YOU CAN EDIT THIS PAGE! Just click any blue "Edit" link and start writing!

Difference between revisions of "Orlando"

From Wikitravel
Jump to: navigation, search
Orlando

Default Banner.jpg

(Major malls)
(Started with useless Mall Stores, ended with nothing but a list of "Records")
Line 7: Line 7:
 
===By plane===
 
===By plane===
  
Those traveling by air can enter via '''Orlando International Airport''' ({{IATA|MCO}}) [http://www.orlandoairports.net/]. With 34,640,451 passengers passing through its doors in 2006, MCO is the 24th busiest airport in the world and the busiest in the state of Florida.  '''Orlando Sanford International Airport''' ({{IATA|SFB}}) [http://www.orlandosanfordairport.com/]  is located north of the city in [[Sanford (Florida)|Sanford]], and mainly caters to charter flights from [[Europe]] as well as regional carriers.  Other international air options are '''[[Daytona Beach]] International Airport''' ({{IATA|DAB}}) [http://volusia.org/airport/] to the northeast, '''[[Tampa]] International Airport''' ({{IATA|TPA}}) [http://www.tampaairport.com/] to the southwest, and '''[[Melbourne (Florida)|Melbourne]] International Airport''' ({{IATA|MLB}}) [http://www.mlbair.com/] to the southeast.
+
Those traveling by air can enter via '''Orlando International Airport''' ({{IATA|MCO}}) [http://www.orlandoairports.net/].  '''Orlando-Sanford International Airport''' ({{IATA|SFB}}) [http://www.orlandosanfordairport.com/]  is located north of the city in [[Sanford (Florida)|Sanford]], and mainly caters to charter flights from [[Europe]] as well as regional carriers.  Other international air options are '''[[Daytona Beach]] International Airport''' ({{IATA|DAB}}) [http://volusia.org/airport/] to the northeast, '''[[Tampa]] International Airport''' ({{IATA|TPA}}) [http://www.tampaairport.com/] to the southwest, and '''[[Melbourne (Florida)|Melbourne]] International Airport''' ({{IATA|MLB}}) [http://www.mlbair.com/] to the southeast.
  
Flights enter Orlando International Airport from all over the [[United States]], but travelers coming from international destinations will likely have to fly into [[Miami]] or [[Atlanta]] before transferring to a domestic airline.  Orlando International Airport has more flights, with more seats, to more United States destinations than any other airport in the state of Florida.  Orlando International Airport provides scheduled non-stop service to 22 international destinations and 85 domestic destinations.  Encompassing 13,297 acres makes Orlando International Airport the 3rd largest airport in the United States, behind Denver and Dallas/Forth Worth.
+
Flights enter Orlando International Airport from all over the [[United States]], but travelers coming from international destinations will likely have to fly into [[Miami]] or [[Atlanta]] before transferring to a domestic airline.
  
 
===By train===
 
===By train===
Line 47: Line 47:
 
The car is still king in Orlando, and it is a very easy and convenient (if not congested) way to get to your destination.  The roads are all wide and easy to drive on with all the major areas signposted, but traffic jams around downtown are common in the afternoons, and around the tourists areas on Saturday nights.
 
The car is still king in Orlando, and it is a very easy and convenient (if not congested) way to get to your destination.  The roads are all wide and easy to drive on with all the major areas signposted, but traffic jams around downtown are common in the afternoons, and around the tourists areas on Saturday nights.
  
If you arrive by air via Orlando International Airport and get a rental car, go to the North Exit and head to the BeachLine Expressway (State Road 528 West) to get to International Drive, Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Adventure Park Orlando, Discovery Cove, Wet 'N Wild, and Aquatica - SeaWorld's Waterpark.  This will require $0.75 USD in tolls.  A short-cut to the Walt Disney World Resort is the South Exit to the Central Florida Greeneway (State Road 417 South), following it to Exit 5, and taking State Road 536 straight into Disney.  This requires $2.00 USD in tolls.
+
If you arrive by air via Orlando International Airport and get a rental car, go to the North Exit and head to SR 528 West to get to International Drive, Universal Orlando and SeaWorld.  This will require $0.75 in tolls.  A short-cut to Walt Disney World is the South Exit to SR 417 South, following it to Exit 5, and taking SR 536 straight into Disney.  This requires $2 in tolls.
  
In Orlando, the main tourist corridor is International Drive, a road that runs parallel to Interstate 4 for about 10 miles (beginning at Oak Ridge Road to the north and ending at West Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway (US Highway 192) to the south.
+
In Orlando, the main tourism area is International Drive, a strip of road that runs parallel to I-4 for about 10 miles.
  
To get to the Space Coast beaches, such as [[Cocoa Beach]], as well as the cruise terminals of Port Canaveral, use the BeachLine Expressway (State Road 528), which is exit 72 on Interstate 4.
+
To get to the Space Coast beaches, such as [[Cocoa Beach]], as well as the cruise terminals of Port Canaveral, use SR 528, the Bee Line Expressway (recently renamed to the Beach Line), which is I-4 Exit 72.
  
 
Orlando is the largest rental car market in the world and is known as capital of car rental companies, with all major car rental companies easily accessible from the airport. All major car rental companies are located inside the Orlando airport or nearby.
 
Orlando is the largest rental car market in the world and is known as capital of car rental companies, with all major car rental companies easily accessible from the airport. All major car rental companies are located inside the Orlando airport or nearby.
Line 76: Line 76:
 
* '''World of Orchids''', featuring thousands of blooms in an enclosed tropical rainforest. World of Orchids is a working greenhouse shipping orchids and other plants nationwide. A greenhouse covers nearly an acre (4,000 m²), and in this controlled climate of warm, humid air some 1,000 orchids are displayed in a natural jungle setting, with streams, waterfalls, and squawking parrots. World of Orchids also has a 1,000 foot (300 m) long boardwalk meandering off into nearby wetlands. Admission is free.
 
* '''World of Orchids''', featuring thousands of blooms in an enclosed tropical rainforest. World of Orchids is a working greenhouse shipping orchids and other plants nationwide. A greenhouse covers nearly an acre (4,000 m²), and in this controlled climate of warm, humid air some 1,000 orchids are displayed in a natural jungle setting, with streams, waterfalls, and squawking parrots. World of Orchids also has a 1,000 foot (300 m) long boardwalk meandering off into nearby wetlands. Admission is free.
  
