30 Unique Orlando Experiences for 2021

Disclosure: This Orlando experiences page contains affiliate links. Read full Disclosure Policy.

BEST FLORIDA AIRBNBS:
Orlando | Kissimmee | Tallahassee | Cocoa Beach | Destin | Fort Lauderdale | Gainesville | Jacksonville | Key West | Sarasota | St. Augustine | St. Petersburg | Tampa| Star Wars Themed Orlando Airbnbs

MORE ORLANDO GUIDES:
Things to do in Orlando | Best Orlando Tours | Best Orlando Hotels | Best Orlando Airbnbs | Best Time to Visit Orlando | Where to Stay in Orlando


Orlando Florida skyline
Source: Unsplash

When you think about a trip to Orlando, most likely what comes to mind are the typical tourist experiences. The theme parks, the characters, the golf…while all those are well and good, you might want to try new experiences during your next Orlando Airbnb stay. After all, Orlando is a large city, and Florida is a massive state – there’s plenty to do and see!

If you’re trying to find something off the beaten path, then we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll share some of the highest ranked and most positively reviewed Orlando experiences.

Whether you want to get outdoors or just try something new, now you can experience Orlando in a whole new way.

RELATED: 30+ Unforgettable Orlando Tours & Excursions


Orlando Experiences – Vacation Like a Local

If you’re staying for an extended time in Orlando, take advantage of all the amazing experiences the city offers.

Either right in town or just a short drive away are plenty of fun activities that don’t require a theme park ticket.

Even though we love the theme parks, there’s something about going out and finding something to do that is a local Orlando experience. Trust us, you’ll treasure these memories just as much as the ones in front of your favorite castle.


Outdoor Fun

Clear Kayak Tour: Rock Springs

Source: Airbnb

Kayakers will love this amazing outing!

In a clear kayak, you’ll get to paddle up stream towards Rock Springs, with plenty of chances to get out for a quick dip or photo.

The tour lasts about two hours, with a quick paddle instruction session at the beginning. In your clear kayak, you’ll feel as though you are one with the water rather than riding on top of it.

Jacob, your adventurous host, and his team take care to help all their guests. Guides point out wildlife as well as local spots, giving you that intimate, private-tour feeling. While it may feel like a bit of a workout to get to the main swimming spot, the crystal blue water will be well worth the effort.

First timers and experienced kayakers alike will have a great time!


Glow in the Dark Kayak: Winter Park

Source: Airbnb

Are you a night owl? Enjoy the way the world changes when the sun goes down? Then this trip would be perfect for you!

Located at the incredible and scenic Winter Park, this glow in the dark kayak tour will take you through the waterways of this incredible local area. Paddle through Venetian style canals, through tunnels, and under bridges, all while learning more about the local wildlife and plant life. Each kayak is built for two, so you can make this a fun couples activity or ride solo.

As Winter Park is also a fun local city, you’ll have a chance to glide past incredible neighborhoods and admire the amazing architecture and design of the homes. The guides on this tour are locals, so you have the chance to learn more about the real Orlando and not just the typical tourist area experiences. Enjoy this chance to see a different side of the area!


Paddleboard in Paradise

Source: Airbnb

Whether you already love to paddleboard or you’ve always wanted to try it, you’re going to love this experience!

Choose from three different time slots (morning, sunset, or moonlight) and explore one of Southern Orlando’s pristine natural lakes. Not only will you have the chance to paddleboard, but you will likely see much of the wildlife that lives in the area – turtles, otters, and even eagles. According to the guides, this lake is even free of alligators, so remove that concern!

Guests as young as three can come and take part in this experience, so this is perfect for the whole family.

The guides will walk you through the process of learning to paddleboard, so if you’re a beginner, it’s not a problem. These wonderful hosts are kind, patient, and helpful. You’ll be feeling like a pro in no time! However, if you don’t feel quite ready, there are kayaks available for those who would prefer. Just be sure to indicate that when booking.


Paddleboard Meditation

Source: Airbnb

If you want to take your paddleboarding experience to the next level, you might want to consider a morning yoga session…on your paddleboard!

