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Orlando, Florida Travel Guide
 
Last Updated: Nov-11-2011, Hits: 2,815, Rating: 4, Reviews: 1, Votes: 1 Bookmark and Share
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Orlando, Florida Travel Guide Restaurants (54)
Hotels and Lodging (70)
Bars and Nightlife (41)
Attractions (52)
Services (15)
Links (3)
Additional Articles (2)
Florida Travel Forum (1)
 
Location: North America
Geography: City, Wetlands/Swamp
Vacation Type: Family, Relaxation, Cosmopolitan
Popularity: Touristy
Costs: Moderate, Expensive
Attractions: Golfing, Spa & Wellness, Shopping, Hiking, Fishing, Festivals, Ecotourism, Cultural Attractions, Camping, Nightlife, Gardens

Facts and Stats:
City Population: 238,300
Metro Population: 2,082,628
Land Area: 93.5 square miles
Country Dialing Code: +1
Area Code: 407
Languages: English
Electricity: 120v
Currency: U.S. Dollar
Time Zone: Eastern Standard Time - (GMT-5)
Current Time:

Introduction:
Orlando, Florida is the biggest tourist destination in the United States, drawing more than 50 million people per year. It is home to major tourist draws like DisneyWorld and Epcot Center, Universal Studios and Seaworld. Disneyworld was built in 1969 and ever since then, Orlando has been blossoming into a city that maintains small town charm while offering big city cultural venues and diversity. In addition to the theme parks, Orlando has warm weather year round and is a picturesque city with parks and wildlife preserves and an abundance of lakes and rivers.

Geography:
Orlando is located in central Florida. It is part of Florida's sunbelt, and is the third largest city in Florida. The area is mostly flat wetlands with many lakes.

Brief History:
The geographical area that is now Orlando was once populated by several Native American Tribes. In 1838, the US Army built Fort Gatlin during the Seminole wars to protect the settlement from Indian attacks. After the second set of wars in 1842 the area that is now Lake Eola in downtown Orlando, became known as Jernigan - after a cattle rancher under the same name settled in the area permanently. It is uncertain where the modern name Orlando comes from, but there are several stories floating around, none of which are proven to be true. Orlando was not much of a settlement until after the civil war, populated sparsely by ranchers. During the reconstruction era Orlando experienced a population explosion and became an official city in 1885. Both Orlando and Orange County grew into cities due to the citrus trees that flourish in the area, and for the span of 1875-1895, Orlando was the hub for the industry. After a debilitating freeze in 1895, many independent grovers were forced to sell, and the bigger owners bought them out and moved south. Today, Orlando's economy focuses on tourism, electronics and aerospace.

People/Culture:
Orlando is a dynamic and growing city that is continually adding new neighborhoods and areas, becoming quite diversified. The vibe in Orlando is in conjunction with the weather - laid back and comfortable. The people that visit Orlando are from all over the world, but the emphasis here feels family driven, since the huge theme parks nearby are geared for kids. Orlando has a small town big city feel, and the residents seem to be mostly politically moderate.

Food and Fun:
Obviously, most people come here for the fun of the major theme parks. As a family, there are a plethora of family friendly chain restaurants to choose from. However, the city has been doing some growing up and there are more culinary options than the typical chain fare, and there are other things to do for fun that do not include a vast parking lot and and 70.00+ dollar entrance fee. Look for things like Old Town, Mall of Milenia, or a vast array of lakes and parks and golf, as well as beach access less than one hour away.

Money/Costs:
If you plan to visit the theme parks, you will spend a considerable amount of money. Once you factor in parking, accommodations, entrance fee, food and beverage and so on, the price tag can really soar. Theme parks are mega-goliath, and so their over priced umbrellas stretch far and wide. With some research and some planning ahead, you can reduce the financial impact. On the plus side, outside of the theme parks, Orlando itself is a moderately priced city. There are a variety of prices to suit your budget in terms of dining and accommodations.

Getting there and around:
Most tourists visit Orlando between June and August, followed by March and April. Presumably this coincides with school schedules. Most people fly into Orlando International Airport, which is Orlando's primary airport (MCO). Orlando also has the Orlando-Sanford International Airport (SFB).

Once you arrive at the airport, there are several ways for you to get to your destination. There are plenty of taxis to get you where you need to go, and it runs about $35.00 to get to downtown Orlando. You can also take a shuttle for about $25.00 roundtrip, or the bus for $1.50 per person. There are also a plethora of car rentals, and they are probably the most popular option, since most of the time people are coming to Orlando to visit destinations that are some distance apart.

Orlando also has an Amtrak station that serves the Silver Star and the Silver Meteor lines. There is also an Amtrak Auto train in Sanford, in case you wish to avoid driving Interstate 95 to get to Orlando, but would like to have your car once you have arrived. For schedules, routes and fares check here: http://www.amtrak.com

You can also arrive and depart by bus, Greyhound services Orlando: www.greyhound.com

If you bring your own car or rent one, you should know that in 2009 Orlando began using open road tolling. If you book your car through Travelocity, you can get a travel pass that allows you to electronically pass through the toll booths, billing your credit card. If not, be prepared to have cash and coins on you as the tolls fluctuate in price.

The Lynx bus service is Orlando's public transportation. There are approximately 60 routes that serve the Orlando area. Lynx has a free system downtown, called the Lymmo Bus that serves a 3 mile circuit. The remaining areas are about $2 per ride. 1-841-LYNX or http://www.golynx.com.

There is also a trolley service that runs along International and Universal Drive. It isn't an actual trolley, it is a shuttle bus and it has many stops and can take a long time. However, it is very cheap and services many theme parks and restaurants. Cost is $1.25 per ride. +1 407-248-9590, or: http://www.iridetrolley.com.

Weather:
Orlando has a warm and humid subtropical climate, characterized by balmy springs and autumns, hot and humid summers, and temperate winters with the occasional cold front. In the summer, there are often brief but heavy thunderstorms. They are caused by air masses from the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean meeting over central Florida. They also cause quite a bit of lightning. Below is the current weather forecast for Orlando.


The table below shows the monthly temperature, precipitation and humidity averages for Orlando.

The table below shows the weather averages for Orlando.

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg High 72 74 79 83 88 91 92 92 90 85 79 73
Avg Low 50 51 56 60 66 71 73 73 72 65 59 53
Precipitation 2.43" 2.35" 3.54" 2.42" 3.74" 7.35" 7.15" 6.25" 5.76" 2.73" 2.32" 2.31"
Morning Humidity 88 88 89 88 88 90 91 93 92 90 90 89
Afternoon Humidity 57 53 50 47 49 57 59 60 60 57 56 58

Tips and additional information:
  • Don't forget change for the toll booths.
  • Headlights must be on in a rainstorm.
  • Wear comfortable shoes when visiting theme parks, you will walk a LOT.
  • Purchase your theme park tickets before you arrive for discounts.
  • Find out about traffic information here: http://www.traffic.com





  • User Reviews (1)




    Reviewed by: n/a
    Review date: Feb-10-2017

    I will like to visit Orlando again with my Family. I have been in Orlando 5 years back.  

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