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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. View the world’s largest collection of Tiffany glass at the Charles Homer Morse Museum of American Art

Charles Homer Morse Museum of Art in Winter Park, Florida

This Winter Park museum happens to contain the largest collection of works by Louis Tiffany, a late 19th century designer famous for his impressive collection of lamps, pottery, paintings, and jewelry. Every piece is absolutely gorgeous; the small admission price enables everyone to see this impressive collection. Take a little break from the heat to visit this local gem; you will not be dissapointed! Student admission is only $1 and Friday nights are free (for everyone) from November-April.


    • Bet
    • February 18, 2019  at  10:28 AM

    I’ve never been to Orlando and your guide will be a massive help for my summer Orlando trip. From what I’ve read, Orlando seems like a fun and cool place where anyone can find things to do 🙂

  1. I Love Disney and Universal theme parks 🙂 These are wonderful places to relax!

  2. Thanks! Have a great time in Orlando!

  3. Good suggestions were given…Irish pub,cafes,museums nice shoots thanks for posting!

  4. You forgot Rock Hard Revue!

  5. Thanks! Yes, I’ve been meaning to update the name. Personally, I think they should have left the name alone – it will always be Downtown Disney to me 🙂

    • John Smith
    • July 23, 2018  at  11:36 AM

    Great article!
    I’m not sure if this was said in any of the other comments, but you were referring to Disney Springs as Downtown Disney. I even sometimes still call it Downtown Disney, but the name has changed. I love the list, and will surely do some of these things when my family and I go to Orlando on Sunday!

    • Sheila
    • June 25, 2018  at  1:44 PM

    I love this site! Here is another great idea for people and families to look into as well. Its only 1 hour from Orlando and such a fun filled time! BK Adventure is the #1 Bioluminescence kayak tour company in Florida who offer so many tours. My family and I have done both kayaking and the rafting. The rafting tour was awesome! The bioluminescence ranges night to night with the brightness but just WOW! I loved it and I know all of you would too! I posted their website for you all to see.

  6. Thanks! And thanks for the science museum suggestion – looks nice – I’ll have to check it out sometime.

    • Sally
    • May 13, 2018  at  9:42 AM

    Love this list! Thanks for sharing. These little guys always get overshadowed by the theme parks. I think there’s a neat little science museum in Orlando as well. Went there years ago- so not sure if it’s still around.

  7. Thank you!

  8. Share-worthy information. Liked your blog.

  9. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Hey there! Someonee in my Myspace group shared this website with us so
    I came to look it over. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m bookmarking and wiol be tweeting this to my followers!

    Excellent blog and great design.

    • Mark Sees
    • November 22, 2017  at  5:35 PM

    You may want to add the Orlando Wetlands Park, They have free tram tours on Fridays and Saturdays. Tons of wildlife and the scenery is amazing….just google Orlando Wetlands Park.

  11. Happy Birthday Michael Jackson- On Tuesday, August 29th 2017 the largest Michael Jackson and Jackson 5 memorabilia Exhibit will open at the Doubletree Suites by Hilton at Disney Springs. Tickets are available at for more information call 856-556-0051

  12. What a great list! Would it be at all possible to add our Murder Mystery events to your website?

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

    • 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 @

    • 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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!

  17. 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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