Hosted by the same guide as the previous Airbnb experience, you will join your instructor for a brief yoga session (on land) before getting into your floating guided meditation. Surround yourself with the sounds of nature as you let your trouble slip away from you, relaxing body, mind, and spirit. The paddleboards are anchored within the water, so no need to worry about floating away – the only thing drifting will be your mind!

After your session, the instructor will also provide you with more material concerning yoga and meditation. If you enjoy this, you’ll be able to continue the practice at home on your own.


Night Glow Paddle

Source: Airbnb

One final paddleboard opportunity, again by the same host, gives you the chance to see this amazing Orlando lake by the light of the….paddleboard?

Yes, the paddleboard itself provides the glow! Using the Nocqua lighting system, lights attached to the bottom of the board light the way throughout your experience. The only company to provide such an experience, the brightly colored lights help you blaze a trail through the lake and the surrounding waters. Even if you have done the previous paddleboard excursions, this is a whole new way to see the lake.

Between the lights and the crystal clear waters, you’ll be able to see the fish swimming beneath you as you paddle. Your friendly and accommodating guides will never leave your side, helping you to navigate your way through the area, all while providing information about the wildlife.


Jet Ski Tour: Winter Garden

Source: Airbnb

Looking for something a little more thrilling? Try a Jet Ski tour of the fabulous lakes at Winter Garden!

The tour is approximately two hours long, taking you for a ride through the lakes in the chain. Throughout your journey, you’ll travel at different paces, sometimes going full throttle and other times slowing down to appreciate the scenery. Your guide will point out the local features, like plants and wildlife, as well as local celebrity homes located along the lakes. There will even be a chance for you to hop off the Jet Ski and take a dip in the water, so make sure you wear your bathing suit!

Even if you’ve never ridden a Jet Ski before, your instructors will make you feel comfortable and safe. Younger guests can ride with an adult, as the skis accommodate up to three riders. This will surely be fun for the whole family!


Horseback Trail Ride

Source: Airbnb

Whether you’re a great lover of horses or trying riding for the first time, you’re going to love this experience! Travel through the undeveloped areas of Florida the way the early settlers did – crunching and splashing away on horseback. During your ninety-minute tour, you’ll get to see many of the natural features of the Floridian ecosystems that make the area unique.

Even if you’ve never ridden before, the horses are gentle and responsive, while the instructor is patient and helpful. You might be nervous at first, but once you get going that will fade away as you take in the beauty around you. As you ride, your guide will explain the natural features and the history of the area, giving you a better appreciation of the local side of Florida. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride!

Watch this video to get a good sense of the activity:


My Time with a Miniature Horse

Source: Airbnb

If you’re not quite ready to take the leap to riding a horse, this would be the perfect alternative! We get it, horses are huge, but you can have just as much fun walking a miniature horse, and still learn a lot too.

Located at SOUL Haven Ranch, you will have the chance to spend one-on-one time with a miniature horse of your choosing. During your hour-long experience, you will get to groom, lead, and learn about your four-legged companion. After the grooming session, walk your mini friend around the gorgeous property, bonding with him or her and enjoying the scenery.

This Orlando experience is a great option for children of all ages, even as young as two years old. The host is kind, patient, and great with kids. Without a doubt, this is an excellent way to balance your vacation with something more relaxing, especially if you are planning to hit the theme parks while you’re in the area.


Lake Fishing in Central Florida

Source: Airbnb

You don’t have to just admire the fish while you’re on vacation, you can try to catch one as well! Just a few miles west of Orlando, fishers will love this catch-and-release experience out on a lake where there are plenty of largemouth bass ripe for catching.

Bait, rods and reels, and drinks are provided. Your knowledgeable guide will walk you through how to fish with live bait, how to hook your line, and how and where to cast. Once you’ve caught the fish, learn how to safely remove the hook and set the fish free. Don’t forget to snap a picture of your catch before you let it go!

It doesn’t matter what fishing experience you have, just come ready to have a good time! Kids are welcome, and are sure to have a blast.


