Top 36 Things To Do In Orlando Besides Theme Parks - Updated 2023

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When you think “Orlando, Florida” you think Disney World, Seaworld and Universal Studios. While visiting, theme parks might seem to be the obvious option, but there is actually so much more excitement and thrill that Orlando has to offer, and they are all out of this theme park bubble. Check out these things to do for a complete guide. Book one of the vacation apartments or hotels near the airports, buy a plane ticket, and take that flight. Prepare to be amazed when you explore and discover what else Orlando has to offer.

1. Rub shoulders with popular personalities at Madame Tussauds Orlando (from USD 37.0)

Okay, you don’t actually get to rub shoulders with celebrities but you get our drift! Madame Tussauds, as you probably already know, is the world’s greatest wax museum. The one in Orlando features more than 200 life-like models of popular personalities from various fields including film and TV actors, music icons, artists, sports stars, politicians, historical figures, world leaders, and more. Some of the most famous people featured here include Barack Obama, Oprah, Angelina Jolie, Shaquille O’Neal, and Tiger Woods.

You can also opt for a combo ticket, which includes entry to other Orlando attractions such as SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium and The Wheel at ICON Park.

Madame Tussauds Orlando

Duration: 2 hours

136 reviews

2. Ride the Orlando Eye (from USD 28.0)

Orlando United Day
Source: Photo by Flickr user elisfkc used under CC BY-SA 2.0

One of the city’s newest attractions, and arguably one of the most fun things to do in Orlando is riding Orlando Eye. It is one of Florida’s foremost authorities when it comes to the panoramic majesty of downtown cityscapes. A four hundred foot Ferris Wheel set in the heart of Orlando, the Orlando Eye is both owned and operated by the same reputable organization behind London Eye, the famed European attraction.

The construction itself is the world’s first to employ a cutting-edge suspension design, allowing for as smooth a Ferris wheel ride as has ever existed. The site itself also plays host to a number of domestic and high-profile events, from local social functions to weddings to school visits. During your ride on Orlando Eye, you will enjoy time suspended above the ground in an enclosed, temperature-controlled capsule, perfect for a visual perusal of the city from above. On days when visibility is at a maximum, you can catch views of Cape Canaveral to the east, and the downtown Orlando skyline in your immediate line of sight! While you are up there, maybe you can catch some of the destinations highlighted in our list of the best day trips from Orlando!

The Wheel at ICON Park

Duration: 30 minutes

162 reviews

3. Beat the clock at The Escape Game Orlando (from USD 38.0)


Join thousands of satisfied individuals who rave about the unparalleled thrills available exclusively at escape rooms, when you try Orlando’s most renowned escape room site on for size! This site will provide for you the perfect excuse to get your inner sleuth on - with a constantly rotating portfolio of exciting escape room situations, The Escape Room Orlando effectively capitalizes on your drive for unparalleled adventure!

Now, it’s your turn to apply your problem-solving skills for the betterment of mankind! The first step when it comes to The Escape Game Orlando is to choose your escape of choice - The Heist, Mission: Mars, Gold Rush, Classified, or Prison Break - each of which sports a unique feel, but revolves around the sound foundational concept: escape before the time is up! The Escape Game Orlando is the perfect outlet for thrill if you’re in search of the ideal, unorthodox date idea! Your actions and your decisions while in-game contribute in real time to the overall success of your group, as together you work toward group success, in one of the only environments of its kind!

Gold Rush Escape Game Room

Duration: 1 hour

4. Feel the rhythm at the House of Blues Orlando

The Roots 2016 Holiday Tour - Orlando
Source: Photo by Flickr user Michael Seeley used under CC BY 2.0

Wondering what to do in Orlando? For a unique taste of the local culture, together with an intimate immersion into the Orlando music scene, why not come check out the House of Blues in Orlando, Florida! Home to countless award-winning performances over the years, this top-tier venue regularly plays host to some of the top blues musicians to grace the face of the planet today. Their constantly updated online schedule is always decorated by a unique assortment of new and renowned musicians, events which always provide locals and visitors alike with the perfect excuse to hear world-class music.

