17 Best Things To Do In Orlando

Orlando is an amazing city full of fun and exciting activities to do. Whether you are looking for a thrilling theme park experience, or just want to relax and explore the sights, Orlando has fun things to do for everyone. With its near perfect weather, countless attractions, and unique culture, Orlando is sure to offer even the pickiest traveler a memorable experience. Here we will discuss some of the best things to do in Orlando that can make any vacation one to remember.

1. Walt Disney World Resort

Walt Disney World Resort

Visiting the Walt Disney World Resort has been an experience that I will never forget. It is known as the most magical place on earth and it lives up to its name completely. From the moment I stepped into Disney World, I was met with an atmosphere of wonder and adventure. The resort includes four theme parks, two water parks and dozens of hotels, restaurants, retail stores and more that are all connected by a monorail system.

Each theme park offers a unique experience for guests with tons of rides, shows and attractions to explore. The iconic Cinderella’s Castle at Magic Kingdom is breathtaking in person, no matter how old you are! Animal Kingdom is filled with thrilling rides like Expedition Everest along with many opportunities to learn about exotic animals from around the world.

Accommodation: Best Hotels In Orlando

2. Kennedy Space Center

Kennedy Space Center

If you want to take a day trip while on your Orlando vacation, the Kennedy Space Center is an iconic location for space exploration and one of the best things to see in Orlando. It is a place of immense historical significance and pride, having been the launch site for all US-manned missions to space since 1968. Situated in Cape Canaveral, Florida, the facility covers more than 140,000 acres of land reserved solely for NASA projects.

At its heart lies the Vehicle Assembly Building - a giant hangar where massive rockets are prepared before launching into space. Outdoor observation gantries offer visitors a unique view of rocket launches as they happen right before their eyes.

There’s more to Kennedy Space Center than just watching rocket launches though - it doubles up as an interactive museum that offers guided tours and educational programs. At the visitor complex, there are many activities available to explore such as a journey through history at the Astronaut Encounter or learning about exploring other planets at Rocket Garden.

Contact:

Address: Space Commerce Way, Merritt Island, FL 32953, United States

Phone: +1 855-433-4210

3. Universal Studios Florida

Universal Studios Florida

The Universal Studios in Florida is a theme park located in Orlando. It opened in 1990 and has since become one of the most popular places to visit in Orlando for families from around the world. The amusement park consists of several different areas, each featuring its own unique attractions inspired by beloved pop culture characters, movies and television shows. Guests can also experience live shows and interactive rides that recreate some of Hollywood’s most iconic moments, while staying at one of the Universal Orlando Resorts.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction is a particular highlight at Universal Studios Florida. Here guests can explore the streets of Hogsmeade village and Hogwarts Castle while enjoying an array of rides, shops and dining experiences all themed around the magical world JK Rowling created through her books and movies.

Contact:

Address: 6000 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819, United States

Phone: +1 407-363-8000

4. Epcot Center

Epcot Center

The Epcot Center is a theme park in Orlando located within the Walt Disney World Resort. This Orlando attraction first opened in 1982, and since then has become one of the most popular Orlando theme parks for families to visit. It consists of two main sections: Future World and the World Showcase.

At Future World you’ll find attractions related to space exploration, technology, science, energy conservation and more. Here you’ll be able to take a ride on popular attractions such as “Test Track” where you design your own car and race it around a track; or “Mission Space” which allows guests to simulate going into outer space with its spinning centrifuge capsule ride.

You can also learn about sustainability at The Land Pavilion where children can go on interactive rides that teach them about farming and growing food with hydroponics systems.

Recommended reading: Best Places To Visit in Florida

5. Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art

Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art

The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art is a nationally acclaimed museum located in Winter Park, Florida. Founded in 1942 by Jeannette Genius McKean and Hugh McKean with their personal collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany art glass and pottery, the museum houses the world’s most comprehensive collection of Tiffany glass. It also displays other American works including paintings, graphics, jewelry and sculptures from the 19th and 20th centuries.

