15 Fun Things to do in Orlando for adults, including day trips from Orlando
Everybody knows Orlando, Florida as the paradise vacation spot for family and kids, and the best destination for the theme parks. But I am here to share some fun things to do in Orlando for adults, including some awesome day trips from Orlando that you will need to add to the next time you are visiting.
With 12 theme parks to choose from, Orlando is kind of a fairy tale land for kids of all ages. But Orlando is also a very adult-friendly travel destination, and there are plenty of activities to do in Orlando and its surrounding, besides the theme parks.
As someone without kids who have been living in Florida for the past 15 years of my life, I have explored all the fun things to do in Orlando for adults, and I am glad now I can share some of the best activities with you.
Whatever you want to enjoy the nightlife, a wine or beer tour, Orlando is a great destination for you. Or if you are a nature lover who loves to be outdoor, you can visit places where you can see manatees, or if you are a beach lover, you can take a short day trip from Orlando to visit some amazing beaches, in less than an hour’s drive.
If you are visiting Orlando and are looking for some options for things to do besides the theme parks, you will love this list of best things to do in Orlando for adults.
Have fun and Safe Travels!
BONUS RESOURCES: In this guide for Best Things to do in Orlando for Adults you can find all the best tips and practical information you need for your trip. In the end, you can find a bonus section for all the RESOURCES you need to plan and book your trip, and to make your experience as easy, safe, and fun as possible.
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Awesome Things to do in Orlando for Adults
1- HARRY P LEU GARDENS
Leu Gardens has an amazing 50-acres of the botanical oasis, only minutes away from Downtown Orlando. Each garden is designed specifically to further the mission to inspire visitors to appreciate and understand the plants.
This garden and the historical home were donated to the city of Orlando in 1961 by Mr. Harry P. Lew and his wife, Mary Jane. Harry P. Leu and his wife, Mary Jane, purchased the property in 1936. Mr. Leu owned a very successful industrial supply company. The Leus traveled extensively and brought back plants and seeds for their garden. The beautiful gardens bear witness to the legacy Mr. Leu left to the City of Orlando.
Here you can discover palms, cycads, and flowering trees. Enjoy azaleas, vines, bromeliads, and tropical philodendrons. Appreciate the sight of familiar annual flowers and the beauty of roses and camellias. Stroll under the awe-inspiring branches of camphor trees, elms, and oaks.
Here you can also appreciate some permanent and rotating exhibits, as well as some outdoor sculptures.
The Harry P. Lew Gardens offer Free admission Mondays throughout the year, it means you can visit the multiple gardens without paying things such as the Butterfly Garden, The Horseshoe Fountain, Lake Rowena Overlook, and the Idea Garden.
2- ORLANDO BREWERY TOUR
If you are a beer lover, then there are many excellent breweries in Orlando to check out. I enjoy visiting one for a flight and some live music or sometimes making the whole day of stopping at a few.
In the theme park area, Ellipsis Brewing and Dead Lizard Brewing are the closest to visit and offer an excellent array of brews from IPA’s to stouts.
If you do not mind driving to Downtown Orlando, there are many more options there! Sideward Brewing and Rockpit Brewing are the absolute best, as they both have fun atmospheres, tasty food, and an ever-rotating selection of unique beers.
However, Ten-10 Brewing, Broken Strings Brewery, and The Ravenous Pig Brewing are great spots in the area to visit as well.
If you really want to make a day trip out of your Orlando brewery experience, I recommend making the drive to Crooked Can in Winter Garden or Deviant Wolfe in Sanford. Both are located in historic downtowns and nearby some outstanding, local restaurants to visit.
Whether you visit a brewery for beer tasting, an outdoor event, or the occasionally offered brewery tour, you are in for an enjoyable experience in Orlando.
With this Florida craft beer and brewery tour, you can taste the craft beverages, and hear about the historic neighborhoods that they call home.
3- CYCLING THE WEST ORANGE BIKE TRAIL
The West Orange Bike Trail is a 22-mile, paved bike trail to the west of downtown Orlando. It should feature on everyone’s Florida bucket list!
This unique activity in Orlando takes you from Apopka through rural and suburban surroundings past Lake Apopka to the historic Winter Garden; a former citrus town full of old Florida charm.
The entire route is broken down into 4 stations with most people riding a shorter section from the Killarney Station to the Winter Garden Station. This route is 4.8 miles each way and includes some of the best stops on the entire route.
