Magical Adventures: 11 Must-Try Activities in Orlando, FL

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Welcome to Orlando, FL, where magical experiences await at every turn. From iconic theme parks to the beauty of nature spots and diverse culinary delights, Orlando has it all. Whether you’re looking to rent an apartment in Orlando or purchase a home in the area, this vibrant city has something for everyone. In this Redfin article, join us on a journey through the myriad of must-try activities in Orlando, where the magic extends far beyond the enchanting theme parks, creating unforgettable memories for visitors of all ages.

Orlando, Florida Skyline Aerial

1. Pay a visit to Walt Disney World

One of the most iconic tourist attractions in Orlando, visiting Disney World is a magic experience filled with unique attractions, enchanting characters, and captivating entertainment.

Local Disney planner Tink’s Magical Vacations says, “Our all-time favorite thing to do in Orlando is to visit Walt Disney World. There is always something new to see there. Whether it be a new festival at Epcot, a new restaurant that opens like Summer House in Disney Springs, or a party like the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.”

“The parks offer an immersive experience that’s unique and enjoyable for all ages,” adds Disney website Rajiv. “My favorite is Disney’s Animal Kingdom for its blend of thrilling rides and educational experiences.”

Walt Disney World

Disney Springs

Disney Springs is a shopping, dining, and entertainment complex at Walt Disney World Resort. Formerly known as Downtown Disney, Disney Springs underwent a major transformation, reopening as Disney Springs in 2016. It features retail stores, restaurants, entertainment venues, and recreational activities.

“My favorite activity in Orlando is to visit one of the four Walt Disney World parks. However, if a visit to the parks isn’t in the budget, visiting Disney Springs is a close second,” notes Amanda Eavenson, Travel Blogger & Content Creator at Piña Colada Passport.

“One must-do restaurant is Raglan Road, the Irish Restaurant & Pub. The menu offerings & food are incredible, and the nightly live Irish dancing & music can’t be beaten. Try the Fish & Chips and Strawberry Fields Mimosa,” adds Ali at Wish Upon a Planner, a trip planning site.


Embarking on a journey to EPCOT promises an exciting and educational adventure where futuristic innovations, cultural showcases, and thrilling attractions come together.

Jaimie Michaels, editor of Magic Guides, shares, “A favorite activity of mine is to spend an evening just leisurely enjoying the common areas at EPCOT. It’s relaxing to stroll along the World Showcase promenade, perhaps with some international snack food in hand, feeling the warm breeze coming off the lagoon as the lights flicker on its surface.”


Disney Wilderness Campgrounds

Immersing yourself in the Disney Wilderness Campgrounds provides a thrilling blend of outdoor adventure and Disney magic, offering a memorable camping experience surrounded by nature, recreational activities, and whimsical charm.

“We’ve stayed here both in our RV and their cute cabins. The campground alone has tons to do from Chip and Dale Sing-along campfire and s’mores, outdoor Disney movies, a large pool area, and a bunch of add-on activities like horseback riding or archery,” remarks local Stories of Joy Photography.

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2. Go paddleboarding

Paddleboarding is the perfect outdoor adventure, and Orlando offers the best of it amidst beautiful landscapes.

“My favorite thing to do in Orlando is a paddle adventure at Wekiva Island,” notes Paddleboard Orlando. “The upper portion of the Wekiva is paddle craft only, so there are no motorboats or wakes to worry about. The river is calm and peaceful, and the water is crystal clear.”

“I love paddleboarding on Lake Ivanhoe, just north of downtown Orlando. The lake is clean and clear; there are no alligators and very few boats. On any given day, you can see turtles, fish, birds, and the occasional otter. I love just to lay down and float on a paddleboard and stare up at the clouds or the sunset,” adds Epic Paddle Adventures.


3. Check out Encore Resort

Featuring state-of-the-art amenities, private vacation homes, and a water park, Encore Resort is a fun-filled experience for travelers seeking a memorable stay in the city.

“Located right in the heart of Central Florida, Encore offers vacationers the comfort of a private resort home with the combined luxuries of resort amenities. From an array of on-site restaurants to a 10-acre waterpark and more, Encore is the ultimate resort experience and Disney parkgoers can enjoy a complimentary shuttle service to & from the resort during their stay,” shares Encore Resort.

4. Play pickleball

Pickleball is one of the fastest-growing sports in the United States, and where better to play than sunny Orlando? All around Orlando, especially this time of year, you can find players, young and old, playing pickleball.

Pickleball website The Dink shares, “A must-do activity while in Orlando is playing pickleball. Check out the ten renovated courts at Veteran’s Memorial Park in Winter Garden, or stay close to the city with six brand-new courts at Dover Shores Community Center. If you’re looking for a grander stage, you can take your game to the beautiful USTA National Tennis Center and rent a court for your group.”

Sports teaching website TeachMe.To adds, “If you haven’t played before or need to build up the confidence to hit open play, you can also try a pickleball lesson. The most popular court in Orlando is probably Cady Way Park.”

A pickleball player

5. Check out the many restaurants

Offering a culinary journey that spans various cuisines and flavors, Orlando offers gastronomic delights in a vibrant city. Here’s some local favorites.

Delaney’s Tavern and Pine & Oak Tavern

“Our favorite restaurants in the area are Delaney’s Tavern and Pine & Oak Tavern. We also love to play golf before our meals at Pine & Oak tavern, as the restaurant is located at the historic Rio Pinar Golf Club,” shares the staff at The Delaney Hotel.

