Every year 50 million people head to Orlando to experience thrilling rides and flawless weather. You can ditch the umbrella. You’re mostly guaranteed sunny, clear skies with temperatures hovering around 80 degrees daily. Families flock here during school vacation weeks and throughout the summer months. Orlando’s earned its reputation as the happiest place on Earth.

Talking about the major theme parks, and their various satellite attractions, is well trod ground. We know it’s fun! But what about all the other activities Orlando has to offer? Those fun, fantastic things to do that sometimes get overshadowed by The Magic Kingdom. We’re here to shine a light on the best things to do in Orlando besides the big parks.

So read on and start planning your next trip — and if you need lodging, book a Orlando vacation rental to save money and gain so much more space & privacy over a traditional hotel.

Top 11 Orlando Activities

Henry P. Leu Gardens

In their own words: Explore an amazing 50-acre botanical oasis minutes from Downtown Orlando. Each garden is designed specifically to further our mission: inspire visitors to appreciate and understand plants. The garden and historical home were donated to the City of Orlando in 1961 by Mr. Harry P. Leu and his wife, Mary Jane. We hope you enjoy your visit.

Orlando Science Center

In their own words: Orlando Science Center is Central Florida’s award-winning, hands-on science museum. For more than 60 years, our exhibits and programming have brought science to life for not just residents of Central Florida, but also visitors from around the world.

With four floors of interactive exhibit halls, labs and workshops, theaters, an observatory, and experiences that change with the seasons, there is always something exciting for our 670,000 annual visitors to see and do at Orlando Science Center. We also reach 153,000 students and educators each year through our STEM Discovery Center educational programs, both onsite at the Science Center and offsite at schools and community organizations.

The Science Center was incorporated in 1955 as the Central Florida Museum and opened in Orlando Loch Haven Park in 1960. The existing facility opened in 1997 and has undergone numerous major renovations to keep content current and engaging.

Skeletons Museum of Osteology

In their own words: Skulls Unlimited International Inc. is excited to announce its latest venture; SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology! Orlando’s NEWEST science museum and America’s ONLY skeleton museum. Located at ICON Park, SKELETONS has over 40 exhibits featuring 500 REAL animal skeletons in never-before-seen poses and dioramas that give visitors a whole new appreciation for the animal kingdom.

Orlando Brewing Company

In their own words: Orlando Brewing is Florida’s ONLY organic brewery and Orlando’s first brewery est. 2006. We carry 35 of our own organic beers on draft, alongside cider, organic wine, craft soda, and (Coming July 2019) Kombucha!

We do have snacks if you need more than liquid bread to sustain you, but we do not have a kitchen as organic brewing is our business. We have menus from local restaurants that deliver to Orlando Brewing and patrons are always welcome to bring in their own food.

The brewery has been hosting live original music every Friday-Saturday 9-11:45pm for over 10 years! We are passionate about providing a platform for unique musical perspectives.

The Sanctum Cafe

In their own words: The Sanctum Cafe is a vegan and vegetarian restaurant serving organic juice and organic coffee in Orlando, Florida.

You eat here because you are a part of something — a part of a community that comes together to support local farmers and artisans, not just because they are local, but because they are better. You’re a part of a community that cares just as much about what’s in our food as we do about how it tastes — a community of foodies who believe nourishment and indulgence can exist in the same bowl.

We bring people together and serve them great-tasting, nutrient-rich, plant-based food from the best ingredients available because we care. We put health-promoting foods front and center and make people fall in love with them. If we wouldn’t serve it to our family, we won’t serve it to you. We do plant-based, sustainable, delicious food, not because it’s trendy, but because it’s a conscious way of living.

Maxine’s on Shine

In their own words: Good Day to You! At Maxine’s…On Shine our goal is simple “We Seek To Elevate The Experience of Engaging Others In A Highly Entertaining & Enlivening Epicurean Environment!”

As a Neighborhood Restaurant located in the Heart of The City Beautiful, We Welcome YOU to the Parlor of a Friend’s Home in the Colonialtown Neighborhood. Diverse, Comfortable & Delicious w/ a Splash o’ Sexiness.

Please view our menu tabs to reveal a world of tantalizing treats & tasty beverages, slide over to events for entertainment line-ups, and continue your proverbial stroll for reviews, gift certificates, and contacting us. One of the greatest blessings in life is to put a smile on another’s face & we look forward to seeing yours!

Quantum Leap Winery

In their own words: At Quantum Leap Winery, we are a local winery with a sustainable focus and global reach. Our vision is that we will continue to develop relationships with small producers in premier wine growing regions and be sustainably-oriented in our decisions and actions. We are committed to bringing you quality, environmentally friendly wines at a great value.

Air Force Fun Helicopter Tours

In their own words: Air Force Fun offers Helicopter Tours over all of your favorite Orlando attractions. From the “cockpit” to the “tail rotor,” our Robinson R44 will give you one of the smoothest helicopter flights you will ever experience. We employ the finest pilots in Orlando who have an expert knowledge of the aircraft and also offer some of the finest guided tours around. Are you ready to see Orlando and its world famous attractions from another point of view? Let Air Force Fun give you an experience you won’t forget!

Se7en Bites

In their own words: Se7enbites is a sweet and savory bakeshop specializing in nostalgic southern comfort foods, with a modern twist.

We carry a small standard menu of breakfast and lunch items, hot and cold brewed coffee, as well as a full compliment of sweet treats. Scratch-made daily and seasonal specials compliment our menu, sourcing local, fresh ingredients when available. We can handle any special occasion needs including, event catering, meetings, wedding cakes or holiday desserts.

American Ghost Adventures

In their own words: In the shadows of the theme, park castles lie American Ghost Adventures. AGA prides themselves in giving their customers an accurate, but entertaining tour. No two tours are ever alike even if you take the same tour! Each tour guide is able to customize the route and buildings they take you in. There is NO set number of buildings you visit because we don’t own the buildings. We depend on and customize our tours to the availability of our business partners.AGA is currently ranked in the top 10 of things to do in Orlando and has also won the Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor. They also hold the ranking for one of the TOP 10 ghost tours IN THE WORLD and one of the top 5 ghost tours in the United States. With several different locations and types of tours, AGA can accommodate the most seasoned ghost hunter to the first timer. This is not just a ghost telling tour, we investigate and take you INSIDE the building with paranormal equipment. So don’t wait, come join us on an adventure! This isn’t just another walk in the dark!

The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art

In their own words: The Morse Museum houses the world’s most comprehensive collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848–1933), including the artist and designer’s jewelry, pottery, paintings, art glass, leaded-glass lamps and windows; his chapel interior from the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago; and art and architectural objects from his Long Island country estate, Laurelton Hall. The Museum’s holdings also include American art pottery, late 19th- and early 20th-century American paintings, graphics, and decorative art.

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