Things To Do in Orlando Besides Disney

Looking to venture beyond the theme parks? From fine dining to rustic nature, Orlando is a diverse city with endless opportunity. This list is here to give you a good starting point for discovering what the local side of Orlando has to offer.

1) Nightlife

With dozens of districts and countless bars, you won’t have a hard time finding a good place to toss a couple back. Hang out in an open air bar by Lake Ivanhoe, enjoy some fanciful cocktails in downtown Orlando, or dive into the craft beers at Redlight Redlight. For more, check out our post: Nightlife in Orlando

Places to drink in Orlando

2) Paddleboarding

Countless lakes, rivers, and springs make Orlando a prime place to paddleboard. Rent a board and venture out on your own, or take a tour with a local guide.

Paddleboarding on Lake Ivanhoe in Downtown Orlando

3) Art

Surprising to some, Orlando has a thriving art scene. Enjoy live performances at the Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts or the Mad Cow Theatre. For photography, check out the impressive gallery at Snap! For more great art, check out our Orlando Art Recommendations.

Enjoy the Gallery at Snap! Space ( Source )

Enjoy the Gallery at Snap! Space (Source)

4) Professional Sports

If you can only spare one night, make your way to an Orlando City Soccer game. The inaugural season has the city in feverish excitement, and home games are hugely popular. Related: Picking the Best Seats for an Orlando City Soccer Match. If Basketball is more your style, our city proudly hosts the Orlando Magic.

Orlando City Soccer Games at The Citrus Bowl ( Source )

Orlando City Soccer Games at The Citrus Bowl (Source)

5) Dining

Orlando’s food scene is on the up and up. For food truck action, head over to the Milk District on Tuesday nights for Tasty Tuesdays food truck rally. For sit down restaurants, check out Mills 50 for budget-friendly and culturally diverse cuisine, or Winter Park for fine dining. If you’re looking for a guided tour, check out our Walking Food Tour.

Tasty Tuesdays in Orlando.  Source

Tasty Tuesdays in Orlando. Source

6) Airboat Rides

Big, loud, and fun, airboat rides are a thrilling way to see the swampy marshlands of ‘Old Florida.’ These tours are great for the kids, and allow you to check out wild Florida alligators from a safe distance.

Airboating is a great way to see Gators in Orlando

7) Nature Walks

Orlando isn’t typically known for hiking, but there are some great parks around town. You can find great trails at Mead Gardens, enjoy an afternoon at Leu Gardens, or stroll around Orlando's most iconic lake, Lake Eola.

Lake Eola ( Source )

Lake Eola (Source)

8) Kayking

Once again, the beautiful waterways of Orlando make kayak eco-tours a fantastic option. Explore the Winter Park Chain of Lakes, or get a little more adventurous with a kayak trip down the Little Econ.

Kayking in Lake Ivanhoe near Downtown Orlando

9) Golfing

Central Florida is FULL of fantastic golf courses. If you’re looking to go upscale, a few of our favorite courses include Bella Collina, Waldorf Astoria, and Shingle Creek. For something more budget friendly, check out Dubsdread, the Winter Park Country Club, or Ventura Country Club.

Golfing with friends in orlando Florida

10) Wakeboarding

Physically demanding and wildly fun, wakeboarding is one of our favorite local pastimes. Pop over to OWC to ride the cables, or Buena Vista Watersports for wakeboard action closer to the theme parks.

Wakeboarding is one of the many great things to do in Orlando

11) Bass Fishing

Orlando is known as the Bass Fishing Capital of the World, and for good reason. The countless waterways yield endless opportunities to fish. Grab some fishing gear and explore the waterways yourself, or hire a bass fishing guide to show you the way.

Bass Fishing with the Family in Orlando

12) Coffee Shops 

Coffee connoisseurs you are in luck. Orlando's coffee scene is well established and still growing. My favorite local spot is the socially conscious Credo Coffee in College Park. Other fantastic cafes include Propagation in Mills 50 and Lineage at the East End Market.

Delicious Coffee Cafes in orlando

There’s a whole lot more where all of this came from and we’re always happy to help share our local knowledge. Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.