Orlando

Fun is always the keyword for Orlando. Home to some of the best theme parks in the world, where the sun always shines and the people are larger than life, but just below this fun filled surface Orlando has far more to offer.

Beautiful districts, leafy suburbs and a thriving art scene may all be overshadowed by the family fun vibe but take the time to seek out the quieter side of life in this glorious city and you won’t be disappointed.

As quite possibly the most popular holiday destination in the world Orlando has more than its fair share of places to stay, from budget motels to grand hotels, luxury villa rentals to camp sites for touring vehicles and anything in between that you could imagine; one of the most convenient ways to stay if you are there for the theme parks is to stay in one of the many resort hotels, often themselves themed these are a great place to stay for the young and the young at heart and often offer the advantage of preferential rates and treatment at the theme parks.

For something with a cultural edge stay at the Alfond Inn in historic Winter Park, this boutique hotel is an oasis of calm boasting a fine collection of contemporary art all displayed throughout the public areas, the neutral tones of the rooms are complimented by the use of cool blues and greens which only add to the sense of calm and well being. The great restaurant serving locally sourced produce is the finishing touch to an excellent choice of hotel.

Whilst Florida is great for food on the move, large great value buffets and budget family meals it also  has a thriving foodie culture, great family run establishments and fine dining experiences can be found throughout the city providing for those that want something more than the usual tourist fare.

The best seafood in town can be found at the highly acclaimed Big Fin Seafood Kitchen, the array of seafood is truly inspiring, crab, oyster and lobster are the speciality of the house, all perfectly fresh and served exactly as you like – this may not be the cheapest option in town but it is certainly one of the best.

You really can’t visit Orlando without spending time at the theme parks, although everyone is aware of Disney World it is important that you don’t overlook the others; Universal Orlando is Disney’s main competition with its blockbuster themed attractions, or if animals are more your thing then SeaWorld with its aquatic theme and dolphin shows or Busch Gardens with its mix of zoo and amusement park are definitely worth visiting. There are often special offers available on theme park tickets if pre-booked, check this out at the time that you book your travel for maximum discounts.

The art and culture scene in Florida is absolutely thriving as a visit to Winter Park district will demonstrate, within a short distance you will find the Museum of American Art, the Fine Art Museum and the Winter Park Playhouse whereas downtown Orlando not only has a Shakespeare theatre and a fine ballet company but is where the Philharmonic Orchestra can be found. Take the time to see that there is more to Orlando than just the theme parks and you really won’t be disappointed.

Orlando has two weather settings – hot and hotter, and whilst the winter months can be affected by the incoming cold fronts they are usually warm with temperatures that remain in the 70’s; the hottest months of July and August when the temperature often tops 90F coincide with the annual school holidays and can make the resort seem extremely busy – if possible this is the time to avoid visiting, with its crowds, temperature highs and peak prices.

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