Top Attractions and Activities in Orlando
In Florida, where the sun shines all year long, there is no limit to what you can do on vacation. When travelers plan a trip to Orlando, they can choose between hitting the theme parks, checking out the nightlife scene, or simply lounging by the pool. While Orlando used to be known as only a family destination, that has all changed with recent development. Now there are more things to do in Orlando than ever. Keep reading to discover suggestions for classic and new options on how to spend your time in Orlando.
For families, the best Orlando things to do will be the classic activities. Theme parks from Disney's The Magic Kingdom to Epcot to Universal Studios are full of rides and games for kids of all ages. If you think that you've already explored the parks, think again; they are constantly reinventing themselves with new rides (have you checked out the Wizarding World of Harry Potter yet?) and even bigger thrills.
There's more to the theme parks than just rides. They also offer parades, fireworks displays, and chances for your kids to meet their favorite Disney characters up close and personal. If you're looking to infuse a little education into your trip, don't skip out on Epcot. This park makes learning about foreign cultures fun - especially during their annual food and wine festival.
Fun & Educational Orlando
This will be one of your quirkiest, most outrageous experiences during your time in Orlando. The museum has been built to look like a stately, columned mansion that has been flipped on its head - perhaps a satire of stuffy, high-brow and more traditional museums?
WonderWorks offers visitors a plethora of oddities and hands-on experiences - based on anything from phonomena you’ve always wondered about to things you’ve never heard of before. The best exhibits? Don’t miss these:
1. Move a ball with your mind and EEG technology at the biofeedback exhibit.
2. Blow a giant bubble that you can step inside in the fabulous Bubble Room.
3. Lay on a bed of 3,500 nails and find out the science and math behind why it can’t hurt you.
4. Step inside the Disaster Zone to feel what the 1989 San Francisco earthquake felt like, and then enter the Hurricane Hole with winds up to 71 mph.
5. Find your way around the three-story high neon ropes challenge course.
Kids will love the WonderWorks entertainment center, and you’ll love that it’s bursting with learning opportunities. WonderWorks is located on International Drive less than a five-minute car ride from Universal Studios.
Titanic: Back in Time
“Titanic: The Experience” is located on International Drive between Universal Studios and WonderWorks, and provides an excellent look into the historical RMS Titanic, which sank in April 1912. In 2012, the exhibition was newly redesigned to commemorate the famous ship’s 100th anniversary and to pay homage to its unlucky passengers.
This awesome museum offers 20,000 square feet with 17 galleries that contain many original artifacts. Feel like you’re on the ship by standing on the full-scale recreation of many of the Titanic’s original spaces: a first class cabin, the Verandah Cafe and the elegant Grand Staircase, among others. You can even opt to take a guided tour with fabulous docents who dress in clothes of the period and share real stories from the Titanic. These guides - all trained actors - do an amazing job of bringing the Titanic passengers to life.
The museum also features the second largest piece of the Titanic ever recovered, though in the realm of things, it isn’t very large - most of the ship is still resting on the ocean floor. Though it’s not likely you’ll ever see all of the tragic remains and treasures of that fateful voyage, this museum has a great exhibit of what the Titanic and its debris currently look like at the bottom of the sea.
Orlando Science Center
Visit the Orlando Science Center for an awesome, interactive time with hands-on exhibits in the areas of space, technology, physics and nature.
The Science Center is located on Princeton Street in Loch Haven Park - a bit north of the usual Orlando suspects but certainly worth the drive. When planning your visit here, check the website to find out which of the many excellent traveling exhibits will be here during your trip. Check out the Science Center’s fabulous permanent exhibits, including Our Planet, Our Universe, which lets visitors explore the forces that shape not only earth but our solar system. Some of the highlights are the simulated Mars Rover experience, the Cosmic Collisions kiosk and the Blue Sky feature.
Kids will love DinoDigs, which has several awesome dinosaur fossils and recreated images of these ancient reptilian monsters. And the All Aboard transportation exhibit is the perfect place to let your train- and plane-obsessed toddlers run wild.
People of all ages will enjoy NatureWorks. It focuses on central Florida’s diverse animal and plant life and how living things interact in their environments. It features live alligators, bees and sea turtles, among other animals, with the goal of getting children to understand the delicate balance of a cooperative ecosystem.
The Grown Up Side of Orlando
It used to be that there weren't many things to do in Orlando for adults. These days, there are many options for parents who want a night away from the kids or groups of friends looking for nightlife. Two areas of condensed nightlife are Downtown Disney and CityWalk at Universal Studios . In both places you will find restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and concert venues. One of the best is the House of Blues ; check the concert schedule before you leave home to try and score tickets.
Beyond these two concentrated areas, Orlando is home to other nighttime entertainment as well. If you're into piano bars, be sure to check out Howl at the Moon . Downtown Orlando is home to comedy clubs, movie theaters, and bars with cheap drink specials. If you're looking to save money, head downtown instead of to the resort areas.
The Relaxing Side of Orlando
Many visitors to Orlando feel the need to pack their day full of activity, but sometimes the best things to do are the relaxing ones. Choose an Orlando vacation rental with a pool and you won't have to go far for sunbathing and swimming. If you're into shopping, Orlando is known throughout Florida for its incredible outlet centers, including Orlando Premium Outlets.
Parents who need a few hours away from the kids will want to check out local spas. Getting a massage or facial at Serendipity Day Spa or Delaney Park Day Spa will add a relaxing tone to a family vacation. Another activity at the top of the list of things to do in Orlando is to play a round of golf. Some of the best known local courses include Lake Buena Vista and Grand Cypress Golf Course .
Remember that your vacation rental is also a source of fun and entertainment. Look out for rentals that offer barbecues, plasma TVs for movie nights, and pools for entertainment without leaving "home." A trip to Orlando can be packed with the thrills of roller coasters or with relaxing activities. The choice is up to you.
Vacation Rentals by Top Orlando Attractions
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