Many hotels offer shuttle services to the parks or other area attractions, and some even have packages that include tickets to the parks and other area activities.
4. The beaches are too far away to visit
Some visitors to Orlando believe that the beaches are too far away to visit, and that it is not worth the time or effort to see them. While it is true that the closest beaches are not located right in Orlando, they are still accessible within a reasonable driving distance. The closest beaches to Orlando are located on the east coast of Florida, including Daytona Beach and Cocoa Beach, both of which are less than an hour’s drive away.
5. It’s always hot in Orlando
Many people assume that Orlando is always hot and sunny, with no fluctuations in temperature or weather conditions. While the area is known for its warm weather, with temperatures that can climb into the 90s during the summer months, it is not always sunny in Orlando. The area can also experience rain and thunderstorms, particularly during the summer months. Visitors should be prepared for changing weather conditions and bring appropriate clothing and rain gear.
Things To Do In Near Orlando