Travel News Travel Guide: Welcome to Orlando

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Travel Guide: Welcome to Orlando

When you say "Orlando," you say "fun". You think of theme parks that lure tens of millions of tourists each year. But you'll also find famous museums and wonderful outdoor activities for adventure-seeking tourists.

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Top Attractions in Orlando

The Universal Orlando Resort is a must-visit place. There are three theme parks here. Universal Studios Florida, which opened in 1990, focuses on making the movies “come to life”. Universal’s Islands of Adventure has themed islands where you can engage in all sorts of adventures from famous movies. Universal’s Volcano Bay is a place where everyone who loves water-based activities will have a great time. Last, but definitely not least, there is Universal CityWalk Orlando, an entertainment complex where you can sing karaoke, eat great food, enjoy a concert or go shopping.

The Walt Disney World Resort is another popular attraction. Located just outside of Orlando proper, this huge resort features numerous hotels, four theme parks, golf courses, a camping resort and more. The Magic Kingdom, the resort’s first theme park, opened in 1971. Since then, billions of tourists have visited, and other parks and entertainment venues have been added. The most famous are Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and the most recent one, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park.

Orlando is also home to one of the world’s largest marine parks: SeaWorld. Here, you will find some of the tallest and fastest roller coasters in Orlando, but you can just walk around the premises, enjoy the shows, and admire the animals. SeaWorld is also involved in helping animals return to their natural environments. The SeaWorld Rescue Team has helped more than 30,000 ill, injured, and orphaned animals so far.

Other Things to do in Orlando

While indeed the theme parks are famous, Orlando has a whole lot more to offer to its visitors. The Orlando Science Center is a perfect place to go with children. The exhibits, covering multiple science fields, the giant-screen movies, and the aluminum-domed Crosby Observatory that houses Florida’s largest publicly accessible refractor telescope, are a great opportunity for kids to learn more about the world. Ticket prices are $20.95 for adults, $14.95 for ages 3-11, and $18.95 for seniors (55-plus) and students with ID.

The Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe is another lovely place to see in Orlando. If you want to see a smaller theme park during your trip to Orlando, then include WonderWorks on your list. They’re dedicated to educational fun about space, light, sounds, natural disasters, and more. Children ages 4 to 12 pay $23.99 plus tax for a ticket, while adults pay $29.99 plus tax.

If you are a fan of outdoor activities and aren’t afraid to drive a little, then you should visit Forever Florida. This park is located in St. Cloud, which is about an hour southeast of Orlando. It focuses on protecting the fragile ecosystems of Florida’s native wilderness and provides numerous activities from horseback riding to zip lining over the landscape. If you are not a thrill-seeker, then you can enjoy the Nature Tour Adventure, in which open-air trail coaches take you on an adventure deep into the woods.

Eating and Drinking in Orlando

All the theme parks offer numerous eating and dining options for all budgets and preferences, so you don’t need to worry about food while visiting them. While in the city itself, you can choose from a wide variety of restaurants that serve all types of food from all over the world. Make sure to check the area near your hotel or where you’ll be around lunch and dinner time.

One of the best areas to try some great food is along the stretch of Asian restaurants on Colonial Drive. If you’re more into Latin cuisine, there are plenty of options, but Tu Casa Restaurant on Orange Blossom Trail stands apart as the best for Dominican food.

Nightlife and Entertainment

Orlando offers a vibrant nightlife. Dance clubs, comedy clubs, Mad Cow Theatre, age 18+ bars: you can find them all in Orlando either downtown or in more off-the-beaten-path locations, as is the case with The Matador in Ivanhoe Village. Don’t forget about fireworks shows or other night events at the theme parks!

Transportation

You can travel around Downtown Orlando for free with LYMMO, a Bus Rapid Transit service. The local bus service, Lynx, provides transportation throughout an area of 2,500 square miles, so you can use it in the city. For trips outside Orlando, you can use the same public transport and buses from the famous theme parks. You can also use taxis or rent a car if you prefer.

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Orlando Climate

Orlando lies in a humid subtropical climate. During the winter, the highs reach into the low 70s, but the summers are when you see temperatures usually in the 80s and sometimes stretching into the 90s, so be prepared to sweat. You might want to bring an umbrella or raincoat during the summer months too.

When to Go

You can visit Orlando all year long, but there are a few details to consider. If you want mild temperatures and lower airfare and accommodation prices, then go from January to April. You can also go in early autumn, when children go back to school, and you’ll get good deals, better temperatures, and smaller crowds. During the summer, prices go up along with the heat and humidity. But if you can bear them, you can plan a visit here and enjoy all the theme parks and attractions, including those provided by water parks. Don’t forget to book your hotel in Orlando in advance to get a better price.

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Flying to Orlando

Orlando has two airports. Orlando International Airport is located just 6 miles from Orlando’s city center. There is public transportation to the city (Lynx buses), while many hotels offer free shuttle transportation, so make sure to check that service in advance. Orlando Sanford International Airport is the second airport, located about 27 miles from Orlando. It’s a smaller airport, and you will only find taxis here (you’ll pay around $71 for a trip to downtown Orlando). You will find companies that rent cars at both airports.

There are numerous cheap direct flights to Orlando all day long, so, if possible, choose this one as you’ll save money in transportation to the city or resorts and you will arrive faster at your desired destination.

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