Looking for romantic things to do in Orlando? While living there, we discovered many romantic things to do for adults that we want to share with you. This beautiful city is filled with romantic places where you can spend some quality time together and gather memories to cherish for a lifetime. We’ve split our list into exploring I-Drive, discovering Disney, things to do in downtown Orlando, and day trips from Orlando to help you plan your romantic escapades. We will give you the best of the lot, with, of course, a touch of adventure.
Stay at a Romantic Hotel in Orlando
The cornerstone of your romance is where you sleep at night and wake up in the morning. You could get philosophical here, but let’s just agree to focus on romantic hotels in Orlando. As with so many things in Orlando, you’re looking to avoid the budget family options and instead seek out venues that cater to adult travelers.
If you are traveling with family but seeking a bit of romance, you can find places that do an excellent job of creating separate spaces for everyone to enjoy. Some Orlando hotels and resorts offer spas, pools, lakes, marketplaces, and shuttle services that ensure everyone is happy.
Roughly speaking, International Drive, or I-Drive for short, runs from Universal Studios to Seaworld, with the Convention Center in the middle. It’s Orlando’s version of the Las Vegas Strip, where you’ll find every manner of entertainment other than casinos. It’s a lot more family-focused than its Sin City sister, but you can still find romantic things to do for adults if you know where to look.
Discover CityWalk for Adults
Advertisements for Universal’s CityWalk show teens and tweens having the time of their life. You’ll find that there, but there’s so much more if you know where to look. Plus, since they offer free parking after 6:00 pm (unless it’s Halloween Horror Nights) and free entry, so you can make an evening of it without breaking the bank.
Our favorite dates in CityWalk were exploring up and down the river trail that runs through the complex. You can walk the garden paths or take a free water taxi to one of four resorts connected to Citywalk: Sapphire Falls, Royal Pacific, Hard Rock, and Portofino. There’s a beautiful waterfall at Sapphire Falls, a beach at Royal Pacific, and cool rock and roll memorabilia at Hard Rock, however, our favorite romantic destination is Portofino.
The boat pulls into Portofino Bay, which resembles an Italian village complete with sailboats and Vespa scooters. We loved watching the sunset over the bay while eating pizza from Sal’s Deli on the outdoor plaza. Right at sunset, if you get lucky, a singer would emerge on a balcony over Sal’s and perform a small set. It’s one of the romantic places in Orlando. This activity is also one of our favorite (nearly) free things to do in Orlando.
Crawl Happy Hour on Restaurant Row
Everybody looks for restaurants on I-Drive, but the real secret is to take Sand Lake under I-4 to Restaurant Row, a collection of over 200 of the best restaurants in Orlando. Restaurant Row is in Doctor Phillips neighborhood on Sand Lake Rd between I-4 and Apopka Vineland Rd. It’s always a pleasure to dine here, but why not enjoy happy hour specials and get back to your romantic Orlando hotel that much quicker?
Some of our favorite happy hour deals were fresh sushi rolls at Dragonfly (who also randomly have bomb Japanese sliders), Slate for the pork belly and also pimento goat cheese, and the gone but not forgotten Urbain 40. Orlando Date Night put together a fabulous Doctor Phillips Happy Hour Crawl filled with fantastic suggestions. We could never complete the circuit, but we always had fun trying. The happy hour crawl was our go-to date night in Orlando
Ride The Wheel at ICON Park
The beautiful eye of Orlando isn’t just a center of attraction for its giant structure. This 400-feet tall wheel at ICON Park can promise you a romantic sky ride under a sea of stars. You can choose to get a private capsule with champagne or go with a budget-friendly option depending on how much you are willing to spend. Just make sure to time your trip around the sunset or for fireworks 4th or July or New Years’ to make it more memorable.
The allure of ICON Park goes beyond its famous eye. You can ride the new Orlando Starflyer, which is Orlando’s tallest swing ride if you’re into swinging. There are also restaurants to take you around the world from Uncle Julio’s Mexican to Tapa Toro to iLounge Istanbul. If you’re in the mood for something sweet, you have to check out the outrageous milkshakes at The Sugar Shack. What’s more, there’s even free parking in the attached garage.
