Orlando, Florida, is best known as the ultimate family-friendly destination, but there are plenty of attractions perfectly suitable for adults. Shopping, dining, nightlife, and outdoor activities are abundant in Orlando. This vibrant, bustling city has something for everyone.
Universal Orlando’s CityWalk
Universal CityWalk is undoubtedly Orlando’s “entertainment hotspot.” Though also suitable for families, adults will enjoy the CityWalk’s fabulous restaurants, crowded clubs, and local and high-end shopping boutiques.
Numerous themed restaurants line the walk, each specializing in a different culinary delight. From Southern comfort food to exotic cuisine, there are countless options. Interesting burger and sushi combos are available at The Cowfish, and Florida/Caribbean (Floribbean) dishes are waiting at the infamous Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville. Emeril Lagasse, celebrity chef, even has a restaurant—Emeril’s Restaurant Orlando. CityWalk is also home to the world’s biggest Hard Rock Cafe.
Universal CityWalk also has countless entertainment venues, including the renowned Blue Man Group, which offers an unforgettable experience at its theater next to the Hard Rock Cafe. Visitors can also enjoy a night out at the Red Coconut Club, Orlando’s most exciting nightclub and “ultra-lounge.” With three different bars, two levels, a starlit balcony, and retro-decor, the Red Coconut Club is beyond impressive.
Additionally, the CityWalk features many great shopping options. Visitors can purchase souvenirs at the Universal Studios Store, beach attire at the Quiet Flight Surf Shop, and the hottest accessories at Fossil.
Though Universal Orlando’s CityWalk contains the majority of nightclubs, there are several other trendy bars and clubs outside of the park. The Bosendorfer Lounge at the Grand Bohemian Hotel comes recommended by tourists and locals alike. This trendy lounge offers live entertainment—including pleasant piano melodies from the rare Imperial Grand Bosendorfer Piano, handcrafted signature cocktails, and gourmet cuisine. Ember Bar and Restaurant is another local favorite that is reminiscent of a laidback, European-style tavern. Boasting a relaxing, hip environment and an eclectic menu, Ember Bar is great for late-night patio drinks after a long day of exploring Orlando’s prime attractions.
Dinner Theatre Shows
If you’re looking for a bit of entertainment to go with your gourmet meal, look no further than Orlando’s dinner theatre shows. Outside of the theme parks, there are several great dinner theatre locations worth checking out, including the Orlando Improv Comedy Club and Dinner Theatre, which features famed headliners and up-and-coming comedians to make you laugh while you enjoy your meal. Treasure Tavern is a little saucier and suitable for a mature audience. WonderWorks, home of the Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show, is perfect for all ages.
For history buffs, Titanic – The Experience hosts a Gala Dinner during which guests can tour the attraction and watch the reenactment of that frigid April night when the unsinkable ship met its match.
Orlando has numerous shopping destinations, including malls, gift shops, local boutiques, and outlet stores. The Florida Mall and the Mall at Millenia are two of the biggest all-inclusive malls. The Florida Mall offers over 200 different stores and is just a few minutes away from the airport, making it Orlando’s shopping epicenter. Stores include American Eagle Outfitters, PacSun, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Sephora, Express, Lucky Brand Jeans, and hundreds more.
The Mall at Millenia features higher-end boutiques, including Dior, Gucci, Burberry, Cartier, and Chanel, as well as the moderately priced Macy’s, Abercrombie, Gap, and J. Crew.
Though Orlando has a multitude of museums dedicated to educating a younger demographic, there are several museums, including the new Dali Museum, that may be more suited to an older audience. This eccentric museum is home to the world’s largest collection of Salvador Dali’s art. The swooping blue glass panes of the building itself is reason enough to visit this modern art marvel.
Tibet-Butler Nature Reserve
This 440-acre nature reserve gives visitors a chance to see the breathtaking natural scenery of Florida. Away from the crowded streets of downtown Orlando, this quiet reserve offers tranquil views of the Tibet-Butler Lake, gorgeous flatwoods, and swampy wetlands.
With six relatively short trails (about a mile or two long), those looking for a breath of fresh air will be adequately soothed by this nature excursion. Bobcats, bald eagles, and gopher tortoises are known to inhabit the reserve and will make an appearance from time to time.
Because of Orlando’s natural beauty, boat tours are one of the best ways to explore the landscape. Winter Park, about 20 minutes away from downtown Orlando, offers an hour-long Scenic Boat Tour. A guide will narrate the leisurely ride as it passes through the Winter Park Chain of Lakes. Enormous mansions on the waterfront, diverse wildlife, and serene greenery will provide an interesting and enjoyable afternoon.
For those who like to explore at their own pace, Lake Eola Park—in the heart of Orlando—offers paddleboat rentals, so you can take in the beauty of the Orlando Skyline for as long as you’d like.