8 Things to Do Besides Theme Parks in Orlando

8 Things to Do Besides Theme Parks in Orlando: Orlando is famously known as the theme park capital of the world, but there’s so much more to this vibrant city than just roller coasters and fairy-tale castles. Whether you’re a local looking to explore new activities or a visitor wanting to experience a different side of Orlando, this guide will show you some incredible alternatives. Ready to uncover Orlando’s hidden gems? Let’s dive into the eight best things to do in Orlando besides theme parks.

1. Explore the Orlando Science Center

A Hub of Discovery

The Orlando Science Center offers an engaging and educational experience for all ages. With interactive exhibits, live science demonstrations, and an array of hands-on activities, it’s a perfect place to spend a day learning and having fun.


Check out the DinoDigs exhibit where you can see life-sized dinosaur skeletons, or head to the Crosby Observatory for a peek through the largest public-accessible refractor telescope in Florida.

2. Wander Around Lake Eola Park

Downtown Oasis

Lake Eola Park, located in the heart of downtown Orlando, is a beautiful urban park offering a tranquil escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. The park features a picturesque lake, walking paths, and plenty of green spaces for picnicking.


Rent a swan-shaped paddleboat, feed the resident swans, or simply enjoy a leisurely walk around the lake. The park also hosts a farmers’ market every Sunday, where you can pick up fresh produce and unique crafts.

3. Visit the Harry P. Leu Gardens

A Botanical Paradise

Harry P. Leu Gardens is a 50-acre botanical garden featuring a vast collection of plants, flowers, and trees. It’s a serene spot for nature lovers and those looking to relax in a beautiful setting.

Must-See Areas

Explore the Rose Garden, the Butterfly Garden, and the historic Leu House Museum. Each area offers a unique glimpse into the diverse plant life and history of the gardens.

4. Discover the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art

Artistic Treasures

Home to the world’s most comprehensive collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany, the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art is a must-visit for art enthusiasts. The museum’s extensive collection includes Tiffany glass, pottery, paintings, and decorative arts.

Notable Exhibits

Admire the stunning Tiffany Chapel, originally designed for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, and the exquisite stained glass windows that showcase Tiffany’s mastery of color and light.

5. Experience the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

Cultural Hub

The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts is Orlando’s premier venue for live performances. From Broadway shows and concerts to ballet and opera, this state-of-the-art facility offers a diverse range of cultural experiences.

Upcoming Shows

Check their calendar for upcoming performances and events. Whether you’re into classical music, contemporary dance, or musical theater, there’s something to suit every taste.

6. Shop and Dine at Winter Park’s Park Avenue

Charming Streets

Park Avenue in Winter Park is known for its European charm and offers a delightful mix of boutiques, galleries, and restaurants. It’s the perfect place for a leisurely day of shopping and dining.

Culinary Delights

Indulge in a gourmet meal at one of the fine dining restaurants or enjoy a casual bite at a café. Don’t forget to visit the local shops for unique finds and gifts.

7. Take a Scenic Boat Tour in Winter Park

Waterway Wonders

Discover the beauty of Winter Park from a different perspective with a scenic boat tour. These guided tours take you through the city’s chain of lakes and offer stunning views of lush landscapes, historic homes, and wildlife.

What to Expect

The one-hour tour covers three of the seven lakes and two narrow man-made canals. It’s a peaceful and informative way to learn about the history and ecology of the area.

8. Experience the Orlando Brewing Company

Local Craft Beer

For beer enthusiasts, a visit to the Orlando Brewing Company is a must. This organic brewery offers a variety of craft beers brewed on-site, with a focus on quality and sustainability.

Brewery Tour

Take a free brewery tour to learn about the brewing process and sample some of their unique creations. The brewery also hosts live music and events, making it a lively spot to enjoy an evening out.


Orlando is much more than just theme parks; it’s a city brimming with cultural, natural, and culinary experiences waiting to be explored. Whether you’re into art, nature, or simply looking for a relaxing day out, these eight activities offer a diverse range of options that showcase the best of Orlando beyond its famous attractions.

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