Orlando is an exciting place to live. Just ask new Orlando Magic draft pick Chuma Okeke who just moved hereafter being chosen as the number 16 pick in the first round of the NBA draft.
If you’re also new to the area, or want to branch out and explore your neighborhood, you’re in luck because there are plenty of amenities to keep you entertained while promoting your whole health. The City Beautiful earned second place in a recent ranking of the country’s most fun cities.
All these avenues for joy are part of the reason Orlando is one of the top 10 fastest-growing cities in the country.
New comers and long-time residents alike should check out this list of top local activities that are sure to bring a smile and even boost your whole health.
AdventHealth believes having fun is a big part of your complete well-being. Here’s our list of 8 world-class amenities and attractions in the Orlando area you should visit.
1. The World’s Theme Park Capital
In 1971, Disney opened Walt Disney World Resort and in the next few decades were followed by other major parks until Orlando became the world capital of amusement parks. Walt Disney World Resort, composed of four theme parks, remains the world’s biggest, hosting 52 million visitors a year on average.
Walt Disney World® Resort has 4 unique theme parks you can discover:
- Magic Kingdom Park: Meet your favorite princess, explore enchanted lands and enjoy a nightly firework show at Cinderella Castle.
- Epcot: The only place you can travel to outer space and visit 11 countries around World Showcase all in one day! Epcot is also home to the locals’ favorite festivals year-round:
- Epcot International Festival of Arts - January
- Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival - Spring
- Epcot International Festival of Holidays presented by AdventHealth - December
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Experience all the thrills at The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror or Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, explore Toy Story Land, and new this fall, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, which opens August 29.
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom: Embark on a wild adventure on the safaris, treks, and expeditions, learn about exotic animals in the wild and discover Pandora: The World of Avatar.
These theme parks are not only for visitors; Florida natives enjoy them too.
Here are some other popular local theme parks:
- The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex: The visitor center at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida features the Space Shuttle Atlantis and a life-sized replica of the Hubble Space Telescope.
- Legoland Florida: Designed for families with kids between 2 and 12, this theme park is located in Winter Haven, about an hour’s drive southwest from Orlando.
- SeaWorld Orlando: This park, which hosted about 4 million visitors in 2017, mixes roller coasters, event attractions and natural exhibits.
- Universal Studios Florida: At 10 million visitors in 2017, it’s the sixth-most attended theme park in the United States and has the entertainment-themed attractions and live shows that make it a Mecca for Hollywood fans
This state-of-the-art center is home to Broadway-class plays as well as ballet, operas, orchestral performances and outdoor festivals.
And, at the AdventHealth School of the Arts at Dr. Phillips Center, community members can unlock their creativity during workshops, master classes, summer camps and more.
3. Plenty of Places to Find Your Fandom
Orlando’s many opportunities for sports fans were one factor behind its number three ranking in the “entertainment and recreation” category in the “most fun” study. As the region’s premier sports medicine provider, AdventHealth most often can be spotted on the sidelines caring for your favorite team. Being a fan has its own health benefits, too.
Professional and college teams to watch include:
- The Orlando Magic: Having just celebrated its 30th Anniversary in Orlando, the Magic guarantees an action-packed experience on and off the court. They offer unique experiences for the entire family at the Amway Center.
- The Orlando Solar Bears: Our hometown hockey team is a leader in the Eastern Conference Hockey League. Fun fact: AdventHealth has an athletic trainer who works daily with the athletes and collaborates with sports medicine doctors to care for the Solar Bears’ players and coaches and ensure their peak performance. The Solar Bears also play at the Amway Center.
- The University of Central Florida Knights: UCF is the largest university by enrollment in the country, and AdventHealth helps provide care for its student-athletes. The UCF football team has won its conference two years in a row. Check out a game at Spectrum Stadium!
- Florida Citrus Sports: This nonprofit organizes bowl games at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, including the Citrus Bowl and Camping World Bowl. As the Official Health Care Provider for Florida Citrus Sports, AdventHealth doctors can be seen along the sidelines providing care for bowl players.
4. Plenty of Places to Stay Active
AdventHealth’s CREATION Life philosophy teaches being active in mind and body is a big part of our health, making it important to find places to exercise or play.
Track Shack holds regular races for runners of all ability levels, including the AdventHealth Watermelon 5k, a celebration of the veterans who help the health system carry out its mission.
Look here for other Track Shack events.
If sports are how you prefer to move, check out the Orlando Sport and Social Club, which runs adult leagues for flag football, softball, soccer, volleyball and kickball. Team sports have the added benefit of building relationships, another crucial aspect of well-being.
5. Places Where Food, Health Go Together
Eating a healthful diet is another whole-health CREATION tenet, and if you’re looking for nutritious options, Orlando has you covered. The city ranked fifth in the nation for most restaurants per person.
If you’re looking for a healthy date night, check out Orlando Date Night Guide’s list of seven restaurants to choose from.
Visit Orlando, the tourism agency, has even created a guide to healthy eating at three of Orlando’s major theme parks.
If you’re on the lookout for food festivals, Edible Orlando maintains regular event listings.
Picking the best restaurants is, of course, an exercise in taste, but you could do worse than check out the winners of the Orlando Sentinel’s 2019 Foodie Awards.
6. Create Memories at These Family-Friendly Destinations
Spending time at activities with your family is a great way to stay active in mind and body. Here are a few places that you and the kids will both enjoy:
- Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens: This 116-acre zoo, a 25-minute drive north of Orlando, holds events throughout the year and is home to more than 400 animals.
- Orlando Farmers Market: This dog-friendly market, held every Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm at Lake Eola Park, includes baked goods, crafts and plants. Meanwhile, the park offers fun of its own, including swan-shaped paddle boats.
- Local Libraries: This listing includes the child-friendly offerings from 23 area libraries.
7. A Thriving Ecotourism Scene
Whether you want to see an alligator by airboat or the forest canopy by zipline, Orlando has plenty of opportunities to find an authentic outdoor experience.
Visit Orlando has a great list of outdoor destinations and experiences on its website.
The winter offers its own attractions. Manatees tend to overwinter in Central Florida’s warmer waters, including Blue Spring State Park, about an hour’s drive north of Orlando.
8. Take a Museum Tour
Part of being a world-class city is having the collections of history, art, culture and science that attract attention. Here are some of the top museums in Orlando:
- Orlando Museum of Art: With a collection of more than 2,400 objects, OMA includes art from American history, the Ancient Americas and Africa.
- SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology: It’s like the name says — this museum hosts more than 500 real animal skeletons from around the world.
- Orlando Science Center: Marketing itself as a great rainy-day escape for families, this museum has two movie theaters and a wide selection of exhibits.
- Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens: If strolling through an outdoor garden sounds lovely, check out this museum, which preserves the work of its Czech namesake.
- Orange County Regional History Center and Heritage Square Park: Housed in a historic 1927 courthouse, a trip to this Smithsonian Institution affiliate is a journey through 12,000 years of Central Florida history.
AdventHealth believes that having fun and connecting with your local community is a key part of whole-person health. So start exploring to feel whole in your town.