Things to do in Orlando

Orlando Landmarks

Orlando is full of quintessential landmarks—discover them all.

There's so much more to Orlando than first meets the eye. It's rich with culture and history. Visiting the city's landmarks is one of the best things to do in Orlando.

Iconic buildings, state-of-the-art sports facilities, art galleries, and so much more await. Buckle up and get ready to discover beautiful architecture, awe-inspiring histories, and a vibrant community spirit as you venture through The City Beautiful, as the locals affectionately call it.

Orlando Landmarks

Start your journey with a visit to the most quintessential Orlando landmarks.

1. Walt Disney World's Cinderella Castle

Few buildings are as recognizable as Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World Resort. This architectural masterpiece is the symbol of the Magic Kingdom Park. It stands tall over the park with its massive blue spires shooting 189 ft. into the air.

As soon as you see it in the distance, the stone facade inspires dreams of fantastical fairy tales and storybook wonders. It's even more majestic up close.

Inside, beautifully handcrafted glass mosaics recreate the familiar tale of Cinderella without ever speaking a word. Each mural towers 15 ft. above you. The attention to detail in laying the glass, silver, and gold tiles is obvious at first glance.

Each mosaic has more than a million tiles, along with hidden touches. For example, Anastasia's and Drizella's faces are tinted green and red to represent them being green with envy and red with rage. This amazing piece of artistry sits inside the castle's entrance.

Source: Disney World

2. Linton E. Allen Memorial Fountain at Lake Eola Park

Surrounded by the bustle of urban life in Downtown Orlando, Lake Eola Park is a breath of fresh air. With stunning views and a big lake reflecting the clouds, it's a park worth visiting.

It's especially known for the massive fountain at the heart of the lake. The Linton E. Allen Memorial Fountain, sometimes called the Centennial Fountain, was built to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the city's founding.

In the daylight, it's a spectacle to behold. At night, it becomes a light show. Multicolored lights flash, illuminating the streams coming from the fountain. It's as vibrant as this grand city's immutable spirit, and it's one of the most beautiful places in Orlando.

3. Church Street Station

Before Orlando became known for its theme parks, the city was a different place. A train station stood on Church Street, built in 1889 to welcome travelers with open arms. In 1926, it was replaced by a new passenger station. While the Church Street Station was a hub for freight operations until the 1980s, it eventually fell into disrepair.

This beautiful Romanesque building became an iconic landmark in the heart of downtown. It's been completely restored, and today, it offers dining, entertainment, retail establishments, bustling nightlife, and frequent events.

4. International Drive

Orlando has many entertaining attractions, and you'll find them in spades on International Drive Orlando. Experience the allure of family-friendly adventures by day and a thrumming nightlife that keeps the party going once the kids are in bed.

Artistic Landmarks

The arts flourish in Orlando, and you'll see it displayed proudly at these landmarks.

5. The Unbelievably Real Mural

Orlando is so much more than a prime tourist destination. It's an economic hub and home to hundreds of thousands of people. The Unbelievably Real Mural is an artistic piece commissioned to showcase the heart of the city.

Clark Orr is the genius behind this artistic endeavor. The artist effortlessly blended elements of tourism, such as fireworks and Lake Eola Park, with the innovative technologies the city is known for, such as rocket launches and virtual reality. Together, amid the shades of blue, orange, and white, they demonstrate how this city thrives.

6. Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

Artistry and modern architecture go hand in hand at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Situated in the center of downtown, this spot's imposing glass walls reflect the street scenes as you approach its doors.

Inside, three theaters, a family room, a plaza, and other spaces await, each offering unique settings. Virtually any genre of show can be found here. From children performing ballet to impressive ensembles and theater performances, opportunities to admire the universality of art abound.

7. Orlando Museum of Art

Art is timeless, predating human history and connecting us all. At the Orlando Museum of Art, this timelessness is echoed in its historic-looking exterior, complemented by the modern-contemporary interior.

Its white, round stature evokes imagery of an ancient coliseum, but inside, thousands of pieces of art speckle the walls. This beloved artistic landmark keeps you engaged with every step you take.

For some exhibits, you might find yourself craning your neck back to take in the entirety of a sculpture. You might ogle at other exhibits with your head turned, seeking a new perspective as you discern what the artist wanted to convey.

Cultural and Historical Landmarks

Historical places in Orlando, Florida, abound. Take your pick and discover the stories that built this great city.

8. Orange County Regional History Center

From its exterior, the Orange County Regional History Center looks like an intimidating civic building, with stoic, gray walls towering overhead. Inside, scenes from across the decades appear frozen in time in vibrant colors. Its awe-inspiring displays span 12,000 years of Central Florida's existence.