The House of Blues in Orlando also plays host to a wonderful onsite restaurant and bar, so you can satisfy all of your culinary and beverage needs without ever leaving the premises! From their daily happy hour specials to their restaurant and bar-specific entertainment, the House of Blues Restaurant and Bar is, in itself, a site worth the experience, if only for the fabulous sensory experience that is the synthesis of wonderful food and music alike.

The Orlando House of Blues is also the perfect location at which to host your next event! Whether it’s a social gathering, a birthday, or a work function, the music’s unique effect on the atmosphere will leave all event attendants relaxed and rejuvenated. The location itself is also renowned for its Sunday Gospel Brunch, where every Sunday from 10:30 a.m. until 1 in the afternoon, the finest in local and international Gospel talent takes the stage. That, combined with an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet, provides the perfect backdrop for early afternoon enjoyment!

5. Explore the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge (from USD 55.0)

Birds at Merritt Island NWR
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Sudhir Viswarajan; used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Nothing against the Walt Disney World Resort, but the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge is more than four times its size! At a stunning 140,000 acres (roughly 218 square miles), this preservation of some of Florida’s finest indigenous species truly allows visitors and locals alike to taste authentic southern life, at its absolute finest.

Officially characterized as a U.S. National Wildlife Refuge, one of 562 nationally protected spaces within the United States dedicated to the continued preservation of America’s wildlife, vegetation, and fish, the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge hosts more organized life than perhaps you’ve ever experienced. Home to over 1,000 plant species, which together with 117 species of fish, 330 birds species, 31 individualized mammal species, and 68 reptile and amphibian species make for a truly unforgettable visit, the site itself is captivating from the moment you set foot upon its lands.

And there are so many ways to experience the refuge itself! One of the top Orlando activities offered in this national refuge is the tour of its bioluminescent lagoon, with A Day Away Kayak Tours. Learn more about the life that typifies the region at the Visitor Information Center. Glimpse crystal clear waters at the Indian River. From bald eagles to osprey, American alligators to Loggerhead sea turtles, there’s so much to see and to experience in the great outdoors, at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge!

Bioluminescence Kayak Tour

Duration: 2 hours

654 reviews

6. Catch an Orlando City Soccer Club game

Orlando city soccer stadium
Source: Photo by user Steveo89 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Who needs Disney when you get the chance to witness one of Orlando’s finest recreational outlets? Welcome to Orlando City Stadium, home to the Orlando City Soccer Club, one of the newest members of the Eastern Conference of the MLS. Headlined at one time by former World Cup winner Kaká, Orlando City SC, the team exists as one of the more recent installments of the wildly popular Major League Soccer organization in North America.

Given the wonderfully mild climatic conditions which typify the immediate Orlando region for the majority of the soccer season, there’s never a reason why you can’t come out and support Orlando City. As the twenty-first team allowed admittance into the MLS, Orlando City SC remains identifiable by their distinct logo, the lion contained with a purple shield.

Led by forward Cyle Larin, whose twelve goals in 2017 ranked seventh among all active MLS players, the Orlando City Soccer Club looks poised for a breakout year in their upcoming season. The team recently acquired the Sacha Kljestan, who ranked first in the MLS in 2017 with 17 assists, and paired with goalkeeper Joe Bendik, whose 118 saves ranked first among all goalkeepers, the team has seen vast improvements.

Come out and support Orlando City SC the next time you’re anywhere near Orlando, and pick up a commemorative purple jersey during your stay!

7. Party till after-hours at The Beacham

Source: Photo by user Athena Iluz used under CC BY 2.0

The Beacham is a live music venue and nightclub in the heart of downtown Orlando. The history of the building dates back to the early 1920s when it touted famed vaudevillian acts. What’s old is new again, with true-to-the-original renovations creating a historic, yet state-of-the-art spot to catch the hottest national touring acts. However, be sure to check the required dress code, in order for you to have a night you’ll never forget.

