Top 10 Must-Visit Orlando Attractions Beyond Disney

Escape the typical tourist traps and delve into the hidden gems that Orlando has to offer. Beyond Disney's enchanting kingdom, there is a vibrant city brimming with history, adventure, natural beauty, and unique experiences. Get ready to explore the top 10 must-visit attractions in Orlando beyond Disney!

1/9/20247 min read

waterside park in Orlando, Florida at sunset
waterside park in Orlando, Florida at sunset

Exploring Orlando's Rich History

Delve into Orlando's fascinating past and discover the city's rich history. Start your historical journey at The Mennello Museum of American Art, located in the charming neighborhood of Loch Haven Park. This museum showcases extraordinary American folk art and contemporary American art exhibitions, providing a fascinating glimpse into the nation's cultural heritage.

As you step into The Mennello Museum of American Art, you will be greeted by a stunning collection of artwork that spans centuries. The museum's carefully curated exhibits highlight the diverse artistic expressions of American artists, from traditional folk art to cutting-edge contemporary pieces. Take your time to admire the intricate details and vibrant colors that bring these artworks to life.

Make sure to explore the museum's permanent collection, which includes works by renowned American artists such as Earl Cunningham and Clementine Hunter. These artists captured the essence of their time and left a lasting impact on the art world. The Mennello Museum also hosts rotating exhibitions, allowing you to discover new artists and art movements with each visit.

After immersing yourself in the world of American art, continue your historical exploration at The Orange County Regional History Center. Located in downtown Orlando, this museum offers interactive exhibits that transport you back in time. Immerse yourself in stories of the city’s Native American tribes, pioneers, and influential figures that shaped Orlando into the vibrant metropolis it is today.

As you wander through the halls of The Orange County Regional History Center, you will be transported to different eras of Orlando's past. Step into a replica of a Native American village and learn about the rich cultural heritage of the indigenous people who first inhabited the region. Discover the challenges and triumphs of the pioneers who settled in Orlando, as they transformed the landscape and built the foundations of the city.

One of the highlights of the museum is the exhibit dedicated to the influential figures who played a significant role in shaping Orlando's history. From visionary city planners to civil rights activists, these individuals left an indelible mark on the city's development. Through interactive displays and multimedia presentations, you can gain a deeper understanding of their contributions and the impact they had on Orlando's growth.

As you conclude your visit to The Orange County Regional History Center, take a moment to reflect on the rich tapestry of Orlando's past. The city's history is a testament to the resilience and creativity of its inhabitants, who have continuously shaped and reinvented Orlando throughout the years. Whether you are a history enthusiast or simply curious about the city's roots, exploring Orlando's rich history will leave you with a newfound appreciation for the vibrant metropolis it has become.

Where to Stay in Orlando


Visiting Orlando with kids and kids-at-heart? Check out this 8-Bedroom vacation home which boasts Star Wars, Harry Potter, Cinderella, Moana, and Frozen-themed rooms! With enough space for up to 20 guests, this is the perfect place to call home with your large group.

a group of children and adults laughing and rushing through the gates of a theme park in Orlando, Fl
a group of children and adults laughing and rushing through the gates of a theme park in Orlando, Fl

Thrilling Adventures in Orlando

Orlando is not just about Mickey Mouse and princesses – prepare for adrenaline-pumping experiences beyond your imagination. Venture into the thrilling world of Universal Studios Florida, where movie magic comes to life. From heart-stopping roller coasters to immersive movie-themed attractions, Universal Studios offers endless excitement for movie buffs and thrill-seekers alike.

Step into the realm of fantasy and adventure as you explore the iconic Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Feel the rush of adrenaline as you soar through the skies on the incredible Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride, or experience the pulse-pounding excitement of the Dragon Challenge roller coaster. Immerse yourself in the magical world of Hogwarts and indulge in butterbeer and other delectable treats at Hogsmeade.

But the excitement doesn't end there. Brace yourself for an epic battle between good and evil on the Transformers: The Ride-3D. Join the Autobots in their quest to protect the AllSpark from the Decepticons, as you experience mind-blowing 3D visuals and exhilarating motion simulation. Feel the rush of adrenaline as you dodge explosions and engage in intense combat alongside your favorite Transformers characters.

For a unique adventure, head to Gatorland, known as "The Alligator Capital of the World." Get up close and personal with these incredible creatures as you embark on a swamp tour or witness jaw-dropping alligator wrestling shows. Don't miss the chance to feed these ancient reptiles and create memories that will last a lifetime.

As you explore Gatorland, you'll also have the opportunity to encounter other fascinating wildlife. Marvel at the beauty and grace of the rare white alligators, or observe the playful antics of the park's resident tortoises. Take a stroll through the aviary and admire the vibrant colors of tropical birds as they flutter around you. Gatorland truly offers a one-of-a-kind experience for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.

