Orlando Florida Expert Travel Guide

Orlando is a city in the U.S. state of Florida and the county seat of Orange County. Established in Central Florida, it is the center of the Orlando cosmopolitan area, that had a population of 2,387,138, according to United State Of America Demographics Agency numbers released in March 2016, making it the major urban region throughout the United States, the sixth-largest urban area around the Southern USA, plus the third-largest metropolitan area in The sunshine state. As of 2015, Orlando had an assessed 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 metropolitan area.

The Metropolitan area of Orlando is label "The City Beautiful," and its mark is the fountain at Lake Eola. Orlando is also called "The Amusement park Capital of the World" and in 2014 its tourism attractions and events drew much more than 62 million guests. The Orlando International Airport (MCO) one of the busiest flight destination in the United States and the 29th-busiest in the world. Buddy Dyer is Orlando's mayor.

Orlando Expert Travel Guide

Being one of the world's most explored tourist places, Orlando's famous tourist attractions form the foundation of its travel market: Walt Disney World, located approx 21 miles (34 km) southwest of Downtown Orlando in Bay Lake, launched by the Walt Disney Firm in 1971; the Universal Orlando Resort, set up in 1999 as a major development of Universal Studios Florida. Except Walt Disney World, a large number of major destinations are located along International Drive. The city is also amongst the busiest United States metropolitan areas with respect to meetings and councils; the Orange County Convention Center is the second-largest convention location in the USA.

Liked other main areas in the Sun Belt, Orlando proliferated in the course of the 1980s and within the early decade of the 21st century, mostly as a result of the prosperity of Walt Disney World, which opened on October 1, 1971. Orlando is home to the University of Central Florida, which is the most extensive educational institution campus in the United state of america in terms of enrollment as of 2015. Around 2010, Orlando was undoubtedly noted being a "Gamma ?" status of world-city in the World Cities Study Group's record. Orlando ranks as the fourth-most popular United States city based on where folks want to live as explaining by a 2009 Pew Research Center research study.

Quite possibly the most decisive event for Orlando's overall economy occurred in 1965 when Walt Disney advertised ideas to build Walt Disney World. Even though Disney had contemplated the locations of Miami and Tampa for his park, among the big reasons behind his determination not to establish there was because of tropical storms-- Orlando's inland geographic location, despite the fact not completely free from natural disaster damage, exposed it to less risk than seaside locations. The getaway resort launched in October 1971, setting up an explosive human population and economical development for the Orlando city, which now involves Orange, Seminole, Osceola, and Lake districts. Therefore, travel and leisure became the focal point of the area's economy. Orlando currently has additional theme parks and entertainment amenities than anywhere else on the planet.

Yet another major factor in Orlando's development occurred in 1962, when the brand new Orlando Jetport, the ancestor of the present time Orlando International Airport, was set up from a section of the McCoy Air Force Base. By 1970, four main airline companies (Delta Air Lines, National Airlines, Eastern Airlines and Southern Airways) were offering booked flights. McCoy Air Force Base formally closed in 1975, and the majority of it is presently portion of the flight terminal. The flight terminal still preserves the prior Air Force Base flight terminal code (MCO).

In these modern times, the historic root of "Old Orlando" resides in Downtown Orlando along Church Street, among Orange Avenue and Garland Avenue. City development and the Central Business District of downtown have swiftly shaped the downtown skyline in the course of recent history. The current historic neighborhood is mostly associated with the local areas around Lake Eola where century-old oaks line brick roads. These areas, referred to as "Lake Eola Heights" and "Thornton Park", contain some of the eldest residential properties in Orlando.

Metro Orlando has a total of 19 finished skyscrapers. The larger part rise in Downtown Orlando and the others are located in the tourist area southwest of downtown. High-rise buildings constructed downtown Orlando have not gone beyond 441 ft (134 m), since 1988 when SunTrust Center was finalized. The primary reason for this particular is the Orlando Executive Airport, just under 2 miles from the city center, which does not permit buildings to exceed a particular altitude.

