Top 21 Tourist Attractions in Orlando & Things To Do You'll Love

Last Updated on February 24, 2024 by Nikki Jain

It's no secret Orlando thrives off tourism. The city is continuously creating new attractions for people across the world to come and enjoy. Most who visit are crossing one of the city's famous theme parks off their bucket list, whether it's Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, or LegoLand.

But you can't leave without visiting some of the lesser-known Orlando attractions. The city is known for much more than a cheerful mouse or wizarding world. Kids and adults alike have the opportunity to visit the Kennedy Space Center and learn about the U.S. Space Program's endeavors or spend the day soaking up the sun at Lake Eola Park.

The city is welcoming and invites you to come and discover everything it has to offer. When you visit Orlando, wherever you decide to go, it's sure to be time well spent creating long-lasting memories. To get started planning your dream Florida vacation, take a look at these top tourist attractions in Orlando.

Things To Do in Orlando

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1: Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World
Flickr/CL Photographs

The "Happiest Place on Earth" is likely your first stop on your Orlando vacation. Walt Disney World is one of the top attractions in Orlando, garnering more than 58 million visitors each year. The vast resort is home to four theme parks, two water parks, more than two dozen resort hotels, golf courses, a camping resort, a shopping center, and so much more.

Walt Disney World is known as a place of magic, where dreams come true. With a character troupe led by a cheerful mouse, the world of Disney lets you escape and experience new adventures and make unforgettable memories, no matter your age.

The moment you drive into Disney World, you step into fantastical stories of princesses, pirates, and other thrilling adventurers. Explore the Magic Kingdom, where you might run into a princess or traverse the universe at Space Mountain. Travel around the world at EPCOT or come up close and personal with wild animals at Animal Kingdom.

One of Disney's latest attractions, further topping it as one of the best places to visit in Orlando, is Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. Create your own Star Wars story and explore various themed attractions, including the opportunity to fly the Millennium Falcon!

Address: World Drive, Orlando, FL 32830

Also Read: Top 5 Things To Do In Walt Disney World, Florida

2: Universal Orlando Resort

Universal Orlando Resort
Adobe Stock/TOimages

Perhaps one of Walt Disney World's top competitors as the best Orlando attraction is Universal Orlando. Getting about 20 million visitors each year, Universal Studios is home to two theme parks, where guests can explore attractions themed to popular movies.

Like Disney, Universal is an entire world of entertainment and has something for everyone, including a water park, night-life complex, eight hotels, and another park called Epic Universe in the works.

Perhaps one of the most popular attractions at Universal is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, located in the Islands of Adventure Park. Experience a magical world, explore Hogsmeade, shop at Diagon Alley, and ride aboard the Hogwarts Express. Buy a wand and perform some magic, or head to The Three Broomsticks for a tall glass of butterbeer.

Dinosaur experts can visit Jurassic Park, and kids will have a blast at Toon Lagoon. If you love superheroes, the Marvel Super Hero Island features rollercoasters, attractions, and encounters with your favorite caped characters.

Address: 6000 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819

Also Read: Universal Studios Orlando Tips For The Best Vacation Ever

3: Discovery Cove

Discovery Cove
Flickr/Darrell Taylor

The fun and magic don't stop at Disney and Universal. Located to the southwest of downtown Orlando is Discovery Cove, a resort known for exhilarating encounters with dolphins, rays, and more. For an entire day, guests can meet tropical fish and walk beneath beautiful birds at the park.

The park only allows 1,300 guests inside each day, making your experience more intimate and relaxing. A large pool and lazy river invite you to relax and enjoy the warm Florida sun. Bring the kids to snorkel alongside rays and tropical fish or play with otters in the Freshwater Oasis. It is undeniably one of the best things to do in Orlando.

Discovery Cove doesn't just offer water activities, either. At the Explorer's Aviary, you can feed exotic birds like parrots and toucans and watch as they soar above you. Ticketed guests can enjoy unlimited snacks and free equipment rentals. You can even take home a souvenir snorkel to remember your glorious day at Discovery Cove.