East End Market

“For food enthusiasts, East End Market is a culinary haven,” notes property rental company Holiday Swap. “This neighborhood market and food hub in the Audubon Park Garden District showcases some of the best local chefs and artisans. A must-try is the artisanal cheese selection at La Femme du Fromage.”


Avalon Park

Orlando Mom Collective remarks, “We have such a vibrant foodie scene in Central Florida, and there is always something new to enjoy. We particularly love our local food halls. My favorite is the Marketplace at Avalon Park, but all of them are so incredible.”

Unico Gastro Bar

“It’s my favorite place to go due the tropical ambiance and blend of an elevated upscale vibe with the best homiest gastronomic proposal you can find locally,” states local interior design company Visual Studio Plus.


The Licking

“One of my favorite activities to do in Orlando is grabbing a bite of some good old-fashioned ‘soul food,” says scooter company Scootarama. “I’ve tried several local soul food restaurants but my personal favorite is The Licking. The food tastes like grandma is in the kitchen. A must try are those tasty fried turkey wings with collard greens, mac & cheese and candied yams. I wash it all down with their famous mystery drink.”

Wine Bar George

Adventure blogger Carly Caramanna shares, “My can’t miss restaurant is Wine Bar George — the only master sommelier-owned restaurant in the state, bringing a casual twist to wine experience with over 150 rare and interesting pours of wine available by the bottle, glass, and even ounce. If you’re looking to up the culture ante, there’s also an exclusive production from Cirque du Soleil —a one-of-its-kind collaboration with Disney Imagineering.”



“Don’t miss a visit to Longdoggers near Cocoa Beach, a surf-themed restaurant that’s a real treat. Enjoy their hot dogs, burgers, chicken wings, and even seafood,” remarks Company offsite planner Plan Retreat.

East Luck Coffee

“Over the last two years my favorite place for meeting clients has become Easy Luck Coffee in the Milk District here in Orlando. Easy Luck has all the ingredients: Ambiance, positive vibes, and a great latte. It’s larger than some of the smaller coffee spots so it gives you plenty of space to have a meeting, get some work done, and get your creative juices flowing,” notes Whitney Media Productions.A coffee shop

Photo courtesy of Whitney Media TV

6. Enjoy a day at Universal Studios

Spending a day at Universal Studios promises an immersive and thrilling experience. As you step into this theme park, you are instantly transported into iconic movie worlds, from the enchanting wizardry of Harry Potter to the heart-racing adventures of Jurassic Park. The park’s cutting-edge rides, captivating shows, and interactive attractions offer both excitement and magic.

Universal Orlando

7. Visit the farms in Central Florida

Visiting the farms in Central Florida allows you to connect with nature, learn about agricultural practices, and enjoy hands-on activities.

“I recommend taking a short drive just outside the city and visiting some of the many farms of central Florida. Depending on the season, you can pick strawberries, blueberries, oranges, or peaches. One of my favorite family farms is Southern Hill Farms in Clermont, FL, lovingly referred to as ‘The blueberry farm’ by the locals. In the Spring, you just have to try a delicious cup of blueberry lemonade accompanied by a fluffy blueberry donut, and in the Fall you can make your own s’mores over the fire pit, all while taking in a stunning Florida sunset,” remarks Orlando Family Photographer.

8. Visit Lake Eola

Lake Eola is where iconic swan boats, picturesque surroundings, and vibrant park atmosphere come together.

East Room Orlando shares, “Orlando is known for its amusement parks, but in the city’s heart, you will find Lake Eola, which is a hub for concerts, farmers’ markets, and parades. While you are there, visit some amazing restaurants and shops surrounding the area, most of which are family-owned.”

Lake Eola

9. Take a trip to the freshwater springs

The freshwater springs promise a refreshing and adventurous escape, as you discover crystal-clear waters, diverse aquatic life, and the opportunity for activities like swimming and snorkeling.

“My favorite thing to do in Orlando is to visit one of many beautiful freshwater springs nearby and also take a boat ride through the Disney-like canals in Winter Park. The ‘Scenic Boat Tour’ is the charter company I use for canal cruising and my two most enjoyable freshwater springs are Kelly Park and King’s Landing,” notes Chris Juall, founder of Lazy Locations.

1o. Immerse yourself in nature

Exploring the natural beauty of Orlando offers a joyful and rejuvenating experience, allowing you to connect with lush greenery, scenic landscapes, and diverse wildlife.

“I love Orlando because it’s a convenient gateway to the rest of central Florida,” states travel planner Tapestry Travel. “Blue Spring State Park, just down the road, is one of my favorite places for an outdoor adventure and it feels a world away from the city. You don’t want to miss the scenic St. Johns River Nature Cruise for spotting dozens of birds, scaly alligators, and sweet manatees. Back on land, you can explore the boardwalks and trails through tropical hardwood forest.”

Palm Trees

11. Try an escape room

If you’re in the mood to solve puzzles, unravel mysteries, and work as a team, pay a visit to an escape room.

“Everyone in your party is guaranteed a great time and there are rooms with themes like solving crimes with Sherlock, navigating through a medieval castle, uncovering ghostly secrets, or taking on the fiercest legends from Greek mythology,” shares Karys Ostrow of The Escape Effect.

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