Of course, theme parks like Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort are some of the biggest reasons why families love to vacation in Orlando. But theme parks can get pricey, and there’s so much more to see and do in Orlando.

We love these fun Central Florida attractions that provide lots of excitement without too much investment:

orlandovacation_orlando-farmers-marketOrlando Farmers Market

Freshen up your Sunday with a trip to the Orlando Farmers Market at the beautiful Lake Eola Park downtown. This is a favorite activity for area locals and it’s no wonder – between the fresh produce, arts and crafts, friendly faces and lakeside walking paths, this is a great outing for families, couples and friends alike.

Park Avenue in Winter Park

The Winter Park area of Central Florida was so named because snowbirds from the northern states called it home during the winter. Visit Park Ave., an upscale shopping and dining area with sweet boutiques and great restaurants. Bring the kids along for a daytime excursion or enjoy a date night for two.

Orlando Science Center

orlandovacation_orlando-science-centerThe Orlando Science Center is an incredibly cool place to visit for kids of all ages. Explore hands-on science exhibits, see dinosaur skeletons, experience a Florida ecosystem, watch a larger-than-life IMAX movie and more. With tickets ranging from $12 – $19 per person, this is a much more affordable option than an additional day at the theme parks.

Harry P. Leu Gardens

If you love botanical gardens, Leu Gardens is an ideal place to explore on your next Orlando vacation.  From touring the lakefront house to walking through the rose garden, butterfly garden, citrus grove and more, you’ll love strolling through this natural attraction.

Wekiva Springs State Park

One of our top picks for a day out in Orlando is a trip to Wekiva Springs State Park, about 45 minutes north of the theme park area. You’ll love to swim or snorkel in the crystal-clear waters of the natural spring – which remains 72 degrees year-round! You’ll also find exhibits, walking trails and popular canoe rentals (where you might just see Florida alligators). At just $6 per vehicle, this is perfect for an affordable day in the sun.


Nearby Beaches

You might be surprised at just how easy it is to get to the beach from your favorite attractions in Orlando. You could enjoy a day at the Gulf Coast, passing LEGOLAND® on your way to Tampa. An even closer beach to visit is Cocoa Beach near Titusville, near the Kennedy Space Center.

Whether you’re staying in Orlando for a weekend or a week, exploring one of these hidden gems could be just what you need to make your Orlando vacation the best yet.

No matter what you have planned for your next Orlando vacation, we know you’ll have the trip of a lifetime.