For most of the 72 million tourists who visit Orlando each year, a trip to O-Town means only one thing: Walt Disney World. Floridians who live near Orlando, however, know that there’s plenty to do and see outside of the House of Mouse. Whether you’re into golf, live music, shopping, or dining, you’re sure to find something to keep yourself entertained in Orlando. Let’s take a closer look at five of the best things to do in Orlando for people who live in the area.
- Magical Shopping & Dining Destinations In Disney Springs
According to Budget, “There’s one part of the Walt Disney World Resort that doesn’t charge admission—Disney Springs. Formerly known as Downtown Disney, the beautifully manicured Disney Springs offers a great mix of dining, shopping, live entertainment, and more. There’s even a bowling alley, Splitsville Luxury Lanes. The area offers that special Disney magic combined with a classic downtown feel.” As of today, there are 150 stores and restaurants in Disney Springs that range widely in style and budget. A few of the more popular venues in Disney Springs include the LEGO Store, Earl of Sandwich, Coca-Cola Store, and Morimoto’s Asia. The centerpiece of Disney Springs, however, is the largest Disney store on earth: the World of Disney. Even if you don’t intend on buying anything, it’s a real treat walking or taking a boat ride around this open-air shopping complex. Disney Springs is open to the public and offers free parking, so you don’t have to worry about purchasing a Disney World ticket to get inside.
- Experience “The Epicenter of Awesome:” CityWalk
For a less “Disneyfied” shopping & dining experience, take a drive to Universal Orlando Resort and check out the CityWalk district. Located between the Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida theme parks, CityWalk is more compact than Disney Springs, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less awesome. Indeed, CityWalk proudly claims to be the “Epicenter of Awesome!” Some of the awe-inspiring restaurants and stores in CityWalk include the Hard Rock Café Orlando, The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium, Hart & Huntington Tattoo Company, and, of course, the Universal Studios Store. There are also many hot shows on CityWalk including Blue Man Group and Bob Marley—A Tribute To Freedom. Keep in mind that parking is free at CityWalk after 6 PM during Universal Orlando off-peak season.
- Best Golfing Venues In Orlando
Golfers will find no shortage of pristine courses in Orlando to practice their game. There are currently just over 170 golf courses in and around Orlando. The most popular of these courses is probably Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge at 9000 Bay Hill Boulevard. Measuring 270 acres, Arnold Palmer’s course and offers guests three links containing 27 holes. Besides golf, Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge also has a spa, tennis court, marina, and dining areas. A few other big-name golf courses in Orlando you should check out include the Waldorf Astoria Orlando, the Villas of Grand Cypress, and The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Grande Lakes. Most of the highest reviewed golf courses are located to the southwestern region of the city, but there are also four popular courses inside Walt Disney World.
- Relax In Wekiwa Springs State Park
Nature lovers are sure to enjoy a trip to Wekiwa Springs State Park in Apopka. Just a short drive north of central Orlando, this nature park was founded as a sports club in the 1940s and became an official state park in the 1970s. Named after the Wekiva River, the top attractions in this state park include scuba diving & snorkeling in the central spring, hiking, and taking pictures of the local fauna.
- Rock Out In Downtown’s Amway Center
Last, but certainly not least, be sure to check out what’s going on at Downtown Orlando’s entertainment hub: the Amway Center. Best known as the home of the Orlando Magic basketball team, the Amway Center hosts numerous sporting events, stand-up comedians, and even ice skating shows throughout the year. According to Orlando, “The Amway Center is also one of the main live music venues in Orlando, and many big-name music stars travelling through the Central Florida region will make a stop-off here to perform.” You can check what’s going on at the Amway Center simply by going on their official website.
Not all visitors to Orlando want to leave. If you are looking to make your stay permanent, the professionals at this website can help you find what you are looking for!