A wooded oasis just a stone's throw from Disney's Magic Kingdom, Tibet-Butler Nature Reserve is a county park with a small nature center, butterfly garden, picnic area, and 3.4 miles of footpaths and foothills. Fun Spot America offers four multi-level tracks for all ages with go-karts that reach up to 34 mph. The large two-story building is 18,716 square feet and also includes a game room, a playground, and a 30-foot tall Ronald McDonald. Channel your inner Tarzan at the Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park.
With over 97 aerial challenges including rope swings, hanging bridges, airborne skateboards, ladders and a 425 foot zip line, it's an adventure among the trees. Make your way through the 360-degree ocean tunnel as young sharks, sea turtles and rays circle around you. There are some hot air balloon companies, but Painted Horizons has been around since 1991 and has trusted pilots. For many, a hot air balloon ride is a bucket list item.
In North Orlando, there is Something's Brewing Florida, The Bear and Peacock Brewery, Ivanhoe Park Brewing Company, Broken Strings, Ten10 Brewery and Sideward Brewing. And the list goes on and on. With more than 38 years of experience, Truffles and Trifles, is one of the largest cooking schools in the southeast. Food Network listed the school as one of the “Five Best Cooking Schools in the Country for Fun”.
Some favorites include a night out for girls, healthy, low-carb cooking, and evening cooking with wine. Found in the back of the Gods and Monsters comic book store, Vault 5421 advertises itself as a post-apocalyptic wasteland. It's small, dark and there's a lot of skulls hanging around that remind you of a villain's lair. Vault 5421 is only open on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights.
Explore TampaTampa is about 1.5 hours from Orlando and has a much bigger city feel. Highlights include Busch Gardens, museums, professional sports teams, the waterfront and Big Cat Rescue. Are you interested in seeing a real launch? Check out the Kennedy Space Center event calendar and see if you can plan your visit around any of the upcoming launches. Launch viewing is included with all Kennedy Space Center general admission tickets.
Also known as the “Cayman Capital of the World”, Gatorland is a must for anyone who wants to get a real sense of the nature, culture and animals of Everglades. This 110-acre theme park and wildlife preserve is filled with engaging exhibits, thrilling rides and thrilling alligator-themed entertainment. The scenic boat tour of Winter Park is one of the most popular activities in Orlando, besides the theme parks. It's a one-hour cruise along the narrow canals and lakes of Winter Park, one of Orlando's beautiful suburbs.
There are around 150 golf courses in Orlando to choose from and the weather here is excellent all year round. Okay, maybe it's a little hot in summer, but that's what the first tee times are for. You can book 2 or 4 hour trips (and anglers alone get a reduced rate) on board your 21-foot pontoon (up to 5 people) or on your tournament-style bass fishing boat (for one or two people). All reservations include guide, rod and reel, bait and tackle and soft drinks (but you're welcome to BYOB).
Because, of course, the biggest McDonald's in the world is in Orlando, Florida. Where else would I be? With an area of 19,000 square feet on three floors, this McDonald's restaurant offers menu items you won't find anywhere else. Roller coasters are fun (trust us, we get it), but the best things to do in Orlando beyond theme parks offer more than long lines and sugary churros. In fact, ask any local to name their main emotions in the city are beautiful and they will probably tell you a long list of things to do that are far from amusement parks and tourist districts.
What is happening beyond closed parks, you ask? Tour Orlando's historic neighborhoods, hop on a boat tour, or head to a basketball game (or a football game, if you do) to cheer on the city's professional teams. Looking for something interactive? You can feed the giraffes and learn about local conservation efforts, or you can even zipline on live alligators (after all, this is Florida). In other words, there are more emotions in this city than roller coasters. Here are the 14 best things to do in Orlando beyond theme parks.
Winter Park is a historic neighborhood with many shops and restaurants along the main street of downtown. In fact, some of Orlando's best restaurants can be found in Winter Park, such as The Ravenous Pig and Prato. The nice neighborhood hosts a big Farmers Market every weekend, as long as Florida's unpredictable weather cooperates. After walking through the city center, consider hopping on the Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour, which takes passengers on a one-hour tour of the area's many lakes with an expert driver sharing animated stories about Winter Park.
One hour from Orlando, the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral is NASA's home in Florida. It's also a place where families can enjoy a day together learning about the history and future of the United States space program. While you're at the Kennedy Space Center, be sure to take the bus tour, you'll pass by the launch pad and even see a real rocket. Before you leave, visit the Astronaut Hall of Fame and the Atlantis Space Shuttle exhibit.
