10+ Outdoorsy Things to do in Orlando Besides Theme Parks

things to do in orlando besides theme parks

Don’t miss these outdoorsy things to do in Orlando besides theme parks

Orlando, Florida, is a popular destination in the world. Most times, people visit Orlando because of its famous theme parks. In fact, when most people think about Orlando, Florida, they only imagine the giant theme parks, the world-famous Walt Disney World, and maybe the insane roller coasters in the city.

While all these are great attractions that are exciting in Orlando, they barely tell the story of the beauty of this city. Orlando and the surrounding areas offer so much more to its visitors than the theme parks.

There is nothing bad about visiting theme parks—theme parks are great. But then, the thrill and excitement you get from them tend to reduce with time. After all the adrenaline and walking, many people desire things to do to wind down, relax, and enjoy authentic experiences that are affordable and nearby.

Thankfully, Orlando and its surrounding areas has more to offer other than just theme parks. Orlando has many outdoor activities that will keep you excited and wanting more. Whoever you are, there is something to thrill you.

Whether you love culture, maybe you are a nature addict or a foodie, or you prefer life on the beach, there are activities to keep you occupied for weeks. But first, you have to do away with that theme park impression you have about Orlando. When you look beyond Orlando’s theme parks for a moment, you will see the city has more to offer.

List of Things to do in Orlando Besides Theme Parks

It’s amazing how many things to do in Orlando other than theme parks. If you have something for history and culture, there are museums, old buildings, and art galleries to see. But for sightseers, tree huggers, fun lovers, and even thrill seekers, Orlando has many different options to get outdoors, and connect with authentic Mother Nature.

If you are in for some extraordinary adventure, the following is a curated list of the top things to do in Orlando besides theme parks! These have been selected from literally hundreds of experiences, and narrowed down to the top 10! Enjoy!

1. ATV Riding Rentals

For those seeking fun and adventurous things to do in Orlando other than theme parks, ATV rentals is a great option. With a 2,600 acre State Park, we provide everything you need from the equipment, trails, safety gear and more. Prepare for ATV rentals Orlando by revving the engines, and checking out some really fun trails.

You and your friends may simply explore the region’s spectacular beauty on the back of an ATV rental near me by renting or reserving a guide for your excursion at Croom ATV Park not far from Orlando. And if you are in for some more action, you can challenge your friends to a race.

ATV Riding is a thrilling thing to do in Orlando besides theme parks

atv rentals things to do in orlando besides theme parks

The city of Orlando has some of the best ATV Rentals in Florida that will take you deep into to explore the hidden off-road beauty of Central Florida.

Most of these tours start from Kissimmee or Clermont (south or west of Orlando, respectively). These guided expeditions offer an exciting way to get off the rugged track and catch some land-based wildlife. Thanks to the friendly and knowledgeable tour guides, you can also learn about the unique Florida ecosystem during the tours. The tour guides should also show you some safety tips to help you stay safe on your ATV.

Please make sure you wear the correct safety gear while using ATV for your safety.

2. Dirt bike Training

Dirt biking is one of the most challenging sports to master. When cycling, the heart rate is close to 100 percent of what doctors consider normal. Nonetheless, many people do not take motocross training seriously.

Amateur motocross riders are among the least physically prepared. This is uncomfortable for the rider and extremely harmful to their future as dirt bike enthusiasts if there is an accident.

That is why, if you are an enthusiast, you need to engage in dirt bike training once in a while. The training will help you enjoy the sport as a pro or novice in a safe and fun environment while you also learn new tricks and techniques.   

Dirtbike training is a great thing to do in Orlando besides theme parks

dirtbike training instead of theme parks

If you are in for some action and learning, get a strong bike and a guide on your side, and start exploring the offroad adventures of Orlando.

All motorcyclists can join in the training since it is safer. Orlando provides a range of customized routes that might fit your experience level. Scenic landscapes with inviting challenges await all ability levels, from elite riders to those just getting started on a bike.

3. Swim with Manatee Tours

Suppose you are looking for manatees, head on to Manatee season Crystal River, located about an hour and 30 minutes from West of Orlando. The city sits along what locals call Central Florida’s Natural Coast. The town is famous because of its amazing sea life, and it’s also home to one of the world’s most significant populations of manatees in the world.

Manatees are friendly, docile, and big marine mammals with flat tails and egg-shaped heads. Manatees are frequently called sea cows because of their giant stature, sluggish, lolling behavior, and predisposition to be devoured by other creatures. Interestingly, they are more related to elephants than cows.

Swim with Manatee Tours is a perfect thing to do in Orlando besides theme parks

These beautiful creatures are frequently seen swimming near the surface or resting on the shore. So, it is a favorite place for kayakers, canoeists, and (of course) swimmers; snorkeling is also an option for getting up close and personal with these fantastic creatures by swimming with the manatees.

