How to Spend 3 Days in Orlando
With three days in Orlando, you’ll have time to experience a theme park or two, explore the galaxy at the Kennedy Space Center, and even venture further afield to take in the highlights of Miami, the sights of Central Florida, or the beaches on the coast. Here are some options for how to make the most of your three days in Orlando.
Day 1: Pick Your Park
A trip to the theme-park capital of the world wouldn’t be complete without a day at one of its famous parks. Pick a single park—Disney and Universal both have multiple options—for a thorough exploration, or spend the morning in one park and the afternoon in another. Pre-book admission with included transportation, and for the sake of making the most of your time, stick to Walt Disney World Resort or Universal Orlando Resort for your park-hopping rather than trying to transfer between the two. Each has its own water park if you’re in need of an afternoon cool-down.
After a day at the park, spend your evening on property at Downtown Disney or Universal CityWalk, or escape from the world of theme parks altogether by heading to nearby International Drive with its myriad assortment of restaurants, shops, and live entertainment options.
Day 2: Water, Earth, Air
More theme-park time is always an option in Orlando, but if you’ve had enough, you’re in luck. Spend some time communing with Mother Nature on an airboat tour of the Florida Everglades, take a self-guided sightseeing tour on the hop-on hop-off trolley (with stops all along International Drive), go kayaking, try stand-up paddleboarding, or spend the day learning all about space travel at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
Alternatively, get a feel for the city on a guided sightseeing tour: Take a boat ride on the canals of Winter Park; shop the boutiques of Park Avenue; see the downtown skyline from Lake Eola; and travel through the quirky community of Celebration.
Day 3: Explore Florida
Orlando’s location in Central Florida makes it an excellent base for exploring surrounding destinations. One of the most popular day-trip options takes you to Miami for shopping at Bayside Marketplace, cruising on Biscayne Bay, and exploring the Art Deco architecture of South Beach. Those with an interest in American history might opt for a day trip to St. Augustine, one of the oldest towns in the nation, while sun seekers can get their daily dose of Vitamin D in sunny Clearwater Beach.