A Grown-Up’s Guide to Fun in Orlando
Theme parks and attractions aren't the only ways for adults to have the vacation of a lifetime in Orlando.
Sure, Orlando is a must-visit destination for families — but we also have unforgettable experiences for adults traveling without children, both at our theme parks and attractions and all over town! Just bring your sense of wonder and thirst for adventure, and prepare to delight in our diversity with these seven terrific things to do in Orlando for adults.
1. Be a Big Kid at Theme Parks and Attractions
Anyone who's experienced Orlando's theme parks knows they're not just for kids. In fact, many of their offerings are geared specifically toward adults, such as the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival and similar events at Walt Disney World® Resort, Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando® Resort, and Seven Seas Food Festival at SeaWorld® Orlando, to name a few.
What's more, our parks' VIP tours are a great way to feel like a kid again while enjoying rare experiences and learning fun factoids at your own pace. These tours can include exclusive backstage access, instant entry to popular rides, VIP viewing areas for nighttime spectaculars, door-to-door transportation from onsite resorts, customizable itineraries and more.
Learn more: VIP Experiences at Orlando Theme Parks
Don't forget our attractions, either. Some of the best for adults include Andretti Indoor Karting & Games, Gatorland, ICON Orlando, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Kings Dining & Entertainment, Machine Gun America, Main Event Orlando, Topgolf Orlando and Zombie Outbreak, plus escape rooms, outdoor attractions and more.
2. Dine Like a Local
DoveCote Brasserie in Orlando (Photo: Josh Hiller)
In 2018, Orlando was again named a top foodie city in the U.S. by WalletHub.com, focusing attention on our local eateries, food tours, eclectic neighborhood markets, talented chefs and celebrity-helmed restaurants. The area's largest collection of the latter can be found at Disney SpringsTM, including Masaharu Morimoto's Morimoto Asia, Art Smith's Homecomin' Florida Kitchen, and Tony Mantuano's Terralina Crafted Italian, with more coming in 2019.
They join our homegrown culinary heroes, such as James Beard winner Norman Van Aken at Norman's inside The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes, and James Beard nominees Kathleen Blake of downtown's The Rusty Spoon, James and Julie Petrakis of Winter Park's The Ravenous Pig and Disney Springs' Polite Pig, and Brandon McGlamery of Prato, Luma on Park and Luke's Kitchen and Bar. Other upscale dining options include downtown Orlando's DoveCote Brasserie, an inviting, French-style eatery, and Soco, which serves contemporary Southern cuisine and top-notch brunch in downtown's picturesque Thornton Park neighborhood.
For even more progressive dining experiences, join the weekly food tours in Winter Park and Celebration (close to Disney), or peruse the goods at East End Market and other neighborhood markets.
Learn more: Orlando's Celebrity Chefs
3. Relax at a Resort Pool
Lazy River at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort
From lazy rivers and secluded grottos to private cabanas and underwater sound systems, an afternoon at one of Orlando's resort pools is a great way for adults to take in our year-round warmth. Many resorts — including Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal OrlandoTM and Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate — even feature adult-only pools for extra tranquility.
Other notable adults-only pools include Hilton Orlando's "Quiet Resort Pool," complete with private whirlpool and cabanas, and "The Oasis" at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort, which has underwater audio and a Jacuzzi for ultimate relaxation.
Learn more: Orlando's Coolest Pools
4. Enjoy a Night on the Town
Mango's Tropical Café in Orlando
You don't need to leave the theme parks and tourism hotspots to discover sizzling nightlife in Orlando: Disney Springs, Universal CityWalkTM , Pointe Orlando and ICON Orlando 360 are all walkable hubs for after-sunset fun. The latter two are located on International Drive, which is also home to Mango's Tropical Café, Howl at the Moon (a dueling piano bar) and other electrifying options.
Lively nightlife also awaits you in downtown Orlando. From the swanky Bösendorfer Lounge at Grand Bohemian Hotel Orlando, to the epicenter of nightclubs and bars at Wall St. Plaza and adjacent Orange Avenue, to LGBTQ merrymaking at Savoy Orlando, nights are never dull when you're downtown.
If you prefer a side of furtiveness with your nightlife, head to one of Orlando's speakeasies. They include Enzo's Hideaway Tunnel Bar & Restaurant at Disney Springs, Pharmacy Orlando in our Restaurant Row district, and others.
Learn more: Orlando Speakeasies
5. Attend a Sporting Event
Orlando City Soccer Club
Orlando is a sports paradise where you can cheer on your favorite teams at state-of-the-art venues. One of the newest is the United States Tennis Association (USTA) National Campus in Lake Nona, about 15 minutes from Orlando International Airport (MCO), where you can attend matches and even play for free at the world's largest tennis facility.
In downtown Orlando, the Amway Center serves as home base for the NBA's Orlando Magic and ECHL's Orlando Solar Bears. Minutes away, Orlando City Stadium hosts Orlando City Soccer Club and Orlando Pride games. And in addition to the NFL Pro Bowl, downtown's Camping World Stadium is the place to catch high-profile NCAA games like January's Citrus Bowl, December's Camping World Bowl and others.
6. Take a Brewery or Winery Tour
Crooked Can Brewery in Winter Garden
Dozens of micro and craft breweries in Orlando are ready to quench your thirst — and give you an inside look at their operations. One of the longest-running, downtown's Orlando Brewing, offers free tours Monday through Saturday, barring special occasions. Closer to Disney, Crooked Can Brewing Company holds Sunday tours at its Plant Street Market location in Winter Garden. Or, take a guided tour of several breweries at once from the comfort of an air-conditioned bus with Hop On! Central Florida Brew Tours.
Learn more: Orlando Breweries
Wine-lovers will find their happy place about 30 minutes west of downtown Orlando at Lakeridge Winery and Vineyards, which offers complimentary daily tours and tastings. In the downtown area, Florida's only sustainable winery, Quantum Leap, has a tasting room and provides free tours on request.
Learn more: Orlando Wineries & Wine Bars
7. Catch a Live Performance
Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando
Fans of live theater will want to book a date at downtown Orlando's Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, which hosts Broadway shows, ballet productions, musicians, comedians and more. Nearby, the Amway Center has a robust concert schedule, and improv comedy takes center stage at SAK Comedy Lab. You can also enjoy live performances at numerous venues in Orlando's Loch Haven Park and nearby Winter Park.
We have film buffs covered, too, thanks to the Enzian Theater in Maitland, just north of Winter Park. In addition to a constant lineup of indie films and cult classics, it presents the annual Florida Film Festival every spring.
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