One look at the weather forecast and you know that summer has officially arrived in the Sunshine State. With toasty temps and the kids out of school, it’s essential for locals and visitors alike to know the best things to do in Orlando to keep everyone cool and entertained.
But while most people associate the City Beautiful with our world-class theme parks, Orlando is also rich in hidden gems involving nature, art, and entertainment. Here are some of our favorite Orlando activities in the summer.
Relax at the beach
It’s hard to avoid the cool coastal breeze for too long when it’s just an hour away from Orlando, and most locals will make it to the beach at least once each summer. Looking for a go-to? New Smyrna Beach is just a short drive away and is home to several miles of beautiful coastline perfect for everyone from surfers to beach readers. Pack up the kids, the beach chairs, towels and your favorite sand and surf toys and enjoy a day in the sun. Don’t forget the SPF!
Visit the parks…the water parks, that is!
If you are a theme park fan, Orlando is the place to be. But it doesn’t have to be all about the Wizarding World or Magic Kingdom this summer. Spend the day at the water parks! Disney offers Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon, both with fun and thrilling slides and pools to explore. Universal boasts the newer Volcano Bay, with more than 20 slides to raft and plunge down. Either way, you can’t go wrong, and the entire crew will leave smiling.
Learn something new at a museum
Like almost everything it does, Orlando takes visiting a museum to the next level of fun. The city’s entertainment district along International Drive features a variety of fun and offbeat museums to play around in, from the mind-bending Museum of Illusions to the hair-raising Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Looking for something more traditional? The Orlando Museum of Art has a world-class collection perfect for date night, and the Orlando Science Center has dozens of interactive and educational exhibits perfect for those looking for things to do in Orlando with kids. A bonus? They’re all inside!
Cool off with some indoor fun
While summer is a great time to soak up the Orlando outdoor activities, the hot temps and afternoon showers might mean you’re looking for indoor fun from time to time. Luckily, Central Florida has plenty of it. See a blockbuster at a nearby movie theater (Universal CityWalk has a great option), or find a local bowling alley (many even have summer offers, like Free Bowling for Kids!). If you just need a roof over your head, take a swing at Topgolf. Or, if you’re looking for a ton of indoor fun, check out an entertainment center, like our Orlando North neighbors, Elev8 Fun.
Explore the Orlando springs
Visiting some of the natural springs in Orlando is without a doubt on every local’s summer bucket list. When Central Florida temperatures get up to the high 90s, there’s truly no better way to cool off than the springs, where the water stays at 72 degrees all year long. You can take a dip, but if you’re searching for paddleboarding Orlando or kayaking in Orlando, Wekiva Island is here for you. Rent one of our Wekiva springs kayaks or Orlando canoe rentals and paddle along the gorgeous Wekiva River up to Wekiwa Springs State Park. It’s a great way to enjoy the beautiful Florida scenery and stay cool. When you get back to the Island, be sure to grab a bite at Without A Paddle Cafe or a beverage from our outdoor bar near Orlando. Whether you’re looking for something to do on your own or things to do in Orlando with family, a day at the springs might be your favorite of the summer.