Visit Orlando, Florida – The City Beautiful
Known as “The City Beautiful,” Orlando is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world thanks to its famous theme parks and attractions. With warm weather year-round, Orlando offers non-stop fun and excitement for travelers of all ages. Read on to learn more about what makes Orlando a must-see Florida city.
Orlando, a city in central Florida, is home to more than a dozen theme parks. Chief among its claims to fame is Walt Disney World, comprised of parks like the Magic Kingdom and Epcot, as well as water parks. Another major destination, Universal Orlando, offers Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, with the Wizarding World of Harry Potter straddling both.
Orlando is best known as the theme park capital of the world. The major theme parks include Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, SeaWorld, and LEGOLAND. With rides, shows, parades, characters, and more, these parks promise unforgettable adventures. Disney World is the largest theme park complex globally with four separate parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom.
Beat the Florida heat by splashing down Orlando’s epic water slides and rides. Disney World, Universal Studios, SeaWorld, and other parks have water park additions like Typhoon Lagoon, Volcano Bay, Aquatica, and Discovery Cove. Float along a lazy river, plunge down slides, or hang with marine life for a soaking wet good time.
Beyond the big theme parks, Orlando offers many other fun attractions and activities. Thrill seekers can jump, dive, and zipline at ICON Orlando. The Orlando Science Center inspires future scientists and engineers with hands-on exhibits. Showcase your putting skills at pirate-themed Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf. Learn about Florida’s ecosystem at Gatorland or see a live alligator wrestling show.
Orlando isn’t all about the theme parks. The warm climate makes it easy to enjoy the great outdoors all year-round. Some top spots include Wekiwa Springs State Park for hiking, kayaking, and swimming in natural springs. Harry P. Leu Gardens has 50 acres of lush botanical gardens to explore. You can also hit the links at one of Orlando’s over 170 golf courses. Orlando parks like Lake Eola and Lake Baldwin offer scenic walking/running trails, playgrounds, and views of downtown.
Discover Orlando’s vibrant arts, culture, and dining scene in between theme park visits. The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts hosts Broadway shows, concerts, and local performances. The Museum of Art is home to impressive collections of modern and contemporary works. Visit the Orlando Ballet or Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra for a taste of culture. Foodies can sample the city’s diverse cuisine from Southern comfort food to Peruvian flavors.
Festivals and Events
Throughout the year, Orlando hosts family-friendly festivals and events like:
- Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival (spring)
- Epcot International Food & Wine Festival (fall)
- Orlando Pride Festival (fall)
- Orlando Magic basketball games (all seasons)
- 4th of July Fireworks at the Magic Kingdom
- Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios (fall)
The temperate weather allows Orlando to offer fun indoor and outdoor festivities almost any time of the year.
From local boutiques to massive malls, Orlando offers diverse shopping adventures. Each theme park has its own unique souvenirs and stores. At Disney Springs, stroll along the waterfront to find clothing, toys, art galleries, and Disney gifts. Mall at Millenia houses luxury retailers like Gucci and Louis Vuitton. Factory stores like Orlando International Premium Outlets provide bargain shopping opportunities.
Where to Stay
With Orlando tourism booming, the city offers accommodations for every budget and style:
- Resorts: For full immersion, stay on-site at a Disney or Universal resort with perks like early park access.
- Hotels: National chains like Marriott and Hilton have locations convenient to the theme parks.
- Vacation Rentals: Rent a condo or home through services like Airbnb and VRBO.
- Camping: Disney’s Fort Wilderness and other campgrounds allow you to sleep under the stars.
Check the Visit Orlando website for travel tips, deals, and lodging suggestions.
Getting Around Orlando
Orlando offers convenient transportation options for getting to attractions:
- Rental Cars: All major rental companies have locations at Orlando International Airport.
- Rideshares: Uber and Lyft operate throughout the Orlando metro area.
- Public Transit: Lynx buses serve major theme parks and downtown Orlando.
- Monorail: Ride the monorail between Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Transportation Center, and select resorts.
Orlando’s highways and roads make it easy to navigate by car. Just beware of traffic near the theme parks during peak times.
Best Times to Visit Orlando
Orlando enjoys warm weather nearly year-round:
- March-May: Moderate temperatures and lower crowds make spring a great time to visit. Attend theme park festivals.
- June-August: The hot, humid summer brings bigger crowds and lower hotel rates.
- September-November: Parks decorate for Halloween and Christmas while weather remains balmy.
- December-February: Expect some cooler weather and festive holiday events at the parks.
No matter when you visit, the fun awaits in Orlando. Be sure to check the City of Orlando calendar for upcoming events and festivals.
Start Planning Your Orlando Getaway
World-famous theme parks, outdoor activities, shopping, dining and more–Orlando truly offers nonstop fun for travelers of all ages and interests. Its warm climate, accessibility, and family-friendly vibe make it a go-to Florida destination year-round. Use this guide to start planning your own unforgettable Orlando vacation today.