Watch a 4-D Movie at Pointe Orlando
Point Orlando is another entertainment hub on International Drive, similar to Icon Park. While it lacks the flashy attractions, it more than makes up for it with the diversity of fun and style. We loved the 4-D movie theater, which consists not only of a 3-D IMAX screen, but also chairs that move with the action and other unique effects. We always made sure to bring a jacket because they keep it a tad cold, even without the fog or mist effects.
We would also stop into Maggiano’s for their tiramisu and to validate parking, but there’s so much more to do at Pointe Orlando than just that. There’s the iFy indoor skydiving, Ice Bar, Improv Comedy Club, and you’re just a short walk from dueling pianos at Howl at the Moon. On weekend mornings, you can’t beat the all you can eat mimosa brunch at Casa Tu Tango and then waddle and/or stumble your way down to Pointe Orlando. If you can’t find romantic things to do here, you’re not trying.
Devour Dinner Theater
I’m not talking Medieval Times because that’s in Kissimmee, and you can do better for a date night. There’s a theory that you should set the bar low and always achieve, but if you were that kind of a person, you wouldn’t be reading our blog.
I-Drive has some fantastic, fun dinner and show options for you. There’s the Latin spice of Mango’s, the intrigue of Sleuths, and the laugh out loud hilarious Teatro Martini Dinner Comedy Show. If you’re really hankering for the slapstick family-friendly atmosphere of Medieval Times, there is the Pirates Dinner Show, we won’t judge (maybe), and at least it’s a right off I-Drive.
Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride or a Helicopter Ride
Airplanes are fun, but there are no better experiences than one on a hot air balloon. Cuddle together and hold on tight as you ascend to new heights to catch the view from the top.
If you like your aerial views propeller-powered, you can fly over the most scenic spots in the city. Helicopter tours depart right from I-Drive. No matter how you like your scenic city views, you will come away with a unique shared experience and a new perspective on Orlando.
Romantic Things to do at Disney World
Regardless of Hot Date’s hot take on adult Disney fans, Disney World can be one of the most romantic things to do in Orlando. Not just getting a ticket to one or more of the four theme parks, but also enjoying Disney Springs and the best of the Disney Resorts.
Just because you were indoctrinated as a child, ignore all the bad parts about it, and yield fully to its influence does NOT make it a cult. It also doesn’t mean Disney isn’t legit romantic.
Go to a Disney World Park
Assuming we haven’t alienated all Disney fans in the previous section, you can make visiting a Disney World Park extremely romantic. Of course, if you’re a fanatic fan of House Mouse, you already know this, and this little segment will do nothing but confirm your pre-existing views. For the moderate grownup visitor, don’t overlook Disney Parks for adult things to do in Orlando. Just have a plan on how to maximize your visit to the parks.
Here’s the greatly abridged version. Get a Park Hopper ticket and book your Fast Pass ahead of time. Arrive at rope drop, usually to the Animal Kingdom or Hollywood Studios for Pandora or Star Wars. Ride your favorite ride first (Flight of Passage / Rise of the Resistance) and then start on your Fast Passes. Note, you can book another Fast Pass from the queue once you have checked-in. Ride until you exhaust your fast pass and then either leave the park or watch shows. There’s no bigger buzzkill than waiting in line all afternoon for a ride.
Our friend Lia might have the winning suggest, go for a Disney resort bar crawl in the afternoon when the lines get to be too much. Just be sure to return to the parks in the evening because the romance grows as the sun sets. Have dinner in Epcot World Showcase and then work your way over to the Magic Kingdom or the Animal Kingdom for the feature night show.
Discover Disney Springs
Disney Springs is the quintessential ‘free thing to do at Disney.’ Parking is free, and the shows at the bandstand are free too. You can spend plenty of money on food and drinks as well as attractions like the incredible VR world of The Void, taking a car boat ride around the lake, or going up in the Aerophile balloon. It goes without saying that the boats and balloons are particularly romantic at sunset.
We loved to work in a walking tour of free things to do at Disney Springs as we grazed for dinner. We loved to stop at the Rainforest Cafe to watch the volcano erupt and popping into the gift shop to check out the aquarium. Our number one, romantic thing to do at Disney Springs was to stop into Raglan Road Irish Pub for a frozen Baileys drink and to watch a round of Irish dancing.
