Things to Do Outdoors in Orlando, Florida

The Dickson Azalea Park is a peaceful respite from bustling Orlando
The Dickson Azalea Park is a peaceful respite from bustling Orlando | © Jeffrey Isaac Greenberg 3 / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Daisy Dobson
13 July 2020

There’s more to Orlando than just theme parks, golf and shopping malls. The city is also home to a host of plenty of open-air activities – so you can experience nature, take big gulps of fresh air and feel all the benefits from being in the great outdoors. Culture Trip’s local insiders share their tips.

Harry P Leu Gardens

Botanical Garden
Map View

A botanical oasis in the heart of Florida, the Harry P Leu Gardens, in Audubon Park, is a refuge from the hustle and bustle. It has a huge variety of unique plants to walk around and enjoy. And for the ultimate experience, book a movie night, pack your picnic blanket and enjoy the big screen in this magical setting. If you’re planning on visiting many of the gardens across Florida, bag yourself membership for a bargain entry fee. Recommended by local insider Korri Lacalamita

Back to Nature Wildlife Refuge

Map View

Immerse yourself in Florida’s wildlife and support an incredible refuge for wild animals at the same time. The Back to Nature Wildlife Refuge is donation-based – so you pay what you can – and it’s much quieter than Central Florida Zoo, so you can spend hours watching the animals, including lemurs, up close. The refuge hosts various events throughout the year, so you could be taking part in the Owlween fancy dress contest, or jumping in the bounce house. Recommended by local insider Korri Lacalamita

Dickson Azalea Park

Map View

Experience a nature escape on the outskirts of Downtown Orlando at Dickson Azalea Park. Brimming with bright, luscious flora, the park offers a respite from busy city life despite being close to the center. Our top tip is to park your car in the Thornton Park neighborhood close by, as there isn’t any parking next to the garden itself. Enjoy the tree-shaded walkways and picturesque landscape any time of day. Recommended by local insider Korri Lacalamita

Farmer’s Market and Sidewalk Festivals

Farmers' Market, American
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Florida is filled with farmer’s markets and sidewalk festivals teeming with fresh produce and locally made wares ready to tempt. You’re spoilt for choice with Winter Park, Celebration Farmer’s Market and the Baldwin Park First Friday Sidewalk Festival. Each one showcases local artisans and their products, plants, food and art. Grab your friends and family and spend the day shopping, eating and soaking up the sunshine. Recommended by local insider Katie Davis

Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf

Amusement Park
Map View

Want to practise your swing? If so, it’s probably best you don’t come here. Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf is more suited to your inner Jack Sparrow than Tiger Woods and all the more fun for it. Putt your way past marauding buccaneers, magical waterfalls and lush vegetation as you compete for the swashbuckling crown. It’s an inexpensive treat for the whole family and sits next to the major theme parks if you want a fun-filled day. Pirate hats not obligatory – but why not wear one anyway? Recommended by local insider Katie Davis

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