8. Dine at the world’s largest McDonald's

2010 The Largest Unique McDonald's in the World, Orlando FL
Source: Photo by user Mike Burton used under CC BY-ND 2.0

This McDonald’s is not like the rest. First of all, it’s shaped like a giant bag of fries, and secondly: it’s world class. To accommodate the throngs of people lining up to get Happy Meals, it has a touch screen ordering system that possibly makes fast food even faster. For the food, it’s not just McChickens and McWings, they also sell pasta and pizza! As if that’s not enough, they also offer a full dessert bar. Naturally, the restaurant has plenty of cheap arcade games to keep the kids entertained. This world-class McDonald’s is located at International Drive, a place that has a lot more to offer, it might take you a whole day to explore!

9. Bask in the glory of nature at the Harry P. Leu Gardens

Harry P Leu Botanical Gardens Rose Garden fountain
Source: Photo by user Jim Moore used under CC BY 2.0

Harried tourists often overlook botanical gardens but in Orlando it’s a shame to pass up on the 50-acre (20 hectares) Harry P. Leu Gardens. They house more than 1,000 rose bushes (in season from April to January) and the largest collection of camellias in North America (in bloom November through March). Located on Lake Ivanhoe near downtown, the gardens also features a citrus grove and a butterfly garden.

10. Have the coolest experience at the largest permanent Ice Bar

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

The Ice Bar in Florida is the largest in the world, and it is there all year around. It is divided into two areas: the Ice Bar and the Fire Lounge. Upon entering, you will be greeted by an Ice Princess who will provide you with Thermal Coats and Gloves. As you step inside the Winter Wonderland, the fabulous frozen sculptures make the perfect setting for your photo moments. When you feel you want to heat things up, slip into the Fire Lounge for a night of dancing.

11. Drive out to the birthplace of speed

Daytona Beach, Florida
Source: Photo by Flickr user Pat (Cletch) Will... used under CC BY 2.0

Fun for race fans, friends and families, Daytona Beach is world renowned for its resorts, the Daytona International Speedway, swimming, surfing and all other fun, beach activities. But the Daytona Beach Pier is often an underrated, beautiful part of the beach. It’s a historic attraction that recently reopened after a 5 million USD restoration. Definitely worth a visit!

12. Appreciate the comprehensive collection of Tiffany stained glass at the Museum of American Art

Spring panel from the Four Seasons leaded-glass window by Louis Comfort Tiffany
Source: Photo by user Raymond Martinot used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

One might assume the largest collection of Tiffany glass in the world would be located in New York or Paris, but it actually is right here in Orlando’s Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art in historic Winter Park. The Morse has amassed some of the most memorable lamps, leaded-glass windows, jewelry, art glass, and pottery by Louis Comfort Tiffany. Revel in the beauty of each stained glass piece and learn a bit more about how this art is made. Enjoy some brunch at a nearby restaurant after your visit.

13. Swing for a hole-in-one at the Hawk’s Landing Golf Club

Hawk's Landing 18th hole
Source: Photo by user Bernard Gagnon used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Florida is known for its pristine golf courses, as well as its premier hotels with golf courses. In particular, the Hawk’s Landing Golf Club at the Orlando World Center Marriott is a scenic blend of native Florida wildlife and tropical vegetation. The course features the latest in modern architectural technique and is fun and challenging, but accommodating to all levels of play, from beginner to expert.

14. Pamper yourself at a world-class spa (from USD 71.0)

top 36 things to do in orlando besides theme parks | pamper yourself at a world-class spa

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

The benefits of a facial are numerous, from removing toxins to improving circulation to helping slow the skin-again...

Posted by Waldorf Astoria Spa on Friday, January 16, 2015

Whether you’re enjoying a romantic weekend or a girlfriends’ getaway, take time to get pampered at one of Orlando’s world-class spas. There is a plethora of choices when it comes to spas in Florida, but here are three notable ones: the luxurious Waldorf Astoria Spa by Guerlain at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando, the Ritz-Carlton Spa at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes (try the Florida-fresh citrus-based treatment!), and the Poseidon Spa at the Grand Bohemian Hotel, that offers a very unique hot stone massage. You are sure to feel revitalized and energized after a relaxing spa day.