The Orlando museum of art is known for its incredible conservation efforts to preserve each piece of artwork it holds. The staff uses state-of-the-art restoration techniques to maintain Tiffany’s unique creations as close to their original condition as possible. Every effort is made to ensure that visitors can appreciate each artwork precisely as it was intended when created by its original artist.

Contact:

Address: 445 N Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789, United States

Phone: +1 407-645-5311

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6. Harry P. Leu Gardens

Harry P. Leu Gardens

Harry P. Leu Gardens is a botanical oasis in the heart of Orlando, Florida. It is a 50 acre park full of lush greenery, blooming flowers, and winding pathways. I was fortunate enough to have visited this tropical paradise recently and can confidently say it is one of the most beautiful places I have ever had the pleasure to explore.

The gardens are divided into three main sections; the Formal Garden, Tropical Stream Garden, and the Big Tree Park. The Formal Garden features some of the rarest plant specimens from around the world including exotic orchids and bonsai trees that date back centuries. The Tropical Stream Garden is an immersive experience where visitors can take leisurely strolls along meandering streams surrounded by towering palms and vibrant tropical plants.

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7. Legoland Florida

Legoland Florida

Legoland Florida is a theme park located in Winter Haven, Florida, and one of the top things to see when you visit Orlando. This family-friendly attraction features more than 50 rides and attractions geared towards children ages 2 to 12. It also includes several thrilling roller coasters, a water park, and interactive Lego experiences throughout the park. Legoland Florida is known for its unique Lego-inspired architecture which adds an element of fun and whimsy to the overall experience.

The park's many attractions are divided into eleven themed areas, such as Ninjago World, The Beginning, Fun Town, Pirates' Cove, DUPLO Valley and Land of Adventure. These sections feature activities like building custom vehicles with LEGOLAND Technic bricks in Build & Test; or exploring ancient worlds on Coastersaurus or Lost Kingdom Adventure. Visitors can even interact with LEGO characters throughout their day at the park.

Contact:

Address: 1 Legoland Way, Winter Haven, FL 33884, United States

Phone: +1 888-690-5346

8. Orange County Regional History Center

Orange County Regional History Center

The Orange County Regional History Center is an excellent way to explore the past of this region during your trip to Orlando. Located in the heart of downtown Orlando, the center offers a wide range of interactive exhibits and artifacts that provide insight into how Central Florida has evolved over time. Whether you're interested in learning more about local Native American history or discovering how citrus became so integral to the local economy, the center provides plenty of ways to engage with and understand regional history during your stay in Orlando.

Tourists can explore the permanent exhibit galleries which chronicle hundreds of years of area history. Highlights include collections such as artifacts from early Spanish missions and clothing from prominent figures in Central Florida's story, alongside displays featuring maritime culture, automotive development, tourism industry and railway transportation.

Contact:

Address: 65 E Central Blvd, Orlando, FL 32801, United States

Phone: +1 407-836-8500

9. Orlando Science Center

Orlando Science Center

The Orlando Science Center is a great destination for any family looking to experience the wonders of science. It features interactive exhibits, live demonstrations, and educational programs that are both exciting and informative. Visitors to the center can explore the four floors of exhibits featuring topics such as physics, geology, biology, astronomy, technology and engineering. Parents and children will enjoy the opportunity to learn about Earth's history or explore the universe with their state-of-the-art planetarium show.

At the Orlando Science Center, there are also plenty of opportunities for fun and hands-on learning. Guests can participate in activities such as building a mini wind turbine or investigating patterns in nature while exploring the NatureWorks exhibit. The KidsTown section is geared toward younger guests who want to learn about basic scientific concepts through interactive games and activities.

Contact:

Address: 777 E Princeton St, Orlando, FL 32803, United States

Phone: +1 407-514-2000

10. Sea Life Orlando Aquarium

Sea Life Orlando Aquarium

Being one of the best places to see in Orlando, the Sea Life Orlando Aquarium is an incredible place to explore and learn about the mysterious creatures that inhabit the world’s oceans. Located in the heart of International Drive, this popular attraction offers plenty of activities for marine life enthusiasts.

