Orlando is justifiably proud of its reputation of offering entertainment and non-stop fun for the whole family. But this vibrant city, situated in Florida State offers the discerning traveller so much more.
Its rich cultural heritage finds its way into the soul of this city, taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary as cultures intertwine to give you a never-ending array of tastes, sounds and experiences. While the city is famous for its many world-class theme parks, in particular Walt Disney World, Seaworld and Universal Orlando, it offers a dining, shopping and entertainment experience that rivals Las Vegas. In addition there are sophisticated arts and cultural events, world-class golfing and several museums and historical sites.
The weather is warm, the people are friendly and the experience unparalleled. Sure, you may be tired at the end of a day but once you realize just how much fun your family is having on holiday in Orlando, you will be ready to do it all again the next day!
Things To Do
- Marvelling at Tiffany glass at The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art.
- Paddling a swan boat on Lake Eola.
- Slipping into the water with a beluga whale at SeaWorld Orlando. Sitting on the back of a real alligator at Gatorland.
- Taking part in a live science demonstration at the Orlando Science Centre.
- Racing your friends on go-karts at Fun Spot Action Park.
- Swimming with dolphins at Discovery Cove.
- Designing and riding your own roller coaster at WonderWorks and DisneyQuest.
- Learning to water-ski at the Orlando Watersports Complex or Lake.
- Buena Vista Water Sports.
- Uncovering bargains at flea markets. Gambling in international waters on Sterling Casino and SunCruz Casino cruise lines.
Whether you want to hit the hot spots, catch some live music or paint the town red, Orlando has it all. The nightlife is exhilarating with most of the action centred along Orange Avenue but you’ll find dozens of hotspots along Church Street, Magnolia Street, Central Boulevard and Pine Street.
Whatever your mood or your taste there’s live music for everyone from indie acts, to folk and blues. And with a club on just about every corner offering hip hop, house, reggae or techno music you’ll definitely find somewhere to party the night away.
To experience the ultimate in entertainment, Universal City Walk is Orlando’s hottest spot. It’s a 30-acre entertainment complex where you can experience the best of the best in live music, casual and fine dining, dancing, shopping, movies, and more – offering everything from a night of family fun to a great place to hang out with friends to romantic fun for couples.
Orlando is a true shopper’s paradise. It’s incredible upmarket malls, outlet centres and trendy boutiques offer a variety of enticements for all shoppers. Whether you’re looking for affordable deals, unique personal shopping trips or the latest in luxury brands, Orlando has something to please even the most discerning visitors.
You can browse premium brands such as Betsey Johnson, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Tiffany & Co. or visit one of only three Dior stores in the country. Alternatively you can have fun exploring the over 1700 stalls at Fleaworld – America’s biggest fleamarket.
There are even exciting shopping tours where you can enjoy a fun-filled day of retail therapy while travelling in a luxury vehicle to the area’s most renowned shopping destinations.
If it’s variety you’re looking for, Orlando’s restaurants offer you a wide range of culinary experiences including traditional African cuisine, Caribbean flavours and varying styles of barbecue.
And in a category all by itself is Soul Food, the heart of African-American cooking. The southern cooking style is epitomized by many “mom and pop” operations that have different menus every day and where you could run into everyone from local politicians to NBA players – but get there early or you just might miss the last piece of sweet potato pie.
If it’s fine dining you’re after you won’t be disappointed – French and continental cuisine are offered at the finest restaurants or if you’re feeling adventurous why not try some inventive New American dishes.
If you’re not sure, why not head off to Restaurant Row where you’ll find more than 20 restaurants within one mile, many of which feature live music.
When it comes to visual and performing arts, museums, parks, gardens and outdoor adventures, Orlando is not short of choice. Spend a night at the Orlando Opera or visit one of the museums where you’ll find a wide variety of styles. There’s the America Bronze Art Foundry – a working foundry used by artists to cast original works; or the City of Casselbery which showcases colourful paintings, evocative sculptures, dazzling mosaics, carvings and pottery while the Cornell Fine Arts Museum offers a permanent collection as well as special exhibitions of masters such as Pablo Picasso, Cezanne and Rembrandt. If it’s dance you’re after then visit the Annie Russell Theatre for performances by local and national artists; the Central Florida Ballet which regularly puts on performances of Russianbased ballets or if you want something less formal there’s the Garden Theatre. History lovers can visit the Central Florida Railroad Museum, or Orange County Regional History Centre, which offer four floors of dynamic changing and permanent exhibitions. For a trip through musical history there’s the Wells’ Built Museum of African American History, formerly a hotel and nightclub that hosted greats like Ella Fitzgerald, Thurgood Marshall and Jackie Robinson. Or why not take a fascinating walking tour of Downtown Orlando Historic District.