60 Minute Massage

Duration: 1 hour

15. Get starry eyed about space travel at the Kennedy Space Center (from USD 69.0)

Kennedy Space Center-Saturn rocket-V
Source: Photo by user Kolossos used under CC BY-SA 3.0

If you’re looking for other cool things to do in Orlando, then head out to Kennedy Space Center - it’s just an hour’s drive away from Central Orlando. This NASA visitors’ complex offers IMAX movies, interactive space-flight simulators, the Shuttle Launch Experience, Astronaut Hall of Fame, just to name a few. You will get to see where the rockets are built, how they are moved and the launch area. The bus driver provides good information and there are several short videos about the space program while they drive you to the area. Upon returning to the Center, there are numerous rockets on display along with a replica of the Hubble telescope. The complex is scattered with monitors that screen short movies about different NASA ventures. There is a lot you’d want to see, so be sure to free an entire day for this extraordinary place.

Kennedy Space Center Day Trip with Transport from Orlando

Duration: 10 hours

771 reviews

16. Shop till you drop at The Florida Mall

Florida Mall
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Miosotis Jade used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Shopping at Florida doesn’t only have to be Disneyland merchandise and Mickey mouse ears. Orlando is home to two major shopping malls, the Mall at Millenia, which boasts an array of luxury brands, as well as the Florida Mall, which is perfect for both bargain hunters and shopaholics. Located minutes from the Orlando International Airport, Walt Disney World Resort and popular area attractions, The Florida Mall is Central Florida’s largest shopping center. It spans over 1.7 million square feet and welcomes more than 20 million visitors annually. The mall features more than 250 retail, dining and entertainment options, all enjoyed by local residents and international guests alike.

17. Dine and play at Dave and Buster’s

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Join in the excitement!

Posted by Dave & Buster's on Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Dave & Buster’s is a large entertainment facility filled with everything you’d need to have a fun time, arcade games, a full sports bar, and a great restaurant. Dave and Buster’s is a great alternative to the theme parks; here you can have tons of fun without having to spend hours queuing up for rides. It’s the place where the fun lasts through the night, and you can eat, drink, play and watch sports, all under one roof.

18. Stroll and marvel at the untainted beauty of the Tibet-Butler Nature Preserve

Source: Photo by Flickr user Rain0975 used under CC BY-ND 2.0

The Tibet-Butler Nature Preserve is Orlando’s small 440 acre (178 hectares) nature preserve that allows visitors to take a glimpse of the natural scenery of Florida. This quiet preserve gives you the opportunity to escape the crowds and intense heat of the afternoon sun for a relaxing and shady walk. The lake offers peaceful views along the beautiful wetlands, providing the perfect setting for some unwinding, and a place away from loud theme parks.

19. Spend an afternoon at the Wekiwa Springs

Wekiwa Springs State Park
Source: Photo by Flickr user Bart Everson used under CC BY 2.0

The Wekiwa Springs offers visitors the opportunity to relax in its beautiful setting, enjoy a picnic, or take a swim in the cool spring. For those adrenaline junkies out there, you can get your fix by partaking in a myriad of water activities like canoeing, kayaking, snorkeling, as well as other activities like hiking and cycling.

20. Head downtown to Sanford

Sanford Downtown Clock1
Source: Photo by user Ebyabe used under CC BY 2.5

If you feel you’re lacking the Florida culture and arts scene, downtown Sanford is the place to be. It is scattered with great art centers and museums, like the Hollerbach’s Art Haus and the Gallery On First. This place also comes alive at night, with nightclubs on every other street. There are several city tours available that will give you historical insights of Orlando. It’s also a great place to buy some souvenirs to keep as a memento of the trip.

21. Watch a movie at the Plaza Cinema Cafe

Plaza Cinema Cafe 12

Posted by CMX Cinemas - Formerly Cobb Theatres on Wednesday, June 15, 2011

If your legs are aching after the hours of queuing and walking around Disneyland, buy a movie ticket, grab some popcorn and sit back for a special movie experience. The Plaza Cinema is a great movie theater, with a high quality sound system and oversized leather seats for extra comfort. The theatre also serves alcoholic beverages, and the food around is inexpensive and good. It’s the perfect place to unwind after a long day.