===Museums Cultural Attractions===
+
===Museums===
  
*'''The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art''' 445 Park Avenue North in Downtown Winter Park [http://morsemuseum.org]  This museum houses the world's most comprehensive collection of the works of Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933)
+
* '''Cornell Fine Arts Museum''', Rollins College. Features items from Cornell's renowned permanent collection. Admission is free.
*'''Cornell Fine Arts Museum''', Rollins College. Features items from Cornell's renowned permanent collection. Admission is free.
+
* '''International Trolley and Train Museum''' - Features 14 model railroad trains with sound and lighting traveling through an indoor garden with 12 foot (4 m) high mountains, waterfalls, and more than 30 trestles and tunnels. Also on display are toy trains from the 1920s to the present. Visitors can catch a ride in a California Victorian-style half open/half closed trolley or the 5/8 replica of an 1880 locomotive (a Mason Bogey) with its passenger cars.
*'''International Trolley and Train Museum''' - Features 14 model railroad trains with sound and lighting traveling through an indoor garden with 12 foot (4 m) high mountains, waterfalls, and more than 30 trestles and tunnels. Also on display are toy trains from the 1920s to the present. Visitors can catch a ride in a California Victorian-style half open/half closed trolley or the 5/8 replica of an 1880 locomotive (a Mason Bogey) with its passenger cars.
+
* '''The Holy Land Experience''' is a biblical themepark and museum complex.
*'''The Metropolitan Museum of Art Store''' 4200 Conroy Road in The Mall at Millenia [http://www.metmuseum.org/store] This not-for-profit store is a retail satellite store of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
+
* '''The Orange County Regional History Center''' Features exhibits and artifacts from the earliest days of the region to the modern day. Includes information on everything from the time of the Seminole Indians to the founding of the city to the Civil Rights era to the Disney period to today.
*'''Orange County Regional History Center''' 65 East Central Boulevard in Downtown Orlando [http://www.thehistorycenter.org] Features exhibits and artifacts from the earliest days of the region to the modern day. Includes information on everything from the time of the Seminole Indians to the founding of the city to the Civil Rights era to the Disney period to today.
+
* '''The Orlando Museum of Art''', Ongoing exhibitions of American portraits and landscapes, American impressionist works, and art of the ancient Americas.
*'''Orlando Museum of Art''', 2416 North Mills Avenue (US Highway 17-92) in Loch Haven Park [http://www.omart.org] Ongoing exhibitions of American portraits and landscapes, American impressionist works, and art of the ancient Americas.  Founded in 1924, it is a leading cultural institution in the Central Florida region.
+
* '''The Orlando Science Center''', is a 207,000 square foot (19,000 m²) hands-on learning center with hundreds of interactive exhibits for visitors of all ages. Images surround visitors on the giant screen of the Dr. Phillips CineDome. Other attractions include the Body Zone, teaching health and fitness, as well as an observatory. The center has the largest refracting telescope in Florida.
*'''Orlando Science Center''' 777 East Princeton Street in Loch Haven Park [http://www.osc.org]  It is a 207,000 square foot (19,000 m²) hands-on learning center with hundreds of interactive exhibits for visitors of all ages. Images surround visitors on the giant screen of the Doctor Phillips CineDome. Other attractions include the Body Zone, teaching health and fitness, as well as an observatory. The center has the largest refracting telescope in the state of Florida.
+
* '''Ripley's Believe It or Not! Orlando Odditorium''', 8201 International Drive, ''+1 407'' 363-4418, [http://www.ripleysorlando.com/info/].  Located in a building artfully constructed to appear as if it were collapsing to one side. Visitors can explore bizarre artifacts, strange collections, weird art/hobbies (for example, check out the 3/4-scale model of a 1907 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost automobile -- made entirely of matchsticks and glue), and interactive exhibits in sixteen odd galleries.  Seriously schlocky, yet fun.
*'''Ripley's Believe It or Not! Orlando Odditorium''', 8201 International Drive, ''+1 407'' 363-4418, [http://www.ripleysorlando.com/info/].  Located in a building artfully constructed to appear as if it were collapsing to one side. Visitors can explore bizarre artifacts, strange collections, weird art/hobbies (for example, check out the 3/4-scale model of a 1907 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost automobile -- made entirely of matchsticks and glue), and interactive exhibits in sixteen odd galleries.  Seriously schlocky, yet fun.
 
*'''Anita S. Wooten Gallery at Valencia Community College - East Campus''' 701 North Econlockhatchee Trail [http://www.valenciacc.edu/gallery]  Exhibitions are free and open to the public.
 
  
===Sports===
+
===Sports Teams===
  
* '''Orlando Magic (NBA)''' [http://www.nba.com/magic/index_main.html] - Play at the 17,248-seat Amway Arena in Downtown Orlando
+
* '''Orlando Magic (NBA)'''
* '''Orlando Predators (AFL)''' [http://www.orlandopredators.com/] - Play at the 17,248-seat Amway Arena in Downtown Orlando
+
* '''Orlando Predators (AFL)'''
* '''Orlando Sharks (MISL)''' [http://www.orlandosharks.com/] - Play at the 17,248-seat Amway Arena in Downtown Orlando
+
* '''Orlando Sharks (MISL)'''
* '''University of Central Florida Knights (NCAA Division I)''' [http://www.ucfathletics.com]
+
* '''University of Central Florida Knights (NCAA Division I FBS)'''
* '''Seminole Community College Raiders''' (NJCAA) [http://www.scc-fl.edu/athletics/]
 
* '''Rollins College Tars''' (NCAA Division II) [http://rollinssports.athleticsite.com/]
 
* '''Atlanta Braves Spring Training in Lake Buena Vista''' [http://www.floridagrapefruitleague.com/] - Play at Cracker Jack Stadium in Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex
 
* '''Houston Astros Spring Training in Kissimmee''' [http://www.floridagrapefruitleague.com/astros.html] - Play at Osceola County Stadium
 
  
 
==Do==  
 
==Do==  
  
===World Class Attractions===
+
===Major Attractions===
  
 
{{infobox|Changing times|Universal Orlando Resort will experience two significant changes in the near future. First of all, ''Back to the Future: The Ride'' closed early in 2007 and is slated to be replaced by 2008 with a new attraction based on ''The Simpsons''. Secondly, Islands of Adventure is building a new theme land based on ''Harry Potter'' which is scheduled for a 2009 opening.}}
 
{{infobox|Changing times|Universal Orlando Resort will experience two significant changes in the near future. First of all, ''Back to the Future: The Ride'' closed early in 2007 and is slated to be replaced by 2008 with a new attraction based on ''The Simpsons''. Secondly, Islands of Adventure is building a new theme land based on ''Harry Potter'' which is scheduled for a 2009 opening.}}
  
Orlando is one of the biggest tourist destinations in the world because of the nearby theme parks and resorts. Close to International Drive is '''Universal Orlando Resort''', which includes two theme parks, three hotels and a large shopping and entertainment district known as CityWalk. '''SeaWorld Adventure Park Orlando''' is a marine theme park featuring Kraken, the biggest rollercoaster in the Orlando area, as well as Believe, the all-new Shamu adventure. About 40 minutes outside of Orlando is the well-known '''Walt Disney World'''. Comprised of four theme parks, two water parks, dozens of hotels, three shopping and dining districts, eight golf courses and much more, it is the largest privately managed tourist destination on the planet. Not far from Walt Disney World lies the Alligator Capital of the World: '''Gatorland.''' Also, don't forget about water park '''Wet 'N Wild,''' located right on International Drive.
+
Orlando is one of the biggest tourist destinations because of the nearby theme parks and resorts. Close to International Drive is '''Universal Orlando Resort''', which includes two theme parks, three hotels and a large shopping district. '''SeaWorld Orlando''' is a marine theme park featuring Kraken, the biggest rollercoaster in the Orlando area, as well as Believe, the all-new Shamu adventure. About 40 minutes outside of Orlando is the well-known '''Walt Disney World'''. Comprised of four theme parks, two water parks, dozens of hotels, three shopping and dining districts, eight golf courses and much more, it is the largest privately managed tourist destination on the planet. Not far from Disney World lies the Alligator Capital of the World: '''Gatorland.''' Also, don't forget about water park '''Wet 'N Wild,''' located right on International Drive.
  
*'''[[Walt Disney World Resort]]''' - the famous attraction is actually located 35 miles south of Orlando, in a city called [[Lake Buena Vista]].
+
*'''[[Disney World]]''' - the famous attraction is actually located 35 miles south of Orlando, in a city called [[Lake Buena Vista]].
*'''Universal Orlando Resort''', ''+1'' 407-363-8000, [http://www.universalorlando.com/]. 9AM-(closing times vary -- usually from 6PM-10PM). Discounts for purchasing tickets online.
+
*'''Universal Orlando Resort''', International Drive, ''+1'' 407-363-8000, [http://www.universalorlando.com/]. 9AM-(closing times vary -- usually from 6PM-10PM). Discounts for purchasing tickets online.
*'''SeaWorld Adventure Park Orlando''', 7007 SeaWorld Drive in Orlando, ''+1'' 407-351-3600, 1-800-327-2424, [http://4adventure.com/seaworld/fla]. 9AM-(closing times vary -- usually from 6PM-10PM). Approximately 5.7 million people visited SeaWorld Adventure Park Orlando in 2006.  The park encompasses 249 acres and has over 480 species. 
+
*'''SeaWorld Orlando''', SeaWorld Drive, ''+1'' 407-351-3600, 1-800-327-2424, [http://4adventure.com/seaworld/fla]. 9AM-(closing times vary -- usually from 6PM-10PM).
*'''Aquatica - SeaWorld's Waterpark''', 5800 Water Play Way in Orlando, "+1" 407-351-3600, [http://www.aquaticabyseaworld.com].  Hours Vary
+
*'''Gatorland''', 14501 South Orange Blossom Trail, ''+1'' 407-855-5496,  1-800-393-JAWS, [http://www.gatorland.com/]. 9AM-5PM.
*'''Gatorland''', 14501 South Orange Blossom Trail (US HIghway 441) in Orlando, ''+1'' 407-855-5496,  1-800-393-JAWS, [http://www.gatorland.com/]. 9AM-5PM.
+
*'''Wet 'N Wild''', 6200 International Drive, ''+1'' 407-351-1800, 1-800-992-WILD, [http://www.wetnwildorlando.com/]. Hours vary.
*'''Wet 'N Wild''', 6200 International Drive in Orlando, ''+1'' 407-351-1800, 1-800-992-WILD, [http://www.wetnwildorlando.com/]. Hours vary.
+
*'''Discovery Cove''', 6000 Discovery Cove Way (''just off Central Florida Parkway, next door to Seaworld''), ''+1'' 407-370-1280, [http://www.discoverycove.com/]. Everyday 9AM-5:30PM (open til 9PM on selected evenings). Younger sister park to Seaworld lets you get even closer to the sealife allowing you to swim with fish, stingrays and the park's main attraction, Bottlenose dolphins. This unique Orlando attraction is sold out most days, despite it's high admission price, partly due to the fact that there is a limited number of 1000 places per day but admission does include all your equipment, food, drink and 30 minutes interaction with the dolphins in the water. $259-279 (''$159-179 for non-dolphin package'').
*'''Discovery Cove''', 6000 Discovery Cove Way in Orlando, ''+1'' 407-370-1280, [http://www.discoverycove.com/]. Everyday 9AM-5:30PM (open til 9PM on selected evenings). Younger sister park to SeaWorld lets you get even closer to the sealife allowing you to swim with fish, stingrays and the park's main attraction, Bottlenose dolphins. This unique Orlando attraction is sold out most days, despite it's high admission price, partly due to the fact that there is a limited number of 1000 places per day but admission does include all your equipment, food, drink and 30 minutes interaction with the dolphins in the water. $259-279 (''$159-179 for non-dolphin package'').
 
