When you think of Orlando, do you immediately picture mouse ears and flying broomsticks on a Quidditch pitch with a side of Butterbeer? Yes, Orlando’s reputation of the ultimate theme park destination holds true. But Orlando has so many other attractions and experiences to offer a fantastic vacation filled with adventure, fun, and relaxation.
Here is a quick Orlando vacation itinerary, without standing in line at a theme park!
Morning: A visit to the Kennedy Space Center is a must in the Orlando area. This gorgeous complex is organized into Mission Zones where attractions and tours are grouped by chronological era. From the dawn of space exploration to current and ongoing missions, you can get an up-close, hand-on feel for the story of humans in space.
Afternoon: At the Kennedy Space Center, you can have lunch with an astronaut! During this unique dining experience, astronauts share inspiring stories about space exploration while dining on a buffet lunch. A photo opportunity and Q&A session is included. After lunch, pick up some souvenir freeze-dried ice cream and head to downtown Orlando.
Spend the afternoon at Lake Eola in downtown Orlando to enjoy a serene oasis away from city life. Open up that ‘space ice cream’ and enjoy it while paddling the lake in one of the iconic swan boats. If you happen to be here on a Sunday, the park boasts the city’s best market featuring fruits and vegetables, homemade breads, and an assortment of local cuisines, beer, wine, artwork, and live entertainment.
Evening: Time for happy hour! There are almost 20 ales, lagers, and seasonal microbrews on tap at the Orlando Brewing Company, and a bonus: they are all organic! This brewery is USDA-certified, and it offers free tours until 6 p.m. Check out their events calendar for trivia nights and even drum circles! You can certainly stay late, since live music begins at 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.
Or, head over to another great watering hole in Orlando. Howl at the Moon piano bar offers two free admissions for HGV Members. The entertainment here is so interactive and promises hours of fun!
Day Two offers two options to choose to spend your day, depending on what you’re in the mood for.
Morning: Which would you choose: Shop til you drop? Or be one with nature? If shopping is your guilty pleasure, head over to one of the best: The Mall at Millenia. HGV Members receive a complimentary tote bag and a Shop.Dine.Save. booklet with savings that include:
- A champagne makeover at Neiman Marcus
- 10% off at Sony
If you aren’t a mall person, get outside and take in the natural beauty of Tibet-Butler Nature Preserve. This quiet preserve gives you the opportunity to escape the crowds and intense heat for a relaxing (and shady) walk. The lake offers peaceful views along the wetlands, providing a perfect setting to unwind, write, draw, read, or take a mid-morning nap
Afternoon: Golf? Spa? Both? Arrive late morning or early afternoon for tee time at the Waldorf Astoria Golf Club. HGV Members receive 50% off rounds after 11 a.m., Monday – Thursday.
After golf (or during, if you choose to split up your group), check in for a blissful afternoon at the Waldorf Astoria Spa. HGV Members receive “Extended Bliss” – an additional 30 minutes on any purchased 50-minute treatment (This is amazing, by the way!) or a $99 treatment of the month, plus complimentary valet parking.
Evening: After a spa refresh, it’s time to stretch out those smile lines! The Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show is the perfect choice for a night out with your travel tribe. HGV Members receive $2 off admission or combo packages, valid up to six people. Remember, you don’t just watch the show, guests become a part of the fun!
Morning: You can’t leave Florida without a visit to the Everglades. Time to go aboard Wild Florida airboat tours for a ride through the wildlife park. Enjoy spotting gators and other animals on the one-hour tour. HGV Members receive 15% off.
Afternoon: Have you ever tried an escape room? Check out Orlando’s Escape Room to apply your problem-solving skills for an unparalleled adventure. Choose your escape of choice – The Heist, Mission: Mars, Gold Rush, Classified, or Prison Break. Each theme provides a unique feel, but all revolve around the foundational concept: escape before the time is up! This is such a great way to bond with family and friends!
Hopefully you “escaped,” so now it’s time to cool off your excitement at Orlando’s chilliest activity. HGV Members receive 15% off bar tab at Icebar Orlando. Upon entering you will be greeted by an Ice Princess who will provide you with a thermal coat and gloves. Step inside this winter wonderland of ice sculptures and great cocktails!
Evening: Take your last night in Orlando to new heights, twice! First, jump into the wind at iFly Indoor Skydiving. HGV Members receive $10 off the ‘Earn Your Wings” flight package.
Finish your vacation off with the most beautiful view of the city. Climb inside your private capsule and travel 400 feet high in the air aboard the ICON Orlando. Views at sunset or under the night sky are breathtaking.
Sure, theme parks in Orlando are always a hit, but there is so much more to see in this great city. Bookmark this quick Orlando vacation itinerary to use on your next visit!