If you are coming to Orlando, you have to try out these best things to do in Orlando! Orlando is a large metropolitan area but has many laid-back and relaxing spots to enjoy.
I will go over the top things to do in Orlando in multiple categories. You will learn about all the attractions the city has to offer like theme parks and spots the locals hang out. Then I will dive into the best shopping, dining, and partying in Orlando.
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Different Parts of Orlando
We can split Orlando areas up into four counties – Orange, Seminole, Osceola, and Lake. The entire metropolitan area spans 4,000 square miles with 116 neighborhoods. We consider Metro West the most populated Orlando city, with almost 20,000 people.
The top five Orlando neighborhoods are Park Lake, Thornton Park, Downtown Orlando, Delaney Park, and Audubon Park. Winter Park is also a good option.
Park Lake is an urban neighborhood in Orange County. It is the perfect place for young professionals to rent a property while focusing on their careers. It offers a bustling night scene, great restaurants, coffee shops, and fun parks. Park Lake is considered one of the best neighborhoods in Orlando.
Thornton Park is a suburban community with some urban vibes in Orange County. Young professionals own many homes here, and it is close to many restaurants and shopping. It is very safe and a great place to raise a family.
Downtown Orlando is an urban neighborhood in Orange County. This area is considered dense urban and has many things to do. All ages rent homes downtown, especially retirees. It has nightlife, but also good for families.
Delaney Park is a suburban neighborhood in Orange County. Younger families own many homes here, and there is plenty to do. They also have great public schools.
Audubon Park is a sparse urban community in Orange County. This neighborhood was rated number one for raising a family in Orlando. It is great for young professionals as well. They have top-rated schools and plenty of bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and parks.
Orlando is in central Florida and is most well known for being the home of quite a few major theme parks. The Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico are a short drive away. The terrain is very flat and low and has lots of heat and humidity.
Orlando is one of the best places to live in Florida, and if you have ever visited, you can see why. It is a beautiful area that offers a bustling city life or laid-back suburban. Orlando offers no state income tax and has a relatively lower cost of living than the national average.
If you plan a trip to Orlando, keep the weather in mind. Summers can be hot, sunny, and humid, often reaching well into the 90s. The winters can be drier and have highs in the 70s. From summer until early fall, prepare for daily afternoon thunderstorms. They often come out of nowhere and leave just as fast. You will get soaked if you do not have an umbrella! Also, take a day trip and check out the nearby city of Kissimmee.
If you want more Orlando information, visit the Orlando Welcome Center.
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COVID-19 Restrictions in Orlando
As of 2022, Orlando is still urging residents and visitors to wear masks indoors. However, they do not enforce it strictly. Businesses can impose their restrictions, including social distancing.
Most attractions, malls, and restaurants in Orlando are back to functioning at capacity with no restrictions. If you are a visitor flying in from another country, you will be required to show your vaccination status.
To find more information on current COVID-19 restrictions in Orlando, visit their official website.
Things to do in Orlando
There is no shortage of things to do in Orlando, Florida. Orlando attracts millions of visitors each year because of its tropical climate, theme parks, golf courses, live music, walking tours, and nightlife.
Here are the best things to do in Orlando.
- Walt Disney World – This is more than just a theme park, it’s an experience you will never forget. Disney covers a large area and offers several parks that you can hop around. Disney includes Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, Typhoon Lagoon, and Blizzard Beach. Stay at the Walt Disney World Resort.
- Universal Orlando – Universal Studios offers two parks: Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. They also have a water park and a Complete shopping and dining experience at City Walk. Stay at the Universal Orlando Resort.
- Disney Springs – If you want to know what to do in Orlando that is free today, this is it. Disney Springs is a shopping, dining, and entertainment experience. Plus, it is free for anyone to enter. Disney Springs has over 100 stores, 60 restaurants, and 25 attractions; there is something for everyone to do. Also, try out Old Town.
- Discovery Cove – This is a perfect spot if you are looking for things to do in Orlando on the weekend. Discovery Cove is a sister park to Seaworld Orlando and is great for adults and children. You can interact with marine wildlife, play with a manatee, and splash in the water!
