Visiting Orlando Without Kids
You don’t need kids to have the vacation of a lifetime in Orlando. The fact is, we have much to offer adult visitors, including high-end shoppers, art aficionados, tennis and golf enthusiasts, adventurers, and sun-worshippers — not to mention those seeking upscale experiences. Best of all, travelers in your position have the means to experience it all.
Exclusive Experiences in Orlando
Orlando’s ability to make you feel like royalty begins at our theme parks. Walt Disney World® Resort, Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld® Orlando all offer private VIP tours with features such as exclusive ride access, behind-the-scenes experiences, insider information and amenities you can’t get anywhere else.
Learn More: Discount Orlando Theme Park Tickets
For an even more refined experience, charter the 52-foot Disney Grand 1 Yacht from Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, where you and up to 18 friends can watch Walt Disney World’s spectacular fireworks from a truly unique vantage point. Or, encounter majestic African wildlife on a private safari expedition via a Wild Africa Trek at Disney's Animal Kingdom® Theme Park.
At Discovery Cove®, swim with bottlenose dolphins, snorkel through coral reefs and lounge in your own private cabana.
Golfers will find Orlando to be an absolute paradise thanks to prestigious golf courses designed by pros, starting with Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge®, located just 10 minutes from Universal Orlando Resort. Other Palmer designs can be played at Holiday Inn Club Vacations® at Orange Lake Resort, Reunion Resort, Shingle Creek Golf Club and Walt Disney World® Golf.
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In addition to a Palmer course, Reunion Resort has courses dreamed up by Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus. Rees Jones’ work can be found at Falcon’s Fire Golf Club and Waldorf Astoria® Golf Club, and The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club® Orlando, Grande Lakes and Champions Gate Golf Club have courses by Greg Norman. For Tom Fazio designs, head to Lake Nona Golf & Country Club or Tranquilo Golf Club at Four Seasons Resort Orlando.
If tennis is your racket, prepare to be amazed by the United States Tennis Association (USTA) National Campus in Lake Nona, about 20 minutes from Orlando International Airport. At this sprawling, state-of-the-art facility, you can watch, learn and even play tennis on more than 100 courts with both red-clay and hard surfaces. In addition to the free-to-play Nemours Family Zone courts, which require registration, the venue also offers lessons and clinics for all skill levels.
Art-lovers will be impressed by the depth of Orlando’s high-end cultural offerings, starting with Broadway productions and other eclectic fare at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Orlando. Other performing arts venues in the area include Orlando Shakespeare Theater (aka Orlando Shakes), Orlando Repertory Theatre (aka Orlando Rep), The Winter Park Playhouse, Garden Theatre in Winter Garden, and Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center in Sanford, among others.
Learn More: Orlando Arts, Culture & History
Nearby in Loch Haven Park, the Orlando Museum of Art presents exhibitions of local, regional, national and even international significance, while The Mennello Museum of American Art focuses on the work of Earl Cunningham and other traditional and contemporary American artists.
More museums await in Winter Park, about 20 minutes from downtown Orlando. They include The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, featuring a massive collection by famed artisan Louis Comfort Tiffany, and the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens, showcasing work by its titular creator. And at Rollins College’s Cornell Fine Arts Museum, you can browse more than 5,500 works of art from the ancient through modern eras.
History buffs won’t want to miss the Orange County Regional History Center and Heritage Square Park. Located in downtown Orlando, it traces 12,000 years of Central Florida history.
Just 15 minutes of Winter Park, the Historic Eatonville District also has much for history and culture enthusiasts. The oldest African-American municipality in the United States, the township was the childhood home of noted author Zora Neale Hurston (Their Eyes Were Watching God). Today, Eatonville honors its most famous daughter with the Zora Neale Hurston National Museum, aka the Hurston, and the annual Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities, aka Zora! Festival, which takes place in late January and early February.
First-Class Orlando Shopping
Orlando’s elegant malls, factory outlets and fashionable boutiques make the destination a veritable wonderland for serious shoppers. What’s more, some of our best shopping can actually be found at our theme parks.
At Disney Springs®, for instance, more than 100 stores are available now and coming soon. They range from World of Disney — the largest Disney character shop on the planet — to top brands such as Coach, Free People and Lily Pulitzer. And at Universal CityWalk, you can buy rarified character collectibles at the Universal Studios Store, or shop can’t-miss retailers such as Fossil and The Island Clothing Co.
Close to Universal and SeaWorld, The Mall at Millenia focuses on high-end luxury. At more than 150 stores, you’ll find world-famous brands such as Apple, Bloomingdale’s, Cartier, Gucci, Jimmy Choo, Kate Spade New York, Prada, Saint Laurent, Tiffany & Co. and Tory Burch.
