When you think of Orlando, Florida, you might automatically think about amusement parks. That’s because the Orlando area is known as the theme park capital of the world. There is much more to do in Orlando than just Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort, and SeaWorld Orlando. It’s easy to vacation in Orlando without stepping foot in one of the theme parks. The comfortable winters make it a great destination all year long. Here are some of the best things to do in Orlando; outside of the theme parks.
Gatorland is known as “The Alligator Capital of the World”. It opened in 1949, well before the area was known for magic and thrill rides. There are over 2,000 gators at the wildlife preserve, but that isn’t all. You can also see crocodiles, tortoises, snakes, birds, and even wild cats. There are shows all day long, including Gator Wrestlin’. You’ll have a chance to get up close to some creatures, and you’ll see alligators from babies to 14 feet. That isn’t all that you can do at Gatorland. Screamin’ Gator Zip Line will allow you to soar 65 feet above the ground, with alligators and crocodiles below. If that’s too intense for you, how about the Stompin’ Gator Off-Road Adventure? You’ll ride 12 feet high in a monster off-road vehicle as you head out into the swamp. It’s an adventure that will change each time, since it features the animals in their habitat. Gatorland is found at 14501 S. Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, Florida, 32837.
ICON Orlando has only been around since 2015, and already it is one of the most recognizable structures in the city. Originally known as the Orlando Eye, the Ferris Wheel lifts you up 400 feet in the air. ICON Orlando gives you an unforgettable view of the area. There’s more to the ICON Orlando complex than just the ride.
You can visit Madame Tussauds, check out Sea Life Orlando Aquarium, or visit the brand new science-related museum Skeletons: Museum of Osteology. These are just a few of the attractions in the same complex, and you can buy a combination ticket to save. ICON Orlando is located at 8401 International Drive #100, Orlando, Florida, 32819.
Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
Another new addition to the Orlando scene is the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. It opened in 2014, and officially it still isn’t finished. The venue consists of several spaces for performances that range in size from 294 seats to 2,731 seats. It is the home of the Orlando Ballet. This is also where to see touring productions of Broadway plays, concerts from internationally known artists like Diana Ross, and much more. The building itself is as impressive as some of the things that take place within its walls. The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts is located at 445 S Magnolia Ave, Orlando, Florida, 32801.
Orlando may not be known as a sports city, but that is in the process of changing. The best-known team is the Orlando Magic. The NBA team was founded back in 1989 and has won two conference titles. The Magic plays in the Amway Center. Basketball is not the only game in town. Soccer has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years. The Orlando City Soccer Club is better known as The Lions. They may not be the best team in the Major Soccer League, but they have plenty of support. The Lions and their sister team, The Orlando Pride, both play at Orlando City Stadium. The Pride are part of the National Women’s Soccer League, and they hold the record for the largest attendance in the league’s history. Orlando is also home to the Solar Bears, an ECHL team. They are associated with the Tampa Bay Lightning. They also play at the Amway Center. While they may not be a pro team, Orlando is especially proud of the University of Central Florida Knights. Orlando loves the Knights so much that the city readily acknowledges the team as the 2017 National Champions. It was an undefeated season in which the Knights beat both teams who went on to play in the National Championship game.
With a dinner show, you will end up with a lot of food and great entertainment at the same time. There are plenty of different shows that you can catch in the Orlando area. One of the most popular is Pirates Dinner Adventure. The show features tricks, romance, and comedy. There are sword fights, of course, this is a show about pirates. You will also want to watch out for the dragon. Pirates Dinner Adventure was closed for a while because the building was damaged by Hurricane Irma, but it’s back and better than ever!
Sleuths Mystery Dinner Show needs your participation. A crime has been committed, and your help is needed to solve it. Another dinner show that you might want to check out is The Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show. It’s interactive, and unlike anything that you have ever seen before. The address for Pirates Dinner Adventure is 6400 Carrier Drive, Orlando, Florida, 32819. Sleuths Mystery Dinner can be found at 8267 International Drive, Orlando, Florida, 32819. The address for The Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show is 9067 International Drive, Orlando, Florida, 32819. That is located inside of WonderWorks Orlando, which is a marvel in and of itself.
Lake Eola Park
If you’re looking for a tranquil spot in Orlando, stop by Lake Eola. Take a ride in a Swan Boat, or stand on the side and just watch the swans. There is a beautiful fountain in the middle, and there is a bandstand. The walk around Lake Eola is a little less than a mile, making it the perfect spot to go for a jog or just gather your thoughts. There’s a Christmas Tree Show each holiday season, and Fireworks Over the Fountain each Independence Day. The official address for Lake Eola is 512 East Washington Street, Orlando, Florida 32801.