Orlando is a vibrant vacation destination with charming historic towns, cobblestone streets lined with hidden gems, hip neighborhoods with cultural delights, beautiful parks and preserves for outdoor activities, oh …. and theme parks!
When travelers think Orlando, they think theme parks, crowds and end of day exhaustion! Orlando boasts some of the best theme-parks and attractions in the world (and we’ll touch on those) but there’s more to Orlando than meets the tourists eye. Join us as we unpack the arts, culture and outdoor activities that make Orlando so much more than a theme park destination.
Orlando’s theme parks are geared for all ages! Pretty princesses, colorful characters and teacup rides for the toddlers and thrilling rides for the big folk on a quest for adventure and speed.
Disney has 4 theme parks and 2 water parks. Take a ride through Africa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, celebrate Tinseltown at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, explore the culture and cuisines of 11 nations at Epcot and celebrate the magic at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, the #1 theme park in the world. For a splashing good time, swim with the sharks or hang ten on the waves at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon or toboggan down the snowy slides at Blizzard Beach.
Universal Orlando is the second most visited attraction in Orlando. Go behind the scenes of your favorite movies at Universal Studios, explore the Islands of Adventure and shop, refuel and enjoy live music at Universal CityWalk.
International Drive is Orlando’s tourist corridor with world-class attractions, entertainment, shopping and nightlife. Top attractions on International Drive to add to your Orlando tourist itinerary include Ripley’s Believe it or Not!, WonderWorks, the Titanic, Madame Tussauds, The Wheel at Icon Park (a must for the best views of Orlando) and SeaWorld Orlando.
Orlando’s museums and galleries are as creative as the theme parks! There’s a treasure trove of hidden gems scattered throughout Orlando’s hip neighborhoods to feed the soul of every creative. Visit the funky CityArts Factory in Thornton Park, catch an improv comedy show at the SAK Comedy Lab, or browse the antique stores in historic Ivanhoe Village.
Loch Haven Park is nestled on three scenic lakes and is the cultural heart of Orlando with Orlando’s finest museums, galleries and theaters. Enjoy world-class entertainment at the Orlando Ballet, Shakespeare Theater or Repertory Theater and view Orlando’s finest collection of art at the Orlando Museum of Art and Mennello Museum and Sculpture Gardens. For art of a different kind, head to the Harry P Leu Gardens on the shores of Lake Rowena with a butterfly garden, over 1,000 rose bushes, a citrus grove and a restored museum.
Nearby Winter Park is another top Orlando neighborhood for art lovers with the world’s largest collection of Tiffany Glass at the Morse Museum, the works of Picasso and Matisse at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum and the tranquil sculpture gardens at the Albin Polasek Museum.
Orlando is home to over 80 public parks, beautiful lakes, forests, gardens and preserves with hiking trails. Close to Orlando there’s 43 acres of walking paths, icon swan paddle boat rides and live oaks for shaded picnics at Lake Eola Park and nearby Lake Ivanhoe is great for kayaking and fishing with spectacular Orlando city views.
Book a gator tour at Lake Apopka, go swimming, canoeing or cave diving at Wekiwa Springs, kayak the emerald waters of Rock Springs on a glass bottom boat, or swim with dolphins at Discovery Cove. Take a family bike ride along the shores of Lake Apopka on the West Orange Trail, hike the trails of Tibet Butler Preserve or go birdwatching at the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey and the Great Egret Rookery at Kraft Azalea Gardens in Maitland.
Lake Toho is a prime Orlando fishing destination, and the nearby Lake Kissimmee State Park offers 20 miles of hiking trails, equestrian trails for horse-riding, an abundance of bird and wildlife and boating, canoeing and world-class bass fishing on the chain of lakes.
If golf is your game, there’s over 100 world-class public golf courses in Orlando so pack your clubs (or rent from a local pro shop) and bring your A-game to Orlando.
Orlando ranks #2 in America’s top foodie cities. Aside from the fast food, family diners and big chains, there’s farm to table restaurants for fine dining, unique food trucks, ethnic eateries, pop up diners, craft breweries and super cool food tours of Orlando’s vibrant neighborhoods.
For wine connoisseurs, the Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards in nearby Clermont is Florida’s largest premium winery with 80 acres of vineyards, free tasting tours 7 days a week and live music on the weekends.
There’s no need to share breakfast tables, elevator space and crowded lobbies with a mass of tourists in an Orlando hotel! Escape the crowds and spend your vacation under one roof in a lakeside gated community, away from the crowds yet an easy drive to Orlando’s top attractions. Our Kissimmee vacation villas offer all the comforts of home, resort amenities for the whole family and a safe place to call home for your Orlando vacation.