Orlando is one of the worlds most popular travel destinations with over 50-million tourists visiting the region each year.The area boasts popular tourist attractions such as the Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, Kennedy Space Center, Disney's Epcot Center, Cypress Gardens Adventure Park, Gatorland, theEverglades, major water parks, championship golf courses, numerous lakes, and much much more.You will not run out of things to do.If you have children, this is the ultimate destination for the unforgettable family vacation.
Orlando is located in central Florida about an hour from the Atlantic Ocean and Port Canaveral and slightly over an hour from the Gulf Coast (around 50 miles from the Atlantic Coast to the east and 75 miles from the Gulf Coast to the west).Orlando is a great stop-over before or after taking a cruise.The Orlando International Airport serves many direct flights from most major US cities.
The area has a mild sub-tropical climate with an average annual temperature of around 72 degrees.Temperatures often reach the low 90 degrees in the summer months.The rainy humid season is in the summer months when tropical storms form in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.The rest of the year is very comfortable.You can enjoy wearing your shorts and sandals in the Florida sunshine most of the year.
The main attraction of the area is the Walt Disney World Resort.The 25,000 acre resort includes four theme parks: Disney's Magic Kingdom; Epcot Center; Disney's Hollywood Studios; and, Disney's Animal Kingdom.The resort also includes over 20 Disney theme hotels, around 10 non-Dinsey hotels, entertainment, dining, shopping, water parks (Typhoon Lagoon & Blizzard Beach), sports complex, racing speedway, five golf courses, and other recreation facilities.A monorail system, Disney Transport Buses and water taxis provides transportation between the theme parks and major hotels.The resort is a child's dream and plenty of fun for adults too.The resort is a must see when visiting Orlando.
The Universal Orlando Resort is the second largest resort in Orlando and is Disney's main competition.The Universal Orlando Resort includes two theme parks (Universal Studios Florida & Universal's Islands of Adventure), three hotels (Loews Royal Pacific Hotel, the Hard Rock Hotel, and Loews Portofino Bay Hotel), and the Universal CityWalk entertainment, dining and shopping complex.The CityWalk complex includes numerous night clubs, the Latin Quarter, a Margaritaville, a Hard Rock Live, and much more.The Universal Studio theme park includes rides that are inspired by popular Hollywood films while the Universal's Islands of Adventure theme park consist of various distinct "islands" each having its own theme.There is also a Wet'n Wild water park adjacent to the resort.
SeaWorld Orlando hosts approximately 6-million visitors a year making it one of the top ten amusement parks in the United States.The resort features various roller coaster style rides, aquatic and animal exhibits and numerous entertainment facilities.Park animals include whales, dolphins, sea lions, polar bears, otters, walrus, manatees, seals and trained dogs.The adjacent Discovery Cove theme park provides interaction with dolphin, sting rays and other animals.The expensive Discovery Cove admission price includes snorkel gear, all you can eat and drink (including alcoholic beverages), and SeaWorld admission tickets.Also adjacent to SeaWorld is the Aquatica Water Park featuring waterslides, wave pools and lazy rivers.The three sister theme parks, SeaWorld, Discovery Cove and Aquatica are all part of the Busch Entertainment Corporation.Busch also owns Busch Gardens in Tampa Florida which is another attraction easily accessible while visiting the Orlando area.
There are many other attractions and activities in the area besides world-class theme parks.Orlando
is host to many great restaurants, night clubs, shopping malls, golf
courses, museums, theatre, centers of culture, science and arts.The Orange County Convention Center is the second-largest convention center in the United States.Orlando has the second-largest number of hotel rooms in the country behind Las Vegas.There is always something going on in Orlando, day or night.If you enjoy Salsa dancing and clubbing you'll have no problem finding a great club to strut your stuff in.You'll find everything from hip-hip, rock, blues and jazz.If you're a foodie, you can enjoy many fine ethnic restaurant including Cuban, Puerto Rican, South American and Vietnamese.There are many pockets of ethnic neighborhoods that have excellent authentic restaurants to try.Orlando is a great travel destination that will keep the entire family entertained and you'll never run out of things to do.