After a day filled with thrilling adventures, unwind and relax at one of Orlando's many world-class resorts. Indulge in luxurious accommodations, rejuvenating spa treatments, and exquisite dining options. Whether you prefer a tranquil oasis or a lively atmosphere, Orlando has a resort to suit every taste and preference.

So, if you're ready to embark on an unforgettable journey filled with excitement and adventure, make Orlando your next destination. From heart-pounding roller coasters to up-close encounters with alligators, this vibrant city offers a myriad of thrilling experiences that will leave you breathless and craving for more.

Orlando's Natural Beauty

Escape the bustling city and immerse yourself in Orlando's natural beauty. Discover the stunning Harry P. Leu Gardens, situated just minutes from downtown Orlando. Explore this 50-acre oasis filled with exotic plants, beautiful gardens, and peaceful trails. Whether you're a horticulture enthusiast or simply seeking tranquility, Leu Gardens offers a serene retreat from the hustle and bustle.

As you wander through the enchanting pathways of Harry P. Leu Gardens, you'll be captivated by the vibrant colors and fragrant scents that surround you. The gardens showcase a diverse collection of plant species from around the world, including rare orchids, blooming roses, and towering palm trees. Take a moment to pause and appreciate the intricate details of each flower petal, or find a shady spot to sit and listen to the soothing sounds of nature.

For those with a green thumb, Leu Gardens offers educational programs and workshops to help you enhance your gardening skills. Learn about sustainable gardening practices, discover the art of bonsai, or attend a lecture on the importance of preserving biodiversity. Immerse yourself in the world of horticulture and gain a deeper appreciation for the delicate balance between humans and nature.

Another gem of Orlando's natural landscape is Lake Eola Park. Nestled in the heart of downtown, this urban oasis is perfect for a leisurely stroll or a romantic gondola ride. Admire the iconic Lake Eola Fountain, feed the resident swans, or simply bask in the serenity of the park's lush surroundings.

As you enter Lake Eola Park, you'll be greeted by the gentle breeze rustling through the towering oak trees. The park's well-maintained pathways invite you to explore every corner, revealing hidden nooks and crannies along the way. Find a cozy bench overlooking the glistening lake and watch as the sun sets, casting a warm glow over the water.

For those seeking adventure, rent a paddleboat and navigate the tranquil waters of Lake Eola. Feel the rhythm of the paddle strokes as you glide across the surface, surrounded by the sights and sounds of nature. Spot a variety of bird species, from graceful herons to playful ducks, as they go about their daily routines.

Don't forget to visit the Lake Eola Fountain, a symbol of Orlando's vibrant spirit. Watch as the water dances in sync with the music, creating a mesmerizing spectacle that never fails to captivate visitors. Snap a photo to capture this magical moment and cherish the memories of your time spent in this urban oasis.

Where to Stay in Orlando


Thinking of traveling to Orlando with your pet? This pet-friendly villa has all the space that both your family and your furry bff will enjoy. Enjoy friendly competition in the game room, wind down with a backyard BBQ, or just soak around in the heated pool.

an open-air shopping complex with a central fountain
an open-air shopping complex with a central fountain

Unique Orlando Experiences

Step into the world of scientific wonders at The Orlando Science Center. This interactive museum offers engaging exhibits and hands-on activities that make learning a blast for visitors of all ages. From exploring the cosmos in the planetarium to conducting thrilling experiments, the Orlando Science Center will leave you with a newfound appreciation for the wonders of science.

Rise above the cityscape and take in panoramic views of Orlando from The Orlando Eye. This iconic observation wheel offers a breathtaking perspective as you soar above the city. Capture memorable selfies, learn about the landmarks through interactive displays, and savor the picturesque vistas awaiting you at every turn.

Orlando's Culinary Scene

No article is complete without exploring the delectable side of a destination. Indulge your taste buds at East End Market, a food lover's paradise reminiscent of a European market. Peruse the diverse stalls offering artisanal products, fresh produce, and delightful culinary creations. From homemade pastries to gourmet cheeses, East End Market is a feast for the senses.

For an immersive food experience, embark on an Orlando Food Tour. Follow knowledgeable guides through diverse neighborhoods as you savor mouthwatering dishes from local eateries. From hidden gems to culinary landmarks, this food tour will tantalize your taste buds and introduce you to the vibrant flavors of Orlando.


Orlando is a city of endless wonders and surprises beyond the enchanting realm of Disney. From immersing yourself in the rich history to embarking on thrilling adventures, indulging in the natural beauty to experiencing unique attractions, and exploring the culinary scene, Orlando offers an unforgettable journey beyond imagination.

So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and embark on an extraordinary adventure to Orlando, where magic lies beyond every corner. Leave no stone unturned as you uncover the hidden treasures of this remarkable city. Orlando awaits, ready to create memories that will last a lifetime!

Where to Stay in Orlando


Hate missing your flights? Stay close to the airport at the Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport Hotel. Enjoy the convenience of a full-service stay plus a prime location - perfect for those who love to hit snooze on their alarms!