A guide to things to do in International Drive
Florida’s tourism heartbeat is linked by this iconic 24-kilometre stretch of highway, which allows top theme parks like Universal to connect by cable car rides so you can take full advantage of museums and activities galore. Keep our tips in mind when you visit to make sure you pick the top places to let loose.
Hit the road
Blazing a trail from the city of Orlando, the jewel in sunny Florida’s crown, down south to the fringes of the state’s Orange County, International Drive connects all the major tourist destinations worth visiting.
And because road trip culture is such a big part of the American way, it’s well worth cruising along and taking in the sights for yourself. You can rent a vehicle or ride on the famous, smiling I Ride Trolley buses, which take in all the major hotspots on their winding journeys through the sunshine.
Run free at the theme parks
Holidays to Florida aren’t complete without a visit to some of the many popular attractions that call this state their home. From the magic of the Walt Disney World Resort to the more literal magic of Hogwarts at Universal Studios, together with top attractions like SeaWorld and Aquatica, waterparks and realms of adventure await the young and the young at heart.
You can invest entire days at these fantastic locations, or take in the more compact and cosy places like inflatable obstacle courses at Monkey Joe’s. The city’s newest speciality is I-Drive 360, an entertainment complex watched over by the grand Coca-Cola Orlando Eye.
Tickle your grey cells
Don’t think it’s all going to be driving around and thrill-seeking without engaging your mind. International Drive has oodles of fun from top to tail, and a new curiosity awaits around every turn. Among the most distinctive of these is Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Odditorium, which you might be familiar with if you’ve visited its branches in London or elsewhere.
The one in Florida is a full afternoon of exploration though, featuring everything from cats with two heads to the most bizarre of inventions. If you’re ready to get stuck in to some oddities for yourself, the upside-down building of Wonder Works invites you to try out sleeping on a bed of nails, flying a fighter jet or designing your own rollercoaster, among other outlandish hijinks.
Active and ambitious
When your inner pirate wants to come out to play, which is something that happens to the best of us, head over to Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf, dramatically pitched – and putted – under a waterfall.
For a more airy affair, you can try out skydiving indoors under supervision at iFly, suitable even for kids as young as three, to bob and float freely on the breeze. Once that’s done, you can learn the ropes in a quite literal sense at the challenging climbing courses of Artegon Sky Trail.
Experience top entertainment
The warm sun that welcomes you on Florida holidays may seem eternal, but even when it sets the fun isn’t about to stop. How you choose to spend your evening is your decision, yet with so many options, it’s not necessarily one made with ease.
Artistic spirits can connect with kindred souls over tapas in laid-back Cafe Tu Tu Tango, while a more high octane salsa dancing and disco experience is found in the immensity of vibrant Mango’s Tropical Caribbean, where flecks of Caribbean spirit light up the dancefloor.
The Hard Rock Cafe Florida is within easy reach too, so don’t forget to grab one of their t-shirts, before heading over to ICEBAR Orlando, the largest permanent ice-bar in the world, for a truly cool night out.