  
* '''Mary Queen of the Universe Shrine and Museum''', 8300 Vineland Avenue in Orlando, ''+1'' 407-239-6600, [http://maryqueenoftheuniverse.org]. This extravagant Roman Catholic church has become a tourist attraction in itself, thanks in part to the millions of Roman Catholics from around the world who visit it and the rest of Orlando every year. NOTE: It is not a parish, therefore it cannot perform weddings, funerals, or baptisms.  
+
===Minor Attractions===
* '''Rock Springs Run Kelly Park''', 400 East Kelly Park Road in Apopka, [http://www.orangecountyfl.net/dept/cesrvcs/parks/ParkDetails.asp?ParkID=22]. Beautiful natural springs with lazy river that you can tube down, crystal clear water.
+
 
*'''Central Florida Zoological Park and Botanical Gardens''' 3755 NW US Highway 17-92 in Sanford, ''+1'' 407-321-0900, [http://www.centralfloridazoo.org].  Approximately 245,000 people visited the zoo in 2006.  The zoo encompasses 23 acres and has over 155 species.
+
* '''Mary, Queen of the Universe Shrine''', 8300 Vineland Avenue, ''+1'' 407-239-6600, [http://maryqueenoftheuniverse.org]. This extravagant Catholic church has become a tourist attraction in itself, thanks in part to the millions of Catholics from around the world who visit it and the rest of Orlando every year. NOTE: It is not a parish, therefore it cannot perform weddings, funerals, or baptisms.  
*'''The Holy Land Experience''' 4655 Vineland Road in Orlando [http://www.holylandexperience.com] A living biblical museum and theme park.
+
 
 +
* '''Rock Springs Run Kelly Park''', 400 East Kelly Park Road, Apopka, [http://www.orangecountyfl.net/dept/cesrvcs/parks/ParkDetails.asp?ParkID=22]. Beautiful natural springs with lazy river that you can tube down, crystal clear water.  
  
 
===Downtown===
 
===Downtown===
Line 155: Line 149:
 
===Venues===
 
===Venues===
  
*'''Orange County Convention Center''', 9860 Universal Boulevard in Orlando, (407) 685-1061. [http://www.occc.net/] With 2.1 million-square feet of exhibition space, the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) serves as the area's premier convention and meeting center.  It is the 2nd largest convention center in the world.
+
* '''Orange County Convention Center''', 9860 Universal Boulevard, (407) 685-1061. [http://www.occc.net/] With 2.1 million-square feet of exhibition space, the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) serves as the area's convention and meeting center.
  
 
==Buy==
 
==Buy==
Line 161: Line 155:
 
===Major malls===
 
===Major malls===
  
*'''The Florida Mall''' [http://www.simon.com/mall/default.aspx?ID=139] 8001 South Orange Blossom Trail (US 441) - This 2.0 million square foot mall opened in 1986.  It is one of the top 20 largest malls in the United States and is located at the intersection of South Orange Blossom Trail (US 441) and Sand Lake Road. Home to over 250 stores and anchored by Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy's, Dillard's, Nordstrom, JC Penney, Sears, and The Florida Hotel and Conference Center. Restaurants include:  Buca di Beppo, Salsa Tequeria and Tequila Bar, Ruby Tuesday, and California Pizza Kitchen.
+
Florida Mall [http://www.simon.com/mall/default.aspx?ID=139] - The biggest mall in Orlando located at the crossroads of Orange Blossom Trail and Sandlake Road. Home to hundreds of shops and anchored by Saks 5th Avenue, Macys, Dillards, Nordstrom, Lord and Taylor, JC Penney and Sears. You can go an entire day in this mall and still not finish.
*'''The Mall at Millenia''' [http://www.mallatmillenia.com/] 4200 Conroy Road - This 1.2 million square foot mall opened on October 18, 2002.  It is Orlando's most upscale shopping destination. Some stores include:  Gucci, Hugo Boss, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Store, Salvatore Ferragamo, Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Dior, Cartier, Marciano, Jimmy Choo, Intermix, David Yurman, Apple, Tous, Zara, Pottery Barn Bed and Bath, Crate and Barrel, Juicy Couture, Furla, Janie and Jack, Sony Style, Montblanc, Coach, Vilbrequin, AG Adriano Goldshmied, and others. Also home to upscale department stores Macy's, Bloomingdale's, and Neiman Marcus.  This mall is located at the intersection of Interstate 4 and Conroy Road. Retailers in the Millenia area include:  SuperTarget, Zaxby's, McDonald's, Pollo Tropical, Regions Bank, Panda Express, Krispy Kreme, Robb & Stucky Interiors, Robb & Stucky Patio, BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse, Olive Garden, Ethan Allen, DSW Shoe Warehouse, IKEA, West Elm, Old Navy, Elephant Bar Restaurant, Fifth Third Bank, Moe's Southwest Grill, Shane Co, Planet Smoothie, Quizno's Subs, Carvel, Exotic Car Gallery, Mimi's Cafe, TGI Fridays, Village Tavern, and Circuit City.
+
 
*'''Orlando Fashion Square''' [http://www.orlandofashionsquare.com] 3201 East Colonial Drive (State Road 50) - This 1.0 million square foot mall opened in 1973.  Its anchor stores include:  Dillard's, JC Penney, Macy's, and Sears.  Restaurants include:  Red Star Tavern, Panera Bread, and Olive Garden.
+
Mall at Millenia [http://www.mallatmillenia.com/] - This is Orlando's most upscale and beautiful mall. Find everything from Tiffany's to Hugo Boss and Gucci. Also home to upscale department stores like Macy's, Bloomingdales and Neiman Marcus.  This mall is part of the very new and trendy Millenia area of Orlando. Located conveniently on the Conroy Road exit off of I-4 a few miles south of Downtown.  
*'''West Oaks Mall''' [http://www.westoaksmall.com/] 9401 West Colonial Drive (State Road 50)- This 1.0 million square foot mall opened in 1996.  Located on West Colonial Drive in the western suburb of Ocoee. Its anchor stores include: Dillard's, JC Penney, and Sears. 
+
 
*'''Festival Bay Mall at International Drive''' [http://www.shopfestivalbaymall.com] 5250 International Drive - This 1.0 million square foot mall opened on April 3, 2003.  It is home to stores such as: Ron Jon Surf Shop, Shepler's, Steve and Barry's, Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, and others.  it is located on the north end of International Drive.  Restaurants include:  Fuddruckers, Bergamo's Italian Restaurant, and Cricketers Arms Pub.
+
Fashion Square Mall [http://www.orlandofashionsquare.com/] - Located on east Colonial Drive just north of downtown.
*'''Oviedo Marketplace''' [http://www.oviedomarketplace.com] 1700 Oviedo Marketplace Boulevard - This 955,000 square foot mall opened in 1998 and is located in the northeast suburb of Oviedo.  Its anchor stores include:  Barnes and Noble, Bed Bath and Beyond, Dillard's, Macy's, and Sears. Restaurants include:  Bill's Elbow South and  RJ Gators Hometown Grill and Bar.
+
 
*'''Altamonte Mall''' [http://www.altamontemall.com] 451 East Altamonte Drive (State Road 436) - This 1.2 million square foot mall opened in 1974 and is located in the northern suburb of Altamonte Springs.  Its anchor stores include:  Barnes and Noble, Dillard's, JC Penney, Macy's, and Sears.  Restaurants include:  Elephant Bar Restaurant, Seasons 52, Miller's Orlando Ale House, and Bahama Breeze.
+
West Oaks Mall [http://www.westoaksmall.com/] - Located on West Colonial Drive in the western suburbs of Ocoee and Winter Garden
*'''Seminole Towne Center''' [http://www.simon.com/mall/default.aspx?ID=122] 200 Towne Center Circle - This 1.2 million square foot mall opened in 1995 and is located in the northern suburb of Sanford.  Its anchor stores include:  Belk, Dillard's, JC Penney, Macy's and Sears.
 
