Orlando, Florida, might be best known for its world-famous theme parks such as Disney World and Universal Studios, but that’s far from the only thing this city has to offer. Here are 8 fun and memorable off-the-beaten-path things to do on your next visit!
1. Visit Back To Nature Wildlife Refuge
Here’s a great option for animal lovers! Back To Nature Wildlife Reserve aims to rescue and rehabilitate animals that are native to Florida. Everything from rabbits to birds of prey have called the reserve a temporary home, and the public can also tour their facility to learn more about Florida wildlife. Admission is $5, and no reservations are needed to visit, making this a great spontaneous plan as well!
2. Go On A Ghost Tour
When you think of Orlando, your mind probably wanders to rollercoasters and gift shops, not ghosts. However, the city supposedly has a spooky side. You can learn more about it by booking a tour with American Ghost Adventures. This locally owned company offers several options, ranging from a 2-hour downtown walking tour to daytime historical tours. Whether or not you believe in ghosts, this can be a pretty fun way to spend a few hours and learn more about the area.
3. Rock N Roll Heaven
Here’s a great option for music lovers! Rock And Roll Heaven is a used record store that offers thousands of vinyls, cassette tapes, and CDs. They also offer some assorted miscellaneous items, including t-shirts and collectibles. Even if you don’t own a record player, Rock And Roll Heaven can still be a pretty fun stop.
4. Cool Off At Wekiwa Springs State Park
If you’re looking to enjoy a slice of nature during your trip to Orlando, a visit to Wekiwa Springs State Park is sure to satisfy! The park offers several miles of hiking trails, diverse wildlife, and sparkling emerald springs that are perfect for kayaking or swimming. Day use passes can be purchased online.
5. Rent A Swan Boat At Lake Eola
Located near the heart of Orlando, Lake Eola is the perfect place to spend a relaxing few hours. The area offers countless things to do, from spots perfect for picnics to views of the city. One popular activity at the parks is renting a swan-shaped paddle boat to head out on the lake. Swan boats are available for rent from $15 for half an hour, and each boat can fit up to five people.
6. Visit Bok Tower Gardens
These historic gardens not only have a rich past but are also gorgeous to visit in modern times. Bok Tower Gardens founder and namesake, Edward Bok, created the gardens in the early 1920s as a bird sanctuary. Today, over 126 species of birds, and countless other small animals such as squirrels, call the gardens home. Stroll through the lush greenery, and be sure to take some time to view the tower before you leave. Adult admission is $16, and the gardens are open 365 days a year.
7. Take An Airboat Tour Through The Swamps
If you’re willing to head a bit outside the city, consider an airboat ride with Marsh Landing Adventures. This is a great way to see another side of Florida. You’ll head through the Floridian swamps, likely seeing a wide variety of wildlife including snakes and alligators on the way.
8. Soar Through The Skies At Wallaby Ranch
If you’re looking to add some thrills to your trip, check out Wallaby Ranch. This hang gliding school offers classes for all levels, including tandem flights for total beginners. No appointment is necessary; walk-ins are welcomed!
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com