Watch the Disney Fireworks
You don’t have to wait for the 4th of July to watch fireworks in Orlando. Almost nightly, Disney puts on an epic show for their guests (Check the schedule to be sure). Here’s our insider secret, you can become a ‘Disney Guest’ by eating a meal or having a round of drinks at Trader Sam’s in the Polynesian, then staying for the fireworks. You can even work in free parking too.
Book yourself into Trader Sam’s and let the guard at the resort parking lot know that you have a reservation. Enjoy your food at Trader Sam’s, and then work your way down to the dock or beach for the festivities. You can even watch from the restaurant if you have a good seat. From the Polynesian, you can see the Electric Water Pageant and the fireworks from the Magic Kingdom, all without buying a ticket for the parks.
Fly the Disney Skyliner (and cruise the ferry boats too)
The Disney Skyliner is a whimsically themed set of gondolas that connect many (but not all) of the Disney Parks and resorts. It’s free to use for Disney guests and offers romantic views of the parks and lakes from the elevated routes, especially at night and sunset.
There are several Skyliner routes to choose from, and you can even connect these together with the ferry boats in creative loops like taking the Skyliner from the Animal Kingdom to Epcot and then riding the boats back. Much like the fireworks, the secret to enjoying the Skyliner is finding romantic ways to become a Disney guest. The most romantic restaurants along the Skyliner route are Topolino’s Terrace, where you can enjoy French and Italian dishes from a rooftop view, Sebastian’s Bistro with island flavors, and waterfront views, and the Ale & Compass Restaurant with New England cuisine in a lighthouse-inspired restaurant. If you’re looking for romance, be sure to book reservations well in advance. Acts of service is one of the languages of love; waiting in line, is not.
Romantic Things to do in Downtown Orlando
Believe it or not, everyday life in Orlando doesn’t revolve around the tourist zone of Disney or I-Drive. There are vibrant neighborhoods beyond Southwest Orlando where you’ll find nature, nightlife, delicious food, the best coffee in Orlando, and plenty of romantic things to do. For organizational sake, we’ll call this downtown Orlando, but it includes neighborhoods like Winter Park, Milk District, and Winter Garden.
Picnic at Lake Eola Park
Lake Eola is one of Orlando’s oldest parks, dating back to 1888 and situated right in the middle of downtown Orlando. Nothing captures the romance of downtown Orlando like Lake Eola Park and the signature fountain that has become the official symbol of the city.
Lake Eola date ideas include shopping at the Sunday farmer’s market, taking a swan boat ride at sunset, and Movieola. Movieola is a festive picnic in the park with themed activities and food trucks that culminates with an outdoor movie.
Partake in Nightlight on Orange Avenue
When the sun goes down, the creatures of the night converge on Orange Avenue. It’s a great place to go before (or after) a concert, to the theater, or simply to dance the night away. Highlights include Aero Rooftop Bar & Lounge, which is like an outdoor nightclub, Hanson’s Shoe Repair rooftop speakeasy for craft cocktails, the styling, and modern EVE Orlando nightclub, and the popular Beacham, a music venue set in a converted theater.
Without confirming or denying whether these clubs were too hip and cool for us in Orlando, I will say we loved going to Hamburger Mary’s for our annual Christmas drag show tradition. Without a doubt, clubbing on Orange Avenue is one of the best things to do in Orlando for adults.
Drink in the Milk District and Leu Gardens
Leu Gardens is a 50-acre botanical oasis just minutes from Downtown Orlando. It features themed gardens, sculpture installations, and rotating art exhibits. Many couples chose to say I do at Leu, but you can just come for the view. (sorry, had to do it)
Leu Gardens is situated in the Milk District, a progressive cultural hub celebrating diversity. From colorful murals to award-winning bars, coffee shops, restaurants, and food trucks, hip urban couples can string together a fabulous date night in the Milk District.
Tour Winter Park
Winter Park is one of the hippest neighborhoods in Orlando. It encircles the Winter Park Chain of Lakes, where you can kayak, SUP, or take boat tours. If you’re looking for love on the lakes, be sure to check into the full moon tours that run during the summer months or visit the lakeside Kraft Azalea Gardens.
You shouldn’t leave Winter Park without experiencing the food scene. From the shaved meats of Swine and Sons to Ethos Vegan Kitchen, there’s something for everyone. If you can’t decide, stop by the East End Market to see what sparks your interest. Make sure you get a cookie from Gideon’s Bakehouse if you go. Their oversize chocolate chip cookies are better than roses.
