Orlando is probably best known for its wide array of incredible theme parks but they are not the only way to spend your time in the city. Rich in wildlife and other fun experiences, there are plenty of things to do in Orlando that don’t involve going to Disney.
We have put together a list of some of our all-time favorite non-theme park activities to give you plenty of ideas for making the most of your vacation in the city!
For a fantastic family-friendly activity, Footgolf at the Disneyworld resort is a super fun way to spend your day. The 9-Hole FootGolf course is open to non ‘residents’ and you don’t need to have park tickets to enter and enjoy!
An amusement park for the mind, WonderWorks is not just for the kids. An interactive and educational museum with over 100 hands-on exhibits including a glow-in-the-dark Indoor Ropes Course, Laser-Tag arena, 4D XD Motion Theater, and lots more, it’s a great way to spend a day in Orlando!
Spend Time on the Water
We recommend renting a boat or taking a tour on the beautiful Butler Chain of lakes. Situated in southwest Orange County, the chain of 13 lakes are loved by Florida residents and tourists for their excellent water quality and good fishing, making them a fantastic addition to a water-lover’s vacation.
During a tour of the lakes, you’ll be able to grab sneak peeks of Shaquille O’Neal’s $38M mansion, Tiger Woods’ old house (where the infamous golf club window incident took place), as well as an up-close-and-personal view of the Palace of Versailles – a 85,000 square-foot house belonging to Westgate Resorts Founder, David Siegel.
For the more daring water sport fanatics, how about going tubing or water skiing in one of the lakes? Don’t worry, they’re warmer than you might think with water temperatures reaching 90 degrees in the summer months! A fantastic spot for groups who are fond of the more active vacations, don’t leave the lakes out of your things to do in Orlando list!
Orlando is home to so many wonderful wild animals and species that it would be a shame not to add a wildlife wander into your vacation plans. Lake Apopka North Shore and their Wildlife Drive is free to visit and a great opportunity to learn more about the native bird, alligator, and other populations that live in the area.
By staying in Orlando, you are virtually guaranteed to get “free” gator sightings and also see a few bobcats around dawn/dusk. Any bird that lives in Florida, you are highly likely to see here, as well as some local turtles and fish if you keep a close eye out.
We recommend taking an anti-clockwise drive around Lake Apopka to uncover a more ‘rural’ side of Central Florida before stopping for lunch at one of the independently-owned smoke houses in any of the small towns bordering the lake. The ‘Pit Master’ has been smoking lunch there since 4:00am every day for 25+ years so you can be sure that they know a thing or two about good food!
Will you be adding any of these things to do in Orlando that don’t include theme parks to your vacation plan? We hope that they will help you craft an unforgettable vacation in our city!
While you are planning your Orlando trip, discover our Vacation Rental Properties to find one that suits you and your travel plans.