30 Unique Things to do in Central Florida

Estimated read time 18 min read

Searching for the top ‘things to do in Central Florida’ this summer? Don’t let the season pass you by without diving into the abundance of activities Central Florida offers. While most are familiar with its globally-renowned amusement parks, there’s a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be discovered. Dive into this definitive summer bucket list for all the unique things to do in Central Florida beyond the usual attractions.

Sure, we all know Florida is a playground of amusement wonders with Disney’s four magical realms – Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Epcot. Not to mention Universal Studios with its thrilling Universal Island of Adventure, SeaWorld, Discovery Cove, Legoland, and Busch Gardens. And let’s not even get started on the water parks and smaller entertainment hubs. A different park for every single day of the week? Absolutely possible.

But let’s take a step beyond the roller coasters and fairy tale castles. Central Florida is brimming with hidden gems and adventures that await both families and those seeking some adult time. From cost-friendly outings to the indulgence of pure luxury, there’s an abundance of fun beyond the theme parks.

So grab your sunscreen and put on your adventure hat. Whether you’re a local who’s been exploring Florida for years or a visitor eager to dive into something new, this list is your ticket to an unforgettable summer.

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Unique Things To Do in Central Florida: Adrenaline-Pumping Adventures

hills river

Explore the bay at sunset with eBoats Tampa

  • Enjoy the breathtaking view of Tampa Bay as the sun sets, creating a magical canvas of colors across the sky.
  • With eBoats Tampa, you can choose from a variety of electric boat rentals that are both environmentally friendly and quiet.
  • Perfect for a romantic evening or a fun gathering with family and friends, this experience allows you to explore the bay at your own pace.
  • Amenities include the option to play your own music, comfortable seating, and the opportunity to operate the boat yourself or hire a captain.

Cruise on a floating tiki bar with Cruisin Tiki

  • Embark on a unique and tropical adventure by cruising on a floating tiki bar with Cruisin Tiki.
  • Bring your own beverages and snacks, and enjoy the music as you navigate the water with a certified captain at the helm.
  • Ideal for parties, special occasions, or just a leisurely day on the water, this experience is sure to make lasting memories.
  • Different tour options and customized experiences are available to suit your preferences.

Indoor skydiving at iFly Tampa

  • Experience the thrill of skydiving without having to jump out of a plane at iFly Tampa.
  • With the help of professional instructors, you can float on a cushion of air in a controlled indoor environment.
  • Suitable for all ages and skill levels, this is an exciting opportunity to experience the sensation of free-falling.
  • Various packages are available, including group experiences, virtual reality options, and personalized coaching.

Ride in an airboat and swim with manatees

  • Start your day with an exhilarating airboat ride, gliding over Florida’s unique wetland landscapes.
  • Then, take the plunge to snorkel with the gentle giants of the ocean, the West Indian manatees.
  • This adventure often includes an educational overview of the manatees and guidance from an experienced captain.
  • Don’t forget your underwater camera to capture this once-in-a-lifetime interaction with these majestic creatures.

Conquer the obstacle course at Lake Nona’s Aqua Park

  • Test your agility and have a splash at Lake Nona’s Aqua Park, which features a challenging water-based obstacle course.
  • Climb, jump, and slide through various inflatable obstacles, making it a perfect outing for families, friends, or team-building activities.
  • The park may also offer other water sports, paddleboarding, and more, allowing for a full day of water fun.
  • Safety equipment and lifeguards ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for participants of all ages.
lake nona

Take a sunrise hot air balloon ride with Air Hound Adventures

  • Rise with the sun and drift gracefully over Central Florida’s picturesque landscape with Air Hound Adventures.
  • Witness the world awakening from a bird’s-eye view as you enjoy the serenity of a hot air balloon ride.
  • Perfect for special occasions or as a unique way to start your day, this adventure provides breathtaking views and photo opportunities.
  • Professional pilots and crew ensure a safe and comfortable journey, and various packages may include post-flight champagne toasts or breakfast options.

