Summary: Orlando, Florida is a popular tourist destination known for its incredible theme parks and attractions. While these big-name destinations can be expensive, there are also plenty of affordable alternatives that offer just as much fun and excitement. From nature parks to outdoor concerts, here are some of the best cheap attractions in Orlando.
1. Nature and Wildlife Attractions
Orlando is home to a variety of nature and wildlife attractions that won’t break the bank. Gatorland, for example, offers visitors the chance to see alligators, crocodiles, and other exotic animals up close and personal. This wildlife park also features gardens, swamp walkways, and even a zipline for those looking for an adrenaline rush. Similarly, the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens is another great option for nature lovers. This non-profit zoo has a variety of animals on display, including giraffes, rhinos, and cheetahs, and also features a butterfly garden and train ride.
For those interested in marine life, the SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium is another popular option. This aquarium features over 5,000 sea creatures and offers guests the chance to interact with certain species through touch pools and feeding experiences. Finally, the Tibet-Butler Nature Preserve offers free admission and showcases the natural beauty of Florida through hiking trails, boardwalks, and scenic overlooks.
If you’re looking for a truly unique experience, consider a bioluminescent kayaking tour at night. This guided tour takes visitors through the Indian River Lagoon where they can witness the magnificent glow of bioluminescent plankton in the water.
2. Museums and Art Galleries
In addition to its numerous theme parks, Orlando also has a variety of museums and art galleries that won’t break the bank. The Orlando Museum of Art, for example, features contemporary and modern art exhibits from around the world and offers free admission on select days throughout the month. Similarly, the Cornell Fine Arts Museum is a small but impressive collection of Renaissance and Baroque art that is always free to the public.
The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art is another must-visit attraction for art enthusiasts. This museum features the largest collection of Tiffany glass in the world, as well as other decorative art objects from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Finally, if you’re interested in science and technology, the Orlando Science Center offers interactive exhibits on topics ranging from space exploration to robotics.
Art and culture lovers should also check out the CityArts Factory, a collection of six art galleries in one building featuring various kinds of arts including experimental display, photography and paintings. Admission is free, but visitors can donate to support the artists.
3. Outdoor Activities
Orlando boasts a variety of outdoor activities that are both fun and affordable. Shingle Creek Regional Park, for example, is a great place for a picnic or bike ride. This park features over 1,000 acres of pristine wilderness along with hiking trails, kayaking, and fishing. The Harry P. Leu Gardens is another popular spot for outdoor enthusiasts. These beautiful gardens offer visitors the chance to see rare flowers, majestic trees, and butterfly gardens.
If you’re looking for a more adrenaline-filled experience, consider visiting Orlando’s Aiguille Rock Climbing Center. This indoor rock-climbing center offers packages for beginners and experienced climbers alike, and is a fun activity for groups or families. Alternatively, Revolution Adventures is an outdoor adventure center that offers ATV and dune buggy rides, archery, clay shooting, and even a giant zip line.
If you have access to a car, consider making a trip to Wekiwa Springs State Park. This state park is located just outside of Orlando and features crystal-clear springs that are perfect for swimming, kayaking, or paddleboarding. The park also has hiking and biking trails as well as campsites for those looking to spend the night.
4. Entertainment and Events
While Orlando is best known for its theme parks, there are also plenty of entertainment options for those on a budget. For example, the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts offers free outdoor concerts and events throughout the year. Similarly, the House of Blues Orlando offers free admission to certain concerts and events, as well as happy hour specials throughout the week.
Orlando is also home to a variety of festivals and events throughout the year. The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, for example, is a beautiful event that showcases floral displays and topiaries from around the world. Another popular event is the Orlando Food & Wine Fest in November which offers visitors the chance to sample food from some of the city’s best restaurants. Finally, the Central Florida Fair is an annual event that features rides, games, and agricultural exhibits.
Lastly, for those interested in performing arts and concerts at an affordable price, Hard Rock Live Orlando frequently hosts touring rock bands, comedians, and other performers at a relatively reasonable ticket rate and is conveniently located in Universal CityWalk.
While Orlando may be known for its expensive theme parks and attractions, there are plenty of affordable options for travelers on a budget. From nature parks and museums to outdoor activities and entertainment, there is something for everyone in this vibrant city. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or art enthusiast, there is never a shortage of fun and exciting things to do in Orlando without spending too much.