Look beyond Orlando’s world-famous theme parks for exciting things to see and do in this vibrant and eclectic destination.
Venture outside park gates, and you’ll discover one-of-a-kind neighborhoods and nearby cities with adventures of their own. Dive into acclaimed dining, sizzling nightlife, uplifting arts and culture, ecotourism, shopping spots and countless other surprises – all 30 minutes or less from the theme parks.
International Drive Entertainment District
No matter why you are visiting Orlando, you will want to want to include the International Drive Entertainment District, known as I-Drive. With Universal Orlando Resort on one end and SeaWorld® Orlando on the other, and just 15 minutes from Walt Disney World® Resort, I-Drive is a perfect microcosm of the wonder and adventure the Orlando area offers. In fact, I-Drive is a destination in its own right with attractions, dining, nightlife, hotels and resorts for any taste or budget. Shopping options range from designer outlets to ultra-luxury brands. Check the calendar and catch a special event at the Orange County Convention Center.
Distinctive building housing WonderWorks Orlando amusement park for the mind
Theme parks and attractions tell only a part of Orlando’s story. Discover the rest in distinctive neighborhoods, towns and districts throughout the area. Exceptional dining, nightlife, entertainment and compelling culture are waiting for you. The city’s downtown core deserves a spot on an itinerary. Dine on fare from menus designed by award-winning chefs. Dance and listen to music at popular nightspots. Cheer at professional basketball, soccer and hockey games. Watch Broadway shows, uplifting concertos, hilarious comedy and more at a performing arts center. That’s not all: You can also look forward to unique recreational opportunities – including riding in a swan boat – live performances and more at Lake Eola Park.
Pedaling a swan boat around Lake Eola in the core of Downtown Orlando
About a 25-minute drive from Orlando’s tourism districts, discover Winter Park, known as one of Central Florida’s most refined and popular communities. Reasons to visit here include outstanding restaurants, vibrant arts and culture, bespoke retailers and outdoor adventures. Winter Park’s epicenter is Park Avenue, a tree-lined cobblestone street teeming with acclaimed eateries, museums and opportunities to shop. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy the robust parks system and a gorgeous chain of lakes. Look into paddleboard and kayaking rentals to explore it at your own pace.
Lovely streetscape of Park Avenue, a cultural gem in Winter Park
Orlando’s Lake Nona community features some of the region’s most gorgeous scenery in addition to superb dining, one-of-kind entertainment experiences, world-class sports venues, hundreds of annual events, a Medical City and a robust public art program. Bite into tasty fare at acclaimed, chef-driven restaurants. Get in a round of beach volleyball, or take in live entertainment at a unique food hall made of shipping containers. Test your skills on a floating aqua park, or make a splash with wakeboarding and waterskiing. There’s no wrong way to experience this Orlando neighborhood. It’s just 10 minutes from Orlando International Airport, so it’s easy to fit Lake Nona into any visit to the Orlando area.
Lake Nona’s Boxi Park, a place to eat, listen to music and play
You’ll want to explore the charming city of Winter Garden, nestled on the banks of gorgeous Lake Apopka, and just 20 minutes from Orlando. At its heart is historic Plant Street, a thriving downtown area that pairs historic architecture with superb dining and entertainment. Outdoor adventures abound along the West Orange Trail, a paved, bucolic pathway that stretches 34 kilometers from Winter Garden to Apopka. With is beautiful scenery and ample amenities, the trail is perfect for hiking and biking and even includes playground equipment for kids. Didn’t bring a bicycle with you? Rentals are available for adults and children; trailers are available for kids who are too young to pedal.
Shops in historic buildings lining the streets of Winter Garden
Fly into Orlando International Airport (MCO) or Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) and rent a car to see the area at your own pace. Public ground transportation, including the SunRail commuter train, is also available.