Find the suspension bridge in Hillsborough River State Park

  • Explore the beauty of Hillsborough River State Park, known for its lush landscapes, hiking trails, and the hidden gem of a suspension bridge.
  • Hike through the wooded trails and keep an eye out for the park’s diverse wildlife, from birds to alligators.
  • The suspension bridge offers a scenic crossing over the river, providing a great photo opportunity and a unique feature to the park.
  • Other amenities may include picnic areas, camping facilities, and kayak rentals, making it an ideal destination for a full day of outdoor activities.

Unique Things To Do: Family Fun and Exploration

Pick Blueberries at Southern Hill Farms

  • Spend a day under the sun at Southern Hill Farms, where you can pick fresh blueberries right off the bush.
  • Ideal for families and berry enthusiasts, this farm experience allows you to explore the fields and choose your own ripe blueberries.
  • Many farms also offer other seasonal fruits, homemade products, and family-friendly activities to enjoy.
  • Take home your freshly picked berries for baking, smoothies, or enjoy them as a nutritious snack.

Experience the illusion at the Museum of Illusions Orlando

  • Step into a world of wonder at the Museum of Illusions Orlando, where perception and reality intertwine.
  • Explore various exhibits that challenge your senses, from optical illusions to interactive installations that invite participation.
  • Perfect for families, friends, and anyone curious about the mind, this museum offers hours of entertainment and mind-bending fun.
  • Capture creative photos and leave with a new appreciation for the complexity of human perception.

Scavenger Hunt of Lake Eola’s Art Scene

  • Embark on an adventurous scavenger hunt that takes you through Lake Eola’s vibrant art scene.
  • Follow clues, solve puzzles, and discover hidden gems as you explore murals, sculptures, galleries, and other artistic highlights.
  • Great for team-building, family outings, or a unique date idea, this self-guided adventure allows you to explore Orlando’s cultural landscape at your own pace.
  • Celebrate your findings with a stroll around Lake Eola or relax in one of the many nearby cafes.

Search for fairy doors at Leu Gardens

  • Inspire imagination at Leu Gardens by searching for enchanting fairy doors hidden throughout the 50-acre botanical oasis.
  • Perfect for children and those young at heart, this exhibit leads you through secret gardens, enchanted forests, and magical landscapes.
  • Each uniquely crafted fairy door tells a story and adds a whimsical touch to the already beautiful garden setting.
  • Enjoy the natural beauty of the gardens, and let the fairy doors transport you to a world of wonder.

Design and print in 3D at Orlando Science Center’s “the Hive” Makerspace

  • Unleash creativity at the Hive Makerspace within the Orlando Science Center, where you can design and print your own 3D creations.
  • With guidance from experts, use cutting-edge technology to transform your ideas into tangible objects.
  • A hub for innovation, the Makerspace also offers workshops, classes, and collaborative projects for various skill levels.
  • Whether you’re a tech enthusiast or just curious about 3D printing, this experience offers hands-on learning and fun.

Tour a Tiny Green Home and learn about renewable energy

  • Explore sustainable living by touring a Tiny Green Home, where every aspect is designed with renewable energy and efficiency in mind.
  • Learn about solar power, water conservation, and other green technologies that make this unique dwelling both functional and eco-friendly.
  • Ideal for those interested in sustainability, architecture, or simply a different way of living, this tour offers insights and inspiration.
  • Various locations may offer workshops, hands-on experiences, and opportunities to engage with experts in the field.

Book your perfect beach house!

Spend family time at Wildflower Farm snuggling and feeding baby goats

  • Experience farm life at Wildflower Farm, where you can snuggle and feed adorable baby goats.
  • A wonderful outing for families and animal lovers, this experience allows you to interact closely with the playful and affectionate goats.
  • Many farms offer additional activities like goat yoga, hayrides, and opportunities to explore other farm animals and products.
  • Take home lasting memories and perhaps some farm-fresh goods, like cheese or homemade soap.

Learn to grow food at a free Aquaponics class at A Land of Delight Farm

  • Delve into the innovative world of aquaponics with a free class at A Land of Delight Farm.
  • Learn how fish, plants, and bacteria work together in a symbiotic system to grow food efficiently and sustainably.
  • Perfect for garden enthusiasts, eco-conscious individuals, or anyone interested in food production, this class offers hands-on experience and practical knowledge.
  • The farm may also provide tours, workshops, and opportunities to purchase fresh produce, fish, or aquaponics systems for your own use.