  
 
===Outlet malls===
 
===Outlet malls===
  
*'''Orlando Premium Outlets''' [http://www.premiumoutlets.com/orlando]- Home to the biggest designers such as Armani, Fendi, Burberry, Ferragamo, Lacoste, Coach. Also home to Tommy Hilfiger, Nike, Polo, Nautica and many more.  Located off of State Road 535 and visible from I-4 closest to the Disney World area.  This is the best mall to pick up bargains from all the name brands and designer wear.
+
'''Orlando Premium Outlets''' [http://www.premiumoutlets.com/orlando]- Home to the biggest designers such as Armani, Fendi, Burberry, Ferragamo, Lacoste, Coach. Also home to Tommy Hilfiger, Nike, Polo, Nautica and many more.  Located off of 535 and visible from I-4 closest to the Disney World area.  This is the best mall to pick up bargains from all the name brands and designer wear.
  
*'''Prime Outlets International'''[http://www.primeoutlets.com] - Home to many designers such as Polo, DKNY, Nike, Reebok, Kate Spade, and Liz Claiborne. The mall is currently undergoing major renovation but the outside centers are still open and have the above stores.
+
Prime Outlets (formerly Beltz) - Home to many designers such as Polo, DKNY, Nike, Reebok, and Liz Claiborne. The mall is currently undergoing major renovation but the outside centers are still open and have the above stores.
  
*'''Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores''' [http://www.lbvfs.com/] - Select from over 300 designer and name brands such as Gap, Reebok, Carters and Eddie Bauer. Stores offer factory direct, quality merchandise at savings up to 75%. Located off of SR 535 near International Drive and Disney.
+
'''Lake Buena Vista Factory Outlets''' [http://www.lbvfs.com/] - Select from over 300 designer and name brands such as Gap, Reebok, Carters and Eddie Bauer. Stores offer factory direct, quality merchandise at savings up to 75%. Located off of SR 535 near International Drive and Disney.
  
 
===Ethnic enclaves===
 
===Ethnic enclaves===
Line 237: Line 230:
 
==Sleep==  
 
==Sleep==  
  
With a hotel around virtually every corner (actually 4 or 5 around every corner) it seems impossible to throw a rock and not hit a hotel. There are hotels to meet every traveler's need, whether it be a hostel or a 5-star resort, although many visiting families often prefer to rent their own private villa as they usually provide much more personal space and have their own private facilities. There are also a large number of lodgings in the surrounding cities and towns.  Orlando is home to 440 hotels and 111,348 hotel rooms and has the 2nd most hotels rooms out of any market in the entire world.  Over 48 million people visited Orlando in 2006.
+
With a hotel around virtually every corner (actually 4 or 5 around every corner) it seems impossible to throw a rock and not hit a hotel. There are hotels to meet every traveler's need, whether it be a hostel or a 5-star resort, although many visiting families often prefer to rent their own private villa as they usually provide much more personal space and have their own private facilities. There are also a large number of lodgings in the surrounding cities and towns.
  
 
===Budget===
 
===Budget===
Line 310: Line 303:
 
*'''Grand Bohemian Hotel''', 325 S. Orange Ave., [http://www.grandbohemianhotel.com]. Takes center stage as downtown Orlando’s landmark luxury hotel. With 250 guest rooms & suites guests experience a dazzling blend of art, music and memorable hospitality.
 
*'''Grand Bohemian Hotel''', 325 S. Orange Ave., [http://www.grandbohemianhotel.com]. Takes center stage as downtown Orlando’s landmark luxury hotel. With 250 guest rooms & suites guests experience a dazzling blend of art, music and memorable hospitality.
  
*'''Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Resort''', One Grand Cypress Boulevard, [http://grandcypress.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels/index.jsp?].  Ideally located adjacent to Walt Disney World, this Lake Buena Vista, Florida hotel combines the most comprehensive selection of activities – including golf, tennis, pools, horseback riding, dining and more – with state of the art meeting facilities, luxurious guestrooms and renowned Hyatt service.
+
*'''Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Orlando Hotel''', One Grand Cypress Boulevard, [http://grandcypress.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels/index.jsp?].  Ideally located adjacent to Walt Disney World, this Lake Buena Vista, Florida hotel combines the most comprehensive selection of activities – including golf, tennis, pools, horseback riding, dining and more – with state of the art meeting facilities, luxurious guestrooms and renowned Hyatt service.
  
 
*''' International Plaza Orlando Resort and Spa''', 10100 International Drive, [http://www.internationalplazaresortandspa.com].  Orlando resort located just minutes from Sea World and Orlando Convention Center.
 
*''' International Plaza Orlando Resort and Spa''', 10100 International Drive, [http://www.internationalplazaresortandspa.com].  Orlando resort located just minutes from Sea World and Orlando Convention Center.
Line 318: Line 311:
 
*''' The Peabody Orlando Hotel''', 9801 International Drive, [http://www.peabodyorlando.com].  Luxury Orlando hotel, contemporary elegance, home to the famous Peabody Ducks and located across the street from Orlando Orange County Convention Center.
 
*''' The Peabody Orlando Hotel''', 9801 International Drive, [http://www.peabodyorlando.com].  Luxury Orlando hotel, contemporary elegance, home to the famous Peabody Ducks and located across the street from Orlando Orange County Convention Center.
  
*''' Grand Bohemian Hotel''', 325 South Orange Avenue, Orlando. ''+1'' 407-313-9000, 1-866-663-0024, [http://www.grandbohemianhotel.com/].  Near Orlando's Church Street Station. Luxury hotel with European styled elegance.
+
*''' Westin Grand Bohemian Hotel''', 325 S. Orange., Orlando. ''+1'' 407-313-9000, 1-866-663-0024, [http://www.grandbohemianhotel.com/].  Near Orlando's Church Street Station. Luxury hotel with European styled elegance.
  
 
* <sleep name="Buena Vista Palace" address="1900 Buena Vista Drive" "+1 407-827-2727" url="http://www.buenavistapalace.com"></sleep>
 
* <sleep name="Buena Vista Palace" address="1900 Buena Vista Drive" "+1 407-827-2727" url="http://www.buenavistapalace.com"></sleep>

Revision as of 17:38, 31 March 2008

Orlando is a large city located in Orange County, Florida.

Orlando, for most people conjures up the image of theme parks, mainly Disney World, but it has a lot more to offer than that. In fact, Disney is technically not in Orlando, but is in nearby Lake Buena Vista. Make sure that you don't miss downtown Orlando and charming Winter Park.

Get in

By plane

Those traveling by air can enter via Orlando International Airport (IATA: MCO) [11]. Orlando-Sanford International Airport (IATA: SFB) [12] is located north of the city in Sanford, and mainly caters to charter flights from Europe as well as regional carriers. Other international air options are Daytona Beach International Airport (IATA: DAB) [13] to the northeast, Tampa International Airport (IATA: TPA) [14] to the southwest, and Melbourne International Airport (IATA: MLB) [15] to the southeast.

Flights enter Orlando International Airport from all over the United States, but travelers coming from international destinations will likely have to fly into Miami or Atlanta before transferring to a domestic airline.

