Orlando

Orlando

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About Orlando

Internationally acclaimed destination for thrill and sun seekers

Boasting crystal clear skies, inviting sandy beaches and the world's most beloved theme-park, Orlando has everything that you could want for a sun-soaked escape. There are plenty of excellent shopping and dining opportunities to complement your visit to this fantastic part of the world.

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Thanks to its renowned reputation as the theme park capital of the world, Orlando wields a propensity to feel more like a holiday resort than a living, breathing city. There are numerous hotels belonging to large and polished chains, such as the Ritz Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes (4012 Central Florida Parkway), a five-star offering complete with 18-hole golf course and vast spa area. The theme parks themselves often provide mid-range accommodation on-site, including the Coco Key Orlando Water Resort (7400 International Drive), which boasts its own superb water park. Close to Universal Resort is the affordable Econo Lodge International Drive at Universal (7102 International Drive), which is fairly plain but fits well into the tighter budget.

The International Drive tourist hub is unsurprisingly dominated by souvenir shops and well-known chains, similarly to central Orlando. It won’t be difficult to locate the Disney dolls or cut-price swimwear, although if you're looking for something a little more unique then venturing away from the tourist trail isn't so tough. The city’s most upmarket mall is the Mall At Millenia (4200 Conroy Road), offering names such as Bloomingdale’s, Anthropologie and J Crew. The Orlando Farmer’s Market at Lake Eola is a Sunday highlight and worthwhile trip, with vibrant collections of fresh produce on offer. Meanwhile the bookworms out there will want to check out the spiritual Spiral Circle (750 North Thornton Avenue), an intriguing offbeat bookshop suitable for picking up a holiday read.

Orlando is certainly child-friendly when it comes to its dining scene thanks to the focus that the city directs on family entertainment. The kids will go wild at Disney’s 1900 Park Fare (4401 Floridian Way) where they can dine surrounded by their favourite cartoon characters, while Chip ‘n’ Dale play host at rotating restaurant Garden Grill (The Land Pavilion, Epcot). For those after something a little more high-end, try Chef’s Table at the Edgewater (99 West Plant Street, Winter Garden), or Seasons 52 (7700 Sand Lake Road), a sophisticated fresh grill and wine bar.

Orlando Folk Festival

February

Enjoy the music, dancing and general fun at this popular winter festival that is held at the Mennello Museum of American Art. Folk and American music dominate the main stage, while storytelling, traditional craft demonstrations and an art fair help make up the fringe events.

Central Florida Fair

February-March

This fair is a real highlight of the Orlando events calendar, throwing forth carnival rides, games, a food fair, livestock display and flea market in addition to over 100 live bands.

Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival

May

This fringe festival is the largest such event in the USA, and takes place over 13 days in May. Take in the offerings of music, comedy, art and theatre courtesy of hundreds of acts and performers at venues around downtown Orlando.

Annual Harvest Festival

June

Join in with the annual ‘stomping of the grapes’ at this traditional harvest festival that is set to the rural backdrop of Lakeridge Winery. There’s an abundance of food and drink to sample while enjoying the shows put on by local artists and musicians.

Festival Calle Orange

October

Taking place over just one day and one night this lively festival offers music, dancing, food and colourful costumes in one of Florida’s biggest Hispanic celebrations. Often a riotous event that gathers together different cultures, creeds and races, taking over downtown Orlando in the process.

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Key facts

Language:English
Currency:US Dollar
Time zone:GMT - 4 Hours
Flight time:10 hours
Airport code:MCO,SFB
Holiday type:City Break / Sightseeing / Summer Sun / Winter Sun

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