Some people wonder, “When is the best time to visit?” Always is the answer! Because the river flows from a limestone aquifer, the water temperature remains constant at 72 degrees all year (hence why the manatees love the area so much). And if you’re concerned, don’t worry, manatees are not dangerous.

However, always remember that swimming with manatees is subject to regulations. Remember, manatees are wild creatures, so try not to feed them. Also, some boats are not allowed around manatees as they can hurt and kill the animals. But then, if you join a Crystal River manatee Swim trip on a boat with a reputable firm, they will explain everything to you.

4. Fishing Boat Rentals

Fishing is another fantastic thing on our list of what to do in Orlando besides theme parks. Many people are unaware that Orlando fishing trips can be just as thrilling as the theme parks in the city.

Even amid those beautiful theme parks, you will find the best fishing spots to catch good fish. For instance, the renowned Kennedy Space Center, located on Orlando’s East Coast, is also known as the Redfish Capital of the World! However, most people only know about the Kennedy space center and do not know about the fishing. But you can enjoy both.

Celebrate a Catch when you rent a fishing boat in Orlando

fishing with kids in central florida

There are 60,000 acres of fishing in Orlando’s metropolitan area. There are also several sight fishing sites and wetlands within a reasonable driving distance, implying virtually limitless fishing opportunities.

It is one of the few all-year-round redfish fishing regions and offers the opportunity to catch various other fish all year. There are several competitions and events that allow athletes to hone their talents and meet like-minded individuals.

There are many bait shops and stores for visitors and local guides and anglers who will tell you all about their favorite sites, fish species, meals, and legendary catches. Also, have you heard of jet ski fishing, yea its a real thing! You should also keep in mind that visiting those locations may necessitate the purchase of fishing licenses.

5. Jet Ski Rentals

Jet skiing is one of the great ways to enjoy while outdoors in Orlando. If you are looking for fun things to do in Orlando, not theme parks, this should suffice as a surefire alternative to get your adrenaline levels running.   

There are hundreds of lakes and streams to explore, including Disney’s Lake Buena Vista and the dazzling Lake Fairview, and several family-owned companies renting out jet skis near me by the hour or day.

Rent jet skis for thrilling and exciting things to do in Orlando besides theme parks

photograph of people having fun on a jetski

Even if you’ve never done this before, there are numerous excellent jet ski rental locations in Orlando where you may rent them for a few hours. These jet ski adventures are all based on the lovely lakes of Orlando. There are over 100 of them in and around the city, so there is no shortage of sites to visit on a jet ski journey.

Keep an eye on the weather before you start, as things may quickly become choppy if Mother Nature has a bad day. Also, in Florida there is jet ski age limits in order to book a jet ski for rent. Generally people above 15 can drive a Jet Ski, but any one born after January 1st 1988 will need a temporary boaters safety course.

Remember to wear safety gear like your life jacket while on your Jet Ski for your safety which are all provided for you within the rental price.

6. Kayak Rentals

Kayak rentals are an exciting way to be on river or seawaters, breathing in some cool fresh air and doing some exercise. You get to immerse yourself and enjoy the beauty of the surroundings from a swan’s-eye view. Kayaking is also perfect for those looking for things to do in Orlando with kids.

If you are a beginner wanting to hire a kayak for the first time, kayaking might seem difficult. The activity requires movements, balance, and strokes between the boat and paddle. Kayaking is a physically demanding exercise, but with some skill, physical strength, and agility, it is an exhilarating water sport that you can master with some practice if you are eager to learn the principles of kayaking.

Kayaking is a peaceful thing to do in Orlando besides theme parks

Tandem kayak rental

If you are up for some peaceful action outdoors, you can join this to your list of things to do in Orlando besides theme parks. You can head on over to multiple different locations to do some kayaking.

As an example, Rock Springs has become a kayaker’s heaven, especially with its clear waters that allow you to see through to the river bed. Furthermore, the abundance of friendly fish and comfortable shade beneath the canopy of trees makes it an ideal paradise.

This natural marvel, located about 40 minutes north of Orlando in Kelly Park, also boasts one of the greatest campgrounds in Central Florida. Plus, its quiet waters make it the ideal spot to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. It’s also excellent for newbies since the waters do not have heavy tides.

7. Kayak Guided Tours

Instead of doing Kayaking on your own, you can do it with a guide and get the maximum benefits. Guided kayak tours take the pressure off trying to navigate on your own, making it a more relaxing date for you and whoever comes with you.

It also allows you to explore and learn about the environment and native species present in the area. This might be the ideal option for people who are new to Kayaking or those who are generally new to Orlando.

guided kayak things to do besides theme parks

You will have all the fun you need, learn a few things, and avoid issues that may come with getting lost or finding your way.

So, if your aim is to have fun and get the best value for your money, consider this as an option on what to do in Orlando besides theme parks.

8. Paddleboard Rentals

It’s no surprise that stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) is a popular way to enjoy the waterways of Central Florida. Paddleboarding Orlando is a thrilling water activity that can add excitement to your trip to Orlando asides that, it’s one of those things to do in Orlando other than theme parks.