Hike & Paint: Shingle Creek

Source: Airbnb

A perfect blend of exercise and creativity, join your host on a hike through scenic Shingle Creek. At the end of the trail, you’ll set up with the provided canvas board and art supplies to paint the landscape before your eyes.

This isn’t just for art lovers, anyone can join in the fun! Don’t let your inexperience or artistic ability stop you from having a great time. Your guide is a trained art teacher, so you’re in good hands.

Be sure to pack your sunscreen and bug repellent, the trail isn’t exactly a paved path. However, you’ll be glad for the nature immersion once you begin your painting.


Sports and Paintball Field

Source: Airbnb

Battle to the…uh…splat in this fantastic paintball experience! Just south of Orlando, RJ Hinson’s Paintball Field is the perfect family or large group activity. Available for participants eight years and older, you’ll divide into two teams for three rounds of paintball fun! At the end of the session, you’ll test your luck on your own in a free for all battle royale.

You’ll begin with an explanation of the safety rules and a chance to get familiar with the equipment. From there, you’ll get a good look at the field and a rundown of the rules before play begins. Ask about your different game options, as you can tailor your session based on preference. Don’t worry if you have a smaller group – staff members will gladly play with you to make sure you have a great time!


Foodie Fanatics! Orlando Food Scene Experiences.

While it isn’t common knowledge, Orlando has one of the best food scenes in the state. You just have to know where to look for it! Florida’s unique history, as well as its modern day flair, combine to create interesting dishes and tastes you’re not going to find anywhere else.

Through these experiences, enjoy the taste of Orlando and the wider flavors of Florida on a personal food adventure!


A Different Kind of Cooking: Personalized Meal

Source: Airbnb

Learn all the tips and tricks to making your own professional-level meal! Your host will show you how to prepare, season, and serve a custom meal for you and your group, along with providing helpful hints along the way. All of the food is provided, and you are more than welcome to bring your own beverages and alcohol.

Children are also welcome at this experience, either to cook with you or play in a provided space while you prepare the meal. You could also make this an adults-only date – your choice!

While you can choose your own meal, you can also leave it in the host’s hands to decide what to make. Just be sure to indicate any food preferences or allergies ahead of time – the instructor is even vegan friendly.


Taste Orlando…At Home!

Source: Airbnb

If you’re going to Orlando anytime soon, you might be nervous about going out and doing some of these experiences around other people. However, several hosts have risen to the occasion to bring the fun to you!

Still local to the Kissimmee area, Take a Chef sends a private chef to your location, providing everything for the experience. When we say everything, we mean everything – the food, service, and even the cleanup will be taken care of for you. All you have to do is sit back and have a great time!

While Take a Chef specializes in Peruvian cuisine, you will be contacted ahead of time to discuss any dietary needs or restrictions. At that time, you can finalize your menu and tweak it to your preferences. So order in a different kind of dinner, and don’t worry about large group exposure.


Unique Orlando Experiences

“You did what on your vacation to Orlando?

That’s what your friends and family back home will be saying when you tell them about the following adventures!

These activities are definitely not your typical tourist attractions, and you’re bound to have a ton of fun. Try something new, spice up your day, or learn more about the most magical place on Earth.

No matter what you choose, you won’t believe you found these Orlando experiences through Airbnb!


Glassblowing Workshop

Source: Airbnb

Yup, you read that correctly. Glassblowing. I’m sure I’m not the only one mystified by this incredible and historic art, and can stand for half an hour just watching someone turn a molten lump into a thing of beauty. What is so amazing about glassblowing is that, aside from use of some modern machinery, much of the techniques mastered by glassblowers are the same as they have been for hundreds of years. Check that, thousands of years. Therefore, with that in mind, this is already a cool experience to consider.

Begin with a tour of the glassblowing studio before going over the important safety information (when blown, glass can get up to 1900 ̊ F). Then, your instructor will work with you to create an amazing blown glass object. The host will do all the hard, technical parts, while you get to do the fun bits. It’s truly a collaborative effort, which adds to the experience. During the process, you will learn more about the history of glassblowing and the complexity of the process.

