Orlando is central Florida’s premier vacation destination, attracting millions of visitors each year from all over the world. This otherwise unremarkable town has built a reputation for amazing entertainment over the last 50 years or so, mainly due to the number of theme parks that call Orlando home. Although mostly known for its family-friendly entertainment, Orlando is a great vacation destination for everyone and boasts attractions that are sure to delight all of its visitors. When you visit Orlando, whether it’s for the first time or you’re an Orlando expert, these top Orlando tourist attractions are ones you truly can’t miss! Keep reading to learn more about our picks for top 5 tourist hot spots in Orlando!
Orlando may be most known for its over the top theme parks that are filled with thrilling rides and crowds of people. However, those seeking a more serene type of entertainment won’t be disappointed with a visit to the beautiful Leu Gardens. Located just minutes away from downtown Orlando, this 50-acre garden is a delightful oasis. The garden and the historical home that resides on the property were donated to the city of Orlando by Harry P. Leu and his wife Mary Jane after they spent their lives traveling the world and collecting exotic plants. The mission of the Leu Gardens is to bring the Leu’s passion for plants to the people and visitors to Orlando. Open 7 days a week from 9am to 5pm, the Leu Gardens is the perfect choice to enjoy the quieter side of Orlando.
Kennedy Space Center
The city of Orlando hosts tons of fun to explore, but one of the most popular destinations in the area actually lies outside of the city. Located about an hour’s drive west of Orlando, the Kennedy Space Center is the perfect day trip for anyone visiting the area. The Visitor Complex is divided into Mission Zones which are designed to take you through the history of space exploration, including current and ongoing missions! Although this is a great attraction for families, with some attractions geared toward kids, adults won’t feel out of place here! In addition to the standard exhibits, guests can also add on experiences such as a guided tour, VIP launch, and an astronaut training experience. Anyone interested in our journey into space should consider a day trip to the Kennedy Space Center.
Part zoo, part aquarium, and part theme park, SeaWorld is one of the most popular destinations in the Orlando area! There are a wide variety of activities from animal encounters to full on thrill rides. View penguins, manatees, manta rays, orcas, sea turtles, and more throughout the many aquariums and animal exhibits located throughout the park. If you want to get a more hands-on experience with the animals, consider booking a behind the scenes tour or consider their Dine with Orcas experience. There are also several animal shows offered at SeaWorld featuring sea lions & otters, dolphins, and of course, orcas. However, SeaWorld isn’t just for animal lovers. Those seeking a great theme park experience will love their rides and attractions. SeaWorld has thrilling roller coasters, such as Mako and the Kraken, and kid-friendly attractions in their Sesame Street Land. SeaWorld is a great choice for a family friendly vacation destination in Orlando!
Universal Studios Florida
Universal Studios Florida has created the perfect theme park for the movie lover and is easily one of the top destinations in Orlando! Consisting of two parks, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, here you’ll find tons of attractions, rides, character interactions, and more inspired by your favorite film franchises such as The Fast & The Furious, Dr. Seuss, Jurassic Park, Harry Potter, and more! There are a number of must-see attractions here, including the newly opened Velocicoaster and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which connects both parks through the Hogwarts Express train ride. In addition to traditional rides, Universal Studios Florida features tons of the live shows and 3-D theater experiences. Bring the movies to life with a visit to Universal Studios!
Walt Disney World
There truly was no other option for number one on our list of tourist hot spots in Orlando than Walt Disney World. In many ways, Disney is responsible for the tourism powerhouse that Orlando is known as today by opening the gates of Walt Disney World here 50 years ago. Consisting of four distinct theme parks, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Epcot, Walt Disney World has set and consistently raised the bar on what a theme park can and should be. From live shows, character interactions, immersive attractions, and incredible rides, it’s easy to see why Walt Disney World has dominated the theme park industry for so long. The magic of Disney truly comes to life in the parks at Walt Disney World!