This stylish, sophisticated mall also offers complimentary valet parking and Wi-Fi. You’ll even find Visit Orlando at the concierge desk, as well as currency-exchange services.
About 25 minutes from Walt Disney World and Orlando International Airport, The Florida Mall® is the region’s largest shopping center with a whopping 1.8 million square feet of retail space. It features more than 250 retail, dining and entertainment choices, with anchor stores that include Macy’s and Dick’s Sporting Goods.
The Florida Mall has some juicy market exclusives too, including Carlo's Bakery and more. Naturally, you’ll also find a galaxy of best-of-brand retailers, such as A/X Armani Exchange, Apple, Coach, H&M, MAC Cosmetics, Michael Kors, Victoria’s Secret and ZARA.
If you’re seeking incredible value, turn to Orlando’s outlet malls. They include Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores, Orlando International Premium Outlets® and Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets®.
Learn more: Orlando Discount Shopping
The latter two outlets can be found in the International Drive area, which is also home to Pointe Orlando’s collection of bespoke retailers. Highlights here include Charming Charlie and Tommy Hilfiger.
Finally, don’t drop until you’ve shopped the elegant boutiques in and around downtown Orlando and Winter Park, about 20 minutes northeast of the city’s core. In addition to leisurely strolling down brick-paved and tree-lined streets, these areas offer national names, antique stores, vintage clothing shops, one-of-a-kind gifts and much more.
Learn more: Winter Park Shopping
Elegant Orlando Accommodations
With more than 450 hotels and resorts in Orlando, you’re going to find the perfect accommodations — especially if your tastes run toward exquisite luxury. Consider, for example, Central Florida’s only AAA Five Diamond-rated place of lodging: Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort, where an adults-only pool, a Tom Fazio-designed golf course and a soothing spa provide subtle sophistication.
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Also near Walt Disney World, the Waldorf Astoria Orlando® presents an artful blend of classic elegance, contemporary style and complete relaxation. It’s an oasis of luxury and impeccable service offering immediate access to Orlando’s theme parks and attractions.
Downtown Orlando and Winter Park, about 20 minutes north of the city’s core, also boast luxury accommodations. In the downtown area, the AAA Four Diamond-rated Grand Bohemian Hotel offers an exquisite mix of art, music and memorable hospitality. And at The Alfond Inn in Winter Park, The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art — on loan from Rollins College’s Cornell Fine Arts Museum — is displayed in public spaces throughout the premises.
Closer to Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld, The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes, is set on 500 lushly landscaped acres and bordered by the headwaters of the Florida Everglades. It features 56 club-level rooms, 60 executive suites, two presidential suites and one royal suite, along with a host of amenities.
Refined Orlando Dining
Orlando’s diverse dining scene has dishes to please every taste and price points to meet every budget. Whether you prefer fast-casual eateries, upscale restaurants or a middle ground between the two, your taste buds are in for a thrill.
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For instance, Disney Springs has been an epicenter of culinary delights since its debut. Dishes from around the globe, innovative fusions and world-renowned celebrity chefs are all represented. Add the dining, shopping and entertainment district’s immersive atmosphere, and it’s no wonder that so many visitors and locals reserve tables here.
Regarding celebrity chefs, Disney Springs is home to José Andrés’ JALEO, Art Smith’s Homecomin’ Florida Kitchen, Tony Mantuano’s Terralina Crafted Italian, Masaharu Morimoto’s Morimoto Asia, Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill, and Rick Bayless’ Frontera Cocina, as well as Guy Fieri-created menu items at Planet Hollywood Observatory. It also features Master Sommelier George Miliotes’ Wine Bar George.
Imaginative themed dining is the name of the game at Universal CityWalk, including choices like The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen, Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, Anojitos Authentic Mexican Food, The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar and more. Just be sure to save room for a sweet treat from Voodoo Doughnut!
If you’re staying in the International Drive area, you won’t have to travel far to find incredible restaurants. At Pointe Orlando alone, enjoy Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar, The Oceanaire Seafood Room, Taverna Opa, Lafayette’s and B.B. King’s Blues Club.
Featuring nightly live entertainment, the 55,000-square-foot Mango’s Tropical Café on International Drive is not to be missed. Other top dining choices in this area include Vincenzo Cucina Italiana, Hanamizuki Japanese Restaurant, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse and Joe’s Crab Shack.
Not far from International Drive on Sand Lake Road, Orlando’s Restaurant Row is a must-visit for serious foodies. It boasts Christini’s Ristorante Italiano, Eddie V’s Prime Seafood, The H Cuisine and Dragonfly — Robata Grill & Sushi, among others.
Orlando also has a lot of homegrown culinary legends, as does Winter Park. The latter is home to Brandon McGlamery’s Prato and Luma on Park, as well as James and Julie Petrakis’ The Ravenous Pig. All three are James Beard Award semifinalists.