20 attractions everyone should visit in Orlando

Bok Tower
Bok Tower Photo via Bok Tower Gardens/Facebook

As the world’s tourist destination, Orlando has a little bit of everything – from an unforgettably magical experience at Cinderella’s Castle inside Disney World’s Magic Kingdom to gator wrangling and zip-lining over hundreds of toothy reptiles at Gatorland. No two things are alike, so we suggest you try them all.

Airboat Rides at Midway

28501 E. Colonial Drive, Christmas, 407-568-6790, airboatridesatmidway.com

See bald eagles, otters, blue herons and a lot of gators at this popular airboat tour on the St. Johns River.

Audubon Center for Birds of Prey

1101 Audubon Way, Maitland, 407-644-0190, fl.audubon.org

Watch Florida's raptors get some TLC at this rehab center near Lake Sybelia. Open to the public, the center's gazebo houses birds currently in rehabilitation and man-made wetlands.

Bok Tower Gardens

1151 Tower Blvd., Lake Wales, 863-676-1408, boktowergardens.org

On the outskirts of Orlando's suburbs, Bok Tower Gardens hosts botanical gardens designed by famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. Take in the natural wonders of Florida as you listen to the song coming from the iconic neo-Gothic Singing Tower and its carillon bells.

Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens

3755 W. Seminole Blvd., Sanford, 407-323-4450, centralfloridazoo.org

Home to more than 400 animals, the Central Florida Zoo is a relaxing sanctuary for threatened animals like the Madagascar red-ruffed lemur or the Thai clouded leopard. Feed the giraffes some lettuce or pet a greater one-horned rhino.

Dinosaur World

5145 Harvey Tew Road, Plant City, 813-717-9865, dinosaurworld.com

Life-size dinosaur models reign over this attraction seen from Interstate 4. Dig for fossils, mine through artifacts and excavate a 27-foot skeleton under the sand.

Forever Florida

4755 N. Kenansville Road, St. Cloud, 407-957-9794, foreverflorida.com

This 4,700-acre nature preserve features the best of Florida. Enjoy horsebacking, zip-lining and a trail buggy tour featuring a traditional ranch and other wildlife.

Fort Christmas Historical Park and Museum

1300 Fort Christmas Road, Christmas, 407-254-9310, orangecountyfl.net

Find replica Florida Cracker-style cabins and a pioneer schoolhouse at this regional history museum that evokes an 1837 fort during the second Seminole War.


14501 S. Orange Blossom Trail, 407-855-5496, gatorland.com

Known as the "Alligator Capital of the World," this eco-preserve is home to thousands of flesh-eating reptiles and the trainers brave enough to wrestle them. Get close (but not too close) to see them eat and sleep, or zip-line safely above their marsh.

The Holy Land Experience

4655 Vineland Road, 407-872-2272, holylandexperience.com

Get your money's worth, Orange County residents, and visit this taxpayer-subsidized recreation of ancient Jerusalem. You could pay for admission or wait until that one day a year when they have to let you in for free.

I-Drive 360

8375 International Drive, i-drive360.com

Right in the middle of Orlando's tourist district, I-Drive 360 features the multi-colored Coca-Cola Orlando Eye observation wheel, marine animals at the Sea Life Aquarium and your favorite celebrities at Madame Tussauds wax museum.

Jungle Adventures Nature Park

26205 E. Colonial Drive, Christmas, 407-568-2885, jungleadventures.com

A natural habitat filled with rare Florida panthers, black bears, wolves, tropical birds and a whole lot of gators. The mouth of a 200-foot man-made gator serves as the entrance to this "real Florida animal park."


1 Legoland Way, Winter Haven, legoland.com/florida

What's not to love about 150-acre attraction whose theme is tiny blocks and miniature humans? Customize fun your way here.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

State Road 405, east of Titusville, 855-433-4210, kennedyspacecenter.com

Take a tour of the 363-foot Saturn V that took Americans to the moon and catch the lunar particles that still dust astronaut Alan Shepard's space suit. Make it worth your while and visit when there's a live rocket launch scheduled.

Mead Botanical Garden

1300 S. Denning Drive, Winter Park, 407-622-6323, meadgarden.org

A garden oasis with bike paths and a picnic area ripe with natural fauna and wildlife. Take a hike near forested wetlands, and if you're quiet enough, hear the hawks and wading birds.

Orlando Speed World

19164 E. Colonial Drive, 407-568-5522, raceosw.com/dragway

Local drag racing finds a home at Orlando Speed World. Check out street drags and drifting events here every week.

Orlando Science Center

777 E. Princeton St., 407-514-2000, osc.org

Home to Florida's largest refractor telescope, the Orlando Science Center has a place for everyone. Children get to explore the recently remodeled KidsTown, which includes a climbing area and pickable "orange grove," while adults get to connect at Science Night Live with fun exhibits and a little liquor.

SeaWorld Orlando

7007 Sea World Drive, 407-545-5550, seaworld.com/orlando

Outdated marine animal shows are not the only things SeaWorld has to offer. Thrilling roller coasters and exciting water adventures at Aquatica make this theme park a must-visit.

Universal Orlando


Thank the stars for multi-day passes, because Universal offers way too much to enjoy in one day. From the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to the newly opened Volcano Bay water theme park, there's never a dull moment here.

Wallaby Ranch

1805 Deen Still Road, Davenport, 863-424-0070, wallaby.com

Lose your terrestrial inhibitions by hanging out with the gliders at Wallaby Ranch. The ranch's aerotow system launches people (and their instructors) into the air for an unforgettable experience.

Walt Disney World Resort


The most magical place on Earth doesn't really need an explanation, so we'll just give you the new stuff: The Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge theme park will make its debut in 2019 at Disney, and it's not something you want to miss.

Scroll to read more City Guide articles


Join Orlando Weekly Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.