Embark on a Bioluminescent Kayaking Tour in the Indian River Lagoon

  • One of the natural wonders of Central Florida, the Indian River Lagoon comes alive at night with the glow of bioluminescent organisms.
  • During the warm summer months, embark on a nighttime kayaking tour to witness this breathtaking phenomenon.
  • As you paddle through the dark waters, every stroke of your paddle will create a glowing swirl as tiny organisms emit a mystical blue-green light.
  • Underneath, fish may dart by, leaving luminescent trails in their wake, and above, the stars provide the perfect backdrop to this magical experience.
  • Guided tours are available, with knowledgeable guides explaining the science behind the bioluminescence and pointing out local wildlife.
  • A bioluminescent kayaking tour is a one-of-a-kind experience that showcases the hidden beauty of Florida’s natural landscape, and it’s something that should not be missed for those looking for something extraordinary!

Unique Things To Do: Culinary Delights and Luxury Experiences

Sip and sample self-guided wine tasting at Formosa Gardens

  • Experience the elegance of wine tasting at Formosa Gardens, a renowned venue for its diverse selection of wines.
  • Through a self-guided tour, explore different vineyard regions, each with its own distinct flavors and aromas.
  • Pair your wine with artisan cheese and enjoy the scenic views of the gardens.
  • This is a perfect opportunity to unwind, learn about different wine varieties, and indulge in sophisticated flavors.

Homemade blueberry wine at Keel and Curley Winery

  • Keel and Curley Winery offers an extraordinary twist on traditional wines with their homemade blueberry wine.
  • Visit the winery for a tour and enjoy a tasting session that features their unique fruit-infused wines.
  • Don’t miss the opportunity to purchase a bottle of their signature blueberry wine as a delightful souvenir.

Luxury Glamping at WestGate River Ranch

  • Escape to the wilderness without sacrificing comfort at WestGate River Ranch’s luxury glamping experience.
  • Spend the night under the stars in a fully furnished, air-conditioned, conestoga wagon.
  • Enjoy outdoor activities like horseback riding or relax by the campfire with gourmet meals prepared for you.
  • The combination of luxury and nature offers an unforgettable and romantic outdoor adventure.

Sunset celebration at Pier 60 in Clearwater

  • Pier 60 in Clearwater hosts a nightly sunset celebration that’s a must-see in Central Florida.
  • Enjoy the beautiful sunset over the Gulf while exploring various craft and food vendors.
  • Street performers, musicians, and artists create a festive atmosphere as the sun dips below the horizon.
  • It’s a perfect family-friendly event to end a day at the beach.

Luxurious taco Tuesday picnic with InstaPicnic & Co

  • Elevate your Taco Tuesday with a luxurious picnic experience provided by InstaPicnic & Co.
  • Indulge in a taco platter from Ciccio Cali, sangria, and enjoy the unique piñata decor rental and setup.
  • This is a unique way to enjoy a picnic with friends or celebrate a special occasion.

Eat Chicago favorites at Portillo’s in Orlando

  • Experience a taste of Chicago right in Orlando at Portillo’s, known for their famous hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches.
  • From their renowned chocolate cake to hearty sandwiches, you’ll be transported to the Windy City with each bite.
  • A beloved chain in Chicago, its presence in Orlando adds a unique flavor to the local dining scene.
portilos orlando

Adult pops at Chill Pop Lounge

  • For a fun and novel experience, head over to Chill Pop Lounge for their adult popsicles.
  • These frozen treats are infused with alcohol and come in various creative flavors.
  • Perfect for cooling off on a hot Florida day, these adult pops add a playful twist to traditional cocktails.

Naughty desserts from Better Than Sex Orlando

  • Indulge your sweet tooth with a seductive twist at Better Than Sex Orlando, a dessert-only restaurant.
  • With menu items like “the Morning After” – a chocolate and brie grilled cheese sandwich – this place is known for its decadent and creatively named desserts.
  • The romantic ambiance and sinful treats make it a perfect date night spot or a fun outing with friends. Enjoy the cheeky, delicious experience that is truly better than anything else!

