Like destinations that are often targeted to families of young children (like Chattanooga, Williamsburg, and Myrtle Beach, to name a few), there’s more to Orlando, Florida than meets the eye. There are plenty of spaces for grown-ups to enjoy, from downtown museums to the famous theme parks.
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Orlando Theme Parks for Adults
Orlando isn’t just for kids. Most of the major theme parks have something to offer adults, whether it’s nightlife or world-class food, festivals, and movie-related experiences.
Walt Disney World for Adults
You’ve heard of Disney Adults. Now you can be one! Walt Disney World’s best parks for adults are Epcot and Hollywood Studios, which is home to Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. Epcot was the first park to have alcohol and the dining experiences are unmatched.
If that’s not enough, Disney Springs is home to James Beard Award-winning chefs, including Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’, Chef Rick Bayless’ Frontera Cocina, Chef Jose Andres’ Jaleo, and Morimoto Asia from Chef Masaharu Morimoto.
It’s also home to Bar George, helmed by Master Sommelier George Miliotes, which has over 130 bottles of hand-selected wines. The Edison is another favorite, a speakeasy-inspired bar and restaurant with acrobat performers. The party goes on some nights until 2 am.
When it comes to the best places to stay at Walt Disney World for adults, we recommend the Swan and Dolphin Resort, made of two different hotels with onsite restaurants, pools, and easy park access. Grand Floridian is the most upscale of the hotels, right next to the Magic Kingdom. Coronado Springs is another great option because it’s home to the convention center.
Universal Orlando Resort for Adults
In my personal opinion, Universal Orlando Resort is better suited for adults because of the abundance of places to grab a drink, the thrilling coasters, and the themed areas that appeal to a certain age bracket, which includes The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Get your tickets before you go.
CityWalk is home to the best restaurants and bars around, including our favorites like Antojito’s, Cowfish, and Vivo Italian Kitchen. Here you can catch live music at Pat O’Brien’s or belt out your own tunes at Rising Star, with live band karaoke.
When it comes to Universal Orlando hotels, most are great for adults. Hard Rock Hotel is the closest to the parks, with live music and pools. Sapphire Falls has park access via boat as well as a world-class rum collection at Strong Water Tavern. The Italian-inspired Portofino Bay has balconies overlooking the “town square,” along with a spa and authentic Italian restaurants.
Golf, Spa, Performances, and Other Things to Do
Many travelers to Orlando barely scratch the surface of the city. You can catch an NBA game with Orlando Magic tickets or race against friends at Andretti Indoor Go Karting. Tee off at one of the many golf courses (including ones on Disney property!) or test out the beginner-friendly option at Topgolf.
Or explore the surrounding waterways with a kayak rental. Wekiwa Island is a nearby area to enjoy the water and wildlife. In the heart of the city, Henry P. Leu Gardens is a 50-acre botanical garden with dozens of species of plants and sculptures sprinkled throughout.
See the city highlights on an Orlando Half-Day Sightseeing Tour or admire the view from above on the ICON 360, the East Coast’s largest observation wheel. Tickets are available for purchase online before you go. The helicopter tour at night is another option for the adventurous.
Where to Eat in Orlando
Orlando and its surrounding areas have underrated food scenes. A La Cart is Orlando’s own food truck park that has a rotating selection of international cuisine as well as 15 taps of craft beers from Florida and beyond. Black Rooster Taqueria in the Mills50 District has unique tacos with smoked greens and pork fat, along with bowls and salads.
Founded by two culinary school graduates, Cafe Linger cafe serves decadent dishes for breakfast like ricotta pancakes, crepes, and croissant sandwiches. They also have tea and coffee and emphasize sustainability. Chatham’s Place Restaurant is one of Orlando’s top restaurants, with Angus beef and Florida grouper.
In Celebration, Imperium Food and Wine is covered in local artwork and has an extensive wine and beer list. Menu highlights include the steak salad, spicy shrimp tacos, and ahi tuna. Kabooki Sushi is one of the best sushi restaurants with favorites like the Berkshire pork belly, tempura roll, and nigiri.
Tapa Toro brings together the flavors of Spain, including wine, Iberico ham, and paella, along with live flamenco performances. Indulge in menu highlights like the churros, Spanish omelets, and patatas bravas. Not to be confused with Tori Tori, a Japanese pub with yakitori.
With two locations in town, Lineage Coffee is among the best places to get your morning boost. Grab a pastry to enjoy with your latte. Grab a pastry to enjoy with your latte. Deeply Cafe is a trendy coffee shop that also sells natural wines.
Where to Drink in Orlando
Orlando doesn’t get enough love for its bar and cocktail scene. The Hampton Social is a restaurant, but is known for its neon-lit space and frose. Island Grove Winery is an unexpected winery and restaurant making local fruit wines but with taps of other varieties. Ten10 Brewery is one of many craft breweries in town.
Aku Aku is known for its tropical cocktails and decor. On the opposite end of the spectrum is ICEBAR Orlando on International Drive, with blocks of hand-carved ice, furry coats, and drinks. The Treehouse is another popular spot.
The Courtesy is the city’s first craft cocktail bar and has hosted Christmas pop ups, offering whiskey, absinthe, and more. Mathers Social Gathering is another, set in a historic furniture store. The city also has speakeasies like Hanson’s Shoe Repair, located in an 1800s building. The Woods has live music and seasonal cocktails.
Adult-Friendly Hotels in Orlando
Orlando isn’t just about cheesy themed hotels. The city has two locations of the Kessler collection properties, including the Bohemian Hotel in Celebration and the Grand Bohemian Hotel downtown. Both have world-class artwork, a restaurant, and stylish rooms.
For adults that don’t want to stay at the theme parks, the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort and JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa are close to the park entrances but with a wholly different experience.
The Eo Inn near Lake Eola offers 21 rooms and suites in a 1920s building as well as a rooftop terrace. The Waldorf Astoria Orlando is also near Walt Disney World, with a stunning pool and restaurants.
For rentals, Kissimmee‘s Margaritaville Resort has both traditional hotel rooms and cottages, multiple dining options, pools, and activities for all ages. There are a wide range of rooms and houses at Reunion Resort (review here) as well.
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