While children can participate in this experience, it is highly suggested that guests are twelve years and older. Glassblowing is actually a pretty manual task, so it is best if you and your party are up to the challenge.  


Private Yoga and Meditation Session

Source: Airbnb

A vacation isn’t just about having a good time, it’s about relaxation and rejuvenation. Lifting the spirit, relieving the stress of your everyday life. There’s no better way to do that than a bit of light physical and mental exercise to center yourself and feel refreshed.

Yoga and meditation is an excellent way to feel better, both mentally and physically. Join a professional meditation specialist as she leads you through several low-impact yoga stretches before taking part in a guided meditation. Throughout the experience, music plays in the background while essential oils gently waft through the air, providing a calming ambience.

At the end of the yoga session, you will participate in an herbal tea ceremony, each tea selected for its calming effects on the body. She will also walk through other meditation practices, such as zen gardens and building cairns, to give you options that you can use once you return home.

Don’t just go on vacation to have a good time, really get into the spirit of relaxation with this incredible opportunity. Just because you’re in Orlando doesn’t mean your experiences have to be face-paced.


Kizomba Private Dance Lesson

Source: Airbnb

Literally translating to party, Kizomba is a genre of both dance and music that originated in the African nation of Angola. A couple’s dance, the focus is on closeness and synchronicity, all while giving the same sensual attitude as a tango or samba. Trust us, you’ll feel like partying once the music starts playing!

During your one-hour experience, your instructor will walk you through the Kizomba steps and help you to better develop your dance posture. From there, you’ll be able to dance through your session with your partner! Who would have thought you would find authentic African experiences in Orlando?


Professional Photo Session: Winter Park

Source: Airbnb

Bring home your Orlando experiences in a new way!

On the Avenue in Winter Park, meet up with a professional photographer for a session in the downtown area. Gorgeous architecture, natural scenery, and unique photo spots will make for incredible family memories.

In the one-hour session, you and your group can take as many photos as you like as you walk through the city. Your photographer can recommend particular shots, or you can ask for specific looks, it’s entirely up to you. This is a great experience if you’re trying to capture a specific family moment or event, such as an engagement.

Be aware, you are walking through the city, so if you want to wear heels in your photos be sure to bring alternative shoes for walking. Any other items you want to have in the pictures you will need to provide.


Stroll with a Former Disney Imagineer

Source: Airbnb

If you’re a true Disney lover, this is a great way to enhance your Orlando experiences! Take a stroll down your host’s memory lane while literally walking through the parks, learning historical facts and interesting tidbits from his time working for Disney. You choose which park you want to visit, and he’ll join you for your day.

Not only is Brian, the former Imagineer, knowledgeable about the parks, but he will be excellent with the children in your group. It doesn’t matter how many questions they ask, Brian will most likely have the answer. If you want to have a more easy-going park day, or don’t have a lot of riders in your group, this would be an amazing way to experience any park at Walt Disney World!


Nearby Adventures – Experiences beyond Orlando

While staying in Orlando, don’t feel the need to confine your experiences to the city limits or surrounding area. Even though there is plenty to see and do in Orlando, that shouldn’t be all their is to your Florida experiences. You might find that you might want to travel to the beach, see a few dolphins, or even set free your artistic side.

In order to do some of these activities, you’re going to have to travel a ways from the inland Orlando area. However, just an hour or so away, more adventures await you!


Outdoor Activities – Beach and Beyond

Clearwater Beach Yoga

Source: Airbnb

Start your morning with an hour-long yoga class directly on Clearwater Beach near famous Pier 60. There’s nothing quite like the soft sand beneath your feet, the sound of the waves in the background, and the blue skies above while engaging in this relaxing practice. No sound machine could hope to replicate the real thing!

No matter your experience with yoga, your instructor will help you to feel relaxed and comfortable. You may even see a dolphin or two as the sun peeks over the horizon, prompting a special dolphin pose from the instructor! You do need to make sure you show up ten minutes prior to your session to check in and sign the wavier form. This insures that the class will start on time and everyone is comfortable before you begin. Also, note that the location can occasionally change due to weather (the beach is just not safe in a storm).


