10 Things to Do in Orlando Apart from Disney World
by Nakita Mason | Updated 05 March 2020 | Posted in Family Holidays, Top Lists, USA
"What is fascinating about Orlando is that you can have the entertainment of the iconic theme parks and at the same time experience the natural beauty of its preserved areas, berry farms, bike trails, and lakes. Central Florida is known as the Sunshine State, making it possible to enjoy the "outside lifestyle" all year long."
-Alex, The Ride Xperience
When it comes to Orlando, most people think the only reason to visit is to while away the days in the famous house of mouse, but the truth is there's so much more to Orlando and we've got ten of them right here!
1. Hire A Bike Or Take A Tour!
That's right, if there was ever a better way to explore the beauty of Orlando then it's by bike. From the “Choice of Champions” Clermont trail, well known as a training ground for athletes, to the charming ride through Disney's Celebration town, Orlando truly is a place for cyclists. Whether you're a dedicated bike fan or more a casual rider, you'll find a ride to suit you and happily, the passionate people at The Ride Xperience have a wealth of knowledge about all things bike! You can hire bikes and enjoy your own tour or go along to one of their excellent guided tours and take in Orlando in the way it was intended; the seat of a bike!
2. Visit a Botanical Garden
This tourist attraction gets overlooked and really isn’t one to miss. Harry P. Leu Gardens is located a few miles outside of downtown and among some of the highlights are many historical blooms which have been there since before 1900, there is numerous amounts of ancient oak trees, and a 50-foot floral clock – just some of the amazing things this attraction has to offer. The Leu House Museum once the Leu Family Home, preserves the home and garden of a wealthy, turn-of-the-20th-century Florida family.
3. Great Wine Bars
If you’re a couple travelling without the kids or simply on holiday with your friends, then Orlando has some amazing wine bars to offer. Check out Quantum Leap Winery for tasting tours and you can stock up on some of the best wine in Florida for the rest of your holiday! It's also a fantastic venue for weddings and other events.
4. Go Shopping at The Mall at Millenia
Granted this is probably one thing that most tourists know about - this is the ultimate in luxurious shopping experiences! Some of the delights inside include Gucci, Prada and Banana Republic, because we all need a little retail therapy.
5. Visit The Florida Film Festival
The festival is now in its 29th year and is still going strong! It's a must for any film buff and showcases the best in independent and international cinema. It's ten days of 180+ films and plenty of cocktails too!
6. Visit the Redlight Beer Parlour
Try a beer you’ve never heard of before or ask the staff to recommend one! Either way whatever you go for here is sure to blow your mind. It's a must for anyone who considers themselves a big beer nut and with so many choices and plenty of warm evenings, what could be better than an ice-cold beer after a long day of walks and sunshine?
7. Visit ‘Rock N Roll Heaven’
If you’re a fan of records and want to extend your collection, then this place is a must visit!
8. Watch The Sunset Go Down Over Dinner
What better way to unwind than at Hillstone Restaurant with a glass of wine and to watch the sunset over Lake Killarney.
9. Off-Road Hummer Experiences
If you like a dash of thrill-seeking and don't mind a bumpy ride, then this one is for you! Off-roading in a classic American Hummer is a ride like no other and there's plenty of companies that will take you some great trails and tours.
10. Visit the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art
This gallery actually has the largest collection of Tiffany glass in the world and it gives a whole new meaning to the word 'beauty'. Whether you're into this kind of thing or not it's still well worth a look as you might just find yourself unwilling to leave!