Most people head to Orlando for theme park thrills, but the city is bustling with smaller attractions to help you fill an empty half-day or lazy afternoon.
Mini golf is one of the most popular options around Orlando, with ample options on International Drive alone. The city’s major theme park players offer their own mini golf courses as well, so you’ll find a good game on any side of town.
1. Gator Golf, International Drive
Gator Golf on International Drive is the perfect place to go if you want a little taste of what Florida might be without all the theme park buzz. The highlight of the golf course, as the name suggests, comes in the form of native Florida gators.
You can see and pet some of the smaller gators at the front, but you have to make your way to the back of the course to see the really big gators. If you want to see the big alligators without playing a round, you can do so for a reduced $5 admission.
2. Pirates Cove, International Drive
Pirates Cove is one of the best themed mini golf courses in Orlando. The course is littered with fearsome pirates, from those napping in trees, to the intimidating sword bearers. Giant pirate ships and carefully themed hazards make every hole an adventure. This is a favorite for fun on International Drive. There’s a second Pirates Cove golf course in the Crossroads shopping center at the corner of I-4 and SR 535, just across from Walt Disney World. However, this location is smaller and a bit less popular.
3. Hollywood Drive-In Golf, Universal Orlando Resort
Hollywood Drive-In Golf is impossible to miss at Universal Orlando because it’s right under the bridge that takes you into CityWalk. If you’ve ever wondered about the strange aliens on either side of you as you glide across the moving walkway, that’s what they’re all about. Look closely at the worm-like monster on the right as you’re crossing the bridge to enter CityWalk and you’ll notice he even has a putter in one of his many little arms.
The 36 holes of this course focus on hokey sci-fi and horror movies, so you’ll play through a graveyard and haunted house, and try to maintain your focus while distracted by giant robots and spiders. If you’re looking for something to add to your day at Universal, this is a good pick. However, the pricey CityWalk parking probably isn’t worth it if this is all you’re going to do.