Orlando Florida Expert Travel Guide

Orlando is a city in the USA state of Florida including the county seat of Orange County. Located located in Central Florida, it is actually the capital of the Orlando metropolitan area, that had a human population of 2,387,138, according to U.S. Census Agency numbers released near March 2016, making it the 24th-largest cosmopolitan location throughout the United States, the sixth-largest urban area around the Southern United States, plus the third-largest urban area in Florida. As of 2015, Orlando had an estimated city-proper human population of 270,934, making it the 73rd-largest town in the United States, the fourth-largest city in Florida, and even the state's most significant inland metropolis.

The Metropolitan area of Orlando is labeled "The City Beautiful," and its icon is the water fall at Lake Eola. Orlando is also named "The Theme Park Capital of the World" and in 2014 its traveler amenities and events drew more than just 62 million individuals. The Orlando International Airport (MCO) one of the busiest flight destination in the United States and the 29th-busiest on the planet. Buddy Dyer is Orlando's mayor.

Orlando Expert Travel Guide

As one of the world's more explored tourist destinations, Orlando's famous attractions form the basis of its travel business: Walt Disney World, located roughly 21 miles (34 km) southwest of Downtown Orlando in Bay Lake, establisheded by the Walt Disney Firm in 1971; the Universal Orlando Resort, opened in 1999 as a major business expansion of Universal Studios Florida. With the exception of Walt Disney World, the majority of the leading spots stand along International Drive. The city is also among the busiest American metropolitan areas with regards to seminars and councils; the Orange County Convention Center is the second-largest conference amenity in the USA.

Similar to other large capitals in the Sun Belt, Orlando proliferated during the course of the 1980s and within the early decade of the 21st century, mainly caused by the prosperity of Walt Disney World, which began business on October 1, 1971. Orlando is the home of the University of Central Florida, which is the largest sized university campus in the United state of america in regards to enrollment since 2015. In 2010, Orlando was shown being a "Gamma ?" status of world-city in the World Cities Study Group's inventory. Orlando ranks as the fourth-most trendy American city based on where many people wish to live as explaining by a 2009 Pew Research Center research study.

Understandably the most significant event for Orlando's overall economy materialized in 1965 when Walt Disney declared arrangements to develop Walt Disney World. Despite the fact Disney had considered the areas of Miami and Tampa for his park, amongst the critical reasons causing his decision not to set there was due to tropical storms-- Orlando's inland geographic location, although not completely free from natural disaster damage, exposed it to reduced threat than coastal areas. The vacation resort launched in October 1971, launching an explosive population and financial growth for the Orlando city, which now includes Orange, Seminole, Osceola, and Lake districts. Because of this, tourism eventually became the focal point of the area's economy. Orlando right now has additional theme parks and amusement spots than anywhere else on earth.

One other major aspect in Orlando's development materialized in 1962, when the new Orlando Jetport, the antecedent of the present day Orlando International Airport, was constructed from a segment of the McCoy Air Force Infrastructure. By 1970, four major airline companies (Delta Air Lines, National Airlines, Eastern Airlines and Southern Airways) were providing booked airline flights. McCoy Air Force Base officially closed in 1975, and the majority of it is currently area of the international airport. The air terminal still preserves the former Air Force Base airport terminal code (MCO).

In these modern times, the historical core of "Old Orlando" inhabits in Downtown Orlando along Church Street, between Orange Avenue and Garland Avenue. Urban growth and the Central Business District of downtown have rapidly shaped the downtown skyline in the course of recent history. The present-day historic district is mainly associated with the local areas around Lake Eola where century-old oaks line brick neighborhoods. These vicinities, called "Lake Eola Heights" and "Thornton Park", contain several of the eldest properties in Orlando.