Along this flat trail you’ll come across top Orlando sites such as the Oakland Nature Preserve which a 1.5 mile boardwalk hike through Floridian forest until you reach a platform overlooking Lake Apopka. Stopping off here is definitely recommended.
Upon reaching Winter Garden, take the time to bike around the town and appreciate the old buildings. Then, head to Plant Street Market. This foodie haven is full of treats including ice cream, mac ‘n’ cheese and juices. And don’t forget to stop in at Crooked Can Brewing Company to sample their delicious craft beers.
4- WINTER PARK
Winter Park is absolutely my favorite place to visit when I go to Orlando.
It is only 20-minute northeast of downtown Orlando, Winter Park gained its name after the arrival of the South Florida Railroad in 1880, the highly-rated Rollins College, Florida’s first 4-year university.
Today, Winter Park highlight is Park Avenue, a tree-lined, cobblestone street bursting with eateries, museums, and some of the Orlando best areas for shopping. Winter Park is also a great place for outdoor enthusiasts, including a robust park system and a gorgeous chain of lakes.
Winter Park’s chain of lakes — 12 in all — includes 2,781 acres of pristine waterways, and the Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour is a fun, relaxing way to experience it. You’ll see all manner of wildlife, not to mention multimillion-dollar mansions, during the narrated, one-hour excursions, which also go past Rollins College and Kraft Azalea Gardens.
If you are like me, and enjoy outdoor adventures or to visit less crowded places, you will love it here.
Winter Park offers outstanding restaurants and considered to have some of Orlando’s top culinary artists. Take a culinary tour, and visit some of the very diverse local restaurants.
5- LAKERIDGE WINERY & VINEYARDS TASTING TOUR
If you are like me, a wine person, I recommend heading to Lakeridge Winery & Vineyard.
Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards opened its doors in February 1989 in Clermont, Florida, and sits on a beautiful 127-acre estate in gently rolling countryside some 25 miles west of downtown Orlando
The winery hosts complimentary vineyard tours and tastings 7-days a week, and the tours run every 30 minutes with a 15-minute video introduction.
You’ll then have the opportunity to witness and experience the production process, from growing the grapes to labeling the bottles.
Once you understand what goes into making a superb bottle of wine, you get to the best part: You get to taste it!
Lakeridge ranks as Florida’s largest premium winery, and remains a pioneer in the development of premium and sparkling wines from the native Muscadine grape varieties Noble, Carlos and Welder, as well as Vinifera varieties to include Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon
At the tasting table, guests are presented with a wide range of wines to try. It is one of the best things to do in Orlando for adults!
6- OLD TOWN ORLANDO
Old Town is an amusement park located in Kissimmee, Florida. Appropriately named, it is an homage to a time when parks were smaller and less crowded with the re-creation of a simpler time in Florida towns. You don’t need a complicate park hopper, a multi-day pass, or race training to sprint from ride to ride to avoid 2-hour long wait-times for this old-fashioned park, just a few hours in your itinerary is all you need to spend some family-friendly fun walking around this 18-acre old-time attraction.
Among the tree-lined, brick pedestrian streets, there are historically modeled buildings, with over 75 shops, restaurants, bars, and rides. When we were there in October, there was an entire haunted house with spooky characters roaming the streets. The carousel is centrally located so that you and your family can take a trip back in time on this classic ride. For the adventurous, they even have the Hurricane roller coaster. It stands 5-stories tall and looks out over the streets of the park.
The A&W Restaurant is a popular place to eat at Old Town. This old diner serves up an All-American hamburger and of course the A&W root beer float that you can’t miss in this nostalgic eatery.
On the weekends, there are car shows throughout the park. Muscle cars and nostalgia cars park down Main Street for your viewing pleasure. They have several other themed events throughout the year that locals and tourists frequently attend at this classic American park.
After you visit Old Town, take your family and head over to Citywalk at Universal Studios to catch another great themed dinner at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company Restaurant.
7- NIGHTLIFE OF ORLANDO
One of the most underrated things to do in Orlando is enjoying a night out in the cities vibrant nightlife scene.
There is an abundance of effortlessly cool nightclubs, cocktail lounges, hipster breweries, rooftop bars, and more to explore, each with their own unique appeal – most of which are centered around the downtown within walking distance of each other – though the gay scene of Orlando is a short drive away in the Milk District.
The Wall Street Plaza is the best place to go if you are not sure what to do, with half a dozen venues all spilling out onto a pedestrian zone where you are only ID’d at the entrance – almost like a mini-music festival.