ICON Park can be seen from I-4, the interstate that runs through downtown Orlando, due to the large observation wheel that rises above the trees. The Wheel at ICON Park towers over the city to 400 feet high and allows passengers to see the downtown skyline, theme park fireworks and more. Florida residents get discounted tickets to enjoy The Wheel, and there's complimentary parking within walking distance. If you've ever wanted to walk through a water tunnel or feed an entire school of fish at once, head to the Sea Life Orlando Aquarium.
This family-friendly place is home to thousands of creatures and 250 species. There are nine exhibits that allow visitors to get up close and personal with some of the creatures that call the aquarium home, such as turtles, sharks, rays, seahorses and more. Tickets can be booked online in advance, along with the day's check-in time. Gatorland is a sprawling 110-acre wildlife park and preserve that has been operating for decades.
Here you can see everything from alligators and crocodiles to birds and wild cats. For a real thrill, zip line through some of the exhibits and watch them from the air before gliding over the alligator breeding swamp (there are 130 alligators below, but you'll be safe on high). You can also take a tour of the breeding swamp and get close to the crocodiles and create a feeding frenzy with the help of your expert guide. Did you know that Orlando is home to the headwaters of the Florida Everglades? Due to Orlando's unique position in the state, you can not only visit theme parks that were built on swamps, but you can also travel around the swamp on a 30- or 60-minute airboat ride.
Each ride is guided by an expert captain who will help you spot anything from alligators to birds. Just past the Amway Center, you'll find a large outdoor stadium that houses the Orlando City Soccer Club. The team is the 21st franchise in Major League Soccer and has continued to build a large fan base in Orlando. The matches are played from April to November, so there is ample opportunity to wear the team's distinctive colors (gold and purple) and cheer for a match.
For the best experience, aim for the games in April, May, October and November for better weather (expect cooler temperatures with less chance of rain). Giraffe Ranch has been a staple in the city for over 20 years, and people still flock to the ranch to get up close and personal with the towering giraffes. While at the ranch, take a guided safari and learn about conservation efforts at the ranch, not to mention the animals that call the ranch home. At the end of the safari, you will be allowed to feed a giraffe and you can even take pictures of a camel, rhino and pygmy hippo.
The National Wildlife Refuge, one of 562 nationally protected areas within the United States dedicated to the continued preservation of wildlife, vegetation and fish in the United States, the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge is home to a more organized life than you may have experienced. Home to more than 1000 species of plants, which together with 117 species of fish, 330 species of birds, 31 individualized species of mammals and 68 species of reptiles and amphibians make the visit truly unforgettable, the site itself is captivating from the moment you set foot on its land. Tibet-Butler Nature Reserve is Orlando's small 440-acre (178-hectare) nature reserve that allows visitors to get a glimpse of Florida's natural landscape. This tranquil reserve gives you the opportunity to escape the crowds and the intense heat of the afternoon sun for a relaxing and shady stroll.
The lake offers tranquil views along the beautiful wetlands, providing the perfect setting to relax and a place away from noisy theme parks. Overwhelmed tourists often overlook the botanical gardens, but in Orlando it's a shame to let the 50 acres (20 hectares) of Harry P. Orlando is home to NBA basketball, Major League Soccer and the minor league hockey subsidiary of champion Tampa Bay Lightning. The NBA's Orlando Magic plays (usually) between October and May; the Orlando City Soccer Club plays between March and November; and the Orlando Solar Bears hockey team plays between October and February.
Explore Orlando's best outdoor activities and incredible wilderness by exploring the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. Although it is a theme park, Fun Spot America is a little different, as it is the only family-owned and operated amusement park in Orlando. Book your stay with us and not only will you get beautiful accommodation at great prices, but you'll also benefit from 24-hour customer service and close proximity to major Orlando attractions. There are plenty of great places to stay close to Orlando's theme parks, as well as a completely different scene in the city center.
Laugh into the wee hours of the night at Orlando Improv Comedy Club, where you'll not only see the best names in live comedy, but you'll also be able to see rising stars and open mic nights every Wednesday. To help you plan that perfect Florida vay-cay, here's a list of fun things to do in Orlando, plus theme parks, including other entertainment and entertainment options to help you maximize your experience. If you're looking for other cool things to do in Orlando, head to the Kennedy Space Center, which is just an hour's drive from downtown Orlando. This 2-hour, glass-bottom guided eco-friendly tour takes place in beautiful Rock Springs, just a short drive from Orlando, and includes an expert guide and the opportunity to see these animals in their natural habitats.
The Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show, Orlando is a fun option for a night out with friends or as a more casual dinner for a possible romance. If I asked you for another word to associate it with the city of Orlando, you would immediately think that Disney. . .