11 Fun Things to Do in Orlando When You Want a Break From Disney

When most people think of Orlando, FL, they think of Walt Disney World or Universal Orlando Resort, but there's so much more to the city than Mickey Mouse and Harry Potter. In fact, there's a whole different side to Orlando that many visitors never see! Orlando has a thriving food scene, creative and fun ways to get outside and into nature, and amazing museums. So whether you are going to Orlando for the theme parks and anticipate just wanting a little break or have a wide-open itinerary for your entire trip, here's everything the beautiful Floridian city has to offer (sans magical castles).


Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour

Winter Park is a historic town right in the heart of Orlando. If you're looking for something to do that's equal parts relaxing and educational, the Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour is for you. On the tour, you'll be taken through a series of lakes and pass by multimillion-dollar mansions that have been owned by the likes of Mr. Rogers and NBA stars.


Orlando Starflyer

For all of the adrenaline junkies out there, the Orlando Starflyer is the world's tallest swing ride. You can see for miles at the top as you spin around Orlando at 45 miles per hour.


Morse Museum

The Morse Museum is for those of us who want to keep our feet planted firmly on the ground and have a more tranquil trip. The museum houses the largest collection of Tiffany glass in the world, along with a beautiful mosaic chapel. This is a great spot to head to if it looks like rain might be part of your day, which is likely in Orlando.


Plant Street Market

Orlando's food scene is great, especially at Plant Street Market. The food hall houses multiple vendors and an on-site brewery, so grab a beer from Crooked Can and explore a little. Oh, and don't leave without grabbing dessert from Sir Benji's Donuts.


Sticky Rice Lao Street Food

Orlando has one of the largest Vietnamese communities in Florida, and right on the outskirts of little Vietnam is a placed called Sticky Rice. This restaurant is bringing authentic Lao street food to America. You need to be a little adventurous to eat here, but it's so worth it!


Gideon's Bakehouse

Gideon's Bakehouse is a local Orlando icon. The small bakery in the East End Market serves some of the best cookies you'll ever taste. They're half-pound monsters filled with sweet chocolate chips and topped with course sea salt.


Reyes Mezcaleria

For an authentic Mexican meal in Orlando, you're going to want to head to Reyes Mezcaleria. The eatery serves a seasonal menu and handcrafted cocktails, and we highly suggest getting its guacamole and queso fundido to start.


West Orange Bike Trail

For those looking for a little time outdoors, we love the West Orange Bike Trail. You can either bring your own bike or rent one from the West Orange Trail Bikes and Blades shop. For a full afternoon, take the trail to Plant Street Market and grab a bite to eat before heading back.


Highball & Harvest

The Ritz-Carlton's Highball & Harvest restaurant is doing everything right. It has a great cocktail program where the bartenders will create a drink just for you. And the food is all locally sourced, sometimes even from the hotel's own garden and bee farm! We love its mini doughnuts with coffee gelato for dessert, which come with a tube of Nutella.


The Ravenous Pig

The Ravenous Pig is a sister restaurant to Disney Springs' Polite Pig. The American gastropub makes its own charcuterie for a truly unique experience. In fact, it makes almost everything on the menu in-house, which makes this place a must visit when you're in Orlando.


Rock Springs at Kelly Park

If you're willing to travel about 40 minutes outside of the theme parks, you'll find one of nature's theme parks. Rock Springs at Kelly Park is a free-flowing natural spring that invites people of all ages to enjoy nature while floating down the springs and enjoying the day.