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  • Writer's pictureGotta Go Orlando

Top 15 Things To Do In Beautiful Downtown Orlando

Updated: Apr 3

Of course Orlando is best known for its coasters and castles, but us Orlandoans are gonna let you in on a secret, there are lots of exciting and unique experiences just waiting to be discovered in Downtown Orlando that allow you to turn up fun day and night.

Top 15 Things To Do In Beautiful Downtown Orlando

Downtown, is home to City Hall, and an ecliptic mix of modern office towers, and 19th-century buildings.

The world class Dr. Phillips Center shows musicals and opera, while the nearby Amway Center features big-name concerts and is home to the Orlando Magic.

Downtown is also home to the Orlando City and Orlando Pride soccer teams at the Exploria Stadium.

At the heart of Downtown is the gorgeous Lake Eola and the famous Lake Eola Fountain.

Top 15 Things To Do In Beautiful Downtown Orlando

As day turns to night Downtown Orlando takes on a truly magical and exciting atmosphere with a wonderful mix of craft cocktail bars, live music and entertainment, nightclubs and bars.

Foodies will discover Downtown's dynamic food scene. From soul food to farm-to-table fresh to global flavors, diversity defines Downtown Orlando as a delicious culinary destination.

Downtown Orlando really is an amzing place just waiting to be discovered, so lets check out the Top 15 Experiences that allow you to turn up fun!

Top 15 Things To Do In Beautiful Downtown Orlando Lake Eola

Top 15 Things To Do In Downtown Orlando

Discover Downtown Visitor Center

Discover Downtown. It’s more than an invitation, it’s also the name of the information center dedicated to all things “DTO” (a local nickname for downtown Orlando).

Located near the corner of Orange Avenue and Church Street with a selfie-inspiring mega DTO out front, Discover Downtown is where you’ll get info on events, attractions, arts, dining, lodging, transportation, parking - basically everything you need to know about downtown Orlando.

While discovering downtown, be sure to snag some wearables, art, and goods from local makers and brands, and check out the 30-foot downtown-inspired mural by renowned international artist and Orlando resident Boy Kong.

Top 15 Things To Do In Beautiful Downtown Orlando DTO Sign

Stroll The Beautiful Harry P. Leu Gardens

Harry P. Leu Gardens is a perfect spot in downtown Orlando to go on a sightseeing tour, it is one of downtown orlando attractions which is definitely worth your time.

In Harry P. Leu Gardens you will find palm gardens, bird gardens, butterfly gardens, and much more interesting sights.

The number of cultivars in the Gardens is over 230, and about 2,000 plants. You also get to find varieties of Flora you might have never seen before.

Some of the features these gardens boast of include tropical and semi-tropical species. The Shady Oaks and Camellias in these gardens provide shade across the garden’s pathways.

As most of these plants don’t have tallying seasons, the garden seem a lot different from various seasons.

While in the gardens, try checking out the Leu House Museum, situated in the very house Mr. Leu lived during his days.

Top 15 Things To Do In Beautiful Downtown Orlando Leu Gardens

You Gotta Visit Lake Eola

Some towns are built on the shorelines of a lake. Not Downtown Orlando. DT has the whole lake at its urban center, and it’s a beautiful stretch of water surrounded by verdant parklands.

The lake has a walkable circumference of just under one mile and covers almost twenty-three acres.

The iconic Lake Eola Fountain, elegantly sprays water jets by day and by night, illuminates the lake with an amazing display of colored lighting.

There’s a market held in Lake Eola Park every Sunday, plus frequent festivals and open-air concerts take place in the park and the Walt Disney Amphitheater

Top 15 Things To Do In Beautiful Downtown Orlando Lake Eola

Swan Swooning At Lake Eola

One of the most photographed and iconic places in Downtown Orlando is its crown jewel, Lake Eola Park.

Even if you’re a local, you haven’t lived until you’ve taken a voyage across Lake Eola on a swan paddle boat. Each boat holds up to four passengers and can be rented Tuesday - Sunday from 10 am to 7 pm.

After your ride, take a walk around the park to see five different species of swans.

Top 15 Things To Do In Beautiful Downtown Orlando Swan Boats Lake Eola

Go See Artlando

Grab a map from the DT Orlando Information Center and go on a self-guided tour of DT’s streets to discover the nine contemporary sculptures which are Art Orlando. Not only will you get to know Downtown as you walk around, you’ll be seriously impressed by these stunning works of art.

The Take Flight sculpture decorates the shoreline of Lake Eola and is a flock of metal birds which appear to be caught in eternal flight. The Union is a mesmerizing formation of curved metal wings which move in the breeze. The Cedar of Lebanon is a staggering, three-story high artistic creation representing tree life.

Sit in the hand of the Muse of Discovery for a photo. This enormous sculpture of a prone woman is half-buried under a bank of earth and greenery.

And those are just a few of them.

Each and every one of the nine Art Orlando sculptures will give you an Instagram-worthy photo. Make sure you snap a picture of them all.