Manatee and Dolphin Watching

Source: Airbnb

Possibly the two animals most closely associated with Florida, manatees and dolphins are truly fascinating. During your one-hour tour, explore the amazing marine environment of Tampa Bay while gliding through the mangrove islands of Shell Key or Weedon Island nature preserve. Peacefully protecting in these areas are osprey, stingrays, dolphin, ibis, and manatees. Manatees, or “sea cows,” are private creatures, so there’s no guarantee you will see them. However, remain hopeful that some will join you!  

To begin, your guide will walk you through a demonstration on the proper use of the Hobie Stand Up Paddleboard, your mode of transportation for the trip. He or she will also review some basic safety information before setting off on the tour. The boards are steady and easy to use, so there’s no need to be worried about getting the hang of them. If you are nervous, your guide will set you at ease.

Experience wildlife up close and personal in their habitats with an experience you will never forget!


Clear Kayak Manatee Tour: Tarpon Springs

Source: Airbnb

As if clear kayaks weren’t cool enough, imagine you’re paddling along and a manatee swims right beneath you! With these fun tandem kayaks, you can get right up close to your favorite marine mammal.

Your guide will show you the ropes to working your kayak, before taking you on a leisurely tour through the bayous. You’ll have a chance to appreciate the local wildlife, incredible Victorian-style homes, and of course, manatees! This is a great tour for kayaking novices, with patient and helpful guides to put you at ease. Guides are also knowledgeable about what you will see along the tour, providing facts both about the general area and about the preservation of manatees.


Tampa Bike Tour

Source: Airbnb

Enjoy a leisurely three-hour bike ride through the city of Tampa, while seeing historic landmarks and gorgeous neighborhoods. With plenty of stops built in for your guide to tell you about the sights, this ride is designed to be easy for casual riders and includes a stopover in Hyde Park Village with enough time for a little exploration or a quick snack. Also feel free to ask your guide questions about the city, they are extremely friendly and love to share their knowledge!

After your tour, enjoy a delicious meal in the downtown area. If you’re not sure where to eat, ask your guide. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with the quality of their suggestions!


Luxury Riverfront Picnic in the Park

Source: Airbnb

You’ve heard of glamping, but have you ever heard of glam-picnicking? This one of a kind experience will give you the chance to try it out!

Along the Riverwalk in Downtown Tampa, prepare yourself for a two-hour luxury picnic. What makes it luxury, you might ask? Not only is the food superb restaurant quality, but you’ll be dining in style, sprawled out on cushions and blankets while you eat off real tableware.

So forget the bagged lunch or conventional picnic basket! Let this amazing Airbnb host create the ultimate picnic experience for you and your group. From set up to clean up, they’ve got you covered. All you have to do is lounge and eat…what could be better than that?


Beach Portrait Session

Source: Airbnb

We’ve all seen them, the perfect photos of families on the beach. Now, here’s your chance to have one of those amazing family photos! Enjoy a personal one-hour session with a professional photographer at gorgeous Sand Key Park, located on the west coast of Florida.

Begin your shoot with a stroll down the boardwalk, taking the natural wildlife and getting some preliminary shots. From there, you’ll head to the beaches for a series of fun and classic beach activities. Make suggestions to your photographer, or follow their lead, it’s really up to you! You’ll finish the shoot at the end of the park’s nature trail, viewing the marshes.

Not only will you love the quality of the photos, but the relaxed and professional nature of your photographer will make your shoot a fun experience. Rather than getting stiff, unnatural photos, your host will help you relax into the process, insuring the best product possible. You’ll find yourself with a new family tradition after your first shoot!


Work of an Artist

Let your creative side run free! This is a great way to get everyone in the family involved, as well as try something new.


Sea Glass Creations

Source: Airbnb

Hunt for sea glass along the beach to turn into a one of a kind jewelry souvenir. As you’re the one making it, this will be a piece like no other!