Then there is the ultra-cool Player 1 Video Game Bar, which has funky cocktails, free arcade games, and plenty of kitschy neons and movie memorabilia.
For a more upscale affair, head to the Hanson’s Shoe Repair speakeasy (you’ll need to call in advance for the password) or try Mathers Social Gathering, a parlor-style cocktail spot with antiques and boutique spirits.
For clubs, you’ll want to try the over-the-top EVE or Latino hotspot Mango’s Tropical Cafe. The weekends are always the best time to head out if you are looking for a crowd, with student nights and after sports games being the busiest. However, a large part of Orlando’s nightlife charm is that there is always something going on, somewhere, and being located so close together, it generally isn’t hard to find.
Just plan on not heading to the theme parks early the next day; chances are your head is going to hurt just a little.
Short Day Trips from Orlando for Adults
8- KENNEDY SPACE CENTER VISITOR COMPLEX
If you don’t want to drive, you can sign up for the Kennedy Space Center Day Trip From Orlando
Or if you decide to drive your own vehicle I recommend buying the ticket in advance to the Kennedy Space Center and skip the lines.
9- ORLANDO DAY TRIP TO MERRITT ISLAND WILDLIFE REFUGE
If you are looking for a nature experience amongst the theme park land of Orlando, Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge is the place to visit!
This reserve spans 140,000 acres just north of Titusville and boasts views of alligators, rare birds, and even the NASA Vehicle Assembly Building. It is the perfect Orlando day trip to get a taste of real Florida any time of year, but the ideal time to visit is October through April because of the cooler weather and less risk of rain.
Whether you are interested in hiking, paddling, or just taking a scenic drive, you can experience all this here. I recommend everyone take the 7-mile Black Point Drive loop where you can see a variety of birds and of course alligators. After this, a hike through either the Oak or Palm Trails is enjoyable.
Once you have had enough of the preserve, you can head to Canaveral National Seashore for some beach time or to Downtown Titusville for some exploring.
Third Culture Kitchen, The Brix Project, and Dixie Crossroads are all excellent spots for a local meal. If you are feeling up to it, you can spend the night at the new Hyatt Place Titusville or an Airbnb and visit the famed Kennedy Space Center in the morning.
Whether you choose to make a weekend out of Titusville or simply take a day trip to the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, you are guaranteed a fun and unique experience!
10- ORLANDO DAY TRIP TO BLUE SPRING STATE PARK
11- ORLANDO DAY TRIP TO NEW SMYRNA BEACH
New Smyrna Beach is the sweetest little town and it is easily accessible from Orlando.
Here, as the bright lights and big thrills of the theme parks fade, you can get a little slice of real America from years gone by.
The seafront here is beautiful with a sandy beach and some of the best surfing waves around. In the town, itself are all the spots for a fun trip from yesteryear – ice cream parlor, gift shops, boutiques, saltwater taffy. There are some fantastic family resorts in Florida based around New Smyrna Beach including The Black Dolphin Inn and SpringHill Suites and great restaurants too such as AA Garden Fusion and Riverpark Terrace.
Come for a day trip from Orlando or a long weekend to really relax and unwind and if you feel like catching the best action around then see dolphins where they should be seen, in the wild by visiting the Marine Discovery Centre. Here you can see the Bottlenose Dolphin jumping in the river which is an incredible sight.
The real strength of New Smyrna Beach though is its vibe as a peaceful retreat, to walk the sand, visit little independent shops and get a slice of the past in the best possible way.
12- ORLANDO DAY TRIP TO HONEYMOON ISLAND
If you are looking for a short day trip from Orlando, Honeymoon Island State Park is a great place to explore. With 4-miles of amazing beaches to explore and a 3-mile hiking trail through one of the last remaining virgin slash pine forests.
Honeymoon Island is a great place for outdoor lovers, as it offers many options like soaking in the sun, swimming, fishing, kayaking, biking, and hiking. You can also take a ferry across the channel to Caladesi State Park, an island with pristine beaches and turquoise water, it is also less crowded and less rocky than the beaches of Honeymoon Island.
If you love nature, this is a place for you as the chances to see birds such as eagles, osprey, and great horned owls, and ground animals including gopher tortoises, raccoons, and armadillos. Also, it is easy to spot manatees and dolphins close to shore.