Top 15 Things To Do In Beautiful Downtown Orlando Art

Know your History, Visit Orange County History Center

Explore the five stories of the Orange County History Center to discover all about Orlando’s past plus lots of regional Florida history too.

The museum on Central Boulevard in DT Orlando is housed in a neoclassical, late 1920’s building which was originally a courthouse. There are diverse exhibitions ranging from agriculture to aviation and space travel.

Examples of the flora and fauna of Florida, replicas of pioneer cabins and stories and artifacts of the Indigenous natives and African Americans.

The History Center offers a fascinating insight into how life has changed in Florida over the past one hundred years morphing from an agricultural community into tourism.

Top 15 Things To Do In Beautiful Downtown Orlando Orange County History Center

Live It Up At Wall Street Plaza

This hub of day and nighttime entertainment is one of the top places to have fun in Downtown Orlando. Home to shops, restaurants, and plenty of bars (that turn into full-on clubs after dark), you could easily start and finish your night without ever leaving Wall Street Plaza.

The outdoor square gets packed-out for special events such as New Year’s Eve, St. Patrick’s Day, Halloween and a few local events such as RumFest, Florida Music Fest and City Skip Day.

The road is also closed off to traffic every Friday and Saturday night from 9pm for their weekly ‘Block Parties’, with live DJs (and no cover charge)

Top 15 Things To Do In Beautiful Downtown Orlando Wall Street  Plaza

Get Your insta On With Engaging Eye Candy All Around

Take a walk through downtown Orlando, and you’ll discover art in unexpected places, including larger-than-life butterflies, a vintage Orlando postcard, hanging gardens, even a parking garage covered with murals.

Top 15 Things To Do In Beautiful Downtown Orlando Murals

Visit The Electrifying Orlando Science Center

Orlando Science Center is Central Florida’s award-winning, hands-on science museum. For more than 60 years, our exhibits and programming have brought science to life for not just residents of Central Florida, but also visitors from around the world.

With four floors of interactive exhibit halls, labs and workshops, theaters, an observatory, and experiences that change with the seasons, there is always something exciting for our 670,000 annual visitors to see and do at Orlando Science Center.

Top 15 Things To Do In Beautiful Downtown Orlando Orlando science center

Step Back in Time To Old Orlando

Mixing architecture and history is a great way to spend the day and learn more about downtown Orlando with the self-guided Historic Districts Walking Tour.

You’ll learn about structures that were designed and built when horses were still clopping along Church Street and see how they’ve been adapted for modern uses.

Top 15 Things To Do In Beautiful Downtown Orlando

Visit Wells' Built Museum

The Wells’ Built Museum of African American History and Culture on South Street in Downtown Orlando is a historic hotel converted to a museum. The hotel was built by Dr. Wells in the 1920’s to accommodate visitors to Orlando who were barred from other establishments because of the segregation rules of the state in force in that era.

The museum houses numerous exhibits and artifacts relating to many of the hotel’s famous guests which include singers, musicians, and sports stars as well as memorabilia related to the Civil Rights Movement.

Top 15 Things To Do In Beautiful Downtown Orlando Wells' Built Museum

Keep Your Hunger At Bay At East End Market

East End Market is a 2-storey market-cum-arcade that aims to showcase the best of what Central Florida has to offer in terms of cooked food, art, and fresh produce.

The market also features some world-class restaurants, and a live-cooking area.

Top 15 Things To Do In Beautiful Downtown Orlando east end market

A Visit To Church Street Is A Must

The unofficial centre of Downtown Orlando, Church Street really is the place to go for first-timers wanting to get to know the city a little better. It’s home to some of the city’s best restaurants, a bustling nightlife scene and the iconic Railroad Depot (that now sits alongside the newly-built ‘SunRail’).

As the historic centre of Orlando, the old Railroad Depot was built in 1889 and still stands as a reminder of the city’s long-lost past, well before Disney and Universal arrived. Meanwhile, the SunRail commuter rail project links Church Street with 3 other downtown areas of Orlando.

It’s here that you’ll find several clubs, theatres, shopping complexes and the huge Kia Center sports arena.

Top 15 Things To Do In Beautiful Downtown Orlando church st

Grab A Coffee In Thornton Park

Just east of the central Lake Eola, you’ll find this cool and quiet neighbourhood that really feels like you’ve escaped the city for an out-of-town suburb.

But there’s a difference with Thornton Park – the area has plenty in the way of hip cafés, cool galleries and a few bistros, all set around some ever-so-quaint old cobbled streets.

Well worth a few hours to stretch your legs in Downtown Orlando.

 Top 15 Things To Do In Beautiful Downtown Orlando thornton park

Enjoy A Sunset Picnic in the Park

Order ahead for pick-up at your favorite downtown restaurant or food truck to support the tastemakers who put Orlando’s food scene on the map, or pack a picnic basket with your favorite tastes from home.

Pick a soft spot on the lawn in Lake Eola Park and watch the sun set on downtown’s skyline while the fountain’s light show turns up the night.

This truly is the City Beautiful.

Top 15 Things To Do In Beautiful Downtown Orlando Lake Eola Sunset


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