In some areas, scenes depict Indigenous people going about their daily lives prior to the arrival region's flora and fauna. The journey through time follows the pioneer ages to Florida's theme park era, which transformed the state's economy from agriculture to tourist-centric.

9. Wells'Built Museum of African American History and Culture

In the early 1900s, Dr. William Wells saw an urgent need for a hotel catering to African American visitors. At the time, segregation kept them out of most hotel accommodations.

Wells opened the Wells'Built Hotel, which became a local hub for Black performers and athletes. Famous figures, such as Jackie Robinson, Thurgood Marshall, and Ella Fitzgerald, once graced this hotel's halls.

Just one year after Wells passed away, the hotel followed suit, falling into disrepair. In the 1990s, when the local government sought to demolish the dilapidated building, state representatives fought to protect it.

It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. After nearly a decade of rehabilitation, it reopened as the Wells'Built Museum of African American History and Culture.

This renowned museum's exhibits depict what life was like in the 20th century. Heartfelt letters and photos from residents show the depth of Wells' contribution to the community.

10. Orlando City Hall

Orlando City Hall is nothing less than stately, with its pristine white walls overlooking the city streets.

The 120-ft. dome atop its roof once gleamed with shining copper. Over time, it has dulled with a natural patina, but it's no less amazing to behold. This nine-story building houses the city's government and invites hundreds of people through its doors each day.

Echoed across the entire exterior of its proud walls, three relief panels display crucial elements of the region's natural landscape. Fish, coral, orange groves, and the roseate spoonbill and pelican adorn each panel, representing the sea, earth, and sky.

Venture inside to find two local art galleries with collections that rotate every three months.

11. Hannibal Square Heritage Center

The Hannibal Square Heritage Center exudes Southern charm, with magnolias and a small fountain beckoning you inside. This big, beautiful building sits in Winter Park and celebrates the community of Hannibal Square.

During the segregation era, the neighborhood was specific to African American people. Listen to the whispers of local history told by those who experienced it. Every family has a story, and you can discover some here through photographs, letters, and other collections on display.

12. Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe

The Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe began as a way for the Catholic community to appeal to tourists, extending visitors an invitation to worship in the basilica.

Thanks to its modern exterior and beautiful interior filled with sacred art, it's become a general tourist attraction and an important landmark. Delicate sculptures carved out of marble overlook the pews. Stained glass windows line the walls, casting soft light through their significant Catholic scenes.

Modern Landmarks

Like all big cities, Orlando is constantly growing and changing. You don't want to miss these modern landmarks.

13. Kia Center

Sports bring people together just as much as artistic performances. If you're catching an NBA game in Orlando, you'll find yourself at the Kia Center. It's impossible to miss this arena, with its sleek, modern architecture looming above the city streets.

In a seamless melding of metal and glass, it shimmers in the sunlight. But it's particularly eye-catching after dark when it's illuminated. These details make it a distinctive part of the city skyline.

Along one facade, changing graphics flash overhead. A 180-ft. tower waves in the sky, ushering in the bustling crowds and welcoming them to sports games and other events. Once you join them, you'll be surrounded by roaring applause and cheers. The jubilation is infectious, electrifying the air.

14. INTER&Co Stadium

INTER&Co Stadium is home to the city's professional soccer field, housing Orlando's MLS and National Women's Soccer League teams.

With its stark contrast between ivory walls, violet accents, and an open-air stadium filled with violet seats, it's an unforgettable landmark in the downtown area. For local soccer fans, it's a place to gather and cheer on their home team.

15. Orlando Science Center

In the historic Loch Haven Park neighborhood just outside of downtown, you catch a glimpse of a building that looks larger than life. In many ways, it is. With over 200,000 sq. ft. of exhibits, Orlando Science Center is an impressive cultural powerhouse. When it comes to Orlando attractions for kids, this is one of the best.

Its distinctive architecture, which incorporates circles and polygons, looks more akin to a futuristic building from a sci-fi movie than a museum. Inside, it's a hub of scientific discovery and adventure.

Learning knows no age limits here, with children and adults discovering more about the world through experiential experiences. Earthquake simulators, fossil digs, and so much more await within these walls.

The dome jutting out of the roof is the museum's observatory. Here, some of the best stargazing views await through the state's largest publicly accessible telescope.

Discovering the Heart of Adventure and Culture in Orlando

Orlando has a vibrant history and culture. When you visit area landmarks, you'll feel the passion and reverence for the city's heritage, history, and art. After you've soaked in the city's culture, come to one of our shows in Orlando.

We blend gymnastics with gravity-defying acrobatics. Our compelling stories, elevated by state-of-the-art special effects, will leave you captivated. Book your tickets, and prepare to be amazed.

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