There are plenty of things to do in Orlando including a huge choice of family-friendly theme parks, unique wildlife and picturesque landscapes. Take an airboat across swamps and lakes in search of reptiles or sail away in a hot air balloon, for a bird's eye view of the Sunshine State. If you're a golf lover then this is the best holiday spot to perfect your swing. Here's a quick round-up of our top picks for things to do and places to visit in Orlando.
Places to go
If you fancy a break from all those amazing theme parks, then get out and about to discover Florida's natural wonders. Orlando is just a short hop away from the unique habitat of the Everglades. You have plenty of parks to choose from, including the Tibet-Butler Nature Reserve, Winter Park and Central Park. The best way to see the local wildlife is to take a boat ride through the Glades with a guide. Lake Eola Park and the Centennial Fountain are well worth a visit or get a bird's-eye view of Orlando itself, with a trip to the top of the ICON Orlando observation wheel, better known as the Orlando Eye. If you've got some budding astronauts with you, hire a car and take a road trip to the nearby Kennedy Space Center. If you time it right, you may even catch a launch. And, if you need a break from all that excitement, relax in Lake Buena Vista's Leu Gardens; 50 acres of gorgeous, southern-styled gardens.
Top of the list of attractions in Orlando has to be Walk Disney World, and a host of other theme parks that include Disney's Animal Kingdom, the Magic Kingdom theme park, Disney Hollywood Studios, and the iconic dome of the Epcot Center. The best way to get around them all is to buy a family pass, that'll give you access to more than one. Allow yourself plenty of time to explore as there are so many things to do in Orlando. There are lots of waterparks to discover too, including Disney's Typhoon Lagoon, and Aquatica Waterpark. Our top pick for something a little different from the usual slip-n-slide waterpark is Blizzard Beach, which is based on a melted ski resort and is full of downhill slides. For grown-ups, Orlando things to do include golfing at Lake Buena Vista, or the fabulous 'dinner and a show' nights, where you'll be entertained by Cirque du Soleil's acrobats, while eating a delicious meal. If you're a sports fan, grab a court-side seat at an Orlando Magic MBA basketball game.
Places to visit
You don't have to be a complete petrol-head to appreciate the Daytona 500 circuit, but if you're into your racing history, then a trip to the world's first motorsports speedway track has to be at the top of the list of places to visit in Orlando. You're only a 10-minute drive away from the gorgeous Daytona Beach, so why not combine the two for a memorable day out? For something equally powerful, but closer to Orlando, head to the indoor NASCAR Kart Racing track at International Drive, where you'll also find Laser Tag and bowling facilities to keep the whole family happy. If you want to pack a lot into a short space of time, the International Drive (or I-Drive as it's known) is the perfect destination. You're just moments away from the Orlando Eye, and you'll also find Madame Tussauds, the SeaLife Aquarium, and some of the best shopping in Orlando all packed into a single strip.