Over the years, Orlando has transformed into a place where all is catered for, and no matter what the age, there is something for everyone. This is what makes Orlando so inviting, thus, becoming a fantastic attraction and one of the best locations in the world. Having more than 280 days of sunshine, it is a place that ensures people go home with a nice tan and a smile finely etched on their face. However, one of the hardest parts of visiting Orlando is planning out what to do during your stay. It is not enough to fit the entire city into seven days. To make the most out of this destination, it is necessary to have a well thought out itinerary. Planning, therefore, becomes a critical element that guarantees your vacation is spent well. That said, below are some of the best non-touristy things to do in Orlando, Florida.
1. Indulge your senses at the Orlando Art Museum
Founded in 1924, the Orlando Museum of Art is the primary cultural institution in Orlando. Here, one can indulge in the 10 to 12 exhibitions on-site and 13 exhibitions off-site, participate in award-winning art enrichment programs, avail unlimited gallery tours, join teacher in-service training programs, video programs, distinguished lectures, art appreciation lectures, studio classes, and many more. You can also take a carefree saunter in between the paintings as the mind wanders off in the vast expanse of imagination. There are many things to do here at the Orlando Museum of Art, as its mission is to stir creativity, passion, and intellectual curiosity by connecting everyone with art and new ideas.
Orlando Art Museum
Address: 2416 N Mills Ave, Orlando, FL 32803, USA
Website: Orlando Art Museum
Opening hours: Tue - Fri: 10am - 4pm; Sat - Sun: 12pm - 4pm (closed on Mon)
Price: 15 USD
2. Enjoy live concerts at Venue 578
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
Formerly known as Firestone Live, the VENUE 578 is an internationally acclaimed Orlando essential featuring a multidimensional entertainment complex. Visitors who seek a different way to spend their day may opt to go here. Every week, VENUE578 hosts both national and international acts, welcoming 3,000 and 10,000 guests between the ages of 18 and 45. It boasts over 100 concerts annually, over 10 outdoor music festivals, and over 175 weekly entertainment driven events. Here, one can catch live shows like Ghastly, Timmy Trumpet, Valentino Khan, Spag Heddy, Bonnie x ClydClaptone, and many more. VENUE578 never runs out of shows, and it always has entertainment for everyone.
Address: 578 N Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32801, USA
Website: VENUE 578
Opening hours: From 7pm
Price: 10 USD
3. Appreciate what nature has to offer at Wekiwa Springs
Just a short distance away from Downtown Orlando, Wekiwa Springs State Park offers its guests the perfect opportunity to witness abundant wildlife, with its ethereal springs feeding Wekiwa River and its tropical hammocks. The river is Orange Country’s longest-running tourist attraction. It is, without any question, the most sought out wildlife entertainment by both Floridians and travelers. Wekiwa River has always been a special place where people can spend their weekends observing crystal clear waters, paddling canoes, and kayaking past the blooms of pickerelweed. It is a perfect destination if one is looking for atypical things to do in Orlando.
Address: 1800 Wekiwa Cir, Apopka, FL 32712-2581
Website: Wekiwa Springs
Opening hours: 8am - 5pm (daily)
Price: 6 USD
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Here, you will be able to witness the splendor of American space exploration. Spend away the hours exploring rocket exhibits such as the massive Saturn V, participating in exciting simulations, watching stellar IMAX films, among others, in this world-class visitor center. If guests decide to avail the unlimited access pass at the Kennedy Space Center, they should expect a day trip to the entire place including lunch with an astronaut, a Space Shuttle ride, an Up-Close guided tour, and many more. The Kennedy Space Center is the perfect way to spend the day with family members or friends. When one still has the time afterward, a quick stop at the Rocket Garden or Orbit Café will complete the experience.
Kennedy Space Center Tour, Dine with a Astronaut from Orlando
Duration: 11 hours
5. Go shopping at Lake Eola Farmer’s Market
Aside from having sunshine almost all year round, Orlando is also known for having fresh fruits and vegetables. It is recognized for its high supply of healthy grocery. Not only are the markets filled with fruits and vegetables but it also carries an assortment of meat, home-made baked goods, and artisan products such as wine, honey, and even artwork that may claim a space in one’s dining room wall. Spend the entire morning at Lake Eola Farmer’s Market and shop for fresh produce. A myriad of vendors come in early to display their farm in the expansive space around Lake Eola. An abundance of food is laid out in the open that is separate from the drinks section. If one decides to pay a visit, expect to be exposed to every item one will ever need from a farm. The shopping at the Farmer’s Market will be quickly done because all items are within a small radius.