By train

Orlando has an Amtrak [16] station that provides service to Miami or points north up to New York via the Silver Star and Silver Meteor lines. Prior to Hurricane Katrina, Orlando served as the eastern terminus for the coast to coast Sunset Limited that provided service to Los Angeles via Jacksonville, New Orleans, and San Antonio. Due to extensive track and bridge damage caused by Hurricane Katrina, the Sunset Limited is not currently operating east of New Orleans, and the timetable for repair is several years away.

In nearby Sanford, the southern terminus of the Amtrak Auto Train carries passengers and automobiles between Sanford and Lorton, Virginia, effectively serving as a car-rail link from Orlando to the Washington, D.C. Metro Area.

By bus

  • Florida Jitney, Toll Free in USA, 1- 877-FL-JITNEY * 1-877-355-4863 * 1-352-259-2731, [17] - Launched as a new city to city luxury ground transportation company, the Florida Jitney offers a transportation mode quite different than the large national bus lines. All of the Jitney mini-coaches offer satellite televisions, satellite internet, complimentary beverages and snacks and a professional on-board Travel Assistant. This 24 hour service operates continuously, and connects Orlando and Orlando Airport to Gainesville, University of Florida, Ocala, and service near to Top Of The World, Dunnellon, Inverness and The Villages. The routing system continues to expand, additional cities throughout Florida will be introduced in Spring, 2008. Prior reservations required.
  • Greyhound, 555 North John Young Parkway, [18]. Visitors arriving by Greyhound can go south on SR 423 to Interstate 4 to get to the major Attractions.

Shuttle Services

Running from the airport to various points, including Kissimmee, theme parks, University of Central Florida, and the cruise port at Port Canaveral.

  • express transportations&tours+1 407-222-5065, [19]
  • Linc's Transportation, Inc., +1 321-689-4777, [20]
  • Mears Transportation Group, +1 407-423-5566, [21]
  • Omega Transportation, +1 407-666-1595
  • Orlando Transportation & Tours Inc, +1 407-383-9930, [22]
  • Shuttles In Orlando, 1-800-997-9489, [23]
  • Disney's Magical Express, +1 407-W-DISNEY, [24] - Complimentary shuttle and luggage delivery service conveniently takes you from Orlando International Airport directly to your Walt Disney World Resort hotel. Prior reservations required.

Get around

By trolley

  • I-Ride Trolley, +1 407-248-9590, [25]. Along International and Universal Drive, this primarily serves tourists in the attractions area. While the service is advertised as a trolley, the trolleys are in fact modified buses and there is no dedicated traffic lane for the service; heavy traffic with many stops makes for a very slow ride. There are 85 stops along the main route on International Drive and 22 stops on the route that serves Universal Drive. The fare is $1 per ride. Per-day and multi-day bus passes are available from many locations.
  • Lymmo Bus, 1-841-LYNX. This free service operates frequently in a circuit in Downtown Orlando, from City Hall to the Centroplex and back. The Lymmo has a dedicated lane and stations with streetcar type control signals and modified buses that allow passengers to enter the bus without climbing. M-Th 6AM-10PM, F 6AM-12AM, Sa 10AM-12AM, Su 10AM-10PM.

By car

The car is still king in Orlando, and it is a very easy and convenient (if not congested) way to get to your destination. The roads are all wide and easy to drive on with all the major areas signposted, but traffic jams around downtown are common in the afternoons, and around the tourists areas on Saturday nights.

If you arrive by air via Orlando International Airport and get a rental car, go to the North Exit and head to SR 528 West to get to International Drive, Universal Orlando and SeaWorld. This will require $0.75 in tolls. A short-cut to Walt Disney World is the South Exit to SR 417 South, following it to Exit 5, and taking SR 536 straight into Disney. This requires $2 in tolls.

In Orlando, the main tourism area is International Drive, a strip of road that runs parallel to I-4 for about 10 miles.

To get to the Space Coast beaches, such as Cocoa Beach, as well as the cruise terminals of Port Canaveral, use SR 528, the Bee Line Expressway (recently renamed to the Beach Line), which is I-4 Exit 72.

Orlando is the largest rental car market in the world and is known as capital of car rental companies, with all major car rental companies easily accessible from the airport. All major car rental companies are located inside the Orlando airport or nearby.

By bus

Orlando's public transportation is the Lynx bus service. Approximately 60 routes serve the metro Orlando area and costs $1.75 per ride (transfers included) except for the Lymmo bus service as noted above. Check out Go Lynx for routes and fares.

Taxi

  • Ace Metro / Luxury Cab, +1 407-855-1111.
  • Diamond Cab Company, +1 407-523-3333.
  • Linc's Transportation Cab, +1 321-689-4777.
  • Star Taxi, +1 407-857-9999.
  • Town & Country Transportation, +1 407-828-3035.
  • Yellow / City Cab, +1 407-699-9999.

See

Gardens & Parks

  • Arboretum of the University of Central Florida - An arboretum and botanical garden covering 80 acres (32 hectares), it contains more than 600 species of plants, including more than 100 bromeliads, in cultivated gardens. Its cultivated areas currently include a Conservatory Compound, a Bromeliad Sanctuary, Cycad Garden, Fern Garden, Palm Collection, Rose Garden, Swamp Habitat, and Wetland Plants Display.
  • Harry P. Leu Gardens, 1920 N. Forest Ave, +1 407-246-2620, [26]. Daily 9AM-5PM except Christmas Day. Beautiful landscaped gardens and lakes set in nearly 50 acres of land, featuring flora gathered from around the globe since 1936 including the largest rose garden in Florida and America's largest Camellia collection outside of California. Leu House, Harry P. Leu's former home set within the grounds and dating back to the 1880's, has tours every 30 minutes around its museum illustrating Florida living at the turn of the 20th century (closed during July). You can marry in various places in the gardens and there are special events held throughout the year. $5 (free every Monday 9AM-12noon)
  • World of Orchids, featuring thousands of blooms in an enclosed tropical rainforest. World of Orchids is a working greenhouse shipping orchids and other plants nationwide. A greenhouse covers nearly an acre (4,000 m²), and in this controlled climate of warm, humid air some 1,000 orchids are displayed in a natural jungle setting, with streams, waterfalls, and squawking parrots. World of Orchids also has a 1,000 foot (300 m) long boardwalk meandering off into nearby wetlands. Admission is free.

Museums

  • Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Rollins College. Features items from Cornell's renowned permanent collection. Admission is free.
  • International Trolley and Train Museum - Features 14 model railroad trains with sound and lighting traveling through an indoor garden with 12 foot (4 m) high mountains, waterfalls, and more than 30 trestles and tunnels. Also on display are toy trains from the 1920s to the present. Visitors can catch a ride in a California Victorian-style half open/half closed trolley or the 5/8 replica of an 1880 locomotive (a Mason Bogey) with its passenger cars.
  • The Holy Land Experience is a biblical themepark and museum complex.
  • The Orange County Regional History Center Features exhibits and artifacts from the earliest days of the region to the modern day. Includes information on everything from the time of the Seminole Indians to the founding of the city to the Civil Rights era to the Disney period to today.
  • The Orlando Museum of Art, Ongoing exhibitions of American portraits and landscapes, American impressionist works, and art of the ancient Americas.
  • The Orlando Science Center, is a 207,000 square foot (19,000 m²) hands-on learning center with hundreds of interactive exhibits for visitors of all ages. Images surround visitors on the giant screen of the Dr. Phillips CineDome. Other attractions include the Body Zone, teaching health and fitness, as well as an observatory. The center has the largest refracting telescope in Florida.
  • Ripley's Believe It or Not! Orlando Odditorium, 8201 International Drive, +1 407 363-4418, [27]. Located in a building artfully constructed to appear as if it were collapsing to one side. Visitors can explore bizarre artifacts, strange collections, weird art/hobbies (for example, check out the 3/4-scale model of a 1907 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost automobile -- made entirely of matchsticks and glue), and interactive exhibits in sixteen odd galleries. Seriously schlocky, yet fun.

Sports Teams

  • Orlando Magic (NBA)
  • Orlando Predators (AFL)
  • Orlando Sharks (MISL)
  • University of Central Florida Knights (NCAA Division I FBS)

Do

Major Attractions

Changing times
Universal Orlando Resort will experience two significant changes in the near future. First of all, Back to the Future: The Ride closed early in 2007 and is slated to be replaced by 2008 with a new attraction based on The Simpsons. Secondly, Islands of Adventure is building a new theme land based on Harry Potter which is scheduled for a 2009 opening.


