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What to do in OrlandoLake Eola is home to a weekly farmer’s market and hosts seasonal events throughout the year in the heart of downtown Orlando.
While millions are drawn to Orlando for its vast theme-park offerings, there are plenty of can’t-miss activities that are less frequented in the city. From paying your respects at the Pulse memorial to spending your Sunday morning at the Lake Eola farmers market, here are some of the top activities to check out in The City Beautiful:
Pay your respects at the Pulse memorial to the 49 people who lost their lives during the Pulse nightclub shooting in 2016.
Lake Eola farmers market
Lake Eola is the heartbeat of downtown Orlando, and there’s no better way to check out all the area has to offer than by visiting the Lake Eola farmers market on Sundays. Shop produce, handcrafted goods, foods, local eats, and more. When you’re done, hop over to The Stubborn Mule for brunch and mimosas on the patio.
New Smyrna Beach
About an hour drive from downtown Orlando is New Smyrna Beach, situated on Florida’s idyllic east coast. You can drive on the beach ($20 fee), park in a nearby lot and walk, or pay for a pass to the Canaveral National Seashore. Hungry? Check out The Garlic for an Italian feast, JB’s Fish Camp for a spread of fresh seafood, and Third Wave Cafe & Wine Bar for the best organic lunch you’ll find beachside.
Winter Garden Farmers Market
Fifteen miles from Orlando is the quaint town of Winter Garden, where you can enjoy delicious food, locally handmade goods, and groovy live music offered on Saturday mornings year-round. This sprawling farmer’s market is also steps from the charming downtown area of Winter Garden and Plant Street Market, home to Crooked Can Brewing.
Screamin’ Gator Zip Line
Head to Gatorland for a true Florida experience: zip-lining over swampy marshes full of crocodiles and alligators. Reservations are required.
Light up your night at Bioluminescence Kayaking, roughly 50 minutes from Orlando, where you can take a bright two-hour bioluminescence kayak trip in the Atlantic Ocean. Be sure to pack your waterproof camera to capture the magic. Advanced reservations are recommended.
Enzian Theater is a single-screen movie theater that plays a rotating list of independent movies and local screenings. It features cozy seating and an enticing selection of food to munch on while you watch a film. You can also hang out at Eden Bar, the venue’s outdoor bar, before or after your flick. If you visit in April, you’ll be able to celebrate the annual Florida Film Festival.
Boxi Park Lake Nona
Boxi Park Lake Nona is a 30,000-square-foot dog- and family-friendly outdoor space with food trucks, live music, a playground, and a beach-volleyball court.
Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures
Nothing says Florida like an airboat ride through the swamp. Reservations at Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures are recommended but not required.
The Plaza Live
Catch an entertaining show at The Plaza Live — one of Orlando’s oldest venues.