Lake Eola Farmer’s Market
Address: 20 N Eola Dr, Orlando, FL 32801, USA
Website: Lake Eola Farmer’s Market
Opening hours: Sun: 10am - 4pm
6. Go on a water adventure at Gatorland
Gatorland in Florida is the snappiest side of the Sunshine State that visitors will encounter. Leave the monotonous theme parks behind and head out to swampy bayous and pay a visit to the coldblooded creatures living here. Tourists have been flocking this vast expanse since 1949, and today the swamplands of Florida are deemed as one of the United States of America’s remarkable and rare habitats that cater to amazing critters. Once inside, make sure to make the most out of all activities. Explore Alligator Island and Jungle Crocs, and stick around for feeding time to witness these creatures as they gobble up a chicken in a breath. If lucky, the two extremely rare, giant white alligators may swim up to the surface for a quick show. Other activities in the area include checking out the giant tortoises, riding the zip line, and swimming in Gator Gully Splash Park, a fun-filled water adventure to ideally end the day.
Address: 14501 S Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, FL 32837, USA
Opening hours: 10am - 6pm (daily)
Price: 29.99 USD
7. Sing with a live band at the Rising Star
Photo is only for illustrative purposes
Rising Star is the place for everyone with dreams of taking over the stage and belting out a song as the lead singer of a band. CityWalk’s Rising Star is not the typical karaoke bar. Here, one can grab the microphone and sing with a live band, complete with real backup singers. Guests are allowed to choose from an impressive number of song titles and rock out like a superstar, or jam to a favorite country ballad, as one performs in front of a live audience. Aside from that, there are other things to love about Rising Star. The staff is incredibly friendly, and fellow guests are always in the mood for a good night.
Address: 6000 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819, USA
Website: Rising Star
Opening hours: 8pm - 2am (daily)
Price: 7 USD
8. Know your future at the Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp
Home to the largest psychic community in the world, the Cassada Spiritualist Camp in Florida is known for specializing in communication with the dead. A town built by people who command respect for their scared values, Cassadaga boasts of having the highest number of psychics, mediums, and clairvoyants. The people here believe that Cassadaga is the center of spiritual energy where both the divine and the Earth come together to form an ethereal whirlpool powerful enough to heal the broken hearts and spirits of human beings. Here, visitors may meditate and find meaning in their lives, or receive a psychic reading along with spiritual direction and communication with spirits. The powerful beliefs of the residents of Cassadaga will undoubtedly influence and inspire those who wish for Medium or Psychic guidance.
Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp
Address: 1112 Stevens St, Lake Helen, FL 32744, USA
Website: Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp
Opening hours: 10am - 6pm (daily)
Price: 0 USD
Travelers can escape to the wilderness of the Florida Everglades from Orlando in this 30-minute to 1-hour airboat adventure. This exciting nature tour includes admission to the Wild Florida Airboats and Wildlife Park, with over 200 different animals like lemurs, sloths, zebras, watusi cattle, bobcats, among others. This tour may be upgraded to a half-day one, where one will be able to enjoy delicious barbeque lunch at the Chomp House Grill, and a small, alligator souvenir to take home afterward.
Florida Everglades Airboat Tour, Wild Florida from Orlando
Duration: 1 hour
If visitors feel a little adventurous, this is the perfect way to spend the day. The helicopter tour from Walt Disney World Resort area offers an aerial view of Orlando’s famous theme parks. One can choose from any of the five different flights available. Thereon, enjoy the scene from high in the air as the helicopter offers a breathtaking bird’s eye view of Walt Disney World, Epcot, Universal Studios, Downtown Disney, the Butler Chain of Lakes, and many more, depending on the option selected. This air adventure begins at 5519 West Highway 192 in Kissimmee, which is led by a professional pilot who is also assigned to brief the passengers on safety procedures upon arrival.
Orlando Helicopter Tour from Walt Disney World Resort Area
Duration: 5 to 25 minutes
A magical destination
There is an incredible mix of other fun things to do in this fantastic city that make it an ideal vacationing spot not only for families, but also for those going solo, baby boomers, adventurous outdoor types, foodies, international visitors, and luxury shoppers. While Orlando was built on theme park fame, the number of other non-touristy attractions has grown to include unusual and fun activities. There is no limit to the many adventures and exciting times that await Orlando, a city where lasting memories are created.
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