For many families, an Orlando vacation becomes the stuff of legend--the source of happy memories and stories shared over the years. Don’t stop at Disneyworld; there's something for everyone in this sunny Florida city. If you're planning a trip to The City Beautiful, you'll find plenty of outstanding hotels to make your vacation a success.
Things to See
Orlando is synonymous with theme parks, but there’s much more to experience when you’re here. The city also boasts an impressive gallery and museum district, world-class shopping and a delicious international dining scene. The iconic Kennedy Space Center pays tribute to America's adventures in space, and outdoor enthusiasts rave over Wekiwa Springs State Park and the Ocala National Forest—a perfect place to canoe, camp, and explore. For families with young children, the Magic Kingdom is a must, with its horse-drawn carriages, castles, and rides. If you’re traveling with ‘tweens, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a sure hit, and teens love Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure’s fast-moving roller coasters, and bustling neon-bathed CityWalk. Disney's Hollywood Studios even lets teens perform for a chance at an authentic American Idol audition. Couples enjoy Epcot Center and romantic getaways to Winter Park’s trendy boutiques and upscale eateries. Singles, groups, and seniors can spend a day golfing on Orlando’s pristine greens, taking in a Cirque du Soleil performance, or catching an exhibition game during spring training.
Hotels in Orlando
One of the advantages of booking hotels in Florida is that you can find options for every taste and budget. From luxurious full-service spa hotels to budget hotels offering a soft bed and quick breakfast, Orlando has it all. Many hotels in Orlando are in or adjacent to theme parks and offer special pricing, packages, and access to streamline your visit. Other Orlando hotels cater to business travelers, with perks and amenities that make business trips a breeze. Florida hotels excel in family-friendly accommodations; you'll find plenty of suite-style rooms with kitchenettes, pull-out sofas, and cribs on request. And if shopping is your thing, you'll find great hotels near all the popular outlet malls.
Where to Stay
Central Orlando is separated from the theme parks and packed with organic Florida charm. Wide boulevards are dotted with massive oaks draped in Spanish moss, and galleries and museums line the busy streets. Charming ethnic restaurants and chic bistros offer intimate dining experiences. Tourist area International Drive, or I-Drive, has more than 100 hotels and countless restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues. It even boasts its own transportation system, the I-Ride Trolley. Kissimmee, the gateway to theme parks, is lined with budget-friendly hotels and resorts, and inexpensive family-friendly restaurants on your way to Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista. Winter Park, with its cobblestone streets and chic shops, is best-suited for grown-up fun and relaxation.
How to Get to Orlando
You'll want a car for your Orlando vacation, unless you're staying in a theme park hotel. Navigating the city is simple, since most of the fun is within a short drive from Interstate 4. At Universal Studios, you can walk, take a bus or a boat to all the attractions. Disney World is another story—the massive Disney Transportation System (DTS) has a fleet of 300 buses, making it the third-largest bus system in Florida. While it's free for anyone to use, lengthy waiting times make driving and parking your own car an attractive option.
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Practice your swing at some of the city's most pristine greens during your visit.
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There's plenty to experience on this popular Orlando street.
There's something for everybody in this short list of places to find a good time in Orlando.
If you know where to look, there are plenty of fantastic, non-touristy things to see and do in Orlando.