Metro Orlando has a total of 19 completed high-rise buildings. The majority are located in Downtown Orlando and the remainder are stationed in the tourist district southwest of downtown. Skyscrapers constructed in downtown Orlando have not exceeded 441 ft (134 m), since 1988 when SunTrust Center was finished. The major factor for this particular is the Orlando Executive Airport, just under 2 miles from the city center, which does not permit constructions to go above a specific altitude.

Night sight of the Orlando skyline in 2010

  • The SunTrust Center, 1988, 441 ft (134 m), is the highest skyscraper in Central Florida.
  • The Vue at Lake Eola, 2008, 426 ft (130 m) high, but with 35 stories it has more stories than the SunTrust Center.
  • The Orange County Courthouse, 1997, 416 ft (127 m).
  • The Bank of America Center ( previously Barnett Plaza), 1988, 409 ft (125 m).
  • 55 West on the Esplanade, 2009, 377 ft (115 m).
  • Solaire at the Plaza, 2006, 359 ft (109 m).
  • Dynetech Center, 2009, 357 ft (109 m).
  • Citrus Center, 1971, 281 ft (86 m).
  • Premier Trade Plaza Orlando, 2006, 256 ft (78 m).
  • CNL Center City Commons, 1999, 250 ft (76 m).
  • Downtown Orlando Information Center, 2008.

Away from Downtown Orlando.

  • Orlando International Airport ATC Tower, 2002, 346 ft (105 m).
  • The SeaWorld SkyTower, 400 ft (122 m), was the highest tower in Orange County outside Orlando's city limits until outperformed by the Peabody.
  • The Hyatt Regency Orlando Expansion Tower, Winter 2010, 428 ft (130 m), is the tallest tower in Orange County outside Orlando's city limits.
  • The Orlando Eye, 400 ft (122 m), was opened in 2015.
Orlando Expert Travel Guide

Winter Park

An independent city put together for northern snow birds, Winter Park is Orlando's typical "old money" community. Posh gift stores and museums dot this fabulous enclave where the ladies are just a tiny bit blonder and a tiny bit slimmer than anywhere else. Cobblestone boulevards are the standard here, as are beautifully old oak trees blanketed in Spanish moss. Rollins College is the town's educational center, with its chapel functioning as the backdrop of a popular classical musical series.

Neighborhood residents-- largely affluent families-- have much more than a few cultural treasures in their own backyard, just like the comfy but dazzling Charles Hosmer Museum of American Art, which possesses a outstanding collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany. Top-notch cusine choices and boutique are bountiful at this site, primarily along nicely frequented Park Avenue, but locals may also enjoy more economical fare: a Saturday farmers market at 200 W. New England Ave. offers fresh produce, exotic spices, cooked pies and home made jellies, and many more treats. Great cultural options are also easily available, such as Sazon436 on Semoran Boulevard (State Road 436), which was voted Orlando's Absolute best Puerto Rican eating establishment in a new Orlando Sentinel study.

College Park

Gaining its brand from roads named after universities (Princeton, Harvard, Yale, et al), this neighborhood brings a blow because of its vicinity to downtown Orlando and subtle elegance. Long time older residents live alongside newer Orlando habitants, a number of them professional people, in charming, though not inexpensive, properties. The area's hip specialty stores and restaurants as well as its close proximity to Loch Haven Park, the city's cultural corridor, also add value to this area.

College Park is absolutely walkable, a factor prospective residents are significantly taking note of just before committing to a purchase. If you choose a day visit, do take a look at the Harmoni Market, a Mediterranean deli offering flavorful gourmet goodies. Anyone may also take a stroll by Jack Kerouac's former house, where the bohemian well recognized for publishing On the Road lived for a time. Nowadays, the residence supplies aspiring authors with free lodging for 3 months as they work on their next work of art.

East Orlando (UCF Area).

The home of great numbers of college students going to the University of Central Florida, Orlando's biggest state school, this area is energetic, young and ethnically diverse. Rush hour can get a little stressful sometimes, but living next to some of the greatest universities in the USA has lots of cultural advantages. Locals, as an example, may show up at a football match at the new Bright House Arena (UCF is attempting to boost its sport creds), catch a play at UCF's Conservatory Auditorium and crash a host of lectures and movie viewings on grounds at a low cost or entirely for free.

