Orlando Florida Expert Travel Guide

Orlando is a city in the USA state of Florida as well as the county seat of Orange County. Seated in Central Florida, it is actually the heart of the Orlando metropolitan area, which had a human population of 2,387,138, according to United State Of America Demographics Agency figures issued around March 2016, making it the major cosmopolitan place within the United States, the sixth-largest metropolitan area within the Southern Us, and also the third-largest urban area in Florida. As of 2015, Orlando had recently an estimated city-proper population of 270,934, making it the 73rd-largest city in the United States, the fourth-largest city in Florida, as well as the state's greatest inland metropolis.

The City of Orlando is labeled "The City Beautiful," and its mark is the water fall at Lake Eola. Orlando is also known as "The Amusement park Capital of the World" and in 2014 its traveler amenities and activities drew more than just 62 million individuals. The Orlando International Airport terminal (MCO) is the thirteenth-busiest flight terminal in the United States and the 29th-busiest in the world. Buddy Dyer is Orlando's mayor.

Orlando Expert Travel Guide

As being one of the world's highest visited tourist places, Orlando's famous attractions form the basis of its travel and leisure arena: Walt Disney World, located approx 21 miles (34 km) southwest of Downtown Orlando in Bay Lake, embarked by the Walt Disney Firm in 1971; the Universal Orlando Resort, set up in 1999 as a major expansion of Universal Studios Florida. Except Walt Disney World, a large number of major spots lie along International Drive. The area is also among the busiest American metropolitan areas with regards to symposiums and conferences; the Orange County Convention Center is the second-largest conference location in the United States.

Like other important areas in the Sun Belt, Orlando proliferated in the course of the 1980s and within the first decade of the 21st century, mostly thanks to the achievements of Walt Disney World, which opened on October 1, 1971. Orlando is home to the University of Central Florida, which is the largest sized university campus in the United state of america in terms of registration as of 2015. In 2010, Orlando was undoubtedly recorded being a "Gamma ?" level of world-city in the World Cities Study Group's inventory. Orlando positions as the fourth-most popular American city based on where many people would like to live according to a 2009 Pew Research Center investigation.

Potentially the most significant event for Orlando's overall economy materialized in 1965 when Walt Disney introduced arrangements to put together Walt Disney World. Regardless of the fact that Disney had looked at the neighborhoods of Miami and Tampa for his park, just one of the main reasons causing his option not to locate there was due to natural disasters-- Orlando's central location, regardless of the fact that not completely free from hurricane damage, exposed it to lower threat than seaside locations. The vacation resort launched in October 1971, introducing an explosive population and economical growth for the Orlando metropolitan area, which now comprehends Orange, Seminole, Osceola, and Lake counties. As a result, tourism became the centerpiece of the area's economic state. Orlando right now has additional theme parks and entertainment tourist attractions than anywhere else on earth.

Another big element in Orlando's development occurred in 1962, when the cutting-edge Orlando Jetport, the ancestor of the present day Orlando International Airport, was constructed from a section of the McCoy Air Force Infrastructure. By 1970, four main airlines (Delta Air Lines, National Airlines, Eastern Airlines and Southern Airways) were offering scheduled airline flights. McCoy Air Force Base officially closed in 1975, and a lot of it is presently portion of the air terminal. The airport still maintains the prior Air Force Base airport terminal code (MCO).

In these modern times, the historical core of "Old Orlando" resides in Downtown Orlando along Church Street, between Orange Avenue and Garland Avenue. Urban development and the Central Business District of downtown have dramatically influenced the downtown skyline during recent history. The nowadays historic area is primarily associated with the districts close to Lake Eola where century-old oaks line brick neighborhoods. These vicinities, called "Lake Eola Heights" and "Thornton Park", hold a couple of the eldest residential properties in Orlando.

Metro Orlando has a total of 19 finished skyscrapers. The majority are located in Downtown Orlando and the remainder are based in the tourist region southwest of downtown. High-rise buildings constructed in downtown Orlando have not surpassed 441 ft (134 m), since 1988 when SunTrust Center was finalized. The major justification for this particular is the Orlando Executive Airport, just under 2 miles from the town hall, which does not permit structures to go over a certain altitude.

Nighttime view 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) tall, 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.