From gazing upon a majestic sea turtle inside their 360° ocean tunnel, to getting up close with sharks during exclusive dive experiences - guests are sure to make memories they won't soon forget at Seaworld Orlando.

The aquarium boasts a wide range of interactive exhibits and displays that provide visitors with insight into a variety of aquatic environments. Guests can learn more about jellyfish and rays at the Touchpool Experience; cruise through Rainbow Reef and marvel at over 5000 tropical fish; or visit Shark Wreck Reef: a thrilling ride complete with tunnels, turns, and views of stingrays, eels, sharks, sawfish and more.

Contact:

Address: 8449 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819, United States

Phone: +1 855-450-0680

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11. Museum of Osteology

Museum of Osteology in Orlando

The Museum of Osteology in Orlando is home to the world’s largest collection of skulls and skeletons. It is a unique museum with educational and interactive exhibits that can be enjoyed by all ages. Visitors are immersed in the fascinating world of skeletal science while learning about the anatomy, behavior, and classification of various species from around the globe.

The museum houses over 300 different animal species including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates. The displays range from large whale skeletons to tiny rodent skulls providing an opportunity for visitors to explore up close bones of various sizes and shapes.

There are also interactive activities such as hands-on dig pits that allow guests to excavate fossils in a controlled environment. Additionally, guests have access to lectures on osteological topics given by staff members or guest speakers throughout the year.

Contact:

Address: 8441 International Dr Suite #250, Orlando, FL 32819, United States

12. Tibet-Butler Nature Preserve

Tibet-Butler Nature Preserve

Tucked away in the heart of Orlando is the Tibet-Butler Nature Preserve. This secluded nature preserve allows visitors to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life and explore its lush forests and wetlands. Sixteen miles of trails wind through the preserve, allowing hikers, cyclists, and birdwatchers alike to take in all it has to offer.

In addition to its natural beauty, the Tibet-Butler Nature Preserve also provides educational opportunities for those interested in learning more about wildlife conservation efforts within Central Florida’s natural ecosystems.

The preserve itself serves as a sanctuary for many species of birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals that call it home. Through regular monitoring programs performed by volunteers and staff members, visitors can learn more about these animals on guided walks or self-guided explorations.

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13. Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts is a state-of-the-art cultural hub located in downtown Orlando, Florida. This magnificent venue is home to four theaters and numerous art galleries, making it one of the premier performance destinations in the Sun Belt region.

The 2,700 seat Walt Disney Amphitheater serves as the venue’s largest theater, while the 300 seat Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater provides a more intimate setting. Additionally, three outdoor stages provide outdoor performances with breathtaking views of Orlando, Lake Eola and Central Florida’s skyline.

The center boasts an active season packed with plays, musicals, orchestras, ballets and more top notch performances that attract visitors from across the globe to its grand facilities.

Contact:

Address: 445 S Magnolia Ave, Orlando, FL 32801, United States

Phone: +1 407-358-6603

14. Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens

Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens

The Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens is an art museum located in Winter Park, Florida. Established by Czech-American sculptor Albin Polasek, the museum is dedicated to his life’s work of art and sculpture. It houses over 200 sculptures from Polasek's collection and features a selection of European bronze and wood carvings from the 19th century.

The grounds also feature 6 acres of formal gardens with a number of outdoor sculptures by Polasek, as well as a chapel dedicated to his memory. Here, you can explore the unique exhibits that trace the history of American figurative sculpture or view one-of-a kind works created throughout Polasek’s career in Europe and America.

Contact:

Address: 633 Osceola Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789, United States

Phone: +1 407-647-6294

15. Madame Tussauds

Madame Tussauds Orlando

Visiting Madame Tussauds Orlando is a truly unique experience. It’s amazing to see all the lifelike wax figures and get up close to some of the most famous celebrities, athletes, and historical figures. As soon as you walk through the doors, you find yourself surrounded by iconic stars like Johnny Depp, Justin Bieber, and Michael Jackson.

