Orlando travel guide

Welcome to fairytale Orlando - known for its magic and so much more

Sure, Orlando has tons of theme parks and glistening attractions, but there's a tale of two cities here, and it's not all about a giant mouse and his friends. The amusement parks are mesmerizing, invoking nostalgia for many travelers, while the city center has a pulsating culinary scene that keeps growing. Ultimately, the theme parks keep people returning, but the town's nightlife and award-winning gastronomic wonders are cultivating an entirely new interest and scene all on their own. Orlando is a city whose history goes back a long time. Originally home to the Timucua and Tocobago Native Americans, it became a city in the 19th century, but the arrival of Walt Disney World® changed the course of the city's history forever.. Modern-day Orlando is emerging as a cultural beacon of diversity, with different groups like Latinos and Asians coming together and creating a melting pot of foods, celebrations, and traditions. Who else can say they grew up eating Vietnamese and Puerto Rican food on the regular?

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Table of contents

Must-see in Orlando

Make your stay in Orlando as magical as it sounds


Lake Eola Park

Welcome to Lake Eola Park. The heart and soul of the City Beautiful, where wild swans roam free - but get ready to run fast if they chase you!


Disney Springs

Made to be a giant 1920s marketplace, the Springs are a Disney fan's dream, with different stores and restaurants all celebrating the house of the mouse.


Bill Frederick Park

Acquaint yourself with Orlando’s nature at Bill Frederick Park, located around Turkey Lake, where you can bird watch, kayak, and fish.


Diagon Alley

Diagon Alley is a mythical space with shops, rides, attractions, goblins, dragons, wands, and restaurants from the beloved fictional franchise.


Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts is Orlando's primary performance medium and houses some of the best shows traveling through the city.



ICON Park is an entertainment complex with 50 different attractions and a giant Ferris wheel with a 400-foot-tall observation deck.


Orlando Public Library

The Orlando Library has an interesting design with its gray cement slabs and walls. It's a reminder of the popular brutalist architectural style from the mid-20th century.



Teleport to another world at EPCOT. It's a local and traveler favorite with one-of-a-kind attractions and even some for daring thrill-seekers.


Boxi Park

Located in the neighborhood of Lake Nona, Boxi Park is a fantastic outdoor venue space with music and tons of delicious food truck stalls.


TRON Lightcycle / Run

Mount a TRON Lightcylcle at Magic Kingdom - an experience we can’t really describe in words.


The Pulse Interim Memorial

Come to the space where Orlando was brought together in an eternal moment of solidarity. The Pulse Memorial is a place for reflection and a sanctuary for the victims' loved ones.


Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is a two-night immersive experience that will take you inside the Star Wars galaxy on your own personalized missions.


Harry P. Leu Gardens

Walk along moss-coated paths flanked by aged oak trees either side. These luscious gardens house some of the most beautiful and exotic plants from all around the world.


Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament

Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament is a utensil-free dinner show featuring knights, falcons, and a queen.


Ivanhoe Village

Ivanhoe Village: an indie main street on the shores of Lake Ivanhoe, where you can paddle board and drink wine (not at the same time).


Cirque du Soleil

Check out the contemporary circus Cirque du Soleil, which incorporates art, acrobatics, and animation in an immersive and theatrical manner.


Tibet-Butler Preserve

Walk through pine forests, hike on leafy trails, and hear the owls hoot at the Tibet-Butler Preserve. It has forest bathing written all over it.


Exploria Stadium

Sure, Exploria Stadium is for soccer fans, but that shouldn’t stop you from attending a match just to feel like part of the crowd or to devour some scrumptious game grub.



CityArts is a funky contemporary art gallery space devoted to preserving and highlighting local and international art.



At Aquatica, you'll find water coasters, lazy rivers, wave pools that feel like tsunamis, and wild raft rides.


Lake Nona Sculpture Garden

The Lake Nona Sculpture Garden will impress even the harshest art critic. Filled with tropical plants, palms and sculptures, you need to see this spot for yourself.

Seasonal events in Orlando

Make your trip to the City Beautiful, unforgettable and magical


Walt Disney World Marathon (early January)

Run with Mickey and Minnie at the Walt Disney World Marathon. The parks will be empty, and you'll have tons of photo opportunities.


MEGACON Orlando (early February)

MegaCon is a pop culture convention where you'll see some of the biggest stars in sci-fi, the Marvel Cinematic, and the DC Cinematic multiverses.


Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival (early March)

Head to EPCOT in March to view the character topiary displays and living sculptures at the EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival.


UCF Celebrates the Arts (early April)

Find out what the creatives of Orlando are planning at the UCF Celebrates the Arts. You'll be amazed by the intersectionalities of the creative industry.


Universal Orlando's Mardi Gras Celebration (early April)

Celebrate Mardi Gras at Universal Studios Orlando, where you can join colorful parades and party to your heart's content. Beads are included.


The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra Classics Series (early May)

Discover Orlando's classical music culture with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra during their Classics Series and boogie down with Bach and Chopin.


Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival (mid-May)

Check out what the fringe creative industry looks like in Orlando, Florida. Their creativity will surprise you in more ways than one.


Disney World Gay Days (early June)

Wearing red at parks like Magic Kingdom this time of year shows solidarity for and with the LGBTQ+ community.


EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival (early July)

Sample delicious foods and wines at EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival this July and find out why it's a fan favorite.


Orlando City soccer kick-off season (August)

Get to know why the City Beautiful was ranked the best town for soccer fans by the ranking website WalletHub.


Orlando's Magical Dining (September)

There's something otherworldlyl about Visit Orlando's Magical Dining. Trying different restaurants and not paying the typical amount – it's a foodie's fantasy.


Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights (October)

Universal's Halloween Horror Nights are the perfect place to get into the Halloween spirit. Expect a memorable and frightful night.


Come Out With Pride Orlando (late October)

Stay for the parade at the all-inclusive Come Out With Pride festival in October. It's a colorful,inclusive festival that ends with fireworks celebrating the community.


Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party (December)

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party is a holiday-themed occasion where you'll see tons of tinsel and even some magical snow.

Once you're in Orlando

Getting around Orlando

From taxis to trains and everything in between, Orlando offers plenty of ways to explore the city.

Magical Dining Experiences With Flavors From a Plethora of Diverse Cultures

If you think of Orlando, magical theme parks automatically spring to mind, but that's not the only thing the city can offer. Some of the most exciting restaurants are popping up in the town within various city neighborhoods. The theme parks are also developing a food scene that is becoming popular nationwide.

Renting a car and driving in Orlando

From world-renowned theme parks, like Walt Disney World and Universal Studios, to natural wonders, like the Wekiwa Springs State Park, Orlando is an attraction-packed city. Don’t let waiting for a bus or sticking to a tram route slow down your vacation plans. Renting a car is an ideal way to discover the city, giving you the freedom to explore at your own pace.

Things to do

Why Orlando Takes the Crown as America's Top Family Destination

Orlando's family-centric philosophy shines through