Orlando is one of the top destinations for British travellers heading for the USA and with good reason given the plethora of family friendly attractions that are located in this area of Florida.
Widely regarded as the theme park capital of the world, Orlando is home to Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and the Kennedy Space Centre – amongst others – which means it is the ideal place to visit if you have children in tow.
One thing that adds to the appeal of Orlando as a tourist destination is the weather, which should be in your favour no matter what time of year you visit.
In the height of summer, the temperatures can run into the 30s although the levels of humidity can make it appear to be warmer.
Even in winter however, the conditions will be relatively mild – and they’ll certainly be an improvement over the weather back home.
Whilst there is little doubt that it is the theme parks that draw many people to Orlando, it shouldn’t be viewed as the only reason why you’d choose it for a holiday.
There are plenty of options for those who want to enjoy some world class shopping or fancy dining in some of the best restaurants around, whilst there are more golf courses than you can shake the proverbial stick at if you fancy getting a round in.
Within easy reach of Orlando, there are top class beaches where you can relax in the sun or you could head for the famous Everglades to explore unspoilt wetlands that are packed with wildlife.
If you want to live the American dream, then Orlando might just be the place for you.
Walt Disney World
Opened in the early 1970s, Walt Disney World is one of the top holiday destinations for families and provides a magical experience for visitors of all ages. Home to four theme parks, including the Magic Kingdon, as well as two water parks, Walt Disney World welcomes tens of millions of visitors every year – many of whom stay on site in the various hotels. Enjoy the chance to meet your favourite Disney character, and make memories that will last a lifetime.
Universal Studios is another of Florida’s most popular theme parks and, as the name would suggest, is based on the movie and entertainment industry. Part of the Universal Orlando Resort, the park is home to rides to suit all ages and features famous characters like The Simpsons, Harry Potter, Transformers and The Minions.
Take a trip to Tampa around 90 minutes away and you could spend time exploring the popular Busch Gardens park. Eight rollercoasters sit alongside two water rides within the African-themed park that also houses various animals including lions, hippos and rhinoceros.
Kennedy Space Centre
Another must see attraction on a holiday to Orlando is the Kennedy Space Centre, where you’ll be able to discover what it takes to become an astronaut. Explore the Hall of Fame, take a tour that includes a visit to historic launch sites and get up close to the Space Shuttle Atlantis – a veteran of more than 30 missions to space.
One of the ten most visited amusement parks in the USA, SeaWorld Orlando is home to a number of different rollercoasters and rides that cater for visitors of all ages – including Mako; rated as one of the tallest and fastest coasters in the Florida area. There are also various marine species found within the park, including dolphins, sea lions and orcas.
The Orlando Eye is a huge 400ft tall Ferris Wheel that sits on International Drive and is one of the newest attractions with the city. Operated by the same people behind the London Eye, the wheel is a great option for those people who want to take in an alternative view of Orlando and are looking for a more relaxed activity compared to the bustling and busy theme parks.
Head away from Orlando, ditch the theme parks and you can turn your trip into a multi-centre break with a visit to the Everglades; a huge area of tropical wetlands covers more than 1.5 million acres. Numerous endangered species are to be found within the wetlands, with the best way to explore being one an airboat that allows you to cruise through the waterways in search of the crocodiles the frequent the area.
Anyone with a need for speed will enjoy the chance to pay a visit to Daytona during a break in Orlando. The beachfront area is the place where NASCAR was born, and some beaches can still be driven on this day. Take a trip to the Daytona International Speedway and you can tour the facility that is home to the biggest race on the NASCAR schedule.
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