22. Watch a football match at "The Bouncehouse"

FIU at UCF - Spectrum Stadium
Source: Photo by Flickr user elisfkc used under CC BY-SA 2.0

The Spectrum Stadium (formerly known as the Bright House Networks Stadium) is an American football stadium and home venue for the UCF Knights football team. Buy tickets and feel the phenomenal atmosphere of a live American football game. Why is it called The Bouncehouse, you ask? Because the entire stadium flexes when fans jump in excitement. But don’t worry, the stadium is structurally sound, so just join in the fun!

23. Ride on a swan boat at Lake Eola (from USD 75.0)

Lake Eola Park-2
Source: Photo by user Visitor7 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Lake Eola is located in downtown Orlando, and is a serene oasis away from city life. There are several activities to do here, from feeding the swans, to watching a show at the park’s Walt Disney Amphitheatre. But no trip to Lake Eola would be complete without a ride on the park’s iconic swan paddle boats. Rent one for 15 USD per half hour and revel in the surrounding scenery. After you’ve worked up an appetite, grab a bite at Relax Grill, a casual lakeside eatery that serves lunch and dinner. On top of that, every Sunday, the park boasts the city’s best market, featuring fruits and vegetables, home-made breads, an assortment of local cuisines, beer, wine and a variety of artwork and stellar entertainment.

Fancy some additional time on the water? Why not join a city tour that includes a boat ride through the exclusive Chain of Lakes.

City Tour of Orlando

Duration: 6.5 to 7 hour

13 reviews

24. Check out what’s brewing at the Orlando Brewing Company

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

There are almost 20 ales, lagers, and seasonal microbrews on tap at the Orlando Brewing Company and here is the best part: it’s all organic! This brewery is USDA-certified, and it offers free tours to visitors from Monday to Saturday at 6 pm. Get an inside look of how beer is made, and of course enjoy a nice pint to your liking in between. The brewery also has live music at 9 pm on Friday and Saturday nights for some musical accompaniment with your artisanal beer.

25. Channel your inner Einstein at the Orlando Science Center

Orlando FL Science Center05
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ebyabe used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Orlando Science Center is a private science museum located in Orlando, Florida. View millions of stars in the domed planetarium and peer into their largest public refracting telescope to catch a breathtaking glimpse of the Florida night sky. The Cinedome screens educational films in its state-of-the-art spherical theatre. Apart from its permanent exhibits, the science center hosts several temporary exhibits based on current trends, like a Star Wars exhibit or a dinosaur exhibit.

Admission prices are 14 USD for kids and 20 USD for adults.

26. Immerse in music at Venue578

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Firestone Live Electronic Events Main Stage

Posted by Venue 578 Special Events on Friday, July 11, 2014

Set in an old tire store, this venue is now hailed as one of the “freshest nightclubs in the world” by Billboard Magazine and The Rolling Stone. Formerly known as Firestone Live, Venue578 is by far the most entertaining and energetic club in Downtown Florida, with an awesome sound system and generally, a fantastic atmosphere that is guaranteed to fuel the party animal in you.

It boasts over 100 concerts annually, featuring big names like Lil Wayne, Busta Rhymes, and Wiz Khalifa. It also hosts outdoor music festivals and over 175 weekly entertainment-driven events, so your options are endless. There’s always something happening at Venue 578!

27. Spend a day in the magical world of upside down WonderWorks (from USD 37.35)

WonderWorks (73)
Source: Photo by user Philipp Meier used under CC BY-ND 2.0

When you step into the building, you realize you’re walking on the ceiling. This wacky experience gets better as there are so many things to do with the family. A cross between entertainment and education, you can experience what it feels like to be in an earthquake. Enjoy the rope walk and the zip line.

Interactive activities include a virtual rollercoaster and a 4D movie. There’s a bed of nails to lie on, and a test the Tesla coil experience where you become a human lightning rod! Adults find the exhibits engaging, while younger family members have a thoroughly good time. If the weather’s too hot or rainy, head there for a lot of fun.