- Lake Rianhard – If you want something to do in Orlando on Saturday that is relaxing and not so crowded, take a stroll around Lake Rianhard. It is a big beautiful lake with plenty of walking trails close to shopping and dining. You can also catch the Farmers Market on the weekends. Just do not get too close to the water; there have been many alligators in the area. Try out Lake Eola if you have spare time and watch the swans.
- Fun Spot America – This is a smaller theme park that offers rides, go-karts, arcades, a splash pad, shopping, and food. They often decorate the park for different times of the year and have plenty to do to keep your family entertained. Fun Spot is a more affordable option than many big parks, but still fun!
- International Drive – I-Drive has everything you are looking for. This expansive area includes shopping, food, dinner shows, nightlife, spas, golf, fitness centers, play areas, and more theme parks. Look out for live entertainment!
- Amway Center – Home to the NBA’s Orlando Magic. Plan your trip, get tickets, and catch a basketball game or concert.
- The Florida Mall – This indoor shopping mall has almost 300 stores to shop at and plenty of delicious restaurants where you can kick back and relax.
- Icon Park – Once you have ridden the wheel, visit their many other rides, restaurants, boutiques, and unique bars. Check out their free events!
Some runner-ups are the botanical gardens, airboat rides, Harry P. Leu Gardens, Lake Eola Park, Orlando Science Center, Orlando Museum of Art, Wekiva Island, Lakeridge Winery, Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, and the Everglades.
Shopping in Orlando
Orlando has a ton of great shopping. Whether looking for great deals or premium brands, Orlando provides the ultimate shopping experience.
Here are some of the best shopping malls in Orlando.
- Disney Springs – Sitting on Lake Buena Vista, Disney Springs has shopping, food, music, rides, nightlife, and great photo opportunities.
- The Florida Mall – This is a giant indoor mall comprising hundreds of stores, great food, play areas, and they offer experiences like Crayola and the Slime Factory.
- Orlando Premium Outlets – An international outdoor mall near I-Drive. It offers hundreds of premium stores and delicious places to eat
- Millenia Mall – This mall is home to many luxury shops and is a favorite spot for locals to hang out at. You can also find some great deals at this luxurious shopping mall.
- The Pointe – This is a great place for adults to relax and unwind at their favorite bars and restaurants while strolling through all the shops. Located in I-Drive, this outdoor shopping and dining area is the perfect spot to hang out on the weekends.
Partying in Orlando
These are some of the best nightclubs in Orlando.
- The Beacham – This is a fast-paced nightclub and music hall that’s frequented by celebrities.
- EVE – Drink and dance at this nightclub known for its dramatic and elegant decor.
- Vyce Lounge – This sleek club is great for lounging with friends and drinking cocktails.
- Mango’s Tropical Cafe – Catch dinner and a show at this hot nightclub.
- Attic – See the hottest DJs at this club and cocktail lounge.
Coffee Shops in Orlando
Here are the top five best coffee shops in Orlando.
- iCafe de Paris – This rustic coffee shop in Icon Park has relaxing outdoor dining, amazing coffee, and great desserts.
- Lineage Roasting – Located in Audobon Park, this shop is all about brewing some of the best coffee in the world.
- Ok But First Coffee – This is a newer coffee shop that specializes in brewing specialty coffees.
- Craft & Common – Grab a craft beer, wine, or specially brewed coffee at this modern and airy shop.
- Holy Grain Coffee – This cozy coffee shop has great coffee and gourmet sandwiches.
Best Lunchtime Spots in Orlando
These are the top five best lunchtime spots in Orlando.
- Hungry Pants – Fresh and tasty health-conscious eatery has some of the best burgers. Try the salmon wrap!
- Gnarly Barley – Check out this delicious sandwich spot and grab a craft beer.
- Pom Pom’s Teahouse and Sandwicheria – This funky sandwich spot has delicious tea and sweet treats.
- Pig Floyd’s – Great BBQ and beer.
- Old Cuban Cafe – This spot is frequented by Cuban locals, so you know it must be good!
Orlando is the spot for shopping, eating, entertainment, and partying. There are so many things to do, you won’t be able to see everything in one trip!
Plan your trip well and try to hit all the key spots on these lists. You will have a great time, whether you are here for a week, or just looking for something fun to do in Orlando over the weekend.
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