Outside 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 outshined by the Peabody.
  • The Hyatt Regency Orlando Expansion Tower, Winter 2010, 428 ft (130 m), is the highest 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 formed for northern snow birds, Winter Park is Orlando's quintessential "old money" local area. Posh exclusive shops and museums dot this enchanting enclave where the women are just a bit blonder and a tiny bit slimmer than anywhere else. Cobblestone roadways are the usual here, as are beautifully old oak trees covered up in Spanish moss. Rollins College is the town's cultural center, with its church functioning as the backcloth of a popular classical musical series.

Neighborhood homeowners-- largely wealthy households-- have much more than a few cultural treasures in their own back yard, just like the comfy but stunning Charles Hosmer Museum of American Art, which holds a commendable compilation of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany. Top-notch restaurant selections and specialty shops are plentiful at this site, primarily along well frequented Park Avenue, but homeowners may also delight in more economical fare: a Saturday farmers market at 200 W. New England Ave. features fresh fruit and vegetables, extraordinary seasonings, baked pies and handcrafted jellies, to name a few treats. Splendid cultural selections are also easily available, for instance Sazon436 on Semoran Boulevard (State Road 436), which was voted Orlando's Absolute best Puerto Rican eatery in a new Orlando Sentinel poll.

College Park

Acquiring its label from roads named after college or universities (Princeton, Harvard, Yale, et al), this local community brings a punch because of its vicinity to downtown Orlando and low-key appearance. Long time aged locals dwell together with newer Orlando habitants, most of them professional people, in charming, though not inexpensive, residences. 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 tremendously walkable, a factor prospective home owners are progressively thinking about prior to committing to a purchase. If you go for a day visit, do look at the Harmoni Market, a Mediterranean deli providing wonderful gastronomist goodies. Anyone may also take a stroll by Jack Kerouac's former home, where the bohemian best recognized for publishing On the Road lived for a time. At present, the house provides aspiring writers with free housing for three months as they work on their next masterpiece.

East Orlando (UCF Region).

Home to thousands of undergrads attending the University of Central Florida, Orlando's largest sized state school, this neighborhood is energetic, young and ethnically diverse. Traffic can get a bit frantic at times, but staying next to one of the largest sized universities in the USA has tons of cultural advantages. Locals, for example, may enjoy a football match at the spanking new Bright House Stadium (UCF is attempting to strengthen its sport creds), catch a play at UCF's Conservatory Theater and crash a range of lectures and film screenings on campus at a economical or entirely for free.

Most residents live in owner-occupied, single-family residences, but leasings abound as a result of university student demand. The neighborhood also hosts a dynamic and huge immigrant community that presents fabulous ethnic food solutions, for example, Rice and Beans Cocina Latina, on Alafaya Trail.

Lake Nona

Lake Nona is an soaring district captivating individuals from several socioeconomic backgrounds, with housing units ranging from upscale homes to townhouses attainable to satisfy many budgets. At first made up as a 7,000-acre golfing mecca, the community is possibly well recognized for the Tavistock Cup, a tournament held every year among the best professional athletes from the Isleworth and Lake Nona country clubs.

Currently, Lake Nona has been trading its one-of-a-kind "golf" reputation for a more medically sophisticated one. A Medical City, that includes the biotech research group Burnham Institute, the University of Central Florida's medical school, a veterans hospital, and a 500-acre science and technology office park are slated for construction on the site. These types of ventures guarantee to increase real estate value to this still-evolving locality in South Orlando, which developers claim has an additional 10 to 15 yrs of growth and expansion into the future. Its close vicinity to Orlando International Airport is in addition a plus for those with frequent business commutes.


Even though technically in Kissimmee, Celebration prefers to believe itself as an independent urban area accommodating middle and upper working class family groups ( various of these recruited at adjoining Walt Disney World). Modeled after smaller American towns from the early 1900s, the place has a feel reminiscent of a Hollywood blockbuster movie set. Although it's been derided in pop culture for being actually artificially spotless and predictable, Celebration's concept has its pluses: aside from having its own Village Center with several eateries and shops to choose from, Celebration includes pedestrian transit, a curiosity in today's suburban America. People often walk, bike or tour in electric power cars to get around.

Celebration additionally works hard to develop a sense of place and neighborliness through a host of annual celebrations, which include an exotic car show, the Great American Pie festival and an Oktoberfest event. Fall and Christmas events include fake falling leaves and artificial snow, respectively, blown to the public's enchantment in the community's Town Center each year.

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

Among one of the primary driving forces in Orlando's economy is its tourist business sector and the city is just one of the major tourist spots in the world. Nicknamed the 'Theme Park Capital of the World', the Orlando area is home to Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, and SeaWorld Orlando. Beyond 59 million individuals arrived at the Orlando area in 2013, shelling out over $33 billion.