Nighttime sight of the Orlando skyline in 2010

  • The SunTrust Center, 1988, 441 ft (134 m), is the tallest high-rise building 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 ( earlier known as 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 tallest 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 tallest tower in Orange County outside Orlando's city limits.
  • The Orlando Eye, 400 ft (122 m), was inaugurated in 2015.
Orlando Expert Travel Guide

Winter Park

An independent city formulated for northern snow birds, Winter Park is Orlando's ultimate "old money" neighborhood. Posh gift stores and museums dot this charming enclave where the ladies are just a bit blonder and a bit slimmer than anyplace else. Cobblestone streets are the usual here, as are wonderfully old oak trees blanketed in Spanish moss. Rollins College is the town's social center, with its church functioning as the backcloth of a trendy classical musical series.

Local community residents-- largely affluent households-- have much more than a few cultural treasures in their own back yard, just like the intimate but remarkable Charles Hosmer Museum of American Art, which stores a commendable collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany. Fine dinner options and boutique are abundant on this site, especially along well frequented Park Avenue, but residents may also appreciate less expensive fare: a Saturday farmers market at 200 W. New England Ave. features fresh produce, extraordinary seasonings, baked cakes and home made jellies, among other treats. Great cultural alternatives are also offered, for instance Sazon436 on Semoran Boulevard (State Road 436), which was voted Orlando's Best Puerto Rican eatery in a most recent Orlando Sentinel poll.

College Park

Obtaining its label from avenues named after university and colleges (Princeton, Harvard, Yale, et al), this local community has a punch considering its nearness to downtown Orlando and relaxed charm. Long time aging seniors residents live together with latest Orlando dwellers, a lot of them professionals, in fabulous, though not low priced, estates. 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 very walkable, a element potential homeowners are progressively taking note of long before committing to a purchase. Assuming that you go for a day visit, do look into the Harmoni Market, a Mediterranean deli providing wonderful spectacular goodies. You may also take a stroll by Jack Kerouac's former residence, where the beatnik best recognized for authoring On the Road lived for a time. Today, the property supplies aspiring writers with free housing for three calendar months as they focus on their next masterpiece.

East Orlando (UCF Region).

The home of lots of undergraduates going to the University of Central Florida, Orlando's biggest state school, this local community is active, young and ethnically diverse. Rush hour can get a bit frantic sometimes, but residing next to some of the largest universities in the country has manies cultural advantages. Locals, for example, may show up at a football match at the spanking new Bright House Stadium (UCF is attempting to boost its sport creds), catch a play at UCF's Conservatory Auditorium and crash a host of lectures and movie screenings on grounds at a low cost or totally free of charge.

Most individuals dwell in owner-occupied, single-family houses, but leasings are all over the place thanks to university student demand. The local community also hosts a energetic and massive immigrant human population that provides awesome ethnic food selections, like Rice and Beans Cocina Latina, on Alafaya Trail.

Lake Nona

Lake Nona is an energetic community attracting individuals from distinct socioeconomic backgrounds, with real estate units ranging from high end households to townhomeses accessible to accommodate many budgets. Initially conceived as a 7,000-acre golfing destination, the area is probably better recognized for the Tavistock Cup, a tournament held annually between amazing professional athletes from the Isleworth and Lake Nona country clubs.

In recent months, Lake Nona has been trading its exclusive "golf" image for a more medically sophisticated 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 technology office park are schedule for building and construction on the site. These particular projects guarantee to boost real estate valuation to this still-evolving community in South Orlando, which developers state has another 10 to 15 years of development and expansion into the future. Its close vicinity to Orlando International Airport is also a benefit for those with frequent business commutes.


Though technically in Kissimmee, Celebration likes to consider itself as an independent city accommodating middle and upper middle class groups ( various of these employed at adjoining Walt Disney World). Modeled after small American communities from the very early 1900s, the location has a feel nostalgic of a Hollywood movie set. Though it's been derided in pop culture for being artificially faultless and predictable, Celebration's concept has its pluses: in addition to having its own Town Center with several eateries and shops to choose from, Celebration takes into account pedestrian transit, a rarity in today's suburban America. People often take a walk, bike or ride in electrical cars to get around.

