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Interstate 4 ("I-4") is part of the U.S. Interstate Highway System running through Florida. Interstate 4 runs diagonally from Interstate 275 in Tampa to Interstate 95 in Daytona Beach. It is the most traveled freeway in Florida and is important in connecting the Orlando and Tampa Bay regions, both with over 2 million residents. It is also important for tourism, serving millions of tourists arriving to Orlando from via Interstate 95. Also, Interstate 4 is the only toll-free freeway in the Orlando area, and is the Orlando area's largest traffic artery.
See also: Hillsborough County.
Tampa to Orlando
See also: Hillsborough County, Polk County.
- Exits 19-22 — Plant City — Dinosaur World, exit 17 , is a small theme park with over 150 life-size dinosaur sculptures.
- Exit 44 — Fantasy of Flight — , billed as "the world's largest private aircraft collection" and has numerous aircraft on display, exhibits highlighting the development of flight & aircraft, and interactive displays and simulators.
- Exit 55 — US 27 — major highway marks the western edge of greater Orlando. Provides access north to Lake; south to eastern Polk counties & Lake Okeechobee.
See also: Osceola County, Orange County.
In honor of Disney World's 25th anniversary, Florida Power & Light erected this power pole at exit 62.
- Exits 62-68 — Walt Disney World — the world's largest theme park resort includes four theme parks, two water parks, over two dozen hotels, a campground, a shopping and entertainment district, and countless restaurants.
- Exit 64 — US 192 — leads west to Disney World; east leads through a very commercial area, numerous hotels, Kissimmee, and to Melbourne. Arabian Nights, , is a famous diner show 1/2 mile east of the freeway.
- Exit 71 — SeaWorld Orlando, Discovery Cove — marine-life-themed amusement parks offering rides, a water park, and animal shows and exhibits.
- Exit 74 — Sand Lake Road — Access to the south end of International Drive. The world's largest McDonald's is located less than a half mile east of the freeway has a massive play area, many video/arcade games, & a McDonald's Bistro serving pasta dishes & fine desserts.
- Exits 75A&B — Universal Orlando Resort — 2 amusement parks aimed at youth and young adults as well as a free-admission entertainment and shopping district. Less than 1 mile to the east of this exit is International Drive—a long road known for inexpensive shopping, the Wet-n-Wild waterpark, and more tourist traps than you can shake a stick at.
- Exit 78 — Conroy Road — Holy Land Experience, , best described as a "Christian theme park". On the east side of the interstate lies a large mid to upscale shopping district, including the upscale Mall at Millennia.
- Exit 83B — US92/US441/SR50 — heading west (continuing on SR 50) leads to Little Saigon Vietnamese district, Lake County, and the Nature Coast; east leads to Titusville.
- Exit 88 — Eatonville — very small town with a long history as an African-American town, home to author Zora Neale Hurston
Interstate 4 crossing the St.John's River between miles 104-106. The river widens into Lake Munroe just north of this bridge, opened in 2004.
Orlando to Daytona Beach
See also: Seminole County.
- Exit 101 (A-B-C) — heading east on SR 46 leads to Orlando Sanford International Airport.
- Exit 104 — US 17/US 92 — heading south leads to the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens in Sanford, and recreation areas at the southern shore of Lake Monroe.
See also: Volusia County.
- Exit 118 — SR 44 — heading west leads to Stetson University in downtown DeLand and eventually Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge; heading east leads to the Volusia County Fair and Expo Center, the New Smyrna Speedway and New Smyrna Beach.
- Exit 129 — US 92 — heading west leads to Tiger Bay State Forest; heading east leads to LPGA International Golf Club and Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach.
- Exit 132 — Interstate 95/SR400 — the eastern terminus of Interstate 4, I-95 provides access north to St. Augustine, Jacksonville, Georgia, and the eastern seaboard of the United States to Maine; south to South Florida. SR 400 continues into Daytona Beach to US 1.
- Florida State Fair(exit 7), , occurs every year in February (Feb 5-16, 2009) at the Florida State fairgrounds located off exit 7 (US 92). The fair offers exhbits showcasing each county in the state, citrus, livestock, and equestrians and has a model of a 19th century "cracker" village, numerous rides, and a convention hall filled with vendors. The fairgrounds are also host to several other events throughout the year, including exhibitions (car, boat, & home shows), equestrian competitions, and concerts at the Ford Amphitheater (highly visible from the interstate).
- Plant City Strawberry Festival(exit 17), , usually runs the last week of February and first week of March(Feb 26-Mar 8, 2009). The festival has many vendors making delicious treats with strawberries, several concerts, rides, and exhibits. Exit 22-Park Road.
- Sun 'n Fun fly-in(exit 27), , is held every April (April 21-26, 2009) at Lakeland Lindner Regional Airport located just 5 miles off I-4. The fly-in attracts hundreds of private aircraft, many unique or antique, and thousands of visitors each year. On display are numerous aircraft, displays concerning aviation, and most years a military jet makes an appearance (a Fl. Air National Guard F-16 in 2008).
There are several entertainment districts along the highway. Ybor City, a district within Tampa off exit 1, is mostly known for its nightlife, ethnic foods, Cuban flare, and small businesses which sell everything from fine, freshly-rolled Cuban cigars to antiques, clothing, and unique, hand-crafted furniture. Downtown Disney, exit 68, has the DisneyQuest interactive/virtual theme park, a Cirque du Soleil show called La Nouba, a House of Blues club, the enormous World of Disney store, and a Hard Rock Café, Rainforest Café, Ghiradelli Chocolate Factory and much more. CityWalk(on the Universal Orlando Resort property), exit 75, has a Blue Man Group show, a NASCAR cafe, several nightclubs, and some shopping. Orlando's CBD has numerous small businesses, great restaurants, and several great spots for nightlife for all ages.
There are also a couple of ethnic areas near Interstate 4 and worth visiting for a simple meal or some shopping. Ybor City, off exit 1, is a district with a mostly Cuban with cigar factories dating from the turn of the 20th century, numerous Cuban restaurants, streetscaping to provide a historical ambiance, many antique shops, latin-themed night clubs, and small gift shops. In addition to Cuban/Hispanic culture, the district also has a history of Italian influence and there are a handful of French restaurants as well. Little Saigon is located off exit 83B, then west on Colonial Drive (SR50) just 1-2 miles east of the freeway. There are about 100 oriental (overwhelmingly Vietnamese) restaurants and shops, mainly groceries, during a few mile segment.
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