WonderWorks Admission Ticket in Orlando, FL Singapore

Duration: 1hrs30 Min - 3hrsDuration

23 reviews

28. Watch the beauty of the day unfold on a hot air balloon ride (from USD 185.0)

Rise high above Florida for spectacular morning views in a hot air balloon. Fly quietly over lakes, forests, and swampland. Look down from a bird’s eye view at places like Disney World or the famous Universal Studios. The breathtaking experience begins early in the morning, and you get to watch the balloon being inflated. Climb aboard for the thrilling ride, making sure not to forget your camera. Photo opportunities abound.

Return to land and join the age-old tradition of toasting the ride with some champagne nor a mimosa. Snack on some goodies provided and compare photos of memories to last a lifetime. There’s a small gift shop, so take along your wallet for some mementos.

Orlando Sunrise Hot-Air Balloon Ride

Duration: 3 to 4 hours

10 reviews

29. Explore the odd, the strange and the different at Ripley's Believe It Or Not (from USD 23.0)

Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum
Source: Photo by user Cliff used under CC BY 2.0

Ripley’s Believe It Or Not presents a world of incredible exhibits. Remember the TV show? In Orlando, you can experience it for yourself. If you have a curious mind, this is an excellent spot for family fun. Bizarre, odd, and strange things in the world captivate visitors. The place opens between 9 a.m and midnight. If you’re looking for a few hours to fill, it’s an ideal attraction.

Find an interesting pool room with illusions of balance and space, or examine the Berlin Wall. Some exhibits are almost unbelievable and there’s a lot of information. Certainly, you won’t be bored as there are so many incredible things to look at.

Ripley's Believe It Or Not

Address: 8201 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819-9326

Website: Ripley's Believe It Or Not

Orlando: Ripley's Believe It or Not! Admission Ticket

Duration: 1 day

3 reviews

30. Let the dancers entertain you over a three-course dinner at Mango's Tropical Cafe Dinner & Show (from USD 49.0)

Mango’s Tropical Cafe Dinner & Show serves up incredible live dance performances along with a three-course meal. The venue’s fast becoming a popular must-do in Orlando. Live bands along with dances like the Brazilian Samba and the Cuban Conga entertain while you dine. The show is entertaining and a popular one is a tribute to Micheal Jackson.

The fun venue is suitable for children in the segment from 7.30 pm to 10.00 pm. The atmosphere is one of buzz and enthusiasm. Patrons may book ahead to ensure the best tables to view the show while they enjoy their dinner.

Mango's Tropical Cafe Orlando Dinner & Live Show Admission Ticket

Duration: 2 hours

3 reviews

31. Take in a professional basketball game at Amway Center, the home of the Orlando Magic

Source: Photo by user 350z33 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Amway Center is the home of the Orlando Magic who play in the Eastern Conference of the NBA. The stadium offers lots of concessions with well-priced food. The vibe of the place is enthusiastic as fans cheer on their team. Adults enjoy the outside bar with views of downtown while watching the game on TV in the fresh air.

The venue’s ideally situated if you stay at one of the nearby resorts or hotels. Parking at the Geico Garage offers easy access via a skywalk. Enjoy a professional basketball game in a comfortable environment. If it’s not basketball season, they often host other events.

Amway Center Home of the Magic

Address: 400 W Church St #200, Orlando, FL 32801

Website: Amway Center

32. Watch a comedy show while enjoying your dinner (from USD 36.0)

Have you ever been to a comedy show? If not, then this is your chance. Unwind and laugh out loud as you savor your filling dinner. The Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show, Orlando is a fun option for a night out with friends or as a more casual dinner date for a potential romance. This 90-minute show will definitely be a unique dinner experience as you’re served with some pizza, popcorn, and unlimited wine, beer, or soda. You’ll also have the choice to upgrade your tickets to avail an extra exciting laser-tag match.

The Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show, Orlando

Duration: 2 to 4 hours

342 reviews

33. Paddle along the lake with a sunset view (from USD 53.0)

For those looking for a more relaxing option, why not try and book this amazing Airbnb experience. If you love water sports then this is definitely for you. Hosted by Jennifer, this one-of-a-kind adventure lets you choose whether you’d like to have a morning, sunset, or even a moonlight session - the latter is especially stunning during full moons! Explore the beautiful and pristine lakes of South Florida and immerse yourself in nature. If you’re lucky, you might just spot some of the wildlife swimming by as turtles and otters naturally thrive in lake waters. All you’ll need is great weather and an enthusiastic attitude, as all equipment and lessons will be provided by the seasoned host.