One of the most exciting attractions at Discovery Cove is the SeaVenture. Staff will fit you with a diving helmet, so you can climb down in the water and walk along the reef floor to admire and swim with beautiful fish and sharks (who are behind a glass wall!).

Address: 6000 Discovery Cove Way, Orlando, FL 32821

4: John F. Kennedy Space Center

John F. Kennedy Space Center

If you're looking for an unforgettable day trip, head to the John F. Kennedy Space Center. Located along the coast in Cape Canaveral (just under an hour from Orlando), visit the site where historic missions took off into space.

The visitor complex welcomes anyone interested in learning more about the U.S. Space Program and its storied past. Start at the beginning and learn about the Mercury mission that started it all, then move on to Gemini, Apollo, and into the future.

Stand beneath the rockets that boosted astronauts to the sky in the Rocket Garden. Hop aboard an astronaut training simulator to experience what it's like to operate a space shuttle. Learn about plans for the future of space flight and meet real astronauts at the Universe Theater.

If you want to enhance your experience, take a guided tour through the exhibits, and learn more about the center from an insider. You'll end your day with a souvenir and more memories than you can hold!

Families looking for cool places to visit in Orlando should come to the Kennedy Space Center.

Address: SR 405, Kennedy Space Center, FL, 32899

Also Read: Top 10 Space and Aviation Museums in the USA

5: SeaWorld Orlando

SeaWorld Orlando
Flickr/Christian Benseler

Experience the thrills of exhilarating coasters and attractions and meet beautiful animals at SeaWorld, a theme park and zoo combined into one. With about five million visitors each year, it's one of the top 10 most visited amusement parks in the country, making it one of the best places to go in Orlando.

There are various animal experiences at SeaWorld that make it an unforgettable part of your Florida vacation. Explore the habitat of Antarctica, where you meet hundreds of penguins. Enjoy lunch alongside orca whales or explore the Jewel of the Sea Aquarium, where thousands of colorful fish reside.

If you love thrills, SeaWorld is home to rollercoasters, river rapids, and a variety of kid-friendly rides to keep the smiles going. The Manta coaster is a one-of-a-kind water coaster that splashes across the water as you fly down the tracks.

Kids will love Sesame Street Land, where they can meet some of their favorite characters and ride themed attractions, including Elmo's Choo Choo Train and Big Bird's Twirl 'N' Whirl. End your day with live entertainment, like the Orca Encounter or sea lion presentation.

Address: 7007 Sea World Dr, Orlando, FL 32821

Looking to visit other parts of Florida? Check out the top Daytona Beach attractions, Tampa attractions & Key West attractions.

6: Orlando Science Center

Orlando Science Center

Orlando Science Center is one of the top things to do in Orlando, where guests of all ages can enjoy a hands-on museum experience. The center prides itself on interactive exhibits that teach kids and adults all about natural science, technology, and more.

One of the most popular exhibits is Pompeii: The Immortal City. A variety of artwork and multimedia experiences give you a first-hand encounter with what happened on that day and what life was like in first-century Italy.

At KidsTown, kids can climb and explore across a variety of hands-on exhibits. Children will learn teamwork and use their creativity to maneuver through a variety of skill-based activities. They'll learn about scientific discoveries while having a memorable experience.

No natural science museum is complete without a dinosaur exhibit! At DinoDigs, guests will step back in time to the era of dinosaurs. You can even partake in a paleontologist activity and discover and analyze fossils for yourself. These are just a few of the numerous exhibits and activities the Orlando Science Center offers!

Address: 777 E Princeton St, Orlando, FL 32803

7: Gatorland

Flickr/Cary Lee

You can't have a real Florida experience without encountering an alligator. At Gatorland, you can do just that and more. This theme park, known as "The Alligator Capital of the World," is open for you to meet alligators and crocodiles, including babies and 14-foot reptiles. It's no surprise this is one of the must-see attractions in Orlando!