Take a Romantic Ride in Winter Garden
Winter Garden used to be a whistle stop town on the Orlando line. Now, those rails evolved into the West Orange Trail, Orlando’s premier bike path. We routinely took our bikes up, but don’t worry if you left your wheels at home. There are ‘stations’ every couple of miles along the trail that offer rentals. Plant Street Station is the closest station to Winter Garden. We spent many romantic afternoons biking under the Spanish moss-laden live oaks that line the West Orange Trail.
All that riding usually built up an appetite or at least burned off enough calories to absolve our gluttony guilt. We loved stopping by the Saturday morning farmers market, the Plant Street Market, or rooftop dining at the Whole Enchilada. A quiet ride along the West Orange Trail, followed by a delicious lunch, is the perfect escape from your routine or the busy tourist zones.
Day Trips From Orlando
Day Trips from Orlando are a fantastic way to escape the crowds of the city and discover the natural side of central Florida. East and west coast beaches are only an hour away, and there are more springs than you can shake a stick at. All of these active escapes and the romantic hotels will make you want to plan a full on romantic getaway to Central Florida.
Soak in the Natural Springs
Look out the window as your flying into Orlando. You’ll see lakes dotting the countryside where springs pop out of the ground. These are the crystal-clear springs that inspired the legends of the fountain of youth, and today offer young and old alike a natural escape from the Orlando heat. These springs are like nothing you’ve seen before. The water is cool, crystal-clear, beautiful, and very romantic.
We have several suggestions for romantic getaways, each unique in their own right. Wekiva Island is the closest springs to Orlando. You can rent a kayak and paddle to the springhead or visit their remarkable food trucks complete with a full bar for a spring side picnic.
Silver Springs are the only springs in the world with wild monkeys and manatees. A romantic day at Silver Springs could include either a kayak trip or a glass-bottom boat tour.
Rainbow River not only offers kayaking and tubing, but you can even take a freshwater drift dive as you scuba back to KP Hole Park. If you’re out at Rainbow River, be sure to stop in for riverside dining at Swampy’s, which is way more romantic than it sounds. If you are feeling especially adventurous, start your meal off with some gator bites. Remember, in Florida, you are far more likely to eat a gator than to be eaten by one.
Swim With the Manatees at Crystal River
It’s hard to see a manatee and not smile because they’re so cute and so ugly at the same time. If you swim with the manatees, that’s a surefire winning date right there. The cuteness overload will get you anything your heart (or any other part of your anatomy) desires.
Crystal River Florida is the manatee capital of the world where hundreds of these gentle giants come to spend their winters, and it’s about an hour’s drive outside of Orlando. You can make it a day trip, but the tours are much better first thing in the morning. We reccomend you consider making it an overnight trip by staying at the Crystal Blue Lagoon, a romantic bed and breakfast right on the springs. Despite being a small town, Crystal River is home to a surprisingly delicious and romantic gourmet restaurant – Vintage on 5th. They boast a close contender for the best She-crab soup in Florida.
Go to the Beach
Orlando is in the middle of the state, but it’s still less than an hour’s drive to either shore. What’s more romantic than strolling hand in hand on the beach and feeling the waves washing up on your toes? Perhaps nothing, but depending on which coast you head to, you might find something.
We’ve written a more detailed guide on the beaches of Orlando, but here’s the skinny. The east coast where you’ll find a little waves coming in from the Atlantic. Not only are there beaches, but also the massive Indian River Lagoon where, on moonless summer nights, you might find bioluminescent paddling. The west coast has beautiful sand and sunsets. Romantic trips to the west coast beaches include a myriad of ways to celebrate the end of the day from dolphin cruises, rooftop bars, the sunset celebration at Pier 39, or simply snuggling on the sand.
Wrapping up the Most Romantic Things to Do in Orlando
We hope we have inspired you to look for love on your next trip to the ‘City Beautiful.’ Whether you’re coming with kids or a couple’s getaway, we hope you try one or more of our romantic things to do in Orlando. During our time living in Orlando, we have done variations of everything on this list. All these activities are Coleman Concierge tested and approved. We’re not the sort to kiss and tell, but let’s just say it all worked out very well…when the lights went out 😉
Disclaimer: This post was made possible through a partnership with Westgate Resorts. All opinions are our own.
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