Take a Flavors of Florida Quest at DIsney Springs

  • Embark on a culinary adventure with the Flavors of Florida Quest at Disney Springs, a unique gastronomic experience that celebrates the Sunshine State’s rich culinary heritage.
  • Disney Springs hosts this special event, showcasing various restaurants and eateries that offer dishes and beverages inspired by Florida’s local ingredients and flavors.
  • Collect a guide map and take a self-guided tour, stopping at participating locations to savor exclusive bites, like citrus-infused dishes, fresh seafood, tropical cocktails, and more.
  • The quest is a delightful way to explore and taste what makes Florida’s cuisine so unique, with each stop offering a new discovery.
  • Along the way, enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of Disney Springs, with its blend of entertainment, shopping, and dining, adding to the overall experience.
  • Whether you’re a foodie, a Disney fan, or simply looking for a fun and tasty adventure, the Flavors of Florida Quest is a one-of-a-kind experience that offers a taste of Florida’s culinary diversity and creativity.

Photo Credit: Disney News

Enzo’s Hideaway & Maria & Enzo’s:

Key West Pink Shrimp Risotto: Fine Italian vialone nano rice, Key West pink shrimp, guanciale, sweet corn, herbs, and pecorino Romano (New)

Creamsicle Coppa: Vanilla gelato, made in-house, paired with orange sorbet, whipped cream and white chocolate crunchy pearls, recreating a classic childhood favorite dessert (New)

Everglazed Donuts & Cold Brew:

Citrus Dream Donut: Orange-glazed confection with white buttercream, citrus-flavored icing, an orange-flavored candy, and fresh mint

Orange Lemonade with Sweet Cold Foam: Blend of lemonade and orange juice cold foam

Photo Credit: Disney News

Frontera Cocina:

Orange Shrimp Cocktail: Assortment of Florida pink shrimp, hibiscus-citrus avocado salsa, jicama, cucumber, red onions, cilantro, and lime served with tortilla chips

Agave Maria: Tromba Tequila Blanco, Ilegal Mezcal Joven, clarified lemon juice, and orange liqueur (New)

The Ganachery:

Honey Lavender Square: Ganache square flavored with honey and lavender and enrobed in dark chocolate (New)

Key Lime Pop: White chocolate blended with key lime juice and fresh lime zest covered with dark chocolate

Try a Michelin Bib Gourmand Restaurant in Orlando

Experience Exceptional Dining: Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurants are renowned for offering high-quality meals at a great value. In Orlando, two standout choices are Bombay Street Kitchen and Swine & Sons.

  • Bombay Street Kitchen:
  • Flavors of India: This eatery brings the authentic taste of Indian street food right to the heart of Orlando.
  • Diverse Menu: From traditional Chaats to aromatic curries, the menu is crafted with fresh ingredients and bold flavors.
  • Vibrant Atmosphere: The restaurant’s casual and colorful ambiance captures the essence of Indian culture.
  • Vegetarian-Friendly: With plenty of vegetarian options, it’s a perfect destination for all kinds of food lovers.
  • Swine & Sons:
  • A Twist on the Classic: Offering a blend of Southern classics and modern culinary creativity, Swine & Sons presents a unique gastronomic experience.
  • Farm-to-Table Approach: Emphasizing locally-sourced ingredients, the restaurant supports community farmers.
  • Crafted Meats and More: Known for its charcuterie and house-made sausages, meat lovers will find delight in their flavorful dishes.
  • Casual Elegance: With a relaxed yet stylish interior, it’s a great spot for casual lunches or intimate dinners.
  • A Recognition of Quality: The Bib Gourmand designation is a clear indication of culinary excellence, guaranteeing a satisfying experience without breaking the bank.

Advance Booking: As popular dining destinations, reservations are often recommended to ensure availability.

Explore More: Both restaurants are located in areas with nearby attractions, allowing for a full day or evening of entertainment in Orlando.

Dining at Bombay Street Kitchen or Swine & Sons offers a culinary adventure that combines innovative cooking, regional flavors, and the esteemed recognition of the Michelin Bib Gourmand status. An ideal choice for both locals and tourists looking to indulge in Orlando’s culinary scene, these restaurants are not only about delicious food but also about the stories and cultures that they represent.

