Things to Do in Orlando: Outdoor Adventures

Sure, Orlando is known for its theme parks, but there's much more to do than rollercoasters. Disney's Animal Kingdom offers a 20-minute safari ride where visitors board a jeep and drive out into the savannah where rhinos, zebras and giraffes get close enough for selfies. SeaWorld Orlando's sister park Discovery Cove gives guests the chance to swim with dolphins and stingrays in a beautiful, tropical setting.

Outside of the theme parks, many more family adventures await out in the great outdoors. Central Florida is home to hundreds of lakes, which are best explored out on the water, whether it's an airboat ride to look for gators, a challenging standup paddleboard class or a relaxing kayak trip on crystal-clear springs. Many visitors are surprised to learn that Orlando is home to the Florida Everglades. The source of the everglades, Shingle Creek, is right here in Central Florida where it flows into Lake Tohopekaliga, then into the Kissimmee River system where it feeds into the Everglades in South Florida. 

Florida is the sunshine state, and with such amazing weather year-round, be sure to make time to enjoy our natural side. Ride a zipline through the trees, take a hot air balloon ride or go see manatees in the wild. 


  1. Most of these adventures can be booked through your concierge.
  2. Florida is the Sunshine State, so be sure to slather on the sunscreen and drink lots of water.
  3. Summer brings afternoon showers so pack rain gear and always be cautious of lightning.
  4. It's also a good idea to wear bug repellant. Mosquitoes love living here, too.
  5. Look for coupons in our Where Quick Guide found at your hotel.

Wild Florida

Experience Florida wilderness and wildlife at its best on the shores of beautiful Cypress Lake. Airboat tours, tropical bird aviary, petting zoo, alligator farm, cafe, gift shop, scenic dock and fishing pier along with guided hunting and fishing trips. Opening soon: drive-through safari park. Closed Su. 

Discovery Cove

Swim with dolphins, wade with rays, snorkel among thousands of exotic fish and hand feed tropical birds in a free-flight aviary. Discovery Cove’s full-day, all-inclusive adventures include all meals, drinks and gear along with admission to SeaWorld and Aquatica.

Walt Disney World, Animal Kingdom

From live animals to dinosaurs and animal characters, your imagination runs wild in this beautifully designed park. Hop aboard a safari in Africa for close animal encounters then head to Asia’s Mount Everest coaster. The petting zoo, DinoLand U.S.A.

Bok Tower Gardens

This gorgeous 250-acre National Historic Landmark sits on peninsular Florida’s highest point and features Olmsted-designed landscaped gardens crowned with a majestic bell tower that plays music by the hour. Open daily and holidays. Admission $15 adults; $5 children. Highlights and Tips:

Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour

Relax on this one-hour narrated tour through the lakes and canals of beautiful Winter Park. See waterfront homes while learning the history of this quaint community. Rides daily from 10 am to 4 pm, cash or checks only.

Boggy Creek Airboat Adventures

½ Hour Day Tour Discover territory that remains unaltered in the wilderness of the Central Florida Everglades. Our captains take you into the breathtaking beauty of nature, including wetlands and wildlife. See alligators, turtles, birds and more in their natural environment. 

Paddleboard Orlando

Orlando is home to hundreds of lakes, and getting out on a paddleboard or kayak is the ideal way to explore. Choose from beginner lessons on the beautiful Lake Killarney or take a full-day excursion to Wekiva Springs. Open daily.  

Orlando Balloon Rides

Put this on your bucket list. The largest passenger ride operator on the Eastern seaboard offers daily flights at sunrise in the Disney area, followed by a champagne toast.

Tree Trek Adventure Park

This aerial adventure course built in a 15-acre tree canopy allows visitors to test their mental and physical skills in a series of obstacles including Tarzan-like swings, ladders, suspended bridges, scramble nets, swinging logs, surf boards and more.

Seminole Aerial Adventures

Zipline through the trees of the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens in Sanford, north of downtown Orlando. Zoom Air’s many courses are deftly woven into the area’s natural blackwater floodplain swamp on the zoo property. Choose your own adventure with rainforest rides or courses designed just for little ones.

Showcase of Citrus

A 2,500-acre you-pick farm with 50 varieties of citrus, when in season. Visitors can shop for homemade products in the country store, enjoy a famous frozen creamsicle or take a safari tour on a giant 4x4.