Activities and Attractions in the Vicinity of Orlando Airport

Air Travel

By Daniela Howard

Welcome to Orlando! If you’re flying into the Orlando International Airport, you’ll be happy to know that there are plenty of attractions and activities to enjoy in the area. Whether you have a long layover or an extra day to spare, take advantage of your time and explore the vibrant city of Orlando.

One of the most popular attractions near the airport is the Orlando Watersports Complex. Located just minutes away, this world-class facility offers a variety of thrilling water sports activities such as wakeboarding, water skiing, and paddleboarding. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced enthusiast, you’re sure to have a great time at this state-of-the-art complex.

If you’re a shopaholic, you won’t be disappointed with the Florida Mall. Just a short drive from the airport, this mall features over 270 stores, including big-name brands such as Macy’s, Apple, and Zara. Treat yourself to a shopping spree and make sure to sample some delicious cuisine at one of the mall’s many restaurants.

For nature lovers, the Harry P. Leu Gardens is a must-visit destination. This stunning 50-acre botanical oasis is located within a 20-minute drive from the airport. Explore the beautiful gardens, wander along the winding pathways, and admire the various plant collections. Don’t miss the chance to relax and take in the tranquility of this urban oasis.

These are just a few of the many attractions and activities available near the Orlando International Airport. So, whether you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, a shopping spree, or a peaceful retreat, there’s something for everyone to enjoy near the airport. Make the most of your time in Orlando and create unforgettable memories!

Shopping and Dining Options

Located near the Orlando Airport, there are plenty of shopping and dining options for travelers looking to pass the time or grab a bite to eat.

If you’re looking to do some shopping, you’re in luck. The airport is home to a variety of retail stores where you can find everything from souvenirs to clothing to electronics. Whether you’re looking for a last-minute gift or just want to treat yourself, there’s something for everyone.

For those who enjoy dining out, there are also numerous options available. From fast food chains to sit-down restaurants, you’ll find a wide array of cuisine to choose from. Whether you’re in the mood for a burger, pizza, sushi, or a hearty steak, there’s a restaurant to satisfy your cravings.

Additionally, the airport offers a selection of cafes and coffee shops where you can grab a quick snack or a caffeine pick-me-up. Whether you need a cup of coffee to start your day or a pastry to satisfy your sweet tooth, you’ll find what you’re looking for.

Overall, the Orlando Airport provides plenty of shopping and dining opportunities for travelers. Whether you have a layover or are waiting for your flight to depart, you’ll be able to make the most of your time with the wide range of options available.

Theme Parks and Attractions

Orlando is known for being a destination for theme park lovers, and there are several world-renowned parks and attractions located near the airport. If you have some free time before or after your flight, here are a few options to consider:

1. Universal Orlando Resort: Just a few miles away from the airport, Universal Orlando Resort offers two amazing theme parks – Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Get ready to experience incredible rides, meet your favorite movie characters, and explore the magical world of Harry Potter.

2. Walt Disney World Resort: Located approximately 20 miles from the airport, Walt Disney World Resort is a place where dreams come true. With four theme parks to explore – Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom – there’s something for everyone. Don’t miss the enchanting Cinderella Castle and the thrilling attractions.

3. SeaWorld Orlando: About 16 miles away from the airport, SeaWorld Orlando is a marine-themed park that offers exciting shows and thrilling rides. Get up close and personal with dolphins, eliminator whales, and other marine animals, and don’t forget to try the exhilarating roller coasters.

4. ICON Park: Located about 14 miles away from the airport, ICON Park is an entertainment complex that offers a variety of attractions. Take a ride on The Wheel, a 400-foot observation wheel that provides stunning views of the city, or check out the SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium and Madame Tussauds wax museum.

5. Gatorland: If you’re looking for a unique experience, visit Gatorland, which is approximately 11 miles from the airport. This wildlife preserve and theme park is home to alligators, crocodiles, and other reptiles. Enjoy thrilling shows, zip-line adventures, and up-close encounters with these incredible creatures.

These are just a few of the many theme parks and attractions near the Orlando airport. No matter what your interests are, you’re sure to find something fun and exciting to do during your visit to this vibrant city.

Outdoor Activities

If you’re looking to enjoy the great outdoors near the Orlando Airport, there are plenty of options for outdoor activities to choose from. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Visit Lake Nona: Just a short drive from the airport, Lake Nona offers a variety of outdoor activities such as paddleboarding, kayaking, and fishing. Spend a relaxing day exploring the beautiful lake and surrounding nature trails.
  • Explore the Harry P. Leu Gardens: Located just a few miles from the airport, the Leu Gardens is a botanical oasis with over 50 acres of beautifully manicured gardens. Take a leisurely stroll through the gardens and enjoy the colorful flowers, majestic oak trees, and peaceful streams.
  • Go golfing: Orlando is known for its world-class golf courses, and there are several options near the airport. Book a tee time at a nearby course and spend a day on the greens, practicing your swing and enjoying the Florida sunshine.
  • Take a bike ride: Rent a bike and explore the scenic trails and paths near the airport. There are several bike rental shops in the area that offer affordable bike rentals for all ages and skill levels. Ride along the trails and take in the beautiful scenery.
  • Visit a local park: Orlando is home to several beautiful parks that are perfect for picnicking, hiking, and enjoying the outdoors. Check out Wadeview Park or Cypress Grove Park for a relaxing day in nature.

No matter what outdoor activity you choose, be sure to pack sunscreen, water, and comfortable shoes. Enjoy the natural beauty and fresh air near the Orlando Airport!

