Make memories in Orlando

An exciting adventure awaits in Orlando, Florida. The county seat of Orange County has become known as both ‘The City Beautiful’ and ‘The Theme Park Capital of the World’ thanks to its stunning scenery and the more than 12  theme parks, including the world famous Walt Disney World, which call Orlando home. Whether you’re a thrill seeker or searching for some serious rest and relaxation, you’ll find what you’re looking for in this magical city.  

History

Orange County Regional History Center

Spread across three floors of a beautifully restored 1927 county courthouse, this history center takes visitors on a journey back to Florida’s beginnings, some 12,000 years ago. Along the way, you’ll discover the region’s transition from a small Indian settlement to its current position as a tourist hub. Accredited by the American Association of Museums and an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the history center regularly appears on lists of the city’s top attractions.

CULTURE, ARTS & CRAFTS

Modernism Museum Mount Dora

Explore how Wharton Esherick, the so-called ‘Dean of American Craftsmen’ has influenced art at the Modernism Museum Mount Dora. Each exhibition is wonderfully unique and pays homage to the modernist movement in its own way. Popular artists who have work displayed here include Sam Maloof, Arthur Espenet Carpenter and George Nakashima.

Mennello Museum of American Art

The permanent exhibition at Mennello Museum is the largest public art collection in the state of Florida. There are also regularly changing exhibitions that offer visitors the chance to see something new and special every time they visit. The museum itself is nestled in a picturesque spot on the shore of Lake Formosa. Its sculpture garden is always open for the public to explore and the walking path merges with the city’s Urban Trail pedestrian and cycle path.

SAK Comedy Lab

If you’re a fan of the hit TV show Whose Line is it Anyway, you’ll love the SAK Comedy Lab, where live improv comedy performances are the name of the game and have been for almost 40 years. With stories, songs and some unlikely characters, the performers here make the show interactive, energetic and above all, hilarious.

Dr Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

The vision at the Dr Phillips Center is to provide Arts for Every Life, and with an events schedule that includes ballet, orchestra, jazz, rock and Broadway performances, it more than delivers. Located in downtown Orlando, the center is a great place to for the whole family thanks to an educational programme which engages all ages.

African Art Gallery

By fostering relationships with African leaders over the past 35 years and building schools, hospitals and bridges, Rawlvan R. Bennett has acquired the largest collection of African bronze sculptures in the world. It comprises almost 2,000 pieces from across the African continent, with some pieces dating as far back as the 17th century.

BEACHES, SURFING, PARKS & RIVER CRUISES

While the theme parks of Orlando are enough to entertain any thrill seeker, the city has so much more to offer thanks to the array of activities that includes airboat tours and early morning hot air balloon rides. The best beaches are about an hour’s drive from the city, with Daytona Beach, Cocoa Beach and Canaveral National Shoreline some of the best anywhere in Florida.

HEALTH, WELLNESS & SPA TOURISM

Blue Harmony Spa

Housed within the Wyndham Grand Resort, guests can relax and rejuvenate with a treatment or let their worries wash away in the outdoor hot tub. The selection of treatments caters for men, women and teens.

IV Lounge

After a thrilling night on the town, recuperate with a visit to the IV lounge, where you can receive vitamin therapy and an energizing B-12 shot. Treatment is provided by the friendly yet professional team from the comfort of their modern spa.

The Spa

Once voted the best day spa by Orlando Weekly Magazine, The Spa offers the whole package, from great massages and beautiful manicures to a menu of mouth-watering dishes. After sipping your complimentary beverage and fully unwinding, why not book yourself into a sleep room for an extra rest?

ECOTOURISM, WILDLIFE & THE GREAT OUTDOORS

Leu Gardens

Within the 50 acres of pristine gardens, you’ll find a diverse collection of over 40 plants hailing from around the globe. Wander the tropical and semi-tropical gardens before finding shade beneath the 200-year-old oak trees, or beside the glistening lake. In the heart of the grounds sits a museum where you can discover the history of the garden’s ownership.

Orlando Wetlands Park

Spend a sunny afternoon at the park discovering the plants and wildlife that call this ‘mini-everglades’ home. 

sport

USTA National Campus

Grab your racquet and head to the USTA National Campus for an unrivalled tennis experience. The facilities have been created with every age and skill level in mind, whether you want a few pointers on your backhand or simply want to enjoy a game.  

