TOP 10 THINGS TO DO on Orlando’s Famous International Drive
Even if you’ve yet to visit Orlando, chances are you’ve heard of I-Drive — more formally known as the International Drive Entertainment District. Connecting Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld® Orlando, and Walt Disney World® Resort, with everything else there is to experience here, our electrifying main strip is a destination in its own right with all-in-one entertainment hubs, attractions, dining, shopping, places to stay and so much more. Choose your own adventure with our tips on the top things to do on and around I-Drive.
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Orlando’s theme parks are always worth visiting, but they’re not the only place in town with unique ways to play — and some of the best options are in the International Drive area. Whether you want to drive state-of-the-art go-karts, fly like a superhero, master a fresh spin on golf, enjoy classic amusement park thrills, or be amazed by exhibits that must be seen to be believed, all this and much more is waiting for you on I-Drive.
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Offering entertainment, dining and shopping in one walkable, open-air plaza, ICON Park is the home to numerous attractions that include The Wheel (get discount tickets), the famous, 400-foot-tall observation wheel that provides breathtaking views of Orlando — and a whole lot more. You won’t go hungry at ICON Park, either, thanks to killer restaurants like Tapa Toro Tapas Bar & Paella Pit, Tin Roof, Yard House, and Blake Shelton’s Ole Red, plus new additions like the legendary Key West saloon Sloppy Joe’s and Gordon Ramsay Fish & Chips. Ready to dance? Ole Red and Tin Roof also serve live music. Before you leave, stock up on vacation wear, souvenirs and more at the venue’s eclectic lineup of shops.
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An open-air dining, entertainment and shopping hub close to the Orange County Convention Center, Pointe Orlando offers a lot of culinary variety. Start with newcomers Kavas Tacos + Tequila and JoJo’s ShakeBAR and continue on to Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar, Taverna Opa, The Hampton Social, Rodizio Grill, The Pub Orlando, The Oceanaire Seafood Room, and The Capital Grille for the ultimate tasting tour. Throw in fun attractions like WonderWorks (get discount tickets) and Main Event Entertainment — the latter of which also serves food — plus retailers offering a wide range of merchandise, and it’s easy to spend a whole day at Pointe Orlando.
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Beyond the excellent eateries at Pointe Orlando and ICON Park, International Drive has many other venues worthy of gourmets’ attention — including mouthwatering options at area resorts, such as Hilton Orlando, Hyatt Regency Orlando, Rosen Centre Hotel, Rosen Plaza Hotel and Rosen Shingle Creek. Don’t skip the International Drive Entertainment District’s many standalone restaurants, either.
For more than 20 years, Fun Spot America (save on discount tickets) in Orlando has been an I-Drive cornerstone, presenting classic amusement park rides and addicting games for every member of the family. Thrill-seekers won’t want to miss the SkyCoaster, Headrush 360, gravity-defying Enterprise, the White Lightning wooden roller coaster, inverted Freedom Flyer steel roller coaster and Sky Hawk, among others. Fun Spot also offers go-karting, plus pint-sized action for children. When you’re ready for a break from the action, test your skills at classic midway games and the onsite video arcade.
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Cool off with a full-day of indoor fun on International Drive courtesy of the 800,000-square-foot Dezerland Park. It’s home to affordably priced attractions for all ages, including Karting Orlando, Jump Start Trampoline Park, Bowling Orlando, The Pinball Palace, Arcade Orlando and Axecelsior Axe Throwing, which even has safety axes for little ones. Dezerland Park’s centerpiece is the 250,000-square-foot Orlando Auto Museum. You can also grab a meal at the Bond Lounge & Exhibit, a sit-down restaurant with a massive collection of Bond memorabilia.
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Need an escape? I-Drive can help with multiple escape room attractions, each of which features a different set of challenges for you to conquer. The Escape Game Orlando (save on discount tickets) is a great example, being ranked as Orlando’s top escape room on TripAdvisor. And while there’s a chance you’ll be teamed with strangers at most of Orlando’s escape attractions, your group is always guaranteed a private room at Escapology.
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The party never ends on International Drive — not with dynamic nightlife options up and down the strip. One of the most incredible is Mango’s Tropical Cafe, a 2-story, 55,000-square-foot venue that lights up the night with live entertainment and dancing. A dueling piano bar like no other, Howl at the Moon is another I-Drive hotspot, and nothing beats ICEBAR Orlando when it’s time to cool down. Lounges, nightclubs and more can be found throughout I-Drive, including resort options such as 3NINE at Rosen Plaza, David’s Club Bar & Grill at Hilton Orlando, and others. And that’s on top of live music joints such as Ole Red and Tin Roof. Or, go for a soak and unlimited brews at Beer Spa.
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Orlando’s International Drive area is packed with places to shop for everything from mementos of your visit to the latest in jewelry and fashion, including retailers at ICON Park and Pointe Orlando. And thanks to the proximity of high-profile outlet malls Orlando International Premium Outlets®, Orlando International Premium Outlets®, and Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores, you can shop till you drop without breaking the bank. Two of Florida’s best premier malls are also just a short drive away: The Mall at Millenia, which focuses on luxury shopping experiences, and The Florida Mall®, which features several market exclusives.
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The I-Drive Entertainment district is big, and even though the core is extremely walkable, you’ll need a vehicle to get out and see all of it. That’s where International Drive’s tours and transportation options come in, including numerous excursions by bus and bike. One of the most affordable options is also the most fun: the I-Ride Trolley. Priced at a maximum of $2 per ride, these smiling trolley buses have stops conveniently located throughout the I-Drive district. It runs from 8 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. daily, so hop aboard and see everything waiting for you on Orlando’s famous I-Drive.
There Is Always More to Do in Orlando
Endless adventures await in Orlando — and Visit Orlando powered by BestofOrlando.com can help you save on admission to top theme parks, attractions and experiences. Take advantage of our free planning tools to discover more ways to save money in the Theme Park Capital of the World.