Things To Do In Orlando (Besides Theme Parks)

Things To Do In Orlando (Besides Theme Parks)

Orlando, FL is known as the theme park capital of the world. Millions of people visit Central Florida every year to enjoy the theme parks (Disney World, Universal Studios, Sea World, LEGOLAND, and Busch Gardens in Tampa). While these alone make for a great vacation, if you want a break from the theme parks there are also other fun places in the city to visit.

By: Melissa Hillier

Here are the top picks for things to do in Orlando

  • I-Drive

International Drive (aka I-Drive) literally has everything you didn’t know you needed. This road stretches for 11 miles and there is a trolley service and public bus options to take you around. For a complete list of all the shops, hotels, restaurants, and attractions check out I-Drive Resort Area website.

  • Orlando EYE and I-Drive 360

Located on I-Drive, is the new Orlando EYE. This 400 foot Ferris Wheel opened in 2015 and features beautiful views of the Orlando area. The whole complex that was built around the EYE is known as I-Drive 360. This area features a Madame Toussad’s, dining, shopping, nightlife, and other smaller attractions. All of the information and pricing can be found here.

  • Artegon Marketplace

One of our new favorite places in Orlando is Artegon Marketplace. Called the “Anti-Mall,” this marketplace features over 165 artisans as well as food stans, restaurants, a movie theater, indoor mini-golf, and lots more surprises. This is a wonderful place to walk around and explore for the day. Around every corner are unique art exhibits, decorations, and shops. Check out the website and calendar of events for more information.

  • Fun Spot

While Fun Spot still might be a little “theme park-y” it is included on this list because it is free to go into, and it brings back memories of going to the carnival as a kid. They have some crazy rides there that we are too scared to go on, but are a lot of fun to watch! There are also many family friendly rides, and classic attractions such as Go-Karts. There is a Fun Spot in Orlando and one in Kissimmee.

  • Old Town

Connected to the Fun Spot Kissimmee is Old Town. This is a really fun place to walk around. It brings back the 1950s-style “Main Street USA” with shops, restaurants, and entertainment. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening there is a cruise down Main Street where people can bring their American-made classic cars to show off. There is no cost to go into Old Town either and there is plenty of free parking in the surrounding area. Check out their website for more information and the various events throughout the year.

  • Farmer’s Market

We love going to Farmer’s Markets. They are a great way to experience some local flavor and try new things. In Orlando there is a great Farmer’s Market every Sunday morning near the beautiful Lake Eola. Here you can get local produce, handmade jewelry, artwork, and lots more. Visit the Orlando Farmers Market website for the location and vendors.

  • Bok Tower Gardens

This one is actually outside of Orlando, but is on our list because it is just a beautiful and relaxing place to visit. The Bok Tower Gardens are in Lake Wales and features the famous Singing Tower. There are also gardens, walking trails, The Pinewood Estate, and more. Their website has directions and ticket information.

  • Lake Eola Park

Lake Eola Park is located in downtown Orlando and is a gorgeous area to walk around. There is a 0.9 mile walking path around the lake and you can rent swan-shaped paddle boats. There are numerous special events here throughout the year, so check out the website for more information.

  • Shopping Malls

Orlando sure has lots of great shopping. There are 2 upscale malls: The Mall at Millenia and The Florida Mall. The Mall at Millenia is a very beautiful shopping center to walk around. There also are 2 great Orlando Premium Outlet Malls. The outlet mall on International Drive has a Victoria’s Secret outlet store. Both outlet malls have Disney stores with discounted merchandise as well. Check out this website for more information.

So that is our list of things to do in Orlando when you need a break from the theme parks! Have you been to any of these places before? Or are you going to add any of them to your to-do list next time you are in Orlando? Let us know in the comments!

The Traveling Gals

 

 

 

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Things To Do In Orlando (Besides Theme Parks)

 

27 Responses to Things To Do In Orlando (Besides Theme Parks)

  1. All I’ve ever read about are Orlando’s theme parks, they usually don’t focus on anything else so this was nice! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    xoxo, Sam | thehauntedhousewife.com

    • Thanks for the nice comment! Obviously the theme parks are the most popular part of Orlando, but there is a lot of fun stuff to do there 🙂

    • Most people don’t leave the parks haha, which we totally understand because there’s so much to do! But Orlando does have its own unique things to offer 🙂

  2. I love farmer’s markets and the Old Town sounds darling! I usually think if Disney when I think of Orlando, but there are so many other things to do, especially in the city that large.

  3. It is funny, now that you mention it, because I don’t think I ever hear about anything related to Orlando other than the amusement parks or the facilities associated with those parks (like Downtown Disney, etc.) Thanks for sharing!

  4. I wish i saw this sooner! I have been to Orlando at least 10 times, and now that I’m older, the amusements parks are kind of a “been there done that” type of thing. Awesome post.

  5. This is a refreshing perspective on Orlando. Goes to prove that there is life beyond Theme Parks there. Thanks for sharing and letting readers know that there are a host of other activities one can engage in when in Orlando.

    • Thank you for the nice comment! The theme parks are the major draw to Orlando, but the city also has other fun things to offer! 🙂

  6. I’ve never been to Orlando but all the activities sound like they would be so much fun. I’m saving this for the day I can FINALLY make my way down there! <3

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