The experience is one hour long, with a half an hour to search and half an hour dedicated to the craft. However, the host recommends arriving early to give yourself extra time to search for sea glass. Since that is a big part of the experience, you’ll want to take her advice! If for some reason you can’t find your own pieces, don’t worry, the host will have some available just in case. You can also use any shells you find within your jewelry creation, so don’t feel confined just to the sea glass!

Since the best time to hunt for sea glass is low tide, she recommends booking at that time. The area also is fairly uninhabited, so make sure you time it right with restroom stops and food breaks. The closest amenities are an hour away.


 Painting with an Artist

Source: Airbnb

Have you ever wanted to work with a professional artist? Now is your chance!

Come to your host’s artist studio in Tampa to for a painting class and creative session. Sit outside on the lakefront, or remain indoors, and use the surrounding scenery to inspire your creation. Meanwhile, your instructor will share tips, pointers, and a bit of background about her life as an artist. Not only that, but she will discuss the local Tampa Art Scene and provide you with tips as to where to go for more enjoyment of art while sightseeing in the area. She also will provide light snacks while helping you through your artistic process.

Sure, you could buy a painting of the Tampa waterfront, but with this experience, your souvenir will mean so much more.


Pottery Classes

Source: Airbnb

Learn building and wheel throwing, from an experienced potter! No matter your pottery experience, the class will be tailored to fit your needs. You’ll have the chance to see a project from the beginning to completion, with plenty of your own creative flair thrown in. Even if you have to fire your creation, it will be sent to your home.

Book a more intimate session for a few people or bring a larger party. No matter what you choose to make, you’re going to have a great time!


Novel Outings, New Experiences

Waterfront Private Dining

Source: Airbnb

Enjoy a delicious meal created for you by a classically trained chef, all by candlelight on the beach. After a brief introduction by your chef before beginning a three-course meal. While the dinner is pre-fixed, you’ll communicate with the chef ahead of time to make sure the food is just perfect for you and your party. Customize the meal to meet your dietary needs and preferences to be sure you’ll have the meal of a lifetime!

Your host likes to focus on using local ingredients to Tampa, giving you a taste of true Floridian fare. Take advantage of the amazing local seafood, or branch out into tastes that are more exotic. With an incredible ambience and amazing service, you’ll find yourself wanting to book this experience again!


Dancing Goat Dairy Farm Tour

Source: Airbnb

No, the goats themselves don’t dance, it’s the name of the farm. The Dancing Goat dairy farm is home to several animals, including ducks, chickens, rabbits, and of course the goats. Learn the difference between the breeds of goats and have the chance to feed them. Guests also have the chance to pet and snuggle the goats if they wish, perfect for your animal-loving kids!

At the end of the tour, you can sample the food products made at the farm. Yup, it’s actually a working dairy farm! Try delicious goat cheese, milk, yogurt and other wonderful offerings. Can’t get much fresher than that!


Beekeeper for a Day

Source: Airbnb

Situated in Wesley Chapel, this snug little farm is tucked in next to The Natural Health Hut. Your host will give you a short tour of the farm, with a chance to see all the animals that call it home. From there, you’ll get into your beekeeping gear and begin the hands on experience.

Once you’re in your protective suits, you’ll be able to interact with and even touch the honey bees. You’ll also be able to use the beekeeping equipment and get hands on experience with their care. Throughout the process, ask as many questions as you would like, your host would love to answer them! While the protective gear helps prevent stings, it is still a possibility, so make sure you are prepared. If you have allergies, bring your epi-pen or choose another outing.

At the end of your tour, enjoy light refreshments while discussing the day. You’ll leave with a five ounce honey jar and dipper as an adorable keepsake.


No matter what you choose to do on your vacation, we know you’ll have an amazing time with these special Orlando experiences!

WANT MORE?
For even more unique & memorable Orlando experiences, click here.

Grace Hoyos, Staff Writer

Grace loves to travel, particularly to Florida or anywhere with a beach. Her ideal vacation is a mix of theme parks, historical sights, and local cuisine. That, and a Caribbean cruise.