Orlando is a magical place, and it’s not just because it’s home to Cinderella’s castle at Walt Disney World. There’s an incredible mix of fun things to do in this great city that make it an ideal vacationing spot for not only families but young singles, baby boomers, foodies, outdoor adventurous types, luxury shoppers and international visitors.
While the city was built on theme park fame, the number and variety of Orlando attractions have grown to include world-famous restaurants, high-end outlet shopping centers, theatrical performances, and amazing concert and sporting event venues.
Golfers love the challenging and historic courses throughout the city, and art-lovers enjoy the Orlando Museum of Art, the Mennello Museum of American Art, and a number of small, funky galleries and art studios sprinkled throughout the area.
Orlando is known for hospitality, and that extends to its many hotels, spas and services that suit every budget and taste.
Parents appreciate some of the amenities offered at the Disney-area accommodations, such as five-star fine-dining restaurants, luxurious spas and serene rooftop pools.
And kids love themed hotels that highlight animals, costumed characters, rock ‘n’ roll, and princesses.
If you’re looking for quirky, interesting things to do in a half-day, afternoon or evening, Orlando has a multitude of fun spots that make for great memories and neat stories.
Madame Tussauds Orlando has a dazzling assortment of lifelike wax celebrities and the Great Escape Room is part scavenger hunt, part mind-game as groups and families work together to escape an enclosure with hidden passageways and trap doors.
Hit one of the many water parks to cool down or spend an air-conditioned afternoon inside the Orlando Science Center, the Orlando Fire Museum, or the National Vietnam War Museum.
For a sky-high view of the city from a glass capsule, visit the 400-foot ICON Orlando observation wheel on International Drive, which is also near several great shops, restaurants, bars and galleries.
One of the coolest spots in town – quite literally – is ICEBAR Orlando, which features a below-freezing room with a bar carved entirely from ice and a full menu and dance floor in the warmer adjacent room.
Craft beer enthusiasts will love trying the organic beers at Orlando Brewing or special-batch brews at one of the dozens of breweries and taprooms, many of which also have excellent menus including, wings, vegan dishes, fancy oysters and sustainable-seafood dishes.
Orlando has several parks and lakes that are great for relaxing, exercise and adventure. Rent a paddleboard or paddleboat, soar over the city in a hot air balloon, picnic under an old oak, spot dolphins on a boating day trip, swim with manatees and pet a sloth at the Exotic Animal Experience.
There are several watersports centers if you’re looking to try waterskiing or jet skiing or, for an even bigger thrill, parasailing or sky diving.
The adventures and experiences are abundant in Orlando, a city that’s inspired by dreams and wonder.