With its large number of visitors, Orlando has no shortage of
world-class hotels. VoyageMonkey.com recommends the following
top-rated hotels in the Orlando area:
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa – The 4-star Grand Floridian is located at 4401 Floridian Way, Lake Buena Vista.This is the best of the Walt Disney World Resort Hotels.The 5-story Victorian style hotel features 900 guest rooms and suites, lakeside location with a white sand beach, pool with zero-depth entry point and waterfalls, children’s pool, spa, fitness center, tennis court, hot tub, entertainment, and golf.Rooms are comfortable with elegant décor, spacious bathrooms and modern amenities.The hotel provides various fine & casual dining options including an adult’s only restaurant.Guest can rent pontoon boats and motorboats at the lake.There are plenty of organized children’s activities at the hotel including a video arcade and babysitting.Conveniently located at the Walt Disney World Resort, a monorail carries guest from the hotel to Disney’s Magic Kingdom and Epcot Center theme parks.Water ferries are also available.Each day one of the Disney theme parks opens outside of regular park hours for Disney Hotel guests to enjoy without the crowds.Note that all the Disney Hotels are smoke free and offer airport shuttle service.For those wanting to stay at the Walt Disney World Resort this hotel is an excellent choice with great service.
Universal Loews Portofino Bay Hotel - The 750 guest room 4-star resort hotel is located at 5601 Universal Boulevard, Orlando, at the Universal Orlando Resort.The luxury hotel recreates the seaside village of Portofino, Italy.The six-story hotel features lush landscape, outdoor cafes and cobblestone streets for that authentic charm of Portofino.Amenities include three theme pools including a beach pool, hot tub, the Mandara Spa, fitness center, game room, meeting facilities, bocce ball, poolside movies, golf, children's activity center, complimentary water-taxi and shuttle service, and daily entertainment.Guest rooms are spacious and elegantly appointed including 32" flat panel TVs, three phones, in-room safes and high-speed internet access.The hotel includes a number of onsite fine and casual dining options in the Italian tradition.Guests receive one free CityWalk Party Pass (night club pass) and free Universal Express Ride access, which allows you to bypass regular theme park, rides.The hotel allows pets (one of VoyageMonkey's top pet friendly hotel chains).This hotel is the best choice for anybody wishing to visit the Universal Orlando Resort.
Peabody Orlando - The 4-star Peabody Hotel is located at 9801 International Drive, Orlando, minutes from the Walt Disney World Resort.The 27-floor luxury hotel includes 891 well appointed guest rooms, grand atrium lobby, marble halls, cascading waterfalls, palm trees, art collection, athletic club, over-sized Olympic swimming pool with cabanas, pool bar & grill, children's pool, tennis courts, beauty salon, business center, concierge service, and golf shop.All beautifully decorated guest rooms and suites include super comfortable beds, a TV in the bathroom, stocked mini-bar, room-safe, robes, daily newspaper, high-speed internet and other amenities.Shuttle service to Disney World is available.The hotel includes fine and casual dining restaurants, wine cellar, cocktail bars, ballrooms and meeting facilities.Free parking for guests is provided.The staff at the hotel provides excellent service and the accommodations are first-rate.
The Villas of Grand Cypress Golf Resort - This 4-star resort is located at 1 North Jacaranda, Orlando, just 5-minutes to Disney World, 15-minutes to SeaWorld, and 20-minutes to Universal Orlando Resort.With just 146 all-suite guest rooms and 1500 acres, the luxury resort offers a peaceful relaxed country club atmosphere is the midst of a world of busy theme parks.Spacious guest rooms include kitchenettes and all modern amenities of home.The resort offers tennis, 45-holes of Jack Nicklaus signature design golf, golf academy, fitness center, swimming pool with heated waterfall & hot tubs, 21-acre lake with white sand beach, boat rentals, horseback riding at a full-service equestrian center, car rental desk, and in-room babysitting service.The resort features various fine and casual dining restaurants and bars including the Nine18 Restaurant, which offers a 500-bottle wine collection and excellent fine dinning overlooking the golf course.Complimentary shuttle service to Disney is available for guests.This is an excellent resort for those looking for relaxation, golf and superb service.