The Park is open 365 days per year, from 8 am until sunset. To enter the State Park, you have to pay an entry fee of $8 per vehicle. Honeymoon Island State Park is located about twenty-five minutes north of Clearwater Beach in the Tampa Bay area on Florida’s west coast, at the end of the Dunedin Causeway.
13- CLEARWATER BEACH A SHORT DRIVE FROM ORLANDO
Clearwater Beach is frequented voted one of the Best Beaches in Florida for a reason.
Situated at the Gulf of Mexico, it is a popular coastal escape with a very relaxing vibe. It is about 2.5 hours drive from Orlando, but well worth driving for a day trip or for a weekend gateway from Orlando.
Clearwater Beach is a fantastic strip of soft sugary white sand, lapped by jade waters and surrounded by resorts and residential areas, including mine since I am lucky to call this place home.
You can plan to swim in this calm and clear water of the Gulf, soak in the sun or if you are looking for more activities in the area you can visit Pier 60 with souvenir shops, restaurants, street performers, bars, and live music every day at sunset.
14- WILD FLORIDA AIRBOAT SAFARI RIDE
The Everglades National Park is an ecosystem and a World Heritage Site makes a great side trip from Orlando. You can visit this heaven for lovers of outdoor activities, with loads of nature, many hiking trails to choose from, and water activities like snorkeling and the traditional airboat.
If you have more time in this area, make sure to visit the Ten Thousand Islands Wildlife Refuge, the second largest mangrove forest in the world forming fascinating labyrinths of water and islands with very rich wildlife, including some endangered species.
You can take advantage of round-trip transportation from the center of Orlando right out into the Everglades National Park, where you’ll enjoy a 30-minute airboat ride through one of the United States’ most intriguing and unique ecosystems.
You’ll glide across the swamps as you search for herons, otters, and what everyone comes to see – the American alligator.
Also included in this tour is your admission to the Wild Florida Wildlife Park, a great activity to do in Orlando for adults.
15- ICHETUCKNEE SPRINGS
If you don’t have your own float, you can rent from Ichetucknee Tubing Centre for around $5 a day. They’ll help you strap it onto your car and you’re good to go!
Final thoughts Things to do in Orlando for Adults
From sipping wine at a vineyard to go visit some of the beautiful parks, or take a short day trip from Orlando, there are many exciting and things to do in Orlando for adults. Make sure that next time you visit Orlando, you get out of the theme parks and explore more the surroundings and find something unique to do.
If I missed anything, or if you have any questions or comments, I would love to connect and to hear from you.
Leave me a comment below and I hope you continue to explore the unique and authentic things to do from the places you visit.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION TO EXPLORE ORLANDO FOR ADULTS:
RESTAURANTS: Orlando’s Restaurant Row is a mile-long stretch on International Drive that offers all types of cuisines at various price ranges, located just 5 minutes from International Drive.
BUY TICKETS IN ADVANCE: You’ll get the best deal on tickets for everything from dinner shows and art exhibits to museum passes and mini golf if you plan when you want to go and buy tickets beforehand.
WELCOME TO THE SUNSHINE STATE: You’re bound to experience the Florida sun at some point during your visit to Orlando, so make sure you have plenty of sunscreen and light, protective clothing, including hats, sunglasses. Don’t forget to stay hydrated!
EXPLORE THE OUTDOORS IN ORLANDO: Offering a myriad of landscapes, including canal-connected lakes, bald-cypress swamps, saltwater marshlands, and untouched pinewoods, there are many opportunities to see the natural beauty of Florida during your exploration in Orlando for adults.
FLORIDA GUIDE BOOK
Prepare in advance for your trip. Here are some of the excellent guide books that can help you to prepare for your trip to Orlando, Florida.
WHERE TO STAY IN ORLANDO
There are so many options for accommodations in Orlando, Florida. I have selected a variety of great options for you. If you are planning to visit the Theme Parks too, it is best to stay in the Lake Eola area
The best way to explore Orlando and to go on day trips from Orlando, I highly recommend renting a car. Orlando is a large area, and though you can use a taxi, a rental car is cheaper and more convenient.
If you are planning to rent a car for your road trip to Florida, I recommend to request a quote from a reliable source and compare the prices from different car rentals available.
TRAVEL INSURANCE FOR YOUR TRIPS
Considering that anything can go wrong with any trip, we don’t want to risk the fun, right? Risks are of breaking down, loosing your luggage, or even worse, having an accident and get injured.
I recommend and also use reliable insurance through World Nomads. You can just do a quick quote below, and you will be surprised to find out how little it can cost, for the benefit you will get.