Although most well known for theme park giants like Disney World or Universal, Orlando recently gained notoriety for a different reason. According to a recent survey by WalletHub, Orlando holds the #1 “staycation” ranking out of 136 metropolitan areas of the United States and if you think about everything The City Beautiful has to offer, that title comes as no surprise.
Orlando’s theme parks and attractions are the obvious gems of the city. The infamous resorts like Disney World, Universal Orlando, and SeaWorld are constantly evolving to stay fresh and current for park-goers. The population of attractions in Orlando is also always growing, most recently with the addition of the I-Drive 360 complex where you can find The Orlando Eye, SeaLife Aquarium, and Madame Tussauds Wax Museum.
Enjoying the Outdoors
Florida’s true beauty is found away from the world of flashy attractions in the great outdoors. The beaches of Florida are practically unrivaled in the United States and if you’re in the Orlando area, east coast beaches like Cocoa Beach, Daytona Beach, and New Smyrna Beach are all just over an hour away.
Harry P. Leu Gardens is another breathtaking place to spend the day outdoors. The 50 acre sprawling botanical garden is ideal for having picnics, taking in the various seasonal flowers, and even geocaching games that take players on a treasure hunt throughout the property. The Gardens are also home to family-friendly events like story time and movie nights all year long, and they offer several camps for kids in the summer. Admission for adults is $10 and kids is $3, but entrance is free on the first Monday of each month.
Lake Eola Park in Downtown Orlando is the home of Orlando’s signature fountain. Like Leu Gardens, Lake Eola regularly hosts movie nights and other events like the weekly Sunday farmer’s market. For $15 per half hour, you can rent a 5-person Swan paddle boat to ride around the lake. Visitors of all ages can take a ride and no reservations are needed. There is a nightly water show complete with lights and music at 8:30 and again at 9:30.
Locals can get the full experience of the Everglades without leaving Central Florida at Boggy Creek. Running both during the day and at night, Boggy Creek is the only place in close proximity to Orlando that offers airboat rides. After your airboat excursion, you can grab a bite at Boggy Bottom BBQ and visit the Native American village to learn how the original Americans used to live. For more info on ticket prices, click here.
Orlando is a permanent home for two world renowned touring shows, Citywalk’s Blue Man Group and Cirque du Soleil’s La Nouba at Disney Springs. Blue Man Group has occupied the Sharp Aquos Theatre, former home of Nickelodeon Studios, since 2007. The live show features music, comedy, and tons of other exciting surprises. La Nouba has resided on the West Side of Disney Springs since 1998. The contemporary circus is an unbelievable display of acrobatics, gymnastics, and other incredible performers. Sadly, this amazing show has an end date, officially taking its final bow on December 31, 2017.
Dinner Shows like the Pirates Dinner Adventure or Sleuths Mystery Dinner Show bring guests into the action for interactive dining experiences full of action, comedy, music, and great food. The Outta Control Magic Comedy Show occurs nightly at Wonderworks, with magic tricks, improv comedy, and impersonations performed by Tony Brent in addition to unlimited cheese or pepperoni pizza, salad, beer, wine, soda and dessert.
No matter what kind of experience you’re looking for, you can find it in Orlando. For more unique places to spend the day, check out our list of Orlando’s awesome indoor attractions here. You can find discount tickets to these experiences and tons more on tickets2you.com!