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17 Fun Things to do in Orlando Besides Theme Parks

Beautiful water views at Lake Baldwin in Orlando, Florida

Who says you can’t have a fantastic time in Orlando without visiting a theme park? Aside from the world famous Disney and Universal theme parks, the Orlando area is home to a number of beautiful parks, interesting museums, great local restaurants and shops, a handful of waterfront attractions, entertaining shows, and much more.

All too often Orlando visitors come and go without taking time to explore anything besides the theme parks. This is a shame as there is much more to explore in Orlando. While the theme parks are more than worthy of a visit, you would be missing out by not looking into some of the other activities found throughout the Orlando metro area.

Take a look below at a list comprised of 17 non-theme park attractions & activities in the Orlando metro area. Also, feel free to share a few ideas of your own!

1. Take a relaxing stroll around Tibet-Butler Nature Preserve

Boardwalk trail at Tibet Butler Nature Preserve in Orlando, Florida

Orlando’s small 440 acre nature preserve allows visitors to take a glimpse into the natural scenery of Florida. Take this opportunity to escape the crowds and intense heat of the afternoon sun for a relaxing and shady walk through this quiet preserve. Peaceful views of Lake Tibet-Butler along with beautiful flatwoods and wetlands provide the perfect setting for a scenic stroll.

Beautiful nature views at Tibet Butler Nature Preseve in Orlando, Florida

Six short trails, varying in length from 1/2 mile to several miles, are available for everyone from those wanting a quick natural escape to those looking for a half day nature outing. Keep your eyes peeled for possible wildlife sightings: gopher tortoises, bobcats, and bald eagles are occasionally seen.

2. Have dinner at a fun themed restaurant

Raglan Road Irish Pub in Orlando, Florida

Both Downtown Disney and Universal City Walk are home to several great theme restaurants. By choosing one of these fun restaurants you can still feel like you are part of the excitement without visiting a theme park. Some of the fun choices in Downtown Disney include Planet Hollywood, House of Blues, Rainforest Cafe, and Raglan Road Irish Pub.

Rainforest Cafe at Downtown Disney in Orlando, Florida

House of Blues at Downtown Disney in Orlando, Florida

Universal City Walk is home to options such as Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville, Hard Rock Cafe, Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, and NBA City. Any choice you pick is sure to lead to an entertaining night filled with fun food, service, and music.

3. Dine and Play at Dave & Buster’s

Dave and Busters in Orlando, Florida

Dave & Buster’s is a large entertainment facility complete with traditional arcade games, ticket redemption games, a sports bar, and a full service restaurant. Dave and Busters is a great alternative to the theme parks; here you can have hours of fun without spending nearly as much as you would at a day at the parks (sign up for the D&B email club to receive special coupons). The Orlando location tends to be crowded at all times, so be prepared to pay for valet parking or spend all night searching for a spot.



15 comments

  1. Your welcome – have a great trip! 🙂

    • Daniel A.
    • April 18, 2017  at  10:51 PM

    Thank you for taking the time to put together this informative page. I’m going to explore some of the activities in may.

  2. Thank you! Stay tuned for more Orlando posts in the near future…

    • suraj
    • January 21, 2017  at  4:39 AM

    Hey, there, I have become a big fan of your blog! If it’s a trip for families, couples, single travelers or friends, you’ll find so many things to do in Orlando.

    Thanks dear for sharing this great concept with us.

  3. […] 17 Fun Things to do in Orlando Besides Theme Parks […]

  4. […] 17 Fun Things to do in Orlando Besides Theme Parks […]

    • Jake
    • April 15, 2016  at  10:34 AM

    To tall nature lovers out there not to many people know that you can swim with manatees which is a great way to spend away from the theme parks may want to check it out @ http://www.swimwiththefloridamanatees.com/houseboattours.html

  5. […] 17 Fun Things to do in Orlando Besides Theme Parks […]

    • amanda ashton
    • February 27, 2016  at  5:50 AM

    i second kelly park, i got married there on the 5th nov 2014 🙂 at 11am it was beautiful no-one was there just myself, hubby, 3 children and my parents 🙂 it’s a stunning place and a nice break away from the hussle and bussle

    • Sharol
    • December 20, 2015  at  12:35 PM

    non of this is outside!

  6. That’s too bad! It really was a great place to hunt for bargains. Thanks for the update.

    • Tamatha
    • November 12, 2015  at  10:33 PM

    Don’t plan on going to Flea World. It’s me closed forever. A landmark is going away.

  7. Good recommendations! Nothing like making an early morning walk in Rock Springs and give balance to life with the yum to go to Bubba Gump Shrimp Company!

  8. Thanks for the suggestion! Sounds very nice – I’ll have to check it out on my trip to the Orlando area.

    • Gregor
    • August 23, 2015  at  10:16 PM

    A great place to enjoy is kelly park (rock springs).
    25000 gallons a minute of clear, clean potable water, flowing out of a cave, and rambling down into a pool.
    There is swimming and picnicing, and camping for the more adventurous.
    A very short drive down stream from there is king’s landing where you can rent canoes for a one way trip down the wekiva river, or just paddle about if you have a mind. Down stream is 2 hrs if you work at it; 8 if you really want to enjoy the river, but the average is 4 hrs, so bring a picnic and enjoy the day.
    When you get to the end, you and the canoe are bussed back to the start so you don’t have to fight the current coming back. Sababa!
    Kelly park is on rock springs road in Apoka, north of orlando.



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