No doubt a world-class holiday destination, Orlando is home to an abundance of theme parks, restaurants, bars and entertainment districts but did you know the city also boasts its fair share of great free attractions?
With so much to see and do in The City Beautiful, you’ll want to make your money stretch as far as possible. In order to do that, break up the parks with these five free outings, all equally fun in their own right!
Walk International Drive
11 miles in total, International Drive is Orlando’s most famous thoroughfare. Ok, you won’t be walking all 11 miles but the section between the Orange County Convention Center and Kirkman Road is where all the action is!
Gloriously dated in parts, contemporary and modern in others, there’s always something to look at here. Get your smartphone camera at the ready and pose in front of an eye-catching upside down house (WonderWorks) and the impressive Orlando Eye Ferris wheel.
Window shop a vast collection of boutiques and gift shops. Plenty are Disney themed but you’ll find others based at Pointe Orlando and I Drive 360, two gloriously designed retail precincts open ’til late so you can browse in the evenings when things cool down too.
Picnic by Lake Eola
Home to the iconic fountain depicted on Orlando’s city seal, Lake Eola is beautifully perched between the high-rise towers of downtown Orlando. Covering nine hectares and featuring a nine-mile sidewalk to stroll the entire lakes’ circumference, Lake Eola Park is a great spot to enjoy a picnic.
Visit during the height of summer, nestle yourself down beside the water and feel the soothing breeze in your hair. Make sure to save some bread for the birds and turtles that always provide something to look at as you temporarily rest those limbs, ready to discover what the rest of Orlando has to offer.
Wander Disney Springs
Formerly known as Downtown Disney, Disney Springs is Walt Disney World’s shopping and entertainment precinct – a simply wonderful place to stroll at daytime or night.
Home to themed restaurants, a 24-screen cinema and an awesome collection of stores selling everything from cigars and cosmetics to Star Wars and soccer merchandise, this is all underpinned by Disney World’s happy, feel-good spirit.
Based beside a picturesque lake with plenty of seating for light foot relief, Disney Springs is also home to the House of Blues, Planet Hollywood and the Paddlefish Restaurant – an eatery based on a 220 ft long replica steamboat – should you choose to come back here. What’s more, parking is free too!
Browse the Grand Bohemian Gallery
Only five blocks south of Lake Eola Park sits Orlando’s Grand Bohemian Hotel, one of the city’s most prominent hotels. Sitting on the corner of North Orange Avenue and East South Street, the Grand Bohemian Hotel is a beautiful building inside and out, and you don’t need a reservation to enjoy one of the hotel’s complimentary art gallery tours.
A small yet special collection, the Grand Bohemian Gallery is based on the ground floor and is not only home to European paintings from the 19th and 20th centuries but also works by local contemporary artists too.
Visit the Orlando Brewing Company
Florida isn’t called the Sunshine State for nothing so chances are you’ll be looking for ways to keep cool during your stay. You can’t go wrong enjoying an ice cold craft beer at the Orlando Brewing Company who offer free tours downtown!
Based a short distance south of the lively Church Street district on Atlanta Avenue, the complex is Orlando’s only certified organic brewery with free tours taking place at 6pm, Monday to Saturday.
Act fast though because the Orlando Brewing Company don’t take reservations; all tours take place on a first come, first serve basis so head downtown when you arrive in Orlando to avoid disappointment.
There are countless ways to spend your holiday money in Orlando but by combining these premium day trips with free outings too, you’ll feel extra satisfied in the fact you’ve discovered even more than you initially planned to!