Celebration also strives to establish a sense of place and friendliness with a host of annual events, for instance, an exotic car show, the Great American Pie festival and an Oktoberfest party. Fall and Christmas activities include fake falling leaves and artificial snow, respectively, blown to the public's enchantment in the community's Town Center yearly.

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

Among one of the major driving influences in Orlando's overall economy is its tourist business sector and the city is among the primary tourism 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. More than 59 million visitors arrived at the Orlando region in 2013, shelling out over $33 billion.

The Orlando area features 7 of the 10 most toured amusement park in North America (5 of the top 10 around the world), as well as the 4 highly visited water parks in the U.S. The Walt Disney World resort is the area's leading destination with its many fronts which include the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach, and Disney Springs. SeaWorld Orlando is a big park that features countless zoological exhibitions and marine animals in addition to an theme park 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 is composed of much more than one park, together with Aquatica and Discovery Cove. Orlando tourist attractions also attract many Orlando locals who want to have fun with themselves close to home.

The convention arena is also critical to the region's economy. The Orange County Convention Center, developed in 2004 to over two million square feet (200,000 m )of exhibit space, is now the second-largest convention facility in regards to space in the United States, trailing only McCormick Place in Chicago. The city rivals with Chicago and Las Vegas for having the most convention guests in the USA.

Shopping Centers

The Florida Mall is the largest mall in Orlando and one of the largest single-story shopping plazas in the USA at over 1,849,000 sq ft (171,800 m2). There more than 250 establishments, 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 elegant shopping mall, including 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 nearby to the shopping plaza 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 city. The mall features 4 anchor department stores and a 14-screen Premiere Cinema theater.

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

Orlando has a large LGBT community and is identified as one of one of the most approving and tolerant cities 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 percentage of LGBT individuals in the USA. The city is host to Gay Days every June ( incorporating at close-by Walt Disney World), holds a huge Pride celebration every October, and is the home of Florida's first openly gay City Commissioner, Patty Sheehan.

Greater Orlando is best known for its tourist market, which lures millions of travelers each year. Widely known spots include Walt Disney World, SeaWorld Orlando and Universal Orlando. Tourists has brought to Orlando multiple resorts, restaurants, and shopping malls all ranging from competitive to trendy selections.

The citrus business has shrunk over the last 100 yrs as producers moved orange plantations even further south to more frostproof areas. The Christmas 1989 effect freeze showed significantly adverse to industrial citrus farming within Greater Orlando. There are nonetheless 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 manages a major juice flavoring plant in Apopka. Other agricultural pursuits, specifically livestocks farming, continue being valuable parts of the Central Florida overall economy, but are now all located on the outer edges of the metro area. Orlando is the most significant city in Central Florida and is also a major food processing hub.

Metro Orlando has acted as a serious military defense and aerospace center since World War II. The most prominent defense provider in the area 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 center of B-52 Stratofortress operations. McCoy AFB was split up among the region and NTC Orlando in 1974, and NTC Orlando closed in the mid-1990s. McCoy AFB is these days the geographic location of the Orlando International Airport terminal. Farther north in Sanford, the Orlando Sanford International Airport was at first Naval Air Station Sanford.

Metro Orlando's fiscal system has substantially diversified from tourism, and the area is now regarded as a key metropolitan area for the modeling, simulation and training (MS&T) industry. The University of Central Florida is house to a lot more than 60,000 university students, the 2nd largest public college campus by enrollment, and developed the UCF College of Medicine in 2006. The Central Florida Research Park is the 7th leading research park in the United States by quantity of employees, and 4th largest by number of service providers. As well as having a Lockheed Martin branch, it also hosts other leading hi-tech firms such as Oracle Corporation, Electronic Arts, and Siemens.

Orlando is focus on the biotechnology and zoology industries, with major new projects clustering in the Lake Nona Medical City. Especially the UCF College of Medicine, a VA Hospital, a Sanford-Burnham Institute research center and a Nemours Foundation children's healthcare facility are being built.