This blog is all about the grown ups! Have you ever wondered what there is to do in Orlando besides going to the theme parks? What about things to do in Orlando for adults? Central Florida is the home to one of the most visited theme parks in the world: Walt Disney World. Over 50,000 people visit WDW parks each day, including thousands of starry-eyed kids eager to meet their favorite Disney characters and make the most of what feels like the best vacation of their lifetime.

If you’re one of the lucky ones that had the chance to make magical childhood memories at the land of Mouse when you were young, chances are you hold those memories dear. But, if you’re traveling with little ones of your own now, with a spouse or friends, you may be wondering how to make the most of your trip without staying strictly inside the Disney bubble. Luckily, Orlando has plenty to offer vacationers aside from the parks (and there are a lot of parks).

Explore Orlando’s Foodie Side

Orlando Foodie Domu
Domu Orlando’s Famous Chicken Wings

If it’s your first time visiting Orlando, you may not know that there are almost as many incredible restaurants as there are theme parks. Several fine dining options help to put Orlando on the foodie map as well as unique eateries you won’t find anywhere else.

Some stand out Orlando restaurants perfect for a date night include Santiago’s Bodega, The Ravenous Pig and authentic ramen at Domu. For bites as exciting as they are inexpensive try King Bao, 4 Rivers Smokehouse and Yellow Dog Eats. Although there are limited kids menus at these restaurants, it means more delicious plates with diverse flavors.

The best restaurants will certainly keep you busy with things to do (and eat!) in Orlando besides theme parks.

Orlando Attractions for Grown Ups

Orlando Attractions for Grown Ups ICON Ferris Wheel
ICON Orlando

In between fantastic meals, you’ll surely want to do some sightseeing. Central Florida is home to enough sights and attractions to keep you busy during your whole vacation. In the center of the tourism corridor named I-Drive, you’ll find the world’s sixth largest ferris wheel, the ICON Orlando. Take a ride aboard the the observation wheel then dine at one of the many fantastic restaurants in the area. I-Drive has some of the best Orlando attractions, specifically for grown ups that aren’t on kid-duty.

If sports events are your thing instead, Orlando is home to several sports teams, the better known of which are the Orlando Magic and the Orlando Lions. Soccer fans can support the beloved Orlando City Lions by donning the very best violet-hued ensemble at an Orlando City soccer game. Checking out a game is a perfect thing to do in Orlando for adults.

Get the Best Hiking in Florida

Best Hiking in Florida Wekiwa Springs
Wekiwa Springs State Park

Central Florida is home to a variety of subtropical habitats (chiefly, coastal habitats, forests, prairies, scrub, and wetlands) all which present great opportunities to spend some time in the great outdoors. There are also a variety of manicured private gardens worth making a trip to see.

Just north of downtown Orlando, you’ll find Harry P. Leu Gardens. The garden boasts a huge variety of azaleas, philodendrons, camelias as well as bromeliads you can check out year-round. It is also home to a small collection of outdoor sculptures and hosts special art exhibits several times per year. If you get around to it in the spring, the rose garden is in full bloom with a rainbow of colors.

About thirty minutes northwest of downtown lies the sprawling Wekiwa Springs State Park. Here, you can catch a glimpse of real Florida wildlife. Wekiwa has some of the best hiking in Florida, according to some locals. The park is home to over twenty miles of trails and has a convenient kayak and canoe rental center on-site. There are picnic and fishing locations scattered throughout as well.

Check Out Orlando’s Nightlife

Downtown Orlando Nightlife
Downtown Orlando lit up at night

There are so many things to do in Orlando for adults. Downtown boasts hundreds of places where you can stop and sip your favorite drink. The best, though, are those that brew, ferment or distill their spirits locally. For a libation with local flair, head to the Winter Park Distilling Company. Here, you can sample six spirits including a Florida vodka and craft bourbon during one of their tours. Bottles make perfect souvenirs!

A little further west, you’ll find a wonderful opportunity to sample local wine at the Lakeridge Winery. Situated on over 120 acres, the winery produces Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon among others. Visit in August for an extra special treat: a grape stomping festival with outdoor fun and games, a wine and cheese bar and excellent food vendors. Of course, downtown Orlando nightlife has a plethora of fun bars and live music to enjoy.