The Orlando area showcases 7 of the 10 most visited theme parks in North America (5 of the top 10 around the world), in addition to the 4 highly visited water parks in the U.S. The Walt Disney World resort is the area's largest attraction with its many facets just like the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach, and Disney Springs. SeaWorld Orlando is a large park that provides various zoological shows and marine animals along the side of an theme parks with roller coasters and water park. Universal Orlando, like Walt Disney World, is a multi-faceted resort consisting of Universal Studios Florida, Islands of Adventure, Volcano Bay, and Universal CityWalk. SeaWorld Orlando also comprises more than just one park, together with Aquatica and Discovery Cove. Orlando destinations also appeal to many Orlando people who want to take joy in themselves close to home.

The convention industry is also essential to the region's financial state. The Orange County Convention Center, grown in 2004 to over two million square feet (200,000 m )of event space, is now the second-largest convention complex in regards to space in the US, tailing only McCormick Place in Chicago. The city vies with Chicago and Las Vegas for organizing the most convention attendees in the United States.

Shopping Centers

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

The Mall at Millenia is a contemporary two-level high end shopping mall, including the department stores of Bloomingdale's, Macy's, and Neiman Marcus. The mall includes 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 among the first to open in the region. The mall contains 4 anchor department stores and a 14-screen Premiere Cinema theater.

Orlando has the most significant number of Puerto Ricans in The sunshine state and their cultural effect on Central Florida resembles that of the substantial Cuban population in South Florida. Orlando is the home of the fastest expanding Puerto Rican community in the country. When comparing 1980 and 2010, Hispanic community share rose from 4.1 to 25.4%. Orlando also has a large and growing Caribbean residents, with a huge 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 population and is recognized as one of the most approving and tolerant metropolitan areas in the Southeast. As of 2015, around 4.1% of Orlando's population identify as LGBT, making Orlando the urban area with the 20th-highest portion of LGBT residents in the nation. The area is host to Gay Days each and every June (including at close-by Walt Disney World), supports a huge Pride festival every October, and is home to Florida's first openly gay City Commissioner, Patty Sheehan.

Greater Orlando is best known for its tourism market, which attracts millions of vacationers every year. Well known spots include Walt Disney World, SeaWorld Orlando and Universal Orlando. Travel has brought along to Orlando multiple lodgings, restaurants, and shopping centers all ranging from affordable to upscale choices.

The citrus business sector has shrunk over the last 100 years as croppers moved orange groves even further south to more frostproof locations. The Christmas 1989 consequences freeze proved specifically destructive to commercial citrus farming within Greater Orlando. There are however three major orange juice plants staying in the region: Cutrale Citrus Juices in Leesburg; Florida's Natural Growers in Umatilla; and Silver Springs Citrus in Howey-in-the-Hills. Minute Maid maintains a major juice flavoring plant in Apopka. Other agricultural pursuits, specifically cattle farming, continue to be crucial parts of the Central Florida economy, but are now all situated on the outer edges of the metro area. Orlando is the biggest city in Central Florida and is also a big food processing center.

Metro Orlando has functioned as a big military defense and aerospace center ever since World War II. The most popular defense provider in the vicinity is Lockheed Martin, which operates both a laboratory and a manufacturing center in Orlando. Military presence began in the 1940s, with the launching of McCoy Air Force Base and the Orlando Naval Training Center. McCoy AFB was a major center of B-52 Stratofortress operations. McCoy AFB was split up between the area and NTC Orlando in 1974, and NTC Orlando closed in the mid-1990s. McCoy AFB is these days the area of the Orlando International Airport. Farther north in Sanford, the Orlando Sanford International Airport was originally Naval Air Station Sanford.

Metro Orlando's current economic conditions has substantially diversified from tourism, and the area is now contemplated a top area for the modeling, simulation and training (MS&T) industry. The University of Central Florida is home to over 60,000 individuals, the 2nd largest public college campus by enrollment, and developed the UCF College of Medicine in 2006. The Central Florida Research Park is the seventh leading research park in the United States by number of employees, and fourth biggest by number of contractors. In addition to having a Lockheed Martin branch, it also hosts other major hi-tech corporations such as Oracle Corporation, Electronic Arts, and Siemens.

Orlando is focus on the biotechnology and life sciences industries, with leading 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 hospital are being built.