You can also explore different areas dedicated to superheroes from Marvel and DC Comics universes such as Spider-Man or Wonder Woman.

What makes this wax museum particularly special is its interactive experiences that allow visitors to engage with their favorite characters. You can take pictures with life-sized versions of your favorite movie characters or become part of an adventure with Star Wars: A Galactic Experience.

There are also plenty of interactive games throughout the museum which makes it a perfect destination for families looking for an unforgettable day out.

Contact:

Address: 8387 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819, United States

Phone: +1 855-450-0581

16. Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary

Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary-Orlando

The Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary located in Orlando, is a Catholic pilgrimage site and a major tourist attraction. This beautiful place of worship was first built in 1926 as an open air chapel. It was designed to honor Our Lady of Florida, the patron saint of Florida. Today it is considered one of the most iconic places for Catholics to visit when in Orlando.

This breathtaking building stands out among the other churches and cathedrals in Orlando with its unique architecture that includes intricate designs and sculptures inspired by Renaissance-era Italy. Visitors will be awe-struck by its grandeur and can explore many areas including shrines dedicated to St. Joseph, St. Jude, St. Patrick’s, Our Lady Queen Of Peace, The Black Madonna Of Czestochowa and many more.

Contact:

Address: 8300 Vineland Ave, Orlando, FL 32821, United States

Phone: +1 407-239-6600

17. Central Florida Zoo

Central Florida Zoo

When one thinks of Florida, they may think of amusement parks, sandy beaches, and vibrant nightlife. However, there is another aspect of the Sunshine State that can provide just as much fun and entertainment that kids will love; the Central Florida Zoo and botanical gardens. Situated in Sanford, this top attraction has something for everyone – from exotic animals to educational exhibits.

The Central Florida Zoo first opened its doors in 1975 on a mere 10 acres of land. Since then it has grown exponentially not only in size but also in scope. The zoo now hosts over 400 animals from around the world including African lions, black leopards and clouded leopards just to name a few. And if you’d rather explore an interactive exhibit instead of taking a walk through the zoo itself some interesting options include Bug World or Animal Connections which focus on bugs or endangered species respectively.

Contact:

Address: 3755 W Seminole Blvd, Sanford, FL 32771, United States

Phone: +1 407-323-4450

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Quickly search the best flights from the widest selection of airlines flying to Orlando. Regardless of what airline you go with, you can save money by comparing. Skyscanner is the best airline price comparison service specifically for Orlando.

FAQ

Q: What is Orlando's number 1 tourist destination?

A: When it comes to Orlando, there is one tourist destination that stands out among the rest: Walt Disney World. Spanning over 40 square miles, this world-renowned theme park complex attracts millions of visitors from around the globe each year. From iconic attractions such as Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom to thrilling roller coasters in Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom's immersive wildlife experiences, Walt Disney World offers a magical experience for both young and old.

One of the main reasons why Walt Disney World is Orlando's number one tourist destination is its sheer size and variety of entertainment options. With four major theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom), two water parks (Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach), numerous resorts, shopping districts like Disney Springs, and countless dining options throughout the property, it truly has something for every visitor.

Q: Is it safe to walk around downtown Orlando?

A: Downtown Orlando is generally considered to be a safe area for pedestrians. With its bustling streets, vibrant nightlife, and numerous attractions, thousands of people walk around downtown Orlando every day without encountering any issues. The city has taken several measures to ensure the safety of its residents and visitors, including increased police presence and the implementation of security cameras throughout the area.

One reason why downtown Orlando is safe for pedestrians is due to its well-lit streets. The city has invested in adequate street lighting, making it easier for people to navigate their way around even during nighttime hours. Additionally, many areas have surveillance cameras installed that serve as a deterrent against potential criminal activity. These security measures help create a sense of safety and provide reassurance to those walking around downtown.

Q: What are the most popular things to do in Orlando with kids?