Go to the Parks Anyway (For Food and Fun)

Universal Orlando Theme Parks for Adults
Universal Orlando and Island of Adventure

Yearly vacations are a time to let loose and have fun. So, break your own rule and head to the parks anyway! Believe it or not, every major theme park in Orlando caters to grown ups. After all, there is a huge local population that enjoys these parks as much as visitors.

Late summer brings the Epcot Food and Wine Festival to Walt Disney World. Running from late August to mid-November, this festival brings the best local and celebrity chefs together for a spectacular chance to sample incredible cuisine. Highlights include events with select celebrity chefs like Cake Boss Buddy Valastro and Top-Chef All Stars Winner, Richard Blais.

The parks are also home to whole entertainment and dining complex that don’t require a ticket to get in. At Walt Disney World, you’ll find Disney Springs, a massive shopping and dining area with over 60 restaurants ranging from fine dining like Morimoto Asia to fast service windows like the Daily Poutine. Disney Springs is hot to a variety of live shows including the Ranglan Dance show at the Raglan Road Irish Pub.

Universal’s answer to Disney Springs is Universal CityWalk featuring everything sushi at Fusion and Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville. CityWalk is also home to Blue Man Group show and Rising Star, a fun take on the typical Karaoke Bar where you can enjoy well-crafted cocktails while taking turns singing your favorite hits.

Stay at the Best Orlando Resorts for Adults

Disney Vacation Club certainly isn’t the only timeshare resort in Orlando. If you’re on an kid-free trip or are just looking for some more sophisticated accommodations, there are hundreds of options. If you’re not a timeshare owner, you can even rent a space at one of these amazing options for more room to relax and outstanding amenities you can’t find at a normal hotel. Make one of these your home base while exploring things to do in Orlando for adults.

601 The Reserve at Summer Bay Orlando

601 The Reserve Summer Bay Orlando Exploria
601 The Reserve

Exploria’s 601 The Reserve at Summer Bay Orlando is a six-story high rise with one, two and three-bedroom floorplans. 601 The Reserve is more of a serene oasis, with balconies featuring sweeping views of the city, pool deck with cabanas and pool bar service. There’s also nightly happy hour in the Presidential Lounge! Make sure to check out the rooftop fireworks as well.

Check out postings to rent or buy at 601 The Reserve for your next vacation.

Las Palmeras

Las Palmeras Hilton Grand Vacations
Las Palmeras

Las Palmeras, a Hilton Grand Vacations Club resort has an ideal location near things to do in Orlando, especially besides theme parks. On I-Drive, Orlando’s nightlife is perfectly nearby, making it one of the best Orlando resorts for adults. It is also close to the convention corridor, so chances are you won’t run into as many kids here. The high rise tower has modern suites, on-site dining, pool bars and a heated outdoor pool.

Check out postings to rent or buy at Hilton Grand Vacations las Palmeras for your next vacation.

The Fountains Orlando

The Fountains Orlando Bluegreen Vacations
The Fountains

Everything you would expect from a world-class resort is at The Fountains Orlando. This Bluegreen Vacations resort has a range of accommodations for families and couples on their weekend getaways. A unique feat that guests don’t have to wait in line for, unlike at popular theme parks, is the Bluegreen Wakoola Springs! A massive zero-entry pool, water slides, water fountains and hot tubs are perfect to relax.

Check out postings to rent or buy at The Fountains Orlando for your next vacation.

Liki Tiki Village

Liki Tiki Village Diamond Resorts
Liki Tiki Village

Diamond Resorts might be a new favorite among adults and families that value experiences on vacation. Head to Liki Tiki Village in the heart of Orlando’s tourism district. Including a lagoon with water slides, water volcano and plenty of nearby attractions besides theme parks like golf, hiking, or athletic activities.

Check out postings to rent or buy at Liki Tiki Village for your next vacation.

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Mia Reid is a University of Central Florida graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in English - Creative Writing. She specializes in writing, editing, search engine optimization, as well as graphic design and digital marketing. Mia's past experience is diverse, with a history of interning at UCF's own literary magazine, blog writing for local nonprofits and making weekly op-ed pieces for The Odyssey. She has lived in Orlando, Florida for 21 years and enjoys hiking, spending time at her local lake and being with her family.

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