Everyone knows that Orlando is where you go to find the ultimate selection of theme parks. Whether you are visiting the area on vacation, or if you are lucky enough to actually live here, places like Walt Disney World®, Universal Studios®, SeaWorld®, LEGOLAND®, Universal’s Island of Adventure®, Epcot® and Busch Gardens will keep you busy for a while. However, these are special attractions, not places you visit every day. Not to mention, it would be pretty expensive to make a habit of visiting theme parks all of the time.
Fortunately, there is so much more to Orlando than just these well-known tourist attractions.
- Ocala National Forest – There are countless parks in the area, but a favorite place to hike by locals is at the Ocala National Forest. This is one of the state’s most natural and beautiful settings, offering hardwood forest, prairies, swamps, rivers and springs. You can even stop to swim in Juniper Springs where the water is always a welcoming temperature of 72 degrees. Biking, fishing, canoeing, horseback riding, swimming and bird watching are popular activities here as well.
- Orlando Science Center – Here is a place that offers educational fun. There are a ton of interactive and rotating exhibits here, such as The Hobbit 3D, Meerkats 3D and a Science Park. Since there is always something new here, this is a great place to get a membership for the whole family to visit whenever you have time.
- Gatorland – This place gives you the chance to get up-close-and-personal with alligators and panthers. This is also where you can satisfy your need for an adrenaline rush by zip-lining over the animals!
- Indoor Skydiving – SkyVenture offers a unique indoor skydiving experience in a powerful wind tunnel. You enjoy the free-fall sensation without having to be strapped to a parachute.
- Visit a Citrus Grove – Everyone knows that Orlando offers the best citrus fruit around. Why buy from the grocery store when you can stroll through groves and pick your own? Showcase of Citrus is a top recommended place where you will also see plenty of wildlife, including alligators, macaws, cranes and more.
- Kennedy Space Center – If you don’t mind venturing just outside of Orlando, you can experience what it feels like to be an astronaut here. Reservations are strongly encouraged, as this place is quite busy all of the time.
- Winter Park Farmers Market – Every Saturday from 7 am to 1 pm, you can enjoy this fantastic market that is located right next to the Winter Park Historical Museum and the restored 1928 train depot.
- Ripley’s Believe It or Not – There are a lot of strange but fascinating artifacts to explore in this “odditorium.” There are 16 galleries full of relics and treasures that will make you wonder if what you have seen is truly real.
- Hit the Beach – Although you have to drive out of Orlando to get to a beach, there are plenty of fantastic ones nearby. This opens up the possibility of swimming, kayaking, surfing, scuba diving, snorkeling and other fun water activities. A few of the most popular beaches to put on your list include Cocoa, Daytona, New Smyrna, Canaveral, and Melbourne.