Gatorland has the most extensive collection of white leucistic alligators. Still, it's more than just a home to gators of all sizes and species. It's home to a variety of attractions to keep the fun going, including an aviary, petting zoo, animal shows, a zipline, and more.

One of the park's newest attractions is the Stompin' Gator Off-Road Adventure. Hop aboard a 12-foot-high monster truck for a rugged adventure across the Florida landscape. Be sure to look out for famous alligators along the way!

Address: 14501 S Orange Blossom Trl, Orlando, FL 32837

8: Lake Eola Park

Lake Eola Park

Step away from the thrilling resorts and relax at Lake Eola Park, Orlando's vast city park, complete with a serene lake with beautiful city skyline views. The downtown park features an amphitheater, Chinese pagoda, playground, and annual activities for visitors and locals to enjoy. With so many things to do, it is definitely one of the best places to visit in Orlando.

Visitors can rent swan-shaped paddle boats and float across the lake. The boats are shaded, so no need to worry about the harsh Florida sun! Many real swans and other birds call the park home, and you'll notice professional photographers often capturing these beautiful birds.

The Walt Disney Amphitheater hosts live shows, concerts, and movie screenings throughout the year. Local restaurants in and around the park are the perfect place to stop for lunch if you didn't pack a picnic.

If you're looking for some activity in the fresh air, a 0.9-mile sidewalk encircles Lake Eola so you can run, walk, or bike alongside the water. Whatever you decide to do at Lake Eola Park, you're in for a relaxing day of respite.

Address: 512 E Washington St, Orlando, FL 32801

9: Legoland Florida

Legoland Florida
Flickr/Josh Hallett

Another bustling theme park just southwest of Orlando is Legoland. This Orlando attraction is home to an expansive kid-centered theme park, water park, botanical garden, themed hotel, and more. Like its name suggests, the park reflects the Lego brand, and you can even meet life-size Lego characters.

At the theme park, get your thrills on one of the parks more than 50 rides and attractions. The company built the park with the kids in mind. Nearly everything at Legoland is available for anyone of any size or age. Battle others in a water blast fight while you race across waves aboard the Aquazone Wave Racers or go to Boating School and navigate a small pool.

Explore the world of Lego ninjas at Ninjago World, where you can blast fireballs and aim lightning at villains. In the Lost Kingdom Adventure, guests can fight mummies and skeletons with an indoor laser ride.

Stay at one of Legoland's themed hotels for more memorable experiences. At the Beach Retreat, guests can enjoy a pool with beautiful lakeside views complete with lounge chairs and cabanas. Each hotel has its own perks, but they all come with nightly kid entertainment so parents can get away to the full-size bar.

Address: 1 Legoland Way, Winter Haven, FL 33884

10: WonderWorks Orlando

WonderWorks Orlando
Flickr/Philipp Meier

Step up to the large, white building that looks like it was dropped by a massive tornado and enter the world of WonderWorks. This theme park boasts a combination of entertainment and education ("edutainment").

The story of WonderWorks starts with a scientist working in the Bermuda Triangle. One of his experiments went wrong. A large tornado swept up his laboratory and landed it upside-down in Orlando, Florida. Because of this event, everything at WonderWorks is upside-down. As you enter, you'll walk through the inversion tunnel and turned right-side up.

More than 100 exhibits are housed in several "Wonder Zones," where kids and adults can learn about extreme weather, put their physical limits to the test, discover the life of an astronaut, and much more.

Play with impossibly large bubbles, experience the power of lightning with the Tesla coil, ride the Earthquake Café, and more. Everything at WonderWorks is immersive and entertaining and teaches you something about the world you may not have known before. It’s one of the best tourist attractions in Orlando for families who all love a little oddity.

Address: 9067 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819

Also Read: The Most Beautiful Buildings in America

11: ICON Park

Adobe Stock/Aiisha

The ICON Park entertainment complex is one of the most well-known tourist stops in Orlando, a one-stop-shop for the whole family.

