The city of Orlando is the county seat of Orange County, Florida. It is the sixth-largest city in Florida, and its largest inland city. It is also at the head of the state’s third-largest metropolitan area, behind Miami-Fort Lauderdale and Tampa-St. Petersburg. Orlando is also home to the second largest university in Florida, the University of Central Florida.
The Orlando area is home to 100`s of lakes, the largest of which are Lake Apopka, Eustis, Griffin, Harney, Harris, Jessup, Monroe, Saint Cloud, and Tohopekaliga.
Orlando is considered to be in a subtropical climate zone. Summer high temperatures average in the low-to-mid 90s °F (mid-30s °C). Its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, allows the Sea Breeze to cool the air , but also keeping humidity high. Winter temperatures are typically mild, with the jet stream bringing in frequent cold fronts. High temperatures typically fluctuate anywhere from 65 °F (18 °C) to 80 °F (27 °F). Below-freezing temperatures are uncommon. June through September is its “rainy season”, with occurring thunderstorms. December through May is considered Orlando’s “dry season”, with wildfires a danger particularly in May.
The city is best known for the tourist attractions in the area, particularly the nearby Walt Disney World Resort, which is in the Reedy Creek Improvement District . Other area attractions include SeaWorld and the Universal Orlando Resort. Despite being far from the main tourist attractions, downtown Orlando has recently seen much redevelopment, with many more projects currently under construction or planned. One of the oldest attractions in this area is Gatorland.
The Orlando area is has a wide range of tourist attractions, listed below;
- Walt Disney World resort, Walt Disney World resort is the area’s largest attraction with its many facets such as the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney-MGM Studios, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach, and Downtown Disney.
- Sea World Orlando, the large adventure park that features numerous zoological displays and marine animals alongside an amusements park with roller coasters and water park.
- Universal Orlando Resort. Universal Orlando, like Walt Disney World, is a multi-faceted resort comprised of Universal Studios Florida, CityWalk, and Islands of Adventure theme parks.
- Central Florida Zoological Park, located in Sanford on Lake Monroe. This 100 acre zoo is home to a butterfly garden, herpetarium, and numerous tropical animals.
Church Street Station, a multi-level shopping mall and entertainment center that features specialty shops, restaurants, nightclubs, and bars.
Cirque du Soleil, in Downtown Disney West Side, features its renowned blend of acrobatics and special effects with more than 70 artists from around the globe performing in a custom-designed, 1,671-seat theater.
- Cypress Gardens Adventure Park
- Gatorland – thousands of alligators and crocodiles. A few of Gatorland’s residents have made wrangling appearances in movies, television shows and commercial spots. The 54 year old park combines a petting zoo, bird sanctuary, mini-water park, eco-tour and outdoor entertainment, including daily alligator wrestling.
- Hard Rock Live & Hotel is the Hard Rock Café chain’s featured location in Orlando. It features a concert venue and large restaurant with typical rock style memorabilia. The Hard Rock Hotel is a featured resort hotel with a California-style restaurant called The Kitchen.
- Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is 45 minutes from Orlando and south of Daytona Beach. Visitors can tour launch areas, see giant rockets, “train” in spaceflight simulators, and much more.
- Old Town – 8 restaurants, 15 amusement park rides and 75 shops along its brick-lined streets. Classic car shows every Friday and Saturday feature hundreds of vintage automobiles. Admission and parking are free.
- Orange County Regional History Center
- International Trolley and Train Museum features 14 model railroad trains with sound and lighting traveling through an indoor garden with 12 foot (4 m) high mountains, waterfalls, and more than 30 trestles and tunnels. Also on display are toy trains from the 1920s to the present. Visitors can catch a ride in a California Victorian Style half open/half closed trolley or the 5/8 replica of an 1880 locomotive (a Mason Bogey) with its passenger cars.
- Orlando Museum of Art, which has ongoing exhibitions of American portraits and landscapes, American impressionist works, and art of the ancient Americas.
- Orlando Science Center,
- Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament, located in Kissimmee, Florida. Six brave knights on horseback compete in tournament games, jousting, and sword fighting while guest dines on a medieval banquet.
- Blue Spring State Park, which is the winter home of large numbers of Florida Manatees that come upstream from the St. Johns River to bask in the warm 72 °F (22 °C) waters of the springs. Canoeing, swimming and fishing are popular activities at Blue Springs.
- Wekiwa Springs State Park, which comprises around 700 acres (2.8 km²) of wild Florida. The springs pump out 42 million gallons of crystal clear water a day. Popular activities at the park include canoeing, swimming, picnicking and fishing.
- Harry P. Leu Gardens, which is an inner city oasis covering 50 acres (20,000 m²) and features colorful annuals, palms, an orchid house, a floral clock and a butterfly garden.
- World of Orchids, featuring thousands of blooms in an enclosed tropical rainforest. Admission is free.
How to get there
Orlando International Airport is the main travel hub for the Central Florida area. The airport is located 10.5km (6.5 miles) southeast of Orlando. Also Nearby there is Orlando Sanford International Airport which caters to mainly British charters and low-cost traffic.
Its major freeway is Interstate 4, which crosses Florida’s Turnpike southwest of Downtown Orlando. It is also served by the toll roads of the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority, particularly the East-West Expressway (SR 408), which crosses I-4 downtown.
The Orlando area is served by one through railroad, CSX’s A line (formerly the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad’s main line), and some spurs, mostly operated by the Florida Central Railroad. Amtrak passenger service runs along the CSX A line
Orlando is served by Lynx, which runs bus service in the tri-county area
The Annual Orlando Beer Festival occurs each November and features live entertainment, lots of food and of course, the celebration of beer. The festival takes places along Orlando’s CityWalk, one of the hippest places to hang out while in Orlando.
The Orlando International Fringe Festival is a celebration that spans ten days each May. Over 500 shows involving theatrical and performing arts are held in downtown Orlando during the festival. Each night of the festival, an outdoor stage will host live entertainment.
Florida Music Festival – For three days in May, Downtown Orlando is transformed into a mecca for artists, industry movers and music lovers. It features over 300 unsigned bands and performers playing at close to 20 venues throughout the city. Last year’s Florida Music Festival saw 27,000 fans and 300 industry representatives converge on Downtown Orlando for a wild weekend of music and merriment.
Eating Dining Shopping
Food in the USA is bountiful, available anytime, anywhere. Orlando is no exception,
there are many family restaurants with very fast service, the variety is endless.
Orlando is a shopper’s paradise, from clothing, jewellery, souvenirs etc.
The period from 1875 to 1895 is remembered as Orlando’s “Gilded Era,” when it became the hub of Florida’s citrus industry. But, a great freeze in the latter year forced many owners to give up their independent groves, thus consolidating holdings in the hands of a few “citrus barons” which shifted operations south, primarily around Lake Wales in Polk County.
The years between the Spanish American War and World War I saw Orlando become a popular resort, as Florida’s largest inland city.
The most critical event for Orlando’s economy occurred in 1965 when Walt Disney announced the plans for Walt Disney World. The famous vacation resort opened in October, 1971, ushering in an explosive population and economic growth for the Orlando metropolitan area, which now encompasses Orange, Seminole, Osceola, and Lake counties. As a result, tourism became the centerpiece of the Orlando economy.
Useful telephone numbers
Emergency Number Tel; 911
Airport Information Telephone: 407 825 2001
Tourist Office: Telephone: 1-800-482-GULF toll-free in USA
Holiday rents online:
National Transport Line
24 hour medical service