Most residents stay in owner-occupied, single-family homes, but rentals abound due to college student demand. The community also organizes a energetic and substantial immigrant human population that contributes fantastic ethnic food alternatives, for example Rice and Beans Cocina Latina, on Alafaya Trail.

Lake Nona

Lake Nona is an soaring community captivating family groups from different socioeconomic backgrounds, with real estate units varying between from luxury dwellings to condominiums readily available to accommodate many different budgets. At first made up as a 7,000-acre golfing mecca, the area is quite possibly best known for the Tavistock Cup, a contest held annually between the best professional players from the Isleworth and Lake Nona country clubs.

Just recently, Lake Nona has been trading its distinctive "golf" reputation for a more medically cutting-edge one. A Medical City, which includes the biotech research group Burnham Institute, the University of Central Florida's medical school, a veterans hospital, and a 500-acre science and modern technology office park are slated for development on the area. These kinds of plans assure to increase real estate value to this still-evolving neighborhood in South Orlando, which property developers point out has an additional 10 to 15 years of growth and expansion ahead. Its close distance to Orlando International Airport is additionally a plus for those with frequent business commutes.


Despite the fact practically in Kissimmee, Celebration likes to think itself as an independent metropolitan area satisfying mid and upper middle class groups ( various of them employed at adjoining Walt Disney World). Modeled after small American neighborhoods from the early 1900s, the spot has a feel reminiscent of a Hollywood motion picture set. Though it's been derided in popular culture for being unnaturally squeaky clean and predictable, Celebration's layout has its pluses: aside from featuring its own Community Center with several eating establishments and stores to select from, Celebration allows pedestrian transit, a curiosity in today's suburban America. People often walk, bike or ride in electric battery powered cars to get around.

Celebration at the same time works hard to establish a sense of place and friendliness with a host of annual celebrations, for example, an exotic car show, the Great American Pie festival and an Oktoberfest celebration. Fall and Christmas activities showcase fake falling leaves and artificial snow, respectively, blown to the public's delight in the neighborhood's Town Center each year.

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Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort.

Some of the major driving forces in Orlando's overall economy is its tourist business sector and the city is just one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Nicknamed the 'Theme Park Capital of the World', the Orlando area is the home of Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, and SeaWorld Orlando. More than 59 million individuals came to the Orlando region in 2013, spending over $33 billion.

The Orlando area showcases 7 of the 10 most visited amusement park in North America (5 of the top 10 worldwide), as well as the 4 most toured water parks in the U.S. The Walt Disney World resort is the area's most well known tourist attraction with its many facets such as the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach, and Disney Springs. SeaWorld Orlando is a huge park that spotlights countless zoological displays and marine animals parallel to an theme parks with roller coasters and water park. Universal Orlando, like Walt Disney World, is a multi-faceted resort encompassing Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, Volcano Bay, and Universal CityWalk. SeaWorld Orlando also consists of a lot more than one park, hand and hand Aquatica and Discovery Cove. Orlando tourist attractions also appeal to many Orlando people who want to have fun with themselves close to home.

The convention business sector is also pivotal to the state's financial state. The Orange County Convention Center, developed in 2004 to over two million square feet (200,000 m )of exhibition space, is now the second-largest convention complex in terms of space in the US, tailing only McCormick Place in Chicago. The city vies with Chicago and Las Vegas for having the most convention participants in the United States.

Shopping malls

The Florida Mall is the largest sized mall in Orlando and just one of the biggest single-story shopping complexes in the USA at more than 1,849,000 sq ft (171,800 m2). There are over 250 retail stores, 7 anchor department stores, and the Florida Mall Hotel & Conference Center Tower. It is positioned outside the city proper in unincorporated Orange County.