Urban Paddle in Paradise - Paddleboard or Kayak

Duration: 2 hours

69 reviews

34. Reconnect with nature in a hiking and painting experience (from USD 30.0)

Get in touch with the nature lover in you. This wonderful Airbnb experience hosted by Glaucia will truly reconnect you to the great outdoors. Explore the Everglades and appreciate the breathtakingly lush greeneries and enchanting wildlife. This 2.5-hour adventure entails a hike along Shingle Creek, as well as a painting session once you reach the end of the trail. Tap into your inner artist and have a go at interpreting your surroundings. Perfect for those who just can’t get enough of the outdoors, this trip will surely be a worthwhile experience.

Hike Shingle Creek and Paint a Landscape

Duration: 2.5 hours

33 reviews

35. Get to know the flavors and stories at Orlando's Little Vietnam (from USD 75.0)

Experience a different side of Orlando and discover the diversity in this vibrant city. One of Orlando’s hidden gems is Little Vietnam. One of the largest Asian communities in the city, it has been around for about 40 years now. Along with Little Vietnam’s ever-growing community is its rich history and culture - this includes food, of course! Ideal for the foodies who just love exploring new things, this 3.5-hour food crawl will surely tantalize your tastebuds with new flavors and modern twists on traditional Vietnamese and Asian cuisines. Be part of this delicious opportunity, and don’t ever miss it if you do find yourself in Orlando.

Food Tour of Orlando's Little Vietnam

Duration: 3.5 hours

24 reviews

36. Create your own wood souvenir (from USD 102.0)

There’s nothing better than having a personalized souvenir to take home or give to your friends and loved ones. Step away from the cliche gift shops and uncreative presents like magnets or keychains. Why not make your own wooden souvenir instead? With this workshop, you’ll definitely impress others with your unique presents. Try your hand at woodwork and you can make something as basic as a bowl, or maybe even a pen for those with a more steady hand and advanced skill set. Either way, this is surely a special, must-try experience. Who knows, you might just discover a hidden talent for woodwork or simply find a new (and very useful) hobby.

Woodpops Woodturning Experience - Make a Wood Bowl or A Wood Pen on the Lathe

Duration: 3 hours

There's more to Orlando than theme parks for everyone

Once you are done with the theme parks, there are numerous activities while you are in Orlando. Wind down with a picnic near Lake Eola, or party the night away at The Beacham - you will never be bored in Orlando with our list of things to do. You can even book a party house or a hotel with a water park for non-stop fun in the city.

This article was updated by John Gallagher. Check out the rest of his works here.

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Things To Do In Orlando Besides Theme Parks

Venture out of Orlando's theme parks

Explore Orlando beyond the theme parks and be rewarded with a good time. There is more to Orlando than meets they eye, and endless activities to enjoy outside of the theme parks.

Frequently asked questions about the best things to do in Orlando, Florida besides theme parks

1. What are the top attractions to visit in Orlando?

Some of the top attractions to visit in Orlando are Orlando Eye, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Lake Eola, and WonderWorks. These unique attractions are definitely a great alternative to the traditional Orlando theme parks.

2. What are the best outdoor activities in Orlando?

Explore Orlando’s best outdoor activities and amazing nature through exploring Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. You can also enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the city while riding a hot-air balloon or have a one-of-a-kind Airbnb experience like kayaking in the moonlight.

3. What are the most popular things to do in Orlando with kids & family?

Have a blast with the kids and visit some of the best places in Orlando that aren’t theme parks. Ride Orlando Eye, learn more about space travel at Kennedy Space Center, or simply enjoy a relaxing day as you ride a swan boat at Lake Eola.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Kirthana is currently studying at the National University of Singapore, pursuing a degree in Political Science. In her free time, she enjoys writing for leisure and loves to travel whenever the...Read more

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