Orlando is one of the biggest tourist destinations because of the nearby theme parks and resorts. Close to International Drive is Universal Orlando Resort, which includes two theme parks, three hotels and a large shopping district. SeaWorld Orlando is a marine theme park featuring Kraken, the biggest rollercoaster in the Orlando area, as well as Believe, the all-new Shamu adventure. About 40 minutes outside of Orlando is the well-known Walt Disney World. Comprised of four theme parks, two water parks, dozens of hotels, three shopping and dining districts, eight golf courses and much more, it is the largest privately managed tourist destination on the planet. Not far from Disney World lies the Alligator Capital of the World: Gatorland. Also, don't forget about water park Wet 'N Wild, located right on International Drive.

  • Disney World - the famous attraction is actually located 35 miles south of Orlando, in a city called Lake Buena Vista.
  • Universal Orlando Resort, International Drive, +1 407-363-8000, [28]. 9AM-(closing times vary -- usually from 6PM-10PM). Discounts for purchasing tickets online.
  • SeaWorld Orlando, SeaWorld Drive, +1 407-351-3600, 1-800-327-2424, [29]. 9AM-(closing times vary -- usually from 6PM-10PM).
  • Gatorland, 14501 South Orange Blossom Trail, +1 407-855-5496, 1-800-393-JAWS, [30]. 9AM-5PM.
  • Wet 'N Wild, 6200 International Drive, +1 407-351-1800, 1-800-992-WILD, [31]. Hours vary.
  • Discovery Cove, 6000 Discovery Cove Way (just off Central Florida Parkway, next door to Seaworld), +1 407-370-1280, [32]. Everyday 9AM-5:30PM (open til 9PM on selected evenings). Younger sister park to Seaworld lets you get even closer to the sealife allowing you to swim with fish, stingrays and the park's main attraction, Bottlenose dolphins. This unique Orlando attraction is sold out most days, despite it's high admission price, partly due to the fact that there is a limited number of 1000 places per day but admission does include all your equipment, food, drink and 30 minutes interaction with the dolphins in the water. $259-279 ($159-179 for non-dolphin package).

Minor Attractions

  • Mary, Queen of the Universe Shrine, 8300 Vineland Avenue, +1 407-239-6600, [33]. This extravagant Catholic church has become a tourist attraction in itself, thanks in part to the millions of Catholics from around the world who visit it and the rest of Orlando every year. NOTE: It is not a parish, therefore it cannot perform weddings, funerals, or baptisms.
  • Rock Springs Run Kelly Park, 400 East Kelly Park Road, Apopka, [34]. Beautiful natural springs with lazy river that you can tube down, crystal clear water.

Downtown

Despite the proximity of theme park haven Lake Buena Vista, the City Beautiful has a lot to offer on its own. Downtown Orlando[35] is a growing area centered around Orange Avenue that is packed with bars, clubs, and restaurants, as well as theaters and concert venues. The main strip on Orange Ave. is closed most nights because of the large volumes of pedestrians. But just a few blocks over is Lake Eola [36], a picturesque park situated around a swan-filled lake. In the middle of the lake is a lighted fountain that has been established as an icon of Orlando, and on one side of the lake stands the historic outdoor shell theater, where tourists and locals alike can see a version of the Nutcracker every year in December. Swan-shaped paddle boats are available for rental as well. Taking over for Church St. as the main night time hot spot is Wall St. It is a small pedestrian only alley off of Orange Ave. that houses several restaurants and bars. They also have frequent concerts on Wall St. as they set up staging for bands to play for everything from Cinco de Mayo to the Capital One Bowl celebration week.

Golf

  • Bay Hill Club & Lodge, 9000 Bay Hill Blvd. (407) 876-2429. Two courses: 18 holes over 7,205 yards with a par of 72 (Private Non-Equity); 9 holes, over 3,409 yards with a par of 36 (Private Non-Equity).
  • Boggy Creek Golf Club, 3650 8th St. (407) 857-0280. 9 holes, over 3,250 yards with a par of 36 (Public).
  • Country Club of Orlando, 1601 Country Club Drive. (407) 425-2319. 18 holes, over 6,591 yards with a par of 72 (Private Equity).
  • Cypress Creek Country Club, 5353 Vineland Rd. (407) 351-2187. 18 holes, over 7,014 yards with a par of 72 (Public).
  • Dubsdread Golf Course, 549 West Par St. +1 407-246-2551. 18 holes, over 6,055 yards with a par of 72 (Municipal).
  • Eaglewood Golf Club, 5800 Pga Blvd. (407) 351-5121. 18 holes, over 2,516 yards with a par of 58 (Public).
  • EastWood Golf Club, 13950 Golfway Blvd. (407) 281-4653. 18 holes, over 7,176 yards with a par of 72 (Public).
  • Fairways Country Club, 14205 E Colonial Drive. (407) 282-7535. 18 holes, over 5,332 yards with a par of 70 (Public).
  • Faldo Golf Institute By Marriott, 12001 Avenida Verde. (888) 463-2536. 9 holes, over 2,308 yards with a par of 32 (Public).
  • Grand Cypress Resort, 1 N Jacaranda St. (800) 835-7377. Four Courses: 18 holes over 6,773 yards with a par of 72 (Public); 9 holes over 3,462 yards with a par of 36 (Public); 9 holes over 3,521 yards with a par of 36 (Public); 9 holes over 3,434 yards with a par of 36 (Public).
  • Grande Pines Golf Club, 6351 International Golf Club Road. (800) 371-1165. 18 holes, over 7,012 yards with a par of 72 (Public).
  • Lake Nona Golf Club, 9801 Lake Nona Road. (407) 851-9091. 18 holes, over 7,011 yards with a par of 72 (Private Non-Equity).
  • Lake Orlando Golf Club, 4224 Club House Road. +1 407-298-1230. 18 holes, over 6,803 yards with a par of 72 (Public).
  • MetroWest Golf Club, 2100 S Hiawassee Road. (407) 299-8800. 18 holes, over 7,051 yards with a par of 72 (Public).
  • Orange Tree Golf Club, 7540 Woodgreen Drive. (407) 351-2521. 18 holes, over 6,968 yards with a par of 71 (Private Non-Equity).
  • Rio Pinar Golf & Country Club, 8600 El Prado Ave. (407) 277-5121. 18 holes, over 6,929 yards with a par of 72 (Private Equity).
  • Ritz Carlton Golf Club, 4048 Central Florida Pkwy. (407) 393-4900. 18 holes, over 7,122 yards with a par of 72 (Public).
  • Shingle Creek Golf Club, 9939 Universal Blvd. (866) 996-9933. 18 holes, over 7,213 yards with a par of 72 (Public).
  • Stoneybrook Golf Club, 2900 Northampton Ave. (407) 384-6888. 18 holes, over 6,820 yards with a par of 72 (Public).
  • Ventura Country Club, 3333 Woodgate Blvd. (407) 277-2640. 18 holes, over 5,467 yards with a par of 70 (Public).

Tennis

  • Orlando Tennis Center, 649 W Livingston St. (407) 246-2161.
  • Lake Cane Tennis Center, 5108 Turkey Lake Rd. (407) 254-9170.
  • Fort Gatlin Recreation Complex, 2009 Lake Margaret Dr. (407) 858-3290.

Venues

  • Orange County Convention Center, 9860 Universal Boulevard, (407) 685-1061. [37] With 2.1 million-square feet of exhibition space, the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) serves as the area's convention and meeting center.

Buy

Major malls

Florida Mall [38] - The biggest mall in Orlando located at the crossroads of Orange Blossom Trail and Sandlake Road. Home to hundreds of shops and anchored by Saks 5th Avenue, Macys, Dillards, Nordstrom, Lord and Taylor, JC Penney and Sears. You can go an entire day in this mall and still not finish.

Mall at Millenia [39] - This is Orlando's most upscale and beautiful mall. Find everything from Tiffany's to Hugo Boss and Gucci. Also home to upscale department stores like Macy's, Bloomingdales and Neiman Marcus. This mall is part of the very new and trendy Millenia area of Orlando. Located conveniently on the Conroy Road exit off of I-4 a few miles south of Downtown.

Fashion Square Mall [40] - Located on east Colonial Drive just north of downtown.