A: One of the most popular things to do in Orlando with kids is visiting the magical Walt Disney World Resort. This iconic amusement park offers endless fun with its four theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios.

Another beloved attraction in Orlando is Universal Orlando Resort. Families can step into the wizarding world of Harry Potter at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter or embark on thrilling adventures at Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure. Kids will be captivated by the immersive experiences based on their favorite movies and characters such as Despicable Me, Jurassic Park, Transformers, and Marvel superheroes. Water-loving families can also visit Volcano Bay Water Theme Park for water slides, lazy rivers, wave pools, and an overall tropical paradise experience that will leave lasting memories.

For those seeking educational yet entertaining experiences in Orlando with kids, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is a must-visit destination. Children can learn about space exploration through interactive exhibits featuring real spacecrafts like the Atlantis Space Shuttle while experiencing simulated astronaut training activities.

Q: What are the best things to do in Orlando for free?

A: One of the best free activities is exploring the CityArts Factory downtown, which showcases local art exhibits and often hosts live performances. This cultural hub provides an opportunity to immerse yourself in Orlando's artistic scene without spending a dime.

For nature lovers, a visit to Lake Eola Park is a must. Located in the heart of downtown Orlando, this beautiful park offers stunning views of its iconic fountain and lush surroundings. Take a leisurely stroll along the lakeside path or rent a swan-shaped paddleboat for an unforgettable experience on the water. Lake Eola Park also hosts various free events throughout the year, including concerts and outdoor movie nights.

If you're looking for some family-friendly fun without breaking your budget, head over to Disney Springs. This entertainment complex operated by Walt Disney World Resort features numerous shops, restaurants, and entertainment options at no admission cost. From street performers to live music acts and spectacular parades like "Starbright Holidays," Disney Springs offers something for every visitor while providing a taste of Disney magic without having to purchase pricey park tickets.

Q: How far is Orlando airport from the city center?

A: Orlando International Airport is located approximately 11 miles southeast of downtown Orlando, making it fairly close to the city center. The most common mode of transport from the airport to downtown Orlando is by car or taxi, which takes around 20 minutes depending on traffic conditions.

Another popular and affordable option for reaching the city center is by using public transportation. Lynx, the local bus service, operates several routes that connect Orlando International Airport with different parts of the city. Travelers can take bus route number 11 or 51 to reach downtown Orlando within an average travel time of 45 minutes.

Q: Can I visit Orlando without a car?

A: It is entirely possible to explore Orlando without a car and still have a fantastic time. The city offers various modes of transportation that make getting around hassle-free.

One of the best ways to navigate Orlando without a car is through public transportation. Lynx, the local bus service, operates an extensive network throughout the city and provides convenient access to many popular attractions like Universal Studios and Walt Disney World. Additionally, Lynx offers shuttle services from major hotels to these theme parks, making it even easier for visitors to travel without their own vehicle.

PLAN YOUR TRIP TO ORLANDO

Book Your Hotel In Orlando

You can book your hotel in Orlando with Booking.com as they have the biggest inventory and best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hotel, they also return the cheapest rates for accommodations like guesthouses and apartments.

Book Your Flight To Orlando

Use Skyscanner to find cheap flights to Orlando. They are my favorite search engine because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know you get the best rates.

Need a Rental Car In Orlando?

Here is a budget-friendly car rental resource. No matter where you’re traveling, you’ll be able to find the best — and cheapest car rentals in Orlando here.

Looking for an Airport Transfer Service In Orlando?

If you are looking for a convenient and affordable option to get to and from the airport in Orlando, here you will find all the answers to book your next airport transfer in Orlando.

Don’t Forget Your Travel Insurance

Travel insurance will protect you against illnesses, an injury, luggage theft, and even trip cancellations. It’s a comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong during your trip. I never travel to Orlando without it as I’ve had to use it several times in the past. My favorite travel insurance companies that offer the best service and value are:

Looking for the Best Travel Companies to Save Money With?

Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you go to Orlando. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m taking a trip. They will save you money when you travel too.

Want More Information on Florida:

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