From The Wheel at ICON Park, an 18-minute, sky-high ride during which you can see the striking views of the Orlando skyline, to Madame Tussauds Orlando and the SEA Life Orlando Aquarium, you'll find thrills and smiles for everyone in your group.

Rev things up on the exhilarating Orlando StarFlyer, the tallest of its kind in the world, or the 7D Dark Ride Adventure. Later, shop for hours, finally stopping for dinner at one of the several globally inspired restaurants.

Address: 8375 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819

12: Harry P. Leu Gardens

Harry P. Leu Gardens
Flickr/R9 Studios FL

If you’re a green thumb – or aspire to be – head to the Harry P. Leu Gardens, one of the most exquisite tourist spots in Orlando.

Within this 50-acre botanical paradise, just minutes from downtown Orlando, you’ll find the original garden and historic home of Harry P. Leu and his wife, Mary Jane, which the couple donated to the city in 1961.

Pick up a guest guide and map at the welcome center and take a self-guided tour through palms, cycads, and flowering trees, as well as azaleas, bromeliads, and tropical philodendrons.

Guests with a QR reader app may scan QR codes to learn more about the plant collections. The gardens are open daily from 9 AM to 5 PM.

Address: 1920 N Forest Ave, Orlando, FL 32803

13: Orlando Museum of Art

Orlando Museum of Art

Go beyond the typical Orlando attractions and spend a day at the Orlando Museum of Art, the region's leading cultural institution.

Art enthusiasts will find an extension collection, including American art from the Colonial period to the 1960s; African art reflective of peoples and cultures throughout the African continent; the art of the Ancient Americas; and an outstanding contemporary art collection from 1945 to the present.

The museum is closed Mondays and major holidays. Check the website for special events, including Art in Bloom and Festival of Trees. Docent-guided group tours are available.

Address: 2416 N Mills Ave, Orlando, FL 32803

14: Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Orlando

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Orlando

If you’re seeking one of the wackiest places to go in Orlando, look no further than Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Orlando.

Within the vast, 10,000-square-foot space, you’ll find hundreds of oddly enticing exhibits, from artwork made out of candy to the world’s tallest man.

Outside, the entire museum site appears as if it’s slipping into a Florida sinkhole. Take your time exploring the self-guided Odditorium, with 16 unique galleries full of unbelievable artifacts and interactive exhibits.

Ripley’s is conveniently located in the heart of the International Drive Resort District. Parking is free. Open daily.

Address: 8201 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819

15: Drawn to Life by Cirque du Soleil

Drawn to Life by Cirque du Soleil
Drawn to Life by Cirque du Soleil

Drawn to Life by Cirque du Soleil is a visual feast that combines the gorgeous art of animation with live acrobatics performance.

Performed in Disney Springs at the Walt Disney World Resort, the show takes the audience on a journey through the world of Disney animation, beautifully integrating iconic characters and scenes into an awe-inspiring spectacle.

What sets Drawn to Life apart is its ability to produce nostalgia while pushing the limits of what's possible in live entertainment; it's not just a show but a once-in-a-lifetime experience that incites emotions and imagination.

Drawn to Life is sure to provide you with an unforgettable experience that celebrates the timeless charm of Disney animation while showcasing the creativity and artistry of Cirque du Soleil.

Address: 1478 Buena Vista Dr, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

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16: Fun Spot America Orlando

Fun Spot America Orlando

Thrill seekers and arcade aficionados will love Fun Spot America Orlando. Kids (and adults) enjoy a variety of rides and games, from classic bumper cars to the only wooden roller coaster in Orlando.

Challenge your family to a race on the multi-level go-kart track. Check out the alligators at Gator Spot, complete with a free-flight aviary, petting zoo, and unique animal shows. Consider renting a private cabana for the day, giving your family the chance to cool off and relax in shade and privacy.

Need more refreshment? Get wet on the Splash Pad, completely with interactive water toys and sprayers.