Museums and Cultural Sites

If you have some extra time during your layover at the Orlando Airport, there are several museums and cultural sites near the airport that are worth exploring. From art museums to historical sites, here are some options to consider:

  • Orlando Museum of Art: Located just a short drive from the airport, the Orlando Museum of Art features a diverse collection of contemporary and traditional artwork. The museum showcases both local and international artists, and often hosts rotating exhibits and educational events.
  • Ripley’s Believe It or Not Orlando: For those who enjoy the unusual and bizarre, Ripley’s Believe It or Not in Orlando is a must-visit. This interactive museum features oddities from around the world, including shrunken heads, unique artwork, and incredible illusions.
  • Orange County Regional History Center: Dive into the history of Orange County and the surrounding region at the Orange County Regional History Center. This museum offers exhibits on everything from Native American heritage to the citrus industry, providing visitors with a comprehensive look at the area’s past.
  • Cornell Fine Arts Museum: Located on the campus of Rollins College, the Cornell Fine Arts Museum is home to a diverse collection of European, American, and contemporary art. Visitors can explore works by renowned artists such as Warhol, Picasso, and O’Keeffe.
  • Harry P. Leu Gardens: For those looking to enjoy some natural beauty, the Harry P. Leu Gardens is a stunning botanical oasis. Roam through the 50-acre garden and admire the various plant species, including camellias, roses, and palms.

These museums and cultural sites near the Orlando Airport offer a variety of options for those looking to make the most of their layover. Whether you’re interested in art, history, or simply enjoying the outdoors, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Sports and Entertainment

If you’re a sports enthusiast or looking for some entertainment near the Orlando Airport, there are plenty of options to choose from. Orlando is home to several professional sports teams and offers a variety of venues that cater to different interests.

For basketball fans, the Amway Center is a must-visit. This state-of-the-art arena is home to the NBA’s Orlando Magic and hosts regular season games as well as exciting events and concerts throughout the year.

If you prefer soccer, make sure to catch a game at the Exploria Stadium. This soccer-specific stadium is the home of the Orlando City SC, a Major League Soccer team. The stadium’s vibrant atmosphere and passionate fans make for an unforgettable experience.

For those who enjoy golf, the Orlando area is a paradise. You can tee off at world-renowned golf courses like Bay Hill Club & Lodge, home to the Arnold Palmer Invitational, or the Waldorf Astoria Golf Club, designed by Rees Jones.

Looking for some indoor entertainment? Check out the Dave & Buster’s located near the airport. This popular chain offers a wide range of arcade games, sports viewing areas, and delicious food and drinks.

If you’re in the mood for live theater, take a short drive to the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. This beautiful venue hosts a variety of shows, including Broadway musicals, concerts, and dance performances.

Meanwhile, comedy lovers can head to the Orlando Improv Comedy Club for a night filled with laughter. With regular performances by nationally recognized stand-up comedians, this club guarantees a hilarious experience.

These are just a few of the many sports and entertainment options available near the Orlando Airport. Whether you’re a sports fan or looking for a fun night out, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this vibrant city.

Nearby Cities and Tourist Destinations

If you find yourself with some free time near the Orlando Airport, there are plenty of nearby cities and tourist destinations worth exploring. Whether you prefer the excitement of a bustling city or the tranquility of natural attractions, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Kissimmee: Located just a short drive from the airport, Kissimmee is a vibrant city known for its proximity to several theme parks, including Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando Resort. In addition to the world-famous attractions, Kissimmee offers a range of dining and entertainment options, making it a perfect destination for families.

Winter Park: If you’re looking for a more laid-back and artistic atmosphere, Winter Park is the place to be. This charming city is known for its beautiful parks, upscale boutiques, and renowned museums. Take a leisurely stroll through the cobblestone streets, visit the Morse Museum to admire the largest collection of Tiffany glass, or enjoy a boat tour on the Winter Park Chain of Lakes.

Sanford: If you’re a history buff, a visit to Sanford is a must. This historic city is home to a well-preserved downtown area, filled with Victorian-era buildings and charming shops. Explore the Sanford Museum to learn about the city’s past, or take a scenic boat tour on Lake Monroe. Don’t forget to sample some of Sanford’s famous craft beer at one of the local breweries.

Cocoa Beach: If you’re in the mood for some sun and sand, head to Cocoa Beach, known as the Space Coast. Just a short drive east from Orlando Airport, Cocoa Beach offers miles of pristine beaches and a laid-back beach town atmosphere. Surfing enthusiasts will be delighted with the consistent waves, while nature lovers can explore the nearby Canaveral National Seashore.

St. Augustine: If you’re willing to venture a bit further from the airport, St. Augustine is worth the trip. Known as the oldest city in the United States, St. Augustine is steeped in history and boasts a charming old town with cobblestone streets and Spanish colonial architecture. Visit the Castillo de San Marcos, the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States, or explore the many museums and art galleries that showcase the city’s rich cultural heritage.

With so many exciting nearby cities and tourist destinations to choose from, you’ll never run out of things to do near the Orlando Airport. Whether you’re in the mood for thrilling theme parks, relaxing beaches, or a dose of history and culture, there’s something for everyone just a short distance away.


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Daniela Howard

Daniela Howard, a dedicated Harpers Ferry resident, serves as the foremost expert on West Virginia. Over a decade in travel writing, her work for Family Destinations Guide offers in-depth knowledge of the state's hidden treasures, such as fine dining, accommodations, and captivating sights. Her engaging articles vividly depict family-friendly activities, making your West Virginia journey truly memorable.

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