Orlando is located in Orange County, Florida, and is often associated with its amazing theme parks, the most famous being Disney World, but also Universal Studios, Sea World, Ripley´s Believe It Or Not and Wet n´Wild. None of these are actually in the city itself, however there is plenty on offer besides theme parks to keep you busy on your visit to Orlando. The climate in the city varies from warm to hot, with the best time to visit being in the spring and fall when the weather is balmy. Also, a lot of tourists tend to come in summer when the children have summer holidays!
- Orlando is home to the first ever water park, Wet n´Wild, that opened in 1977.
- Orlando is in Orange County, although the most of citrus groves from which it got its name are gone.
- After Las Vegas, Orlando is the second-most visited destination in the United States.
- Orlando was originally called Jernigan, after the first permanent settler in the area, who later went on to get a bad reputation, so the name was changed.
- In 2010 over 54 million people visited Orlando on pleasure or business, making it one of the most visited destinations worldwide.
Things to Do
Besides its theme parks, we wanted to tell you some of the other things that you can do in Orlando. Not without reason this city is known as The City Beautiful. There are a large variety of parks to visit, including the Arboretum at the University of Central Florida, which spreads across 80 acres and contains more than 600 species of plants. World of Orchids is a massive greenhouse with the climate of a tropical rainforest that is filled with thousands of orchids in bloom, as well as streams, waterfalls and live parrots. Orlando also has a number of museums, such as the Museum of Art, the Science Center and the Cornell Fine Arts Museum. But yes, we gather if you´ve come all the way to Orlando, theme parks are on your mind, so here are a few you may also want to check out after Disneyland. A Go Orlando Card will give you free access to many of the attractions for a one-off reduced fee.
1) Discovery Cove, which is often sold out as it limits visitors to 1,000 per day, gives you a full day of fun with the option of a 30 minute interaction with dolphins.
2) Gatorland, which is a small park with an alligator and reptile theme.
3) Orlando Watersports Complex, which offers lesson and rides on two separate cable systems, one of beginner and one of advanced.
4) Florida EcoSafaris at Forever Florida, which is a 4,700 acre eco-ranch that boasts 9 distinct Florida eco-systems complete with alligators, black bears an even the endanged Florida panther.
Orlando´s Food Delights
There are so many restaurants in Orlando that you´ll be spoilt for choice on your search for sustenance. Disney´s Epcot Center offers some great experiences in American and ethnic dining, including two very good and totally different restaurants, the world-class ´Canadian Steakhouse´ and the unique ´Morocco´ which features nightly fireworks shows at 9pm. The El Inka Grill is a great place to go for Peruvian food, with the ceviche made with fresh lemon juices being one of their must-have dishes. Should you want to do some self-catering in your own accommodation, it´s advisable to head over to the Winn Dixie supermarket in Lake Buena Vista where you can certainly save a lot of your budget on getting ingredients for home-cooked meals.
Orlando International Airport is located to the southeast of downtown but lies central for access to other attractions in the area. Orlando is the rental car capital of the world many tourists decide on the freedom having your own transport offers. There are number of shuttle services heading to various hotels around the city, or else the Shuttle and Town Car Services that run to various locations around the town or to the theme parks and are a cheaper option than taxis. Orlando´s public transport consists of the LYNX bus service and the free Lymmo bus service that follows a route around downtown. There is also the I-Ride trolley service which is cheap ($4 for an all-day pass) but it is rather slow and has a limited route coverage.
Accommodation and Apartments for Rent in Orlando
There is a large amount of accommodation available in Orlando, with a hotel pretty much on every corner, and a price to suit every budget. If you´re looking to keep down the price on your food budget so you can spend more on the theme parks and other delights this city has to offer, then why not opt for a self-accommodating option with Wimdu? Rent a lovely apartment or a room with bed and breakfast option from one of our friendly hosts in the area, get to see how the locals live and benefit from some insider tips on the area your host may have to offer.