Imagine yourself soaking up the rays on your surfboard, paddling in the cold turquoise ocean, and creating lifetime memories with the people you care about. If that’s a dream you want to make a reality, finding paddleboard rentals near me might be your thing.

Paddle boarding is an exploratory thing to do in Orlando besides theme parks

Guided Paddle Board Tour and Lunch

Leave civilization behind and embark on a one-of-a-kind paddleboard excursion to explore Orlando’s stunning hidden jewels.

You will find several locations inside and near Orlando that offer guided tours and rentals in Rock Springs Run, Winter Park, and Wekiva River.

Beginners can partake in various tours on the Winter Park Chain of Lakes or join an eco-tour that includes taking a dip in the spring-fed water or enjoying a hike along the Wekiva River. You can also learn and teach your kids.

9. Pontoon Boat Rentals

When the sun shines, there are few more enjoyable fun things to do in Orlando besides theme parks that beat the feeling of getting out on the lake on a pontoon boat rental.

Pontoons have that distinct buoyancy due to their huge, flat decks that are set on at least two tubes, or “pontoons.” Because of their ability to carry weight and travel freely, the possibilities for what you can accomplish with a pontoon are almost limitless.

Some pontoons are designed for fishing, while others are designed for pleasure, and some even have fully furnished bars. With modern design developments, some pontoon boats now have up to 900 horsepower, allowing you even to race other boats.

Pontoon boat renting is a easy thing to do in Orlando besides theme parks

pontoon boat renting with friends in orlando

Whether you’re an experienced fisherman eager to hit the lake for some leisurely fishing or a large family looking to enjoy the sun, Pontoon boats can do well as fishing vessels. They’re also great for having a beautiful picnic on the boat or holding a little party with friends because many come with tables.

Pontoons are ideal for taking out the family since they have enough room and are intended for comfort. They are particularly ideal for families with little children since they include a rear deck where the children may swim securely while an adult waits in the back.

Mount Dora boat rentals are also great for checking out the infamous Mt. Dora canal, and other things to do in Mount Dora area. Tavares boat rental is a great way to get into the Harris Chain of Lakes where this is five huge lakes all linked together with mansions, restaurants, beaches, bars, playgrounds and so much more to see around the coastline. There’s no better way for experienced water-skiers and novice wakeboarders alike to take their water sports talents to the next level than with a pontoon boat rental. After a little sport and entertainment, you may lie back and relax on the pontoon boat or celebrate those beautiful holidays with friends and family.

You may even watch fireworks with your friends and family from any of the lakes in Orlando. These beautiful boats can go almost everywhere that requires leisure, from sandbars to lakes and even out to sea.

10. Slingshot Rentals

Slingshots are hard to define. They look like cars, but they have three wheels that are not so obvious from the front. These beasts look like the bat man’s car, and they give you a sort of blend of driving cars and riding motorcycles.

The manufacturers and most states consider the Slingshot to be a motorbike. That means, to ride it, you must wear a helmet, although the driving experience is 90% vehicle (or 95 percent adult-sized go-kart).

It’s technically a “reverse trike,” “tadpole,” or “spyder,” with two front wheels and a single rear driving wheel, similar to a CanAm Spyder – but you sit far lower. It’s almost like you’re in an ancient Fiat X1/9, Porsche 914, or VW Karman Ghia convertible.

The Slingshot is unlike anything else on the road in terms of appearance, sound, and performance. Each one is one-of-a-kind, which is why the manufacturers call it the ultimate vehicle for self-expression.

If this sounds interesting to you, leave four wheels at home and get behind the wheel. It’s time to leave your imprint on the wild roads of Orlando.

You can come with your partner or a daring friend like you. Toy two will sit in front and watch every twist and curve from the driver’s and passengers’ seats. The Slingshot is designed to convert the open road into your biggest experience yet, with a low center of gravity, open cockpit, and one rear wheel propelling you forward.

Summing up the best Things to Do in Orlando besides Theme Parks

So, what are you waiting for? There is something for everyone in Orlando besides the huge expense and rigor of visiting theme parks. Getting outdoors is a fantastic way to connect with nature, and the true authentic beauty of historic Florida.

This top 10 list of things to do in Orlando besides theme parks has been hand selected to provide a variety of different activities ranging in price, and experience. Most people seeking these experiences are those that are visiting the area for a theme park or tourist attraction, and have a few extra days to fill. They start typing in things to do in Orlando besides theme parks, and typically find a long list of restaurants, or other irrelevant things. This list is intended to service those searchers with the best activities that don’t require ownership of the equipment to rent, or experience. All of our experiences are easy to learn, quick to rent, and fun to enjoy.

boating with kids in Orlando

So jump in, and stack the memories to curate the best trip ever!

Things to do in Orlando Besides Theme Parks

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