Welcome to Orlando, the city of magic and adventure! If you’re visiting Universal Orlando Resort, you’re in for a treat. While the theme parks are undoubtedly the main attraction, there are plenty of other exciting things to do in the area. In this article, we’ll take you on a journey to explore the best activities, attractions, dining options, and shopping experiences near Universal Orlando. So, put on your adventure hat and let’s dive in!
1. Discover the Wonder of International Drive
Located just a stone’s throw away from Universal Orlando, International Drive is a bustling hub of entertainment, shopping, and dining. This iconic stretch of road offers a wide range of attractions to suit every taste. Start your day with a visit to the ICON Park, where you can ride the towering Ferris wheel for panoramic views of the city. If you’re traveling with kids, don’t miss the SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium or Madame Tussauds wax museum.
Feeling hungry? International Drive has no shortage of dining options. From mouthwatering steaks at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse to delicious seafood at Joe’s Crab Shack, you’ll find something to satisfy every craving. If you’re in the mood for international cuisine, head to one of the many restaurants offering flavors from around the world.
2. Explore the Natural Beauty of Wekiwa Springs State Park
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Wekiwa Springs State Park. Just a short drive from Universal Orlando, this oasis offers a variety of outdoor activities for nature enthusiasts. Take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear springs, go kayaking along the Wekiva River, or hike through the lush trails to discover native wildlife and stunning flora.
For a unique experience, consider renting a canoe or paddleboard and explore the park’s waterways at your own pace. Pack a picnic and enjoy a leisurely lunch in one of the designated picnic areas, surrounded by the serene sounds of nature. Wekiwa Springs State Park is the perfect place to unwind and reconnect with the great outdoors.
3. Indulge in Retail Therapy at The Mall at Millenia
If you’re a fan of shopping, a visit to The Mall at Millenia is a must. Located just a short drive from Universal Orlando, this upscale shopping center is home to an array of luxury brands and designer boutiques. From high-end fashion labels like Gucci and Louis Vuitton to renowned department stores like Macy’s and Neiman Marcus, you’ll find everything you need for a stylish shopping spree.
Even if shopping isn’t your cup of tea, The Mall at Millenia offers more than just retail therapy. Treat yourself to a pampering session at one of the luxurious spas, or indulge in a gourmet meal at one of the many fine dining establishments. The Mall at Millenia is a shopper’s paradise, offering an exquisite blend of fashion, dining, and entertainment.
4. Experience the Thrills of iFly Indoor Skydiving
Have you ever dreamed of flying? At iFly Indoor Skydiving, you can experience the thrill of skydiving without jumping out of a plane. Located near Universal Orlando, this state-of-the-art facility uses powerful vertical wind tunnels to create a safe and exhilarating indoor skydiving experience. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced flyer, iFly offers packages suitable for all skill levels.
After a brief training session with experienced instructors, you’ll don a flight suit, helmet, and goggles before taking flight. Feel the rush of air as you soar weightlessly in the vertical wind tunnel, defying gravity and experiencing a sensation like no other. iFly Indoor Skydiving is a must-try activity for adrenaline junkies and those seeking a unique and unforgettable experience.
5. Unwind at CityWalk Orlando
After a long day of exploring Universal Orlando and its surrounding attractions, head over to CityWalk Orlando for a night of entertainment, dining, and nightlife. This vibrant entertainment complex, located just steps away from the theme parks, offers a plethora of options to suit every taste.
Whether you’re in the mood for a gourmet meal at one of the many themed restaurants, a live concert at the Hard Rock Live, or a comedy show at the iconic Improv Comedy Club, CityWalk Orlando has something for everyone. Enjoy the lively atmosphere as you stroll through the vibrant streets, filled with street performers, shops, and bars. CityWalk Orlando is the perfect place to unwind and end your day with a bang.
Orlando is a city full of excitement, and there are endless things to do near Universal Orlando Resort. From exploring the wonders of International Drive to indulging in retail therapy at The Mall at Millenia, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city. Don’t forget to venture into nature at Wekiwa Springs State Park and experience the thrill of indoor skydiving at iFly. And of course, wrap up your day with a visit to CityWalk Orlando, where entertainment and nightlife come alive. So, when you’re planning your trip to Universal Orlando, remember to carve out some time to explore the incredible attractions that await you just beyond the theme parks.
Top Questions Regarding Things To Do In Orlando Near Universal
What are some popular attractions near Universal Orlando?
Some popular attractions near Universal Orlando include:
1. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: This themed area is a must-visit for Harry Potter fans, featuring attractions such as Hogwarts Castle, Diagon Alley, and the Forbidden Journey ride.
2. Universal CityWalk: This vibrant entertainment district offers a variety of dining, shopping, and entertainment options, including restaurants, nightclubs, and live performances.
3. International Drive: Known as I-Drive, this bustling stretch of road is lined with hotels, restaurants, and attractions such as the ICON Orlando observation wheel and the Orlando Eye.
