Discover the engaging “other” side of Orlando and learn why it’s called the heart and soul of central Florida. So much more than a collection of tourist attractions, Orlando is a true cultural melting pot where visitors from all around of the world have made it their home. The city is not just home to colossal theme parks. With balmy weather year-round, lakes, parks, and cultural centers, there’s no better spot to host fun family events, outdoor concerts, sensational shows, and even relaxing activities. Here’s your run-down of all there is to do and see in and around Orlando. Plan your Orlando getaway today!
- No Orlando city guide would be complete without mention of The Big Three – Walt Disney World®, SeaWorld Orlando® and Universal Studios Orlando®. Take a look at our guide to favorite Orlando attractions to get you up to speed on what’s new, and announcements of upcoming plans for each park.
- With all the diverse cultures flocking to Orlando, there are always new restaurants popping up all over the city. Like Italian, Greek, or Mediterranean? This city has got you covered. Hankering for a craft beer or juicy Wagyu steak? There are chefs just waiting to serve you. Whether you’re on International Drive or inside a theme park, Orlando has the type of cuisine your family will love. Here are this year’s suggestions for delicious Orlando fare both inside and outside the parks.
- When you think of Orlando, you don’t normally place it high on the list for enjoying the Great Outdoors, but you’d be surprised at the number of natural preserves, wildlife parks, and hiking trails within and around the city. Come discover what outdoor activities Orlando has to offer for enthusiasts who love hiking, golfing, fishing, picnicking by a lake and lots more.
- Museums filled with chocolate, shopping at designer fashion outlets, and a visit to the center that launched rockets from Apollo 11 to the Space Shuttle— these are just a few ideas to invite you to get out of the parks and enjoy the city and surrounding areas. If you’re looking for wildlife, Gatorland is a must-see, and if you’ve never seen a house constructed completely upside down, head to International Drive for a mind-blowing feat of construction. We’ve compiled a must-see-and-do list for all things Orlando.
- Travel planners can always use a helping hand from those in the know. We’ve got tips to help you stay within your vacation budget and maybe even save enough to treat yourself to that fancy dinner. Learn how to make the most of your money while still managing to keep your travel group very happy.
- Each year The City Beautiful plays host to an incredibly diverse list of Orlando conventions, festivals and gatherings including:
- Film Festivals
- Beer, and more beer, at—Beer Festivals!
- Winery “Grape Stomps”
- Star Wars celebration
- Strawberry festivals
- Jazz Festivals, and more
- The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival runs for an impressively long 75 days from September through November of each year. A festival favorite of foodies everywhere, it has been known to include servings of up to 1.5 million tapas. Mangia!
- The Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is not just about flowers. It features favorite characters, butterfly gardens, and even The Garden Rocks concert series. This annual festival begins in March and runs through May. Achoo!
- Halloween Horror Nights is a Universal Studios screamfest that’s been scaring the dickens out of enthusiastic visitors for over 25 years. Held on select nights every fall, the show starts in September and ends on—yep, you guessed it.
- SeaWorld’s Christmas Celebration marries sparkling holiday lights with your favorite Shamu shows. Bringing the season to the sea, the festival runs from Thanksgiving through to the New Year.
New events are always being planned. Take a look at these top picks for the most popular Orlando events in and around the city.
- This Orlando resort-style paradise lets you and your family break free from the confines of a regular hotel room. With full bedrooms and baths, a kitchen, and even in-villa laundry rooms, you’ll never be satisfied with a hotel stay again. The Fountains is convenient to anything you might want to do in Orlando, and has a massively lush and tropical pool to boot!