10 Must-Try Experiences in Orlando (2024)

Make sure you try these 10 unique experiences the next time you visit Orlando (Lake Eola Park pictured).

Updated June 21, 2021

Everyone should experience Orlando’s theme parks at least once, but there are lots of ways to enjoy our destination — and you will want to explore it all! From Broadway shows and shopping on cobblestone streets, to dining with world-famous chefs and outdoor recreation, here are our picks for 10 incredible experiences in Orlando.

Save on discount tickets: Orlando Theme Parks & Attractions

Discover Secrets at Orlando’s Theme Parks

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Walt Disney World® Resort, SeaWorld® Orlando and Universal Orlando Resort are filled with hidden secrets and surprises, but you’ll have to search to find them. You can make time for discovery by choosing short-wait attractions over those with longer lines, or by taking advantage of Walt Disney World’s FastPass+, Universal Orlando Resort’s Express Pass and SeaWorld’s Quick Queue Unlimited programs. The less you wait, the more you can explore!

Discover: 8 Tips for the Best Orlando Theme Park Experience

Bike the West Orange Trail

This paved, 22-mile trail stretches from Winter Garden (about 25 minutes from Walt Disney World) to the banks of Lake Apopka (about 35 minutes northwest of downtown Orlando). has hourly, daily and weekly bike rentals for all ages, plus trailers for toting little ones, as well as hotel delivery and group-tour packages.

Discover: Ecotourism in Orlando

Dine at a Celebrity Chef’s Restaurant

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Orlando is bursting with celebrity chefs. Disney Springs® at Walt Disney World Resort alone has José Andrés’ JALEO and Pepe, Art Smith’s ;Homecomin’ Florida Kitchen, Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s Morimoto Asia, Rick Bayless’ Frontera Cocina, and and Wolfgang Puck Express. Plus, Guy Fieri’s flavorful creations can be found at Chicken Guy! and Planet Hollywood.

Other celebrity options include Todd English’s bluezoo at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort and Primo by Melissa Kelly.

Explore Orlando’s Museums

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In Orlando, we love our museums just as much as our theme parks, starting with the Grand Bohemian Gallery at Grand Bohemian Hotel in downtown Orlando. Orlando Museum of Art and The Mennello Museum of American Art are just 10 minutes away in Loch Haven Park. Winter Park, 20 minutes from downtown, has the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Garden, The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art and Rollins College’s Rollins Museum of Art.

Hop on a Boat

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There’s no wrong approach to enjoying Orlando’s gorgeous waterways. Grab a kayak or canoe at one of several local operators. For a faster time, book an airboat tour with Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures (save on discount tickets) or Spirit of the Swamp Airboat Rides. And if a leisurely pace is more your thing, you will love the Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour.

See a Show at the Dr. Phillips Center

Located in downtown Orlando, theDr. Phillips Center for the Performing Artsis the crown jewel of Orlando’s arts scene. Consisting of three theaters ranging in size from 300 to 2,700 seats, plus an outdoor plaza, the venue hosts the Orlando Ballet, Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra and Broadway shows, as well as top-name comedians, musicians and public personages.

Shop on Park Avenue

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Featuring brick streets, bubbling fountains and luscious greenery, Park Avenue is the heart of the city of Winter Park and home to some of the area’s most refined shopping. In addition to national headliners like Lily Pulitzer and Alex and Ani, you’ll discover Tuni and other local gems. Once you’re done shopping, celebrate at one of the district’s upscale dining options — or head to the nearby Winter Park Village outdoor shopping center for more great retailers.

Discover: Winter Park

Attend a Sports Game

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Downtown Orlando’s Kia Center hosts the NBA’sOrlando Magicand ECHL’s Orlando Solar Bears, with MLS’Orlando City Soccer Clubplaying at downtown’s Orlando City Stadium. Orlando is also the Home of American Tennis with theUnited States Tennis Association National Campusin Lake Nona, close to Orlando International Airport. Throw in the NFL Pro Bowl and college bowl games at Camping World Stadium for even more opportunities to watch live sports while you’re here.

Discover: Live Sports in Orlando

Experience Downtown Orlando

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Make at least one trip downtown during your visit, particularly to Lake Eola Park, where you can paddle a swan-shaped boat, visit the weekly Farmers Market on Sundays, or just relax. The park is also a gateway to the many dining and entertainment choices found throughout the downtown area and adjacent Thornton Park.

Discover: Thornton Park

Trolley Down International Drive

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Packed with attractions, restaurants, nightspots and resorts, Orlando’s International Drive (aka I-Drive) is practically a theme park in its own right. We’ve found that the best way to see it all is to hop aboard theI-Ride Trolley. Running daily from 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., it has stops all over the I-Drive area, and it’s also highly affordable.

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10 Must-Try Experiences in Orlando (2024)
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