Unique Things To Do: Creative and Healthful Activities

Pottery class during the Family Potter’s Wheel Class at Placefull

  • Enjoy a hands-on creative experience at Placefull with the Family Potter’s Wheel Class.
  • This class is perfect for family members ranging from 5 to 17 years old with adult supervision.
  • Skilled instructors guide participants through the process of throwing pottery on the wheel, providing one-on-one attention to ensure everyone learns the techniques.
  • Create your own beautiful pieces, such as bowls or vases, which you can take home after firing.
  • This unique family bonding experience promotes creativity and craftsmanship and is perfect for budding artists or anyone looking to try something new.

Try an aerial arts class at Orlando Aerial Arts

  • Elevate your fitness routine and creativity at Orlando Aerial Arts with their specialized aerial arts classes.
  • Classes are available for adults, kids, and even homeschoolers, catering to all levels of experience.
  • Learn to fly through the air with grace and strength, as expert instructors teach you techniques on the silks, hoop, trapeze, and more.
  • Build strength, flexibility, and coordination while experiencing the thrill of aerial performance.
  • A fantastic alternative to traditional workouts, these classes offer a fun and challenging way to stay fit.

Free days at National Parks like Canaveral National Seashore

  • Explore the natural beauty of Canaveral National Seashore and other National Parks in Florida during special free entrance days.
  • Celebrate occasions like the Great American Outdoors Act and the National Park Service Birthday with complimentary access.
  • Enjoy the stunning landscapes, wildlife, hiking trails, and pristine beaches that these parks offer, without the usual entrance fee.
  • Ideal for outdoor enthusiasts, families, and anyone looking to connect with nature, these free days provide a perfect opportunity to explore the wonders of Florida’s wilderness.
beach calling

Try salt therapy at the Salt Room

  • Experience the therapeutic benefits of salt therapy at the Salt Room, a specialized wellness center in Central Florida.
  • In a serene and controlled environment, breathe in finely ground salt particles that may help alleviate respiratory issues and promote relaxation.
  • Ideal for both adults and children, sessions last 45 minutes and are a tranquil retreat from daily stresses.
  • The Salt Room offers various salt therapy options, including private sessions or group experiences.
  • A unique and calming wellness practice, salt therapy provides a soothing experience that can be a part of a holistic approach to well-being.

In Central Florida, the range of exciting activities and experiences is truly unmatched, making it a must-visit destination for those in search of unique things to do in Orlando Florida. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker, a nature lover, or someone who just wants to relax and enjoy the beauty of the Sunshine State, Central Florida offers a crazy summer bucket list tailored to suit every taste.

From the adrenaline-pumping adventures of skydiving and aerial arts classes to the serene experiences of salt therapy and sunset celebrations, Central Florida’s diverse attractions create a mosaic of unforgettable memories. Those looking for more hands-on, artistic endeavors can indulge in pottery classes, while nature enthusiasts can explore National Parks like Canaveral National Seashore or go glamping at WestGate River Ranch.

The flavors of Central Florida also offer unique experiences, from sipping homemade blueberry wine at Keel and Curley Winery to enjoying naughty desserts from Better Than Sex Orlando. Families, couples, and solo travelers alike will find something extraordinary to add to their crazy summer bucket list.

With easy access from the west coast to the east coast, exploring all that Central Florida has to offer has never been more convenient. It’s a place where creativity meets adventure, luxury blends with natural beauty, and where fun and relaxation coexist in harmony. So don’t hesitate to explore this amazing region and tick off some unique things to do in Florida from your bucket list. Get out and enjoy a summer like no other!

Happy Wandering all summer!

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  1. 1

    These are all great places to check out that I would never have thought to do when exploring the land that has Disney. So many options…heading to Crystal River to snorkel with the Manatees or glamping at Westgate River Ranch, don’t know what to choose.

  2. 5

    We used to visit Florida each year and while we definitely made time for all the parks (on various trips– not the same trip) we also made time for things like kayaking with the manatees, checking out the natural springs, and enjoying the science museums.

    • 6
      Portia O'Laughlin

      That’s great, sometimes everyone doesn’t get to see all of the other wonderful things here!

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