When it comes to Orlando attractions, we know you’ve heard of the usual theme parks and beaches. But if you’re searching for things to do in Orlando, you might be wondering…what Central Florida activities do locals love?
Locals know Orlando is much more than just roller coasters and sunburns. The City Beautiful—and just beyond—is FULL of fun adventures, from local wildlife to local flavor.
Here are just a few of the options for great Orlando activities.
Swim at Wekiwa Springs State Park
When the summer months hit in Central Florida, there’s no place better to be than the springs. Florida has a variety of great natural springs that stay cool all year, but Wekiwa Springs State Park is super convenient for those in the Orlando area. Soak up the sun and make a splash in the refreshing waters, where the temp is always 72 degrees. Guests can snorkel, swim, kayak, canoe or just hang out around the beautiful water. It’s always among the favorite things to do in Orlando with kids, as it’s fun for the whole family and relatively inexpensive.
Picnic at Lake Eola Park
Lake Eola is located in the heart of Downtown Orlando and is the perfect place for a walk or a picnic. With local restaurants surrounding the park, a sidewalk circling the lake and the beautiful water in the center, Lake Eola is a great option for a date night or a friends night out. You can even rent a swan paddle boat to truly soak in the scenery.
Take in a game
You might not realize it, but Orlando is a sports town. No matter what time of year it is, you can usually find a game to catch in Central Florida. From basketball with the Orlando Magic to the excitement of soccer with Orlando City and even hockey with the Solar Bears, there’s something for everyone. You can also make the short drive over to the University of Central Florida for a wide variety of college sports, including football or baseball!
Check out the wildlife at the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive
If you’re wanting both scenery and ease, look no further than the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive. This local favorite takes about two hours and is full of things to see, all from the comfort of your car. In addition to the driving route, guests can enjoy Lake Apopka via hike or bicycle along the Lake Apopka Loop Trail located within the Lake Apopka North Shore area. This area is known for its birding, but expect to see some alligators, too!
Hit up a local farmers market
With an awesome year-round climate, it might not be surprising that Central Florida has plenty of farmers markets that offer a variety of fresh produce, baked goods and handmade crafts. Every local will have their own neighborhood favorite, but visitors can check out the Winter Park Farmers’ Market, the Orlando Farmers Market or the Windermere Farmers Market for a taste of local flavor. Whether you’re there for a stroll or for your weekly groceries, the sunny Orlando-based farmers markets are an awesome weekend activity.
Explore Harry P. Leu Gardens
Harry P. Leu Gardens is a beautiful oasis right in the heart of Orlando. The gardens feature nearly 50 acres of plants, flowers and trees, as well as several buildings and a butterfly garden. For plant lovers, it’s a can’t-miss. As a bonus, Leu Gardens has a variety of events year-round. And, for a true local experience, explore the surrounding neighborhood. Both Audubon Park and Mills 50 feature some of Orlando’s best local restaurants.
Visit the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens
We might be biased, but we know so many locals who have the Zoo on their must-visit list. Our Zoo in Central Florida is located in the awesome community of Sanford and is home to over 300 animals. From frogs and snakes to monkeys and bears, there is something for everyone to enjoy at our Sanford Zoo. Shaded boardwalks make for an easy and fun stroll for folks of all ages, and don’t forget the swimsuits for the kids! The Wharton-Smith Tropical Splash Ground is super popular in the summer. Our Zoo also offers a variety of events and activities throughout the year, from the adults-only Brews Around the Zoo to the extremely popular Asian Lantern Festival around the holidays and the favorite Sunset at the Zoo in the summer. No matter what you’re looking for, locals will find it with a Zoo day.
The list of things to do in Orlando, Florida is nearly endless as Central Florida is bustling with activities and events. Whether you’re a long-time resident or new to the area, there are always new and exciting places to discover and things to do.
What’s making your list? If it’s a visit to the Zoo, click here to plan your day. We hope to see you soon.