Address: 5700 Fun Spot Way, Orlando, FL 32819

17: The Mall at Millenia

The Mall at Millenia

Orlando isn’t just about Mickey Mouse and adrenaline-rush theme park rides. Those in the know come here to shop and one of their perennial favorites is The Mall at Millenia.

Browse luxury goods and dine at more than 150 shops and restaurants. World-class amenities include a multilingual staff always on hand with complimentary wheelchairs and strollers, personal shopping services, currency exchange, and helpful information.

Several hotels are within walking distance of the mall. Bought too much for your suitcase? No problem. The mall offers credit toward domestic and international shipping for Millenia store purchases.

Address: 4200 Conroy Rd, Orlando, FL 32839

Visit Website

18: Universal CityWalk

Universal CityWalk
Universal CityWalk is one of the best Orlando attractions for family fun | Flickr/Nauly22

Satisfy everyone in your group at Universal CityWalk, where the options for entertainment and dining are endless. Those craving all-American cuisines can find it at the Hot Dog Hall of Fame®, while those seeking Mexican or Italian can reserve a spot at Antojitos or VIVO Italian.

From chocolate to sushi, there’s a treat for every taste. Sing alongside a band for live karaoke or attend a multi-sensory Blue Man Group performance. Shop for hours for clothing and accessories or even mark your visit with an epic tattoo.

Dance the night away at the Bob Marley house or the tropical Red Coconut Club. Later, enjoy a complimentary water taxi ride back to one of the three on-site Universal hotels.

Address: 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608

19: Crayola Experience Orlando

Crayola Experience Orlando

Everyone adores Crayons – so bring the whole family to Crayola Experience Orlando and watch the magic of the icon come alive. Within 70,000 square feet, families can spend hours exploring 27 hands-on attractions.

Snap a photo with Crayola characters in the coloring page photo booth. Name your own Crayola color. Join in vibrant, interactive craft projects. Solve colorful puzzles and riddles.

Check out Bluetiful, the world’s largest Crayola crayon at 1,352 pounds and 15.6 feet long. Learn about the science and magic of color through an entertaining live show. Open daily.

If you’re looking for family-friendly attractions in Orlando that is both fun and educational, you’ll be impressed by the Crayola Experience Orlando.

Address: 8001 S Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, FL 32809

20: Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon
Flickr/Jack Miller

Cool off on tropical Florida days at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon. Get things started in North America's largest wave pool – Typhoon Lagoon Surf Pool – where gentle waves lap up to an actual white-sand beach.

Stay in the shallows or head out deeper for six-foot breakers. Adrenaline-seekers can ride the Crush 'n Gusher, a roller-coaster-like raft ride with a 400-foot-long tube slide. At Humunga Kowabunga, get ready for a near-vertical, five-story drop in the dark.

The little ones in your group will love the scaled-down slides and surprises of Ketchakiddee Creek, complete with a kid-size sandy beach. Up the ante on your visit with a rented Beachcomber Shack or shade umbrella.

It’s one of the cool things to do in Orlando, packed with fun, excitement, and plenty of activities.

Address: 1145 East Buena Vista, Boulevard, Orlando, FL 32830

21: Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour

Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour

If it’s your first or even fifth time to Orlando, schedule a Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour. This peaceful, hour-long cruise departing Lake Osceola will take you through three of the area’s seven lakes and two manmade canals.

Your guide will point out local flora and fauna – you may be lucky enough to spot a large crane or even an alligator sunning itself on a nearby bank.

You’ll glide under palm and cypress trees and past lush ferns and sub-tropical flowers. Gape at the opulent estates dotting the shoreline. Note that the boat tours are cash or check only. Open 10 AM to 4 PM every day except Christmas Day.

Address: 312 E Morse Blvd, Winter Park, FL 32789

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Plan your trip to Orlando soon!

Orlando needs no introduction as one of the favorite vacation destinations in the United States for family fun. There is no shortage of Orlando attractions to visit, ranging from the world's most incredible theme parks and top-notch educational attractions to numerous outdoor adventures. We hope this list of top attractions in Orlando helps you discover the best of what this city has to offer.

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