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Travel Guide: Orlando & Central Florida

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Travel Guide – Orlando & Central Florida, USA 

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row row_type=”row” use_row_as_full_screen_section=”no” type=”full_width” angled_section=”no” text_align=”left” background_image_as_pattern=”without_pattern” side_padding=”5″ padding_top=”10″ padding_bottom=”10″ css_animation=””][vc_column width=”2/3″ css=”.vc_custom_1449288684173{padding-top: 10px !important;padding-bottom: 10px !important;}”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1460280605073{padding-top: 10px !important;padding-bottom: 10px !important;}”]The whole Central Florida area, including Orlando, is one of the top family vacation destinations in the entire world.  There are so many things to do in the area, that you would could never do it all in just one week’s vacation. [vc_separator type=’transparent’ position=’center’ color=” thickness=’5′ up=” down=”]

Having lived in Orlando for 5 years and working in the hospitality and tourism industry, here are Liz’s top recommendations for those of you planning a trip to Orlando!

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Explore this Travel Guide to Orlando (and Central Florida)

  • Maps
  • Essential travel information, such as transportation, climate & safety
  • Popular Orlando & Central Florida hotels, as well as our own personal tips and recommendations.
  • Vacation planning templates
  • Booking tools for flights, hotels, and popular things to do in Orlando & Central Florida

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Have fun planning your visit!
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By Car

The main interstate south into Florida is I-75 or I-95.  Both of these can get quite congested, especially during peak seasons (like Spring Break or Christmas when there is a rush from the north).  If you are driving, then plan your time accordingly and don’t rush.  There are can be a lot of accidents too.  Lastly, if you come down I-75 then you can cut time by splitting off just after Ocala and taking the Florida Turnpike.  This is a toll road, so have cash ready.[vc_separator type=’transparent’ position=’center’ color=” thickness=’5′ up=” down=”]

By Plane

Most visitors to Orlando choose to fly.  The primary airport is Orlando International (the code is MCO – not OIA).  It is located a quick 20 minutes or so from the main attraction areas in town.  The best way to get to your hotel is to either rent a car, or take a hotel shuttle (if they have one).  You can book a taxi as well, but it won’t be cheap.[vc_separator type=’transparent’ position=’center’ color=” thickness=’5′ up=” down=”]

Orlando does have public bus transportation, Lynx; however, I wouldn’t recommend it for tourists going to or from the airport.  It is just not very convenient, nor is it efficient.  But there are some routes within certain areas, such as the I-Drive and Universal area that might be more convenient.  Click here to view the Lynx map.[vc_separator type=’transparent’ position=’center’ color=” thickness=’5′ up=” down=”]

** If you plan on only visiting Disney, then you can easily go without a rental car.  They have transportation available to and from the airport, as well as mass transit all around their complex — between theme parks, hotels, shopping, etc.  However, if you want to visit other places like Universal, Sea World, driving out to the beach, etc. then you will want to rent a car.[/vc_column_text][/vc_accordion_tab][vc_accordion_tab title=”Popular Things to do in Orlando” title_tag=”h4″][vc_column_text]

Theme Parks

Of course, we are huge Disney fans.  So we always make a trip out to Walt Disney World during our visit.  While we enjoy visiting the parks, we also enjoy just hanging out around the resorts & participating in other FREE activities outside of the parks, such as wandering Downtown Disney.[vc_separator type=’transparent’ position=’center’ color=” thickness=’5′ up=” down=”]

A visit to Universal Studios is also a lot of fun, especially if you are a Harry Potter Fan.  They have recently expanded their Harry Potter areas and it’s amazing!  If you enjoy animals and rides, then a visit to Sea World and / or Busch Gardens (just a short drive from Orlando to Tampa) will be right up your alley.[vc_separator type=’transparent’ position=’center’ color=” thickness=’5′ up=” down=”]

Beaches

We also enjoy taking a quick trip from Orlando to the beach.  Cocoa Beach is the nearest beach to Orlando, and it takes around an hour to get there.  The best way to get to Cocoa Beach is to rent a car.  If you are in the Cocoa / Port Canaveral area, then a visit to the Kennedy Space Center is also a MUST!  It really is an incredible facility, with so much to do – including feeling what it is like to actually get launched into space![vc_separator type=’transparent’ position=’center’ color=” thickness=’5′ up=” down=”]

Geocaching

If you have never heard of “Geocaching,” it is basically a treasure hunt around the world.  With millions of caches hidden all over the world, this is a FREE and fun activity for your family while you travel.  To learn more, visit our Travel Caching page here.[vc_separator type=’transparent’ position=’center’ color=” thickness=’5′ up=” down=”][/vc_column_text][/vc_accordion_tab][vc_accordion_tab title=”Places to Stay in Orlando & Central Florida” title_tag=”h4″][vc_column_text]Personally, we prefer to stay at Disney Resorts or other hotels that are very near the Disney area (the hotels around Downtown Disney are great too!).  However, there are many other great hotels all around Orlando.[vc_separator type=’transparent’ position=’center’ color=” thickness=’5′ up=” down=”]

The key is convenience to where you will be spending most of your time.[vc_separator type=’transparent’ position=’center’ color=” thickness=’5′ up=” down=”]

** NOTE: Beware of some hotels in the I-drive area (International Drive).  It is very popular with tourists, but some of the cheap hotels are not in good areas, or in very good condition.  The same goes with hotels in the Kissimmee area, including highway 192.  If the prices are super cheap, there could be reason for concern.  We recommend reading hotel reviews carefully.[vc_separator type=’transparent’ position=’center’ color=” thickness=’5′ up=” down=”]

Here are some of the hotels that we specifically recommend in Orlando for our readers based on our experience staying there, as well as their location and perks![vc_separator type=’transparent’ position=’center’ color=” thickness=’5′ up=” down=”]

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Florida – Stories on the Blog

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Start Planning Your Trip

Orlando Flights

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Orlando Hotels


 

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Activities & Tickets

 



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