Everybody knows Orlando is one of the ideal spots when vacation and fun is all about. There’s no doubt this city is home to the most incredible parks and attractions around the world, fact that invites many families and youngsters to visit it every year. But this amazing city offer you much more to see and do than its world-famous parks, and it is not that we do not like Orlando parks, we definitely love Disney World, Universal Orlando and SeaWorld Orlando, sure we do! But we want to show you what to do when you want a break from the parks and feel more like exploring this wonderful city.
From parks and lakes, to the best places to enjoy the nightlife and shopping, below we share with you 5 of the things you can’t stop doing when visiting Orlando. If you want your touring through the city to be more comfortable, affordable and convenient, it is recommendable to rent a car in Orlando, this way you will save time and make the most of your trip.
The city of Orlando is located in the central region of Florida where vast, gorgeous nature abounds offering the perfect escape from the city’s bustling tourist attractions. One of our favorite options is Harry P. Leu Gardens featuring three miles of trails and 50 acres of gardens Including a vegetable and steam garden, butterfly garden and bamboo garden where you can admire 50 acres of beautiful trees, palm trees, vineyards, roses, and camellias among others while you peacefully lie down on its greenery and breathe the fresh air.
Now, if you want to dive into Orlando’s refreshing waters, Wekiwa Springs State Park is for you. This is a 28 square kilometers state park which main attraction is a striking semi-natural pool with 42 million gallons of water from the Wekiwa River. What can you do here? Apart from swimming in these revitalizing waters you can also practice Kayak; you can rent canoes, double or single kayaks and stand up paddle boards to go over the incredible river. Other fun activities include camping, walking along the trails and go hiking, biking and horseback riding. Orlando also offers options for animal lovers and Exotic Animal Experience is one of them.
Many different animals cohabit here under supervision and care of the friendly owners so if your dream is to cuddle a baby lemur or feeding playful kangaroos, this unique ranch is the place to go and make your dreams come true.
Art is the fuel of the soul and it is also at your fingertips when visiting Orlando. This city offers a wide range in the arts and culture, from the best of the independent cinema of the Florida Film Festival to fine arts museums, the cultural options in Orlando offer a mix of traditional and modern entertainment for its visitors.
The American History is fascinating and Orlando Museum of Art portrays it through contemporary art. Presenting local, regional, national and international exhibitions, its aim is to inspire creativity, passion and intellectual curiosity by connecting people with its intriguing captivating origins. Another very popular place loved by the youngsters mostly is Madame Tussauds Orlando; this is the world’s most famous celebrity wax attraction where you can pose with your favorite A-listers, sport stars, historical and pop icons. Impress your friends with the best selfie, either posing with Taylor Swift, scoring a goal with Neymar, traveling back in time to meet great personalities of history or saving the world with Superman, Batman or Wonder Woman. If
you like music and live shows you can visit the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, which produces more than 300 shows every year with lineups that include Broadway productions, performances by Orlando Ballet, chart-topping musicians, marquee comedians, family entertainment and much more. For those with more traditional tastes, the city's theaters offer a variety of options, from Shakespeare to children's classics, and museums and galleries in the area showcase works by local and global artists.
The shopping panorama in Orlando is very broad; from malls to outlets, flea markets to shopping districts, the city makes this an exciting activity as it offers options for all wallets and tastes. Outles, for example, stand out for the huge discounts on clothing shoes and jewelry from the most prestigious brands (sometimes even the 70% for tourists); you just have to find out which outlet is closest to your hotel and head to it.
Orlando Premium Outlets is highly recommended, located just one mile from Walt Disney World boasts of having the highest sales per square foot of the Premium Outlets that are found all over the world. If you are more into Malls you are in luck because Orlando is home to 8 of the best shopping centers.
One of the most popular is Millenia Mall, a modern PREMIUM category shopping center characterized by the elite selection of stores it offers, including Macy's, Bloomingdale's y Neiman Marcus. Now, shopping Districts are the bomb, these are entertainment complexes that not only have purchases but also restaurants, live entertainment, nightlife and many other things. The one you definitely can’t miss is Disney Springs where you can go shopping, have a lunch with your family, go to the movies or even ride a hot air balloon!
Always remember to take provisions when going shopping. Use comfortable clothes, wear sunscreen if you are going to an outdoor mall and make sure to use a proper rented vehicle to carry your load; all these shopping centers count with parking lots and sometimes even valets, so convenience is at your reach.
Orlando is without a doubt the place for fun and adventure, and if this is the spot you chose for your next holiday, make sure to try something new and enjoy any of these activities, you will not regret it!!
Cover photo attribution: Miosotis Jade [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons
Useful Travel Resources for Orlando
Orlando Map – Plan your trip around Orlando with this handy map
RentalCars.com – Great site for comparing rental car prices
Skyscanner.net – Our favorite place to book cheap airline flights
Expedia.com – Book affordable accommodation or bundle flights and hotels in Orlando.
Recommended Guidebook: Lonely Planet Pocket Orlando & Disney World
Suggested Reading: Walt Disney: The Triumph of Imagination