Holidays to Central Florida are full of fun vibes! We’re talking legendary smile raisers like Disney World, Universal, Legoland, Busch Gardens and so many more. Home to Orlando, Lakeland and Winter Haven, Central Florida offers theme park thrills and spills, plus eye-catching natural backdrops and magnificent year-round T-shirt temperatures.
Things to do
Any list of the best things to do in Central Florida will be topped by the famous theme parks – after all, they’re the shining stars at the heart of the Sunshine State. But that’s not all! Think outdoor escapades in wild places, pitstops for tasty coffee or local craft beer, and succulent barbecue menus to tickle your tastebuds. Plus, cultural treats in world-class museums and exciting cities. Then there are the memory-box day trips to all the other must-do Florida hotspots that are in easy reach of this part of the state – from seaside escapes to astronaut encounters.
And as for the weather in Central Florida, it’s perfect for making the most of it all, whether you’re into adrenaline-rush rides or Insta-worthy scenery!
Of course, Central Florida’s most famous for Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, with four theme parks, two water parks and the shopping, dining and entertainment of Disney Springs. While Orlando’s the place to be for Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and City Walk, plus Discovery Cove and the nightlife and retail heaven of International Drive. If you’re in search of the world’s largest LEGOLAND, get yourself to Winter Haven – now also home to Peppa Pig Theme Park Florida.
More to explore
Go beyond the theme park gates with our insider tips to add extra zing to your USA getaway. First up, Lakeland. Check out the Frank Lloyd Wright architecture on campus at Florida Southern College. Discover pure joy at the Florida Children’s Museum. Follow the historic promenade in Lake Mirror Park. And go animal spotting at Safari Wilderness.
Want to make the most of Central Florida’s countless waterways? The Chain of Lakes at Winter Haven is the place to dip your toe, with several of the town’s 50 lakes connected by canals. No wonder it’s such a hit with waterskiers, paddleboarders and kayakers. The views from the waterfront restaurants aren’t half bad either!
And that’s not the only place to enjoy the great outdoors. From kayaking on Peace River and airboat rides across Lake Kissimmee, to spotting wild turkeys and bald eagles at the SUMICA nature reserve, there’s enough to fill your holiday to Central Florida with all kinds of adventures. Plus, don’t miss Silver Springs State Park in Ocala.
Freebies and further Florida
If you’re looking for free things to do in Central Florida, there are some fantastic ways to take the pressure off your budget and still have a trip packed with memorable experiences. In Lake Wales, listen to the bells of Bok Garden’s Singing Tower playing their pretty tune amongst the bird song, see the prehistoric canoe at the town’s History Museum, and find out if your rental car will defy gravity at Spook Hill. Or, get a taste of Old Florida with a stroll through Sanford’s Victorian downtown area and a visit to the city of Bartow, known for its historic houses and antique shops.
To top it all off, Central Florida’s a fantastic jumping-off point for other must-dos around the Sunshine State. You’re spoilt for choice with the Space Coast, Daytona, Blue Spring State Park and Tampa Bay's stunning beaches among the many places that are easy to get to.
More travel guides
Discover more with our guides to the best destinations in Florida and the rest of the United States! You might like: Crystal River | Florida Keys & Key West | Fort Myers & Sanibel | Las Vegas | Los Angeles | Miami | New York City | Sarasota | Universal Resort | Walt Disney World Resort