Orlando is perhaps most famous for Walt Disney World. While there is no doubt that the 52 million tourists which visit this location in Florida each year are keen on seeing this amazing spectacle, there is far more to offer than amusements alone. Orlando boasts a plethora of natural scenery (such as the pristine ecosystems) as well as a handful of truly splendid beaches. As Orlando is so very popular, it is a good idea to take a closer look at some of the basics which are wise for a traveler to appreciate.
The Best Time to visit Orlando
Many consider the early autumn and early spring ideal visiting times of the year. This arises from a few understandable reasons. First, most children will be in school; those who enjoy a more tranquil holiday will likely choose these times. However, the temperatures here are more agreeable than they would be during the height of the summer. Finally, the chances of encountering inclement weather such as tropical systems and even hurricanes are drastically reduced.
Flying to Orlando from New York is extremely convenient. While many perceive these two locations to be a great distance apart, a direct route will normally take no longer than 2 hours and 45 minutes. Orlando International Airport (MCO) is the main hub for those who wish to arrive very close to the center of the city. As this is a major national (and international) destination, there are a variety of airlines to choose from. Some of the most common are Delta, Jet Blue, United Airlines, US Airways and American Airlines.
Most visitors will have the choice of three types of accommodations to choose from. These are budget locations, mid-range properties and those which are considered to be luxury. Budget spots will normally charge by the night and are ideally suited for those who wish to save their money for the more expensive attractions. Middle-range options will be more centrally located and include well-known chains such as Best Western, Doubletree and Clarion Inn & Suites. Top-of-the-line locations including the Hard Rock Hotel, the Hyatt Regency and the Peabody Orlando are quite expensive, and for good reason. They provide truly exceptional services alongside a close proximity to all prominent attractions such as Walt Disney World.
Things to do in Orlando
It only makes sense to mention that Walt Disney World is by far the most famous attraction within Orlando. Found 18 miles south of the downtown district, visitors can expect what can only be called a magical experience. Epcot Center quite famous and it contains (amongst other attractions) themed locations such as France and Germany. Nearby Hollywood Studios offers the best rides that are designed around the most famous movies while Animal Kingdom is perhaps the most interesting and eclectic zoo in North America.
Universal Orlando Resort is said to be the only park within the state that is considered to be a direct challenger to Walt Disney World. This location is actually comprised of two different parks; Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure. A quality restaurant, a selection of enticing nightclubs and even three different hotels are all featured within this massive complex. Roller coasters abound and include such choices as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, The Incredible Hulk and the heart-pounding Jurassic Park. For those who enjoy the classics, the Jaws 3D ride is also able to be experienced here.
Florida and Orlando are also homes to some entirely unique ecosystems that can be found nowhere else within the continental United States. An excursion known as an EcoSafari is a great way to see the array of flora and fauna that has existed here for millions of years. In particular, a park known as Forever Florida will offer visitors more than 4,700 acres of prime wilderness. Nine different ecosystems and more than 200 species of birds are a few of the sights to be seen. Of course, black bears and alligators may be viewed by a few lucky tourists. Guided tours are available should one wish to get away from the hustle and bustle of Orlando itself.