Orlando is a large city located in Orange County, Florida. For most people, Orlando is a synonym to Walt Disney World, but it has a lot more to offer. (In fact, Disney World is not in proper Orlando city, but is in nearby Lake Buena Vista.)

With the estimated 52 million tourists a year, Orlando and many other areas in the region have developed a lot to offer to both kids and adults alike. There is something for everyone here. The Orlando metro region contains other smaller cities such as Altamonte Springs, Davenport, Kissimmee, and Winter Park.

The city contains some of the major theme parks such as Universal Orlando Resort, Sea World, Aquatica, and Orlando Eye, Disney World, Busch Gardens, Legoland, and Medieval Times in Kissimmee.

Other attractions that are in close proximity to Orlando are:

  • Gatorland 
  • NASA’s Cape Canaveral
  • The Holy Land Experience
  • Ripley’s Believe It or Not

Things To Do In Orlando

Orlando is one of the biggest tourist destinations because of the nearby theme parks and resorts. Close to International Drive is Universal Orlando, which includes two theme parks, three hotels, and a large shopping district. SeaWorld Orlando is a marine theme park featuring Kraken, the only floorless roller coaster in the Orlando area, as well as Believe, the new Shamu adventure.

About 35 minutes southwest of downtown Orlando is Walt Disney World. Comprising four theme parks, two water parks, dozens of hotels, two shopping and dining districts, five golf courses, and much more, it is the largest privately managed tourist destination on the planet.

Not far from Disney World lies the Alligator Capital of the World: Gatorland.

Downtown Orlando

Despite the proximity of theme park haven Lake Buena Vista, the city has a lot to offer on its own. Downtown Orlando is a growing area centered around Orange Avenue that is packed with bars, clubs, and restaurants, as well as theaters and concert venues.

The main strip on Orange Avenue is closed most nights because of the large volumes of pedestrians. Just a few blocks over is Lake Eola, a picturesque park situated around a swan-filled lake. In the middle of the lake is a lighted fountain that has been established as an icon of Orlando, and on one side of the lake stands the historic outdoor shell theater, where tourists and locals alike can see a version of the Nutcracker every December.

Swan-shaped paddle boats are available for rental as well. Taking over for Church Street as the main nighttime hot spot is Wall Street. It is a small pedestrian-only alley off of Orange Avenue that houses several restaurants and bars. They also have frequent concerts on Wall Street, providing a stage for bands to play for everything from Cinco de Mayo to the Capital One Bowl and Citrus Bowl celebration weeks.

Best Time to Visit

Most tourists visit Orlando between June and August, while another peak time for tourism is March and April. Ironically, the less busy times for tourism correspond to the best weather in the Orlando area; the summer months can be exceptionally busy with families who are making a trip while kids are on summer vacation. So, skip the summertime, it’s really hot here during the summer!

Plus, visiting when the weather isn’t so hot means fewer people in the area and that provides some advantages. Moreover, you will be able to enjoy cooler weather. Many say central Florida has two seasons: hot and hotter. It may sound like a joke but it is true to some degrees.

Orlando has three seasons: warm springs and autumns; hot summers complete with daily thunderstorms; and temperate winters affected by the occasional cold front. From late May to early June are arguably the worst time to visit as they are filled with hot, humid, dry days.

If you are planning to visit in November and March, bring a jacket. It may be warmer than northern states, but not as warm as you may think it will be!

Also, it may rain due to Orlando’s proximity to two coasts and thunderstorms form every day during this period from ocean breezes which heat over land, rise, and cool in the atmosphere to create sometimes violent thunderstorms. However, they will often drop temperatures into the low 80s (28°C) after passing… a welcome relief from the hot temperatures earlier in the day.

Extreme Temperatures

Never leave children or pets in a parked car for any length of time! Due to the high temperature for most of the year, the interior of a parked car can easily heat to lethal temperatures in a short amount of time. During the summer, the interior of a parked car can reach 130-170°F (55-75°C) in just 15 minutes, regardless of the color of the exterior or interior, or whether the windows are open a small amount.

You not only risk death, but it is illegal and the consequences are taken VERY seriously, including thousands in fines, potential imprisonment, and the involvement of the Florida Department of Children and Families.

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November 20, 2017 11:49 pm Published by

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