Are there any water parks near Universal Orlando?
Yes, there are several water parks near Universal Orlando, including:
1. Volcano Bay: This water park, located within Universal Orlando Resort, offers thrilling water slides, a lazy river, and a massive volcano that serves as its centerpiece.
2. Aquatica Orlando: Owned by SeaWorld, this water park features a variety of water slides, wave pools, and animal encounters, providing a fun-filled day for the whole family.
3. Wet ‘n Wild: Although it is no longer in operation, Wet ‘n Wild was a popular water park near Universal Orlando that offered a wide range of water attractions and slides.
What are some family-friendly activities near Universal Orlando?
There are plenty of family-friendly activities near Universal Orlando, including:
1. Universal’s Islands of Adventure: This theme park features various themed lands, such as Marvel Super Hero Island and Jurassic Park, with attractions suitable for all ages.
2. Orlando Science Center: Located near downtown Orlando, this interactive museum offers hands-on exhibits, planetarium shows, and educational programs for kids of all ages.
3. Gatorland: This unique attraction allows visitors to get up close and personal with alligators and other wildlife through shows, exhibits, and even ziplining adventures.
Where can I go shopping near Universal Orlando?
You can go shopping at the following places near Universal Orlando:
1. The Mall at Millenia: This upscale shopping mall offers a wide range of luxury brands, including Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Prada, as well as popular department stores like Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s.
2. Orlando International Premium Outlets: Located on International Drive, this outlet mall features over 180 stores, offering discounted prices on designer and brand-name merchandise.
3. Pointe Orlando: This open-air shopping, dining, and entertainment complex features a variety of shops, ranging from clothing boutiques to souvenir stores, as well as restaurants and a movie theater.
What are some dining options near Universal Orlando?
There are numerous dining options near Universal Orlando, including:
1. Restaurant Row: Located on Sand Lake Road, this area is known for its diverse selection of restaurants, offering cuisines from around the world, including Italian, Japanese, and American.
2. The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen: This unique steampunk-themed restaurant at Universal CityWalk offers a menu featuring comfort food favorites, milkshakes, and delectable desserts.
3. The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar: Also located at Universal CityWalk, this restaurant combines sushi and burgers, offering a unique dining experience for those looking for something different.
1. Universal Studios is the only theme park in Orlando
One common misconception about things to do in Orlando near Universal is that Universal Studios is the only theme park in the area. In reality, there are several other popular theme parks nearby, including Walt Disney World Resort, SeaWorld Orlando, and LEGOLAND Florida Resort. These parks offer a wide range of rides, attractions, and entertainment options that cater to different interests and age groups. Visitors to Orlando have the opportunity to explore and enjoy a variety of theme parks, making their trip even more memorable.
2. Universal Studios is only for thrill-seekers
Another misconception is that Universal Studios is only suitable for thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies. While Universal Studios does offer thrilling rides such as roller coasters and simulators, it also caters to visitors of all ages and interests. The park features a diverse range of attractions, including family-friendly rides, live shows, character meet-and-greets, and immersive themed lands. Whether you’re a fan of Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, or classic movies, Universal Studios offers something for everyone, regardless of their thrill-seeking preferences.
3. Universal CityWalk is only for nightlife
Many people mistakenly believe that Universal CityWalk, the entertainment complex located adjacent to Universal Studios, is only for nightlife activities. While CityWalk does come alive at night with its vibrant bars, clubs, and live music venues, it offers much more than just nightlife. During the day, visitors can explore a variety of dining options, from quick-service restaurants to upscale eateries. CityWalk also features unique shopping experiences, including boutiques, souvenir stores, and specialty shops. Additionally, visitors can enjoy mini-golf, watch movies at the IMAX theater, or simply take a leisurely stroll along the promenade.
4. Universal’s Volcano Bay is just a water park
Some people may mistakenly assume that Universal’s Volcano Bay is just another ordinary water park. In reality, Volcano Bay offers a highly immersive and unique water park experience. The park is themed around a tropical paradise and features a massive 200-foot volcano, which serves as the park’s centerpiece. With a variety of water slides, lazy rivers, wave pools, and even a virtual queue system, Volcano Bay provides visitors with an unforgettable day of fun and relaxation. Whether you’re seeking thrilling water slides or a tranquil beachside retreat, Volcano Bay caters to a wide range of preferences.
5. Universal’s attractions are only for movie fans
One common misconception is that the attractions at Universal Studios are only enjoyable for movie buffs. While Universal Studios does offer numerous rides and experiences based on popular movies and TV shows, such as the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and The Simpsons Ride, the park’s appeal extends far beyond just movie fans. Many of the attractions are designed to provide immersive and interactive experiences that can be enjoyed by anyone, regardless of their familiarity with the source material. From thrilling roller coasters to live shows and character interactions, Universal Studios offers entertainment and excitement for all visitors, regardless of their movie preferences.
Things To Do In Orlando Near Universal