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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 this list of Orlando activities 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
Universal’s CityWalk offers more than just advertised fun for teens and tweens. With free parking after 6:00 pm (except on Halloween Horror Nights) and complimentary entry, it’s an affordable evening out. Among our top CityWalk experiences is strolling the river trail passing through the complex. Explore garden paths or hop on a water taxi to four connected resorts: Sapphire Falls, Royal Pacific, Hard Rock, and Portofino. Each offers unique attractions like waterfalls, beaches, or rock memorabilia, but for a romantic setting, Portofino Bay steals the show.
Arriving at Portofino Bay feels like stepping into an Italian village, complete with sailboats and scooters. Sunset views over the bay, enjoying pizza from Sal’s Deli on the plaza, and occasional live performances from a balcony singer create an incredibly romantic ambiance. This activity ranks high on our list of 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 the 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), and Slate for the, oh so delicious, spicy mussels and Slate fries. 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 Cafe 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 can be extremely romantic, especially if you plan strategically. Consider a Park Hopper ticket and pre-book Fast Passes for popular rides like Flight of Passage or Rise of the Resistance. Arrive early at rope drop, hit your favorite ride first, then use your Fast Passes efficiently. Remember, you can book more while in line.
After using your passes, avoid long queues by enjoying shows or consider a Disney resort bar crawl. Return to the parks in the evening for a more romantic atmosphere as the sun sets. Dinner at Epcot World Showcase adds to the charm before catching the night show at Magic Kingdom or Animal Kingdom. This approach maximizes your visit and avoids endless line waits.
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 taking a walking tour of free things to do at Disney Springs as we grazed for dinner. We stopped at the Rainforest Café to watch the volcano erupt and popped 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 Nightlife 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 couplescan 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 oversized 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 Natural Springs
Look out the window as you’re 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.
For a nearby getaway, Wekiva Island boasts kayaking to the springhead and food trucks with a full bar for a charming picnic. Silver Springs, home to wild monkeys and manatees, offers kayak trips or glass-bottom boat tours for a romantic day out.
Rainbow River allows kayaking, tubing, and even freshwater drift dives back to KP Hole Park. Stop for riverside dining at Swampy’s, surprisingly romantic, and try some gator bites for an adventurous meal. Remember, in Florida, eating gator is more common than encountering 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 recommend 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 strong 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 (winky face!).
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Hi! We are Ed and Jenn Coleman aka Coleman Concierge. In a nutshell, we are a Huntsville-based Gen X couple sharing our stories of amazing adventures through activity-driven transformational and experiential travel.