Grand Bohemian Hotel - The 4-star Grand Bohemian is located downtown at 325 South Orange Avenue, Orlando, just 11-miles from Disney World and 9-miles from the Universal Orlando Resort.The 15-story landmark luxury hotel features 250 guest rooms including 36 suites and concierge-level guest rooms.The hotel is decorated with mosaic-tiled vaulted ceilings, black & gold pillars, maroon curtains, sculptures and rare works of art.You often feel like you are in an art museum.The hotel's art gallery features over 100 paintings and other fine art.Guest rooms feature pillow-top beds, spacious bath, velvet drapes, work desks, high-speed internet, refreshments, bathrobes and 24-hour room service.Guests can enjoy a view of the city from the outdoor heated pool and whirlpool.There is a 24-hour fitness center and you can enjoy soothing in-room or poolside massages and body treatments.The hotel includes a fine gourmet dining restaurant and cocktail lounge featuring live music and entertainment.The service is excellent and the staff is friendly.The hotel concierge can arrange all your activities and dinner reservations before you arrive.The hotel allows pets.This hotel is an excellent choice for a downtown location with exceptional service.
Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Resort - The 4-star Hyatt is located at 1 Grand Cypress Boulevard, Orlando, at the Grand Cypress Resort in Lake Buena Vista.It's conveniently located 1-mile from the Disney World Resort and 9-miles from the Universal Orlando Resort.The 18-story 750-room resort sits on 1500 landscaped acres and includes a 21-acre lake with a sandy beach.Spacious guest rooms include private balcony, ceiling fans, comfortable beds, mini-bars, room safes and other amenities.The resort features 45-holes of jack Nicklaus signature design golf, a golf academy, 12 tennis courts, two racquetball courts, basketball court, fitness center, full service spa, bike rentals and equestrian center.The resort includes a 24-hour outdoor half-acre pool with waterfalls, waterslides, whirlpools, volleyball and lush gardens.Guests can enjoy sailing, kayaking and other water activities on the lake.Onsite dining includes 2 fine dining restaurants, several casual restaurants and a sports bar & grill.Additional amenities include shops, salon, Camp Hyatt for kids, babysitting service, theme park transportation, and 24-hour room service.This hotel is excellent for the golf enthusiast with kids who seeks exceptional service and plenty of amenities for the family to enjoy.
Buena Vista Palace Resort & Spa - The 27-story 4-star Buena Vista Palace is located on Lake Buena Vista at 1900 Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista, within the Walt Disney World Resort across from Downtown Disney. The resort provides complimentary shuttle service to all four Walt Disney World Resort theme parks and water parks.The 1014 guest rooms feature flat-screen TV's, refrigerators, safes, video games and other modern amenities.The resort features three heated outdoor swimming pools, including a children's pool, whirlpool and sauna, kids recreation island playground and video arcade.The resort includes tennis courts, sand volleyball courts, fitness center and 10,200-square-foot spa that contains a secluded outdoor pool and whirlpool.For your dining pleasure you'll find several restaurants bars and lounges, including a sports bar and live entertainment.Additional amenities include a business center, activities coordinator, car rental desk, golf privileges and babysitting service.
Other recommended hotels include: Rosen Shingle Creek, 4-star; Gaylord Palms Resort, 4-star; Omni Orlando Resort Champions Gate, 4-star; Hilton Grand Vacation Club at SeaWorld International Center, 4-star.
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