The Mall at Millenia is a modern two-level trendy shopping mall, consisting of the department stores of Bloomingdale's, Macy's, and Neiman Marcus. The mall covers an area of 1,118,000 ft ( 103,866 m ). IKEA Orlando opened neighboring to the mall on November 14, 2007.

Orlando Fashion Square is the nearest indoor shopping mall to Downtown Orlando and one of the first to launch in the region. The mall features 4 anchor department stores and a 14-screen Premiere Cinema theater.

Orlando has the leading population of Puerto Ricans in Florida and their cultural impact on Central Florida is similar to that of the large Cuban population in South Florida. Orlando is the home of the fastest growing Puerto Rican community in the country. Between 1980 and 2010, Hispanic population share rose from 4.1 to 25.4%. Orlando also has a large and growing Caribbean population, with a massive West Indian community (particularly Bahamians, Cubans, Dominicans, Jamaicans, Virgin Islanders, Trinidadian and Tobagonian population) and an established Haitian community. Orlando has an active Jewish Community.

Orlando has a big LGBT community and is knowned as one of the most accepting and tolerant metropolitan areas in the Southeast. As of 2015, around 4.1% of Orlando's population identify as LGBT, making Orlando the metropolitan area with the 20th-highest percent of LGBT individuals in the USA. The area is host to Gay Days every June ( incorporating at close-by Walt Disney World), supports a huge Pride festivity every October, and is the home of Florida's first openly gay City Commissioner, Patty Sheehan.

Greater Orlando is best known for its tourists industry, which draws in millions of travelers every year. Renowned spots include Walt Disney World, SeaWorld Orlando and Universal Orlando. Tourists has brought to Orlando a great number of hotels, eating establishments, and shopping malls all fluctuating from low-priced to upscale selections.

The citrus marketplace has shrunk over the last 100 years as croppers moved orange groves even further south to more frostproof spots. The Christmas 1989 impact freeze showed specifically damaging to commercial citrus harvesting within Greater Orlando. There are nonetheless three major orange juice plants staying in the area: Cutrale Citrus Juices in Leesburg; Florida's Natural Growers in Umatilla; and Silver Springs Citrus in Howey-in-the-Hills. Minute Maid retains a major juice flavoring plant in Apopka. Other arboricultural quests, specifically cattle farming, continue being critical parts of the Central Florida overall economy, but are now all positioned on the outer fringes of the metro area. Orlando is the most significant city in Central Florida and is also a significant food processing hub.

Metro Orlando has acted as a large military defense and aerospace center since World War II. The most famous defense contractor in the vicinity is Lockheed Martin, which functions both a laboratory and a production center in Orlando. Military presence began in the 1940s, with the opening of McCoy Air Force Base and the Orlando Naval Training Center. McCoy AFB was a major hub of B-52 Stratofortress operations. McCoy AFB was split up between the region and NTC Orlando in 1974, and NTC Orlando closed in the mid-1990s. McCoy AFB is today the location of the Orlando International Airport terminal. Farther north in Sanford, the Orlando Sanford International Airport was originally Naval Air Station Sanford.

Metro Orlando's current economic conditions has significantly diversified from travel and leisure, and the area is now contemplated a top city for the modeling, simulation and training (MS&T) industry. The University of Central Florida is home to more than 60,000 students, the 2nd biggest public university campus by enrollment, and established the UCF School of Medicine in 2006. The Central Florida Research Park is the 7th largest research park in the United States by amount of team members, and 4th largest by amount of contractors. Along with having a Lockheed Martin branch, it also hosts other leading hi-tech corporations such as Oracle Corporation, Electronic Arts, and Siemens.

Orlando is targeting the biotechnology and life sciences industries, with serious new projects clustering in the Lake Nona Medical City. In addition to the UCF College of Medicine, a VA Hospital, a Sanford-Burnham Institute research center and a Nemours Foundation children's healthcare facility are being constructed.