Visit Orlando

Orlando Florida Parks Flowers

For those considering visiting this city, it can be difficult to know where to start. There are countless attractions and things that visiters will want to do while they're in Orlando, which can leave one overwhelmed and fatigued.

That's why I'm going to provide you with a comprehensive list of the top 10 things you should do while visiting this city—or at the very least consider doing if you're visiting soon.

1. Visit the Zoo

The Orlando Zoo is an ideal spot to visit with the family and it's one of the best attractions in Orlando. There are multiple exhibits and you'll be able to see wonderful animals and exotic species that you wouldn't encounter at a zoo back home. It's also a family-friendly environment; this is especially true if you wait until after 3:00 when kids are out of school for the day. If possible, try to plan your trip around times when they offer feeding demonstrations or special programs; these can make for memorable moments for kids who enjoy seeing animals up close and personal.

2. See the Theme Park

Orlando has several theme parks in and around the city, including Universal's Islands of Adventure and Disney's Animal Kingdom. While you have no doubt heard of these parks, it would be a shame to miss them because of their name recognition. Besides Harry Potter and Marvel Universe expansions, these parks have lots of neat things that you won't find anyplace else. If you've got a little bit more time, I'd highly recommend visiting during the holiday season as many resorts will be offering discounts on admission during this time period allowing you to maximize your visit.

3. Visit the City

This city is a lot more than an attraction. More so than anywhere else, you can feel the history and culture of Orlando. This is definitely one of Orlando's best features and it makes Orlando a special place to visit. You can stop by local shops, check out the artsy vibe and enjoy some great food at local restaurants.

Disney World - Orlando

4. Tour Downtown

Starting at Universal Studios or Downtown Disney, you should tour the entirety of downtown Orlando—including popular attractions like the Florida Mall and Lake Eola Park. You will find plenty of unique unique things to see here that you won't find anywhere else in Tampa Bay or any other city for that matter.

Universal Studios - Orlando

5. Experience the Nightlife

If you're looking for something to do on a Friday night, I'd suggest maybe visiting the fourth floor of the Universal's CityWalk and taking in the entertainment that goes on there. It's a great place to explore after dinner or before you head out to see one of the numerous attractions. There are 4-5 bars and clubs presenting live music; they generally feature cover charge and most likely will be pretty crowded. The nightclubs tend toward country music styles, but there is ALWAYS something going on here—just keep checking in with your surroundings as some establishments will have more emphasis on their dance floor than others.

6. Experience the Sports Scene

Even if you're not a fan of baseball or basketball, you'll still want to take in the Orlando Magic and Orlando City games if you're visiting during their season. Both teams play at the Amway Center, which is located on Church Street near downtown. This live entertainment venue tends to be pretty full during events, so tickets can be hard to get. Even if you don't have tickets for a game, though, it's a good idea to show up early and walk through the arena floor as they offer team merchandise and displays that are worth checking out before—and even after—the game begins.

7. See the Theme Parks at Night

If you're visiting Orlando anytime between November and February, this is a must-see event. Even if you've already visited during the day, it's a good idea to consider taking in both Walt Disney World and Universal Studios at night. Not only does everything look different under the moonlight, but—with fewer people present—it's also more fun and there are more things to explore and enjoy.

International Drive - Orlando

8. Shop at the International Drive Area

The International Drive area is a great place to go shopping as they basically have everything from toys to electronics that you could ever want—and much of it is lower priced than you'd find elsewhere in Orlando or Tampa Bay. If you like shopping, I'd highly recommend you check this place out and definitely plan your trip around a major holiday so that you can take advantage of all the deals that will be available.

9. Check out the Water Parks

Orlando has a few different water parks where families can spend several hours taking in rides, slides and other attractions while visiting. These are especially enjoyable for families with younger kids or kids who enjoy playing in the pool; it's a great way to unwind before heading back to your hotel room for the evening. There are several Orlando water parks, including Typhoon Lagoon (at Disney World) and Aquatica (at Sea World).


10. Visit Downtown St. Petersburg

Don't forget to check out the Tampa Bay area's second largest city; it has its own culture that sets it apart from Orlando. There are plenty of things to do in downtown St. Petersburg, including tours of city hall and downtown's historic district that you'll definitely want to consider before traveling to Orlando. Downtown St. Pete features some great restaurants, nightlife and entertainment as well as being less than 15 minutes' drive from the heart of downtown Orlando. If you have time to kill, do make sure to check it out.