Orlando sits in central Florida, a not so far drive from either coast and surrounded by several beautiful lakes. Just a two-hour drive from Jacksonville and three hours from Miami, you can reach the ocean in about 50 minutes.
There are plenty of attractions to see and places to visit in Orlando, including the University of Central Florida, shopping and dining destinations and the Walt Disney World Resort just down the road in Lake Buena Vista.
Must-see attractions in Disney/Orlando
Walt Disney World Resort: There are four major theme parks, two water parks and a shopping, dining and entertainment district that comprise the resort. Of course, families and individuals alike enjoy the tradition of visiting Disney World, where they can see Cinderella’s castle, ride the traditional amusement park rides like the spinning teacups and walk down Main Street before taking in the nightly parade and show.
Universal Studios: People who want to take on the action-packed thrills of the resort can head to Universal Studios Florida to find rides based on their favorite movies such as Transformers: The Ride 3-D, The Incredible Hulk Coaster and The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man. Harry Potter fans will enjoy a replica of the magical world that caught their attention at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure. Universal Studios also boasts a nightclub and restaurant district, so adults can enjoy the pleasure of being surrounded by their favorite theme rides while dining and raising a glass with friends and family.
LEGOLAND Florida: What kid doesn't love LEGOS? At LEGOLAND Florida, your children and kids at heart can enjoy traversing a park that is solely dedicated to one of the world's favorite toys.
Water attractions: Guests can get a little wet and wild at SeaWorld, Discovery Cove and Aquatica. SeaWorld will give you the greatest show you’ve ever seen of your favorite marine animals, including dolphins and killer whales. If you make a trip to Discovery Cove, you’ll get the chance to jump in the water and go swimming with the dolphins.
Orlando Golf Courses: A trip to Florida wouldn’t be complete without spending a day on the green. There are several courses in Orlando to choose from, many of which offer specials, such as unlimited golf to visitors who stop by for a round. Two of the best courses in the city include Grand Cypress Golf Club’s North and Southeast. Since the weather in Orlando is perfect year-round, you’ll always want to make sure you have a pair of golfing shoes with you.
Orlando Spas: There’s more to Orlando than theme parks. There are also several spas where you’ll find relaxation and rejuvenation. Not only are there spa menus for the adults, but even the kids can get a massage or spa treatment to help them relax on their getaway.
Shopping and Dining in Disney and Orlando
Dining at Walt Disney World Resort: If you’re in the Disney Resort, you aren’t cut off from the shopping and dining world. If you want to celebrate Oktoberfest no matter what time of the year it is, Biergarten is the place for you. The beer flows freely and joyous memories are made as you drink like a German and spend time at the happiest place on Earth. In Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you can enjoy a dining experience similar to what you would have had growing up with the baby boomers at the 50s Prime Time Cafe. Foods of all varieties can be found at The Epcot Center, including Scandinavian, Eclectic, American and Seafood.
Outlet Malls: Travelers will be no strangers to bargains at the outlet and factory shopping centers in Orlando. There’s the Orlando Premium Outlets on International Drive and Vineland Avenue as well as the Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores. Lake Buena Vista features stores like Carters, Eddie Bauer, Fossil, Tommy Hilfiger and Old Navy, where you can save as much as 75 percent off retail prices. The Premium Outlets on International Drive feature more than 200 premium shops such as Sperry, J. Crew, Kate Spade, Polo and Neiman Marcus. Premium Outlets on Vineland Avenue is a great stop for those staying near Disney or SeaWorld because of its 150 tenants like Coach, Lacoste and even Disney outlets.