When people think of Orlando, they usually think of these major attractions first: Disney World Resorts, Universal Studios, Sea World Orlando/Discovery Cove, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, and Legoland Florida Resort.
There are certainly other things to do in the area besides the theme parks. I wrote about a few of them already, but I thought I’d include them in this list.
1. Visit the Largest McDonald in the World
Did you know that the “World’s Largest Entertainment McDonald” is located right in Orlando? It’s conveniently located at 6875 Sand Lake Road (off of International Drive). Since I always try to visit McDonalds when I travel abroad, I had to make a stop here.
2. Refresh at the Harry P Leu Gardens
If you’re not in a hurry, you can take a nice stroll at the Harry P Leu Gardens which is about 10 minutes from downtown Orlando. It’s about a 35-40 minutes drive if you are staying near the Disney area.
3. Shop (or Window Shop) Away
There are a lot of shopping areas in the Orlando areas. You could easily spend hours at Disney Springs. Or wander around at the Universal City Walk. If you want to shop outside of the theme parks, there is the famous Orlando International Premium Outlets (note: parking can be impossible during the holidays).
4. Check out Downtown Orlando
You can visit downtown Orlando. Lake Eola Park is one of the features of the area. The city offers these “Swan Paddle Boat” for rental on the lake. We didn’t get around to doing it, but it looked relaxing.
5. Stopping by Lesser Known Attractions
We also stopped by a few places but we didn’t go through the attraction. One of those was WonderWorks. We did not plan to spend hours here. Instead we visited the gift shop and then went to grab lunch.
Just next to WonderWorks is the iFly Indoor Skydiving attraction. If you’re the adventurous type, you can show off your skills to the public in the glass enclosure facing the street. I can’t say that I see the appeal myself. It’s one thing to climb the Sydney Harbor Bridge (which was fun), but skydiving just isn’t my cup of tea!
Right next to the iFly Indoor Skydiving attraction is the ICEBAR Orlando. I’d go in for some finger food if this place was open during our visit.
We also stopped by the Chocolate Museum and Cafe, located at 11701 International Drive Suite 400. Even if you don’t end up going through the museum tour, you can buy chocolates and ice cream scoops from the cafe.
6. Eat at Local Restaurants
WonderWorks, IceBar and the iFly Indoor Skydiving are located at Pointe Orlando, an area undergoing redevelopment. It’s a good thing because I didn’t see a lot of foot traffic one might expect for the area.
We ended up dining at this place called “The Pub“. The draw was obviously the “Best Fish and Chips in the US”. Since I had some good ‘fish and chips’ in London and in Scotland, I wanted to see how this one compared.
(In case you are wondering, it was good. The portion was small though).
When people think of Orlando, the theme parks are the first things that come to mind. If you are looking for something different to do other than the parks, there are options. This small list should give you some ideas.
Do you have any other favorite spots in Orlando that you would highly recommend to other fellow readers?