Orlando Watersports Complex (OWC)

Visitors flock to OWC to experience the complex’s exciting variety of activities. There’s wakeboarding, kneeboarding and wakesurfing, which can be enjoyed recreationally or scheduled as lessons, and the team has its own ‘get up guarantee’. If you like your watersports with a bit more speed, book a boat lesson with Shaun Murray and learn how to become a waterskiing pro. On site, you’ll also find a pro shop, a snack bar and a beach area that’s decked out with picnic tables and barbecue grills.  

 Golf

Orlando is home to more pro-golfers than any other city in the world, and for good reason. There are over 170 golf courses and more than 20 golf academies in the city, which is probably why it was voted the ‘North American Golf Destination of the Year’ in 2010 by the International Associated of Golf Tour Operators.

  

Shingle Creek 

Combining Florida’s lush flora with a newly renovated golf course, it’s no wonder locals flock to Shingle Creek to practice their swing. The updates have brought an improved landscape and new challenge to the course, although the course still retains a number of features from the golden age of golf.

Dining

Whether you’re looking for an authentic taste or Orlando or a fun-fuelled meal for the whole family, this city can deliver. Numerous certified master sommeliers can also be found in Orlando so wine-fans are spoilt for choice.

4 Rivers Smokehouse

If you’re in the mood for an authentic Southern barbecue, head to one of the city’s 4 Rivers Smokehouses. This is Southern comfort food at its finest and the restaurant chain has a host of accolades to prove it.  

Rainforest Café

Treat the whole family to a delicious meal in a beautiful setting at the Rainforest Café in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The menu is bursting with flavour, with house favourites like Caribbean coconut fried shrimp, and hickory chicken vying for your attention.

Shopping

The Mall at Millenia

Filled with light thanks to its incredible glass ceilings and infused with character by the bespoke art pieces that are found throughout, this mall exudes elegance. Housed within, there’s everything from department stores to antiques and boutique shops, so you’re sure to find that special something to help you remember your trip. After searching for the perfect souvenir, refuel with a trip to The Cheesecake Factory or the Brio Tuscan Grille.

College Park

Situated just north of downtown Orlando, this neighbourhood offers visitors a real taste of Orlando where you’ll find family-run eateries, quirky clothing shops, antiques stores, jewellers, salons and public parks. The area also plays host to a regular schedule of events, so why not drop off the kids in a cookie decorating workshop while you shop?

Hotels

Aloft Inn

Aloft Inn occupies a prime spot in downtown Orlando, a stone’s throw from the hub of the city’s thriving nightlife. For daytime activities, the hotel is ideally situated close to the Dr Phillips Center for Performing Arts and the Amway Center, and has excellent transport links to the city’s popular theme parks.

Grand Bohemian Hotel Orlando

For a touch of luxury, choose Grand Bohemian Hotel Orlando as the base for your stay. Named one of the 20 best hotels in Florida by Condé Nast Traveler, the Grand Bohemian enjoys a fantastic close to all the action in downtown Orlando. Inside the hotel, this AAA four-diamond gem boasts barrel-vaulted ceilings, seamless service and an art gallery that’s home to over 150 rare pieces.

Mission Inn Resort & Club

Fill your days with hikes and bass fishing, or perhaps with a massage in the spa after a competitive game of tennis or volleyball. There’s so much to do at the Mission Inn. The resort is also located in a great central spot, making it easy to head out on a day trip to explore all the city has to offer.

Theme Parks

Universal Studios

You become the movie star when you visit this theme pack. Universal gives you the chance to immerse yourself in adventure after adventure.  Evade the evil villains. Protect the earth. Meet a fire-breathing dragon. This id the theme park where you make movies come to life. Once you’ve had enough of the big time maybe a relaxing break at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Where you can live the carefree island life. The park is filled with thrills, indulgence and relaxation. Universal say there will be no standing in long lines or waiting for the fun to begin. This tropical paradise is just steps away from Universal Orlando Resort.

Sea World

Start out by experiencing the rollercoasters and rides which are suitable for the whole family. Then enjoy one of the amazing , family-friendly, live entertainment shows. Relax and wind down whilst you explore the beautiful aquariums, feed some sea lions and dance with dolphins.

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