West Oaks Mall [41] - Located on West Colonial Drive in the western suburbs of Ocoee and Winter Garden

Outlet malls

Orlando Premium Outlets [42]- Home to the biggest designers such as Armani, Fendi, Burberry, Ferragamo, Lacoste, Coach. Also home to Tommy Hilfiger, Nike, Polo, Nautica and many more. Located off of 535 and visible from I-4 closest to the Disney World area. This is the best mall to pick up bargains from all the name brands and designer wear.

Prime Outlets (formerly Beltz) - Home to many designers such as Polo, DKNY, Nike, Reebok, and Liz Claiborne. The mall is currently undergoing major renovation but the outside centers are still open and have the above stores.

Lake Buena Vista Factory Outlets [43] - Select from over 300 designer and name brands such as Gap, Reebok, Carters and Eddie Bauer. Stores offer factory direct, quality merchandise at savings up to 75%. Located off of SR 535 near International Drive and Disney.

Ethnic enclaves

Little Saigon - Located on Colonial Drive just east of downtown. Here you will find about 100 stores that stock items from China, Viet Nam, Hong Kong, etc. Also home to many Asian restaurants. The shops will mainly consist of Asian grocery stores and gift shops and a few herbal healing stores.

Little India area - This area is a bit spread out. You will find many Indian stores in the South Orange Blossom Trail area on the main streets and side roads. Starting with Lancaster Road, which houses a video store and Indian restaurant, and then traveling south you will see a few Indian shops in clusters every mile all the way to 417 where you end at the local Indian movie theater.

Eat

  • Bubbalou's Bodacious BBQ 3 locations in the Orlando area, [44]. Offers BBQ ribs, sandwiches and other smoked delights. Atmosphere has a a homestyle feel and plenty of pig companions.
  • Calypso Bar and Grill, 6300 Parc Corniche Drive Orlando, [45]. Great menu with a Key West themed dining experience.
  • Citywalk, [46] at Universal Orlando features a variety of restaurants such as Margaritaville, Hard Rock Cafe, Pastamore, NASCAR Cafe and much more. Parking is $10 during the day and free after 6PM (except during holidays or special events, such as Hallowen Horror Nights).
  • Costanzo's Italian Deli 4034 N Goldenrod Rd. Winter Park. Best dishes: (Linguine Piemontese)
  • Gabriel's subs 2840 Curry Ford Rd - excellent hot veggie subs
  • Garden Cafe, [47] 810 W Colonial Dr - fantastic vegetarian (mostly vegan) chinese food
  • Garibaldi Mexican Restaurant 929 N Semoran Blvd. Best dishes: (Chili Relleno, cheese enchilada)
  • Pannullo's Italian 216 S Park Ave Winter Park, FL 32789-4363 Best dishes: (ravioli Terricina:Gorgonzola cheese, mushrooms, basil)
  • Ponderosa [48]. An American steakhouse with a wide and varied buffet, from sausages to muffins all day. Great for those with a sweet tooth.
  • Rolando's Cuban Restaurant 870 Semoran Blvd Casselberry. Best dishes: (rice, yucca, eggplant, plantains, guava)
  • Rossi's Pizza 5919 S Orange Blossom Trl, +1 407-855-5755. - Corner of Oak Ridge & Orange Blossom Trail. Best dishes: 12 inch thin-crust Pepperoni.
  • Thai Villa 7355 Aloma Ave Winter Park. Best dishes: (Tom Yum Gai soup, chili Jam with beef and tofu add peanuts)
  • The Boheme Restaurant [49], 325 South Orange Av. (in the Westin Grand Bohemian), +1 407-313-9000.
  • Tijuana Flats 7608 University Blvd Winter Park. Best dishes: (ultimate Nachos with sweet chili sauce)
  • Tony's Deli 1323 N Mills Ave. Best dishes: (fava bean salad, hommous, taboolie, baklava)
  • Uncle Jones BBQ 1370 E Altamonte Dr. Altamonte Spgs. Best dishes: (Best potatoes ever!, lima beans, bbq pork, corn bread, fried okra, texas toast)
  • Vito's Chop House, 8633 International Dr., +1 407-354-2467, [50]. Great cooking, great wine. $15-$30.

Splurge

  • Khasiyat Indian Cuisine 852 W. Lancaster Road, +1 407-888-2147. - vegetarian/Indian cuisine
  • Norman's [51], 4000 Central Florida Pkwy. (at Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes), +1 407-393-4333. Chef Norman Van Aken. Prix-fixe $55 and up.


Drink

Orlando Nightlife away from the theme parks is centered mostly around Central Boulevard and Orange Avenue in downtown Orlando. Here you can walk and find many bars and several dance clubs from the chic urban Rhythm and Flow to the Mulvaney's Irish Pub. A short walk away is the tiny Thornton Park District, located near/around the intersection of Washington and Summerlin. Among the dozens of cafés and pubs, you might stop in for a drink and a quick bite at Dexter's on Washington. For local flair head across the street to Burton's Frosty Mug, or sample the hip urban environment at the trendy HUE at the corner of Washington and Central.

At the theme parks, there is Pleasure Island at Disney World and the CityWalk at Universal Studios. For a nominal admission fee, both sites offer numerous venues for libations and entertainment. If you're staying along International Drive, there are plenty of bars, pubs, and clubs.

Sleep

With a hotel around virtually every corner (actually 4 or 5 around every corner) it seems impossible to throw a rock and not hit a hotel. There are hotels to meet every traveler's need, whether it be a hostel or a 5-star resort, although many visiting families often prefer to rent their own private villa as they usually provide much more personal space and have their own private facilities. There are also a large number of lodgings in the surrounding cities and towns.

Budget

  • AmeriSuites Orlando Airport/Northeast, 7500 Augusta National Drive, +1 407-240-3939 [52]. Near Orlando International Airport and minutes from Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, and SeaWorld.
  • AmeriSuites Orlando Orlando Airport/Northwest, 5435 Forbes Place, +1 407-816-7800 [53]. Near Orlando International Airport and minutes from Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, and SeaWorld.
  • AmeriSuites Orlando/Convention Center, 8741 International Drive, +1 407-370-4720, [54]. Three blocks from the Orange County Convention Center and three miles from Sea World and Universal.
  • AmeriSuites Orlando/Universal, 5895 Caravan Court, +1 407-351-0627, [55]. Located only 1/4-mile from Universal Studios and City Walk and minutes from Walt Disney World.
  • Microtel Inn & Suites Orlando, 7531 Canada Avenue. +1 407-226-9887, [56]. For the fourth consecutive year, Microtel Inns & Suites has been "Ranked Highest in Guest Satisfaction Among Economy/Budget Hotel Chains"*.

Mid-range

  • Doubletree Castle Hotel, 8629 International Drive, [1]. Designed as a medieval themed palace. The interior is decorated with medieval themed artwork and Renaissance music. 216 guest rooms and suites.
  • Four Points by Sheraton Orlando Studio City, 5905 International Drive, +1 407 351-2100, [2]. 301 guest rooms.
  • Orlando Vista Hotel, 12490 Apopka Vineland Road, [3].
  • Embassy Suites Hotel, Lake Buena Vista Resort, 8100 Lake Avenue, [4].
  • Grande Lakes Orlando Resort, [5]. Featuring The Ritz-Carlton Orlando and JW Marriott Orlando. Spa, golf, and restaurants on site.
  • Courtyard Orlando Downtown Hotel, 730 North Magnolia Avenue, [6]. Downtown Orlando hotel located minutes from Carr Performing Arts Center and other Orlando attractions.
  • Doubletree Universal Orlando Hotel, 5780 Major Boulevard, [7].
  • Sheraton Safari Lake Buena Vista Hotel, 12205 S. Apopka-Vineland Road, [57]. Lake Buena Vista hotel located 1/8 of a mile from the Walt Disney World Resort and minutes from other Orlando theme parks and attractions.
  • Hawthorn Suites Orlando(Universal Studios), 7601 Canada Avenue, +1 407-581-2151, [58]. Located just one block from the famous International Drive, minutes from the Orange County Convention Center.
  • Hawthorn Suites Orlando Airport, 7450 Augusta National Drive. +1 407-438-2121, [59]. Business travelers will enjoy in-room business services, featuring an oversized work area.
  • Hawthorn Suites Orlando/Convention Center, 6435 Westwood Blvd., +1 407-351-6600, [60]. Surrounded by tropical landscaping, free-form heated pool and whirlpool spa, as well as special children’s pool, play area and game room.
  • Hawthorn Suites Orlando/Walt Disney World, 8303 Palm Parkway, +1 (407) 597-5000, [61]. Superb amenities, warm comfortable surroundings and the excitement of Orlando are just steps from your door.
  • Nickelodeon Family Suites by Holiday Inn, 14500 Continental Gateway, [62]. In addition to the Nickelodeon colors and themes, the hotel has added over $25 million in amenities and features: Two amazing pool complexes with waterpark features like slides, flumes and wet/dry play areas; The Lagoon and The Oasis pools are completed and offering live Nickelodeon entertainment pool side.
  • Parc Corniche Condominium Orlando Suite Hotel, 6300 Parc Corniche Drive, +1 407-239-7100 (toll free: 1-800-446-2721, fax: +1 407-239-8501), [63]. Orlando Hotel Condominium Suites at the Parc Corniche, located in the middle of the action on the famous International Drive and minutes away from the theme parks.
  • Lake Buena Vista Resort & Spa, 8112 Poinciana Blvd, +1 407-239-7100 (toll free: 1-866-401-2699), [64]. A brand new luxury condominium resort, located in the heart of all the fun things to do in Orlando, Florida. Minutes away from Disney, Universal, SeaWorld and International Drive.
  • Embassy Suites North Orlando Hotel, 225 East Altamonte Drive, +1 407-834-2400, [65]. 19 miles from Orlando Airport and six miles from downtown Orlando - close to the business district, shopping and the many local attractions, and there is a complimentary shuttle within a five-mile radius.
  • Embassy Suites Orlando Hotel & Convention Center on International Drive, 8978 International Drive, +1 407-352-1400, [66]. 244 two-room suites, 10 miles from Orlando Airport MCO, and just minutes from Walt Disney World®, Sea World and Universal Studios.
  • Holiday Inn Nikki Bird Orlando Hotel, 7300 West US 192, +1 407-396-7300, [67]. One mile from Disney's Main Gate and 15 miles from Orlando. Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot and Walt Disney World are all within one mile.
  • Holiday Inn International Drive Orlando Hotel 6515 International Drive, +1 407-351-3500, [68]. A 13-acre playground just steps away from great restaurants and shopping. Sea World, Universal Orlando, and Wet 'N Wild are just a short ride away along International Drive.
  • Holiday Inn Select Orlando Hotel at the Orlando Airport MCO, 5750 TG Lee Boulevard, +1 407-851-6400, [69]. Just outside the exit of Orlando Airport and 8 miles from downtown - well placed for many of the major Florida attractions, including Disney World.
  • Marriott Residence Inn Lake Buena Vista , 11450 Marbella Palm Court, +1 407-465-0075 (fax: +1 407-465-0050), [70]. Features include: location near Walt Disney World, and accommodations for extended stay business visitors, or events at the nearby Orange County Convention Center hotel.
  • Masters Inn Orlando, 1-800-633-3434, [71]. Masters Inn of Orlando near Disney, MGM Studios, Animal Kingdom, Universal Studios, Islands of Adventures, and Epcot.
  • Masters Inn International Dr., 8222 Jamaican Ct, +1 407-345-1172 (fax: +1 407-352-2801), [72]. Masters Inn on International Drive is near Universal Studios, SeaWorld & the Orlando-Orange County Convention Center.
  • The Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel and Suites, South International Drive, 9956 Hawaiian Court, 1-800-826-4847, [73]. A AAA 3-Diamond award winner, conveniently located off South International Drive that features 223 deluxe guestrooms and one bedroom suites. Provides high-speed Internet access in all rooms, meeting rooms and all public areas. Offers business, group and leisure travelers a best rate guarantee. Adjacent to Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center and within walking distance to popular restaurants and shopping centers.
  • Enclave Suites Resort, 6165 Carrier Drive, 1-800-457-0077 (fax: +1 407-351-2001), [74]. Resort one block from famous International Drive with two outdoor swimming pools, two "kiddie pools", two whirlpools, lighted tennis court, 24-hour fitness center, gazebo overlooking private lake,and indoor heated pool and whirlpool. Also serves as Orlando vacation home with deluxe studio suites and two-bedroom/two-bath accommodations. All suites come with fully equipped kitchens, sofa beds, and a private balcony.
  • Quality Suites Universal, 7400 Canada Avenue, Orlando 32189, +1-407-363-0332 (, fax: +1-407-352-2598), [8]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: 11AM. $100.

Splurge

  • Grand Bohemian Hotel, 325 S. Orange Ave., [75]. Takes center stage as downtown Orlando’s landmark luxury hotel. With 250 guest rooms & suites guests experience a dazzling blend of art, music and memorable hospitality.
  • Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Orlando Hotel, One Grand Cypress Boulevard, [76]. Ideally located adjacent to Walt Disney World, this Lake Buena Vista, Florida hotel combines the most comprehensive selection of activities – including golf, tennis, pools, horseback riding, dining and more – with state of the art meeting facilities, luxurious guestrooms and renowned Hyatt service.
  • International Plaza Orlando Resort and Spa, 10100 International Drive, [77]. Orlando resort located just minutes from Sea World and Orlando Convention Center.
  • Marriott Orlando Downtown Hotel, 400 West Livingston Street, [78]. Downtown Orlando hotel located minutes from TD Waterhouse Center and other Orlando attractions.
  • The Peabody Orlando Hotel, 9801 International Drive, [79]. Luxury Orlando hotel, contemporary elegance, home to the famous Peabody Ducks and located across the street from Orlando Orange County Convention Center.
  • Westin Grand Bohemian Hotel, 325 S. Orange., Orlando. +1 407-313-9000, 1-866-663-0024, [80]. Near Orlando's Church Street Station. Luxury hotel with European styled elegance.
  • Buena Vista Palace, 1900 Buena Vista Drive, [9].

Vacation rental homes

Privately owned vacation rental homes or "villas" are also very popular especially with families and larger groups, usually offering significantly more space than hotel rooms, a private pool, the ability to cook your own meals - and often at a much cheaper price.

  • Imagine Vacation Homes (agency), 115 Davenport Boulevard, Davenport, 866-385-5166 (, fax: 863-424-3736), [10].

Contact

  • Ten digit dialing is in effect in the Orlando area. All calls from or within the area, even local calls, require dialing the area code. There are some public pay phones scattered around the city, but they are becoming increasingly rare with the predominance of cell phones. It is not safe to assume you will be able to find a pay phone at any given time.
  • Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau, 8723 International Drive, 1-800 972-3304, [81]. The official sales and marketing organization for the Orlando and Orange County area.
  • ZIP codes in the city of Orlando begin with 328, and 327 in the surrounding areas.
  • It is common for many of the larger hotels and lodgings in the area to offer free internet access for their guests.

Stay safe

Visitors should be vigilant of their surroundings in downtown Orlando west of I-4 (known as the Parramore district). Orange Blossom Trail (north of Sand Lake Road) is also a notoriously dangerous part of town.

Tourists should tend to venture away from the Pine Hills neighborhood. This neighborhood is located around Silver Star Road and Pine Hills Road west of John Young Parkway. This area is notorious for high crime.

Typical rules of tourism common sense apply. Hotel room invasions do occur, especially open-air hotel and motel rooms when the victim leaves their hotel room unlocked and undeadbolted. When you are in a hotel room, lock your doors behind you.

Never leave valuable items in your car unattended; get any purchased items to your hotel room as soon as possible.

Also, do not leave small children unattended for any length of time, especially at a pool. Most hotel pools do not have lifeguards.

Pets are better off left with a friend or in a kennel. If you choose to bring your pet, note that most theme parks and hotels prohibit pets. DO NOT LOCK YOUR PET IN YOUR CAR! Due to the high temperatures in the area, it is extremely dangerous and is forbidden by law in Florida.

Cope

  • La Petite Academy Kids Station(sm), a Resort where Kids Rule(sm), At Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee, Florida +1 407-586-2505. Link to Site

Parents sometimes feel guilty separating from their children on a family vacation. But with facilities like this your kids won't notice your absence. Leave the kids for an hour or two while mom and dad have a dinner or enjoy a spa treatment!

Get out

  • Altamonte Springs
  • Celebration
  • Kissimmee
  • Clermont, about 20 miles west of Orlando on Florida Highway 50, hosts another Central Florida landmark, the Florida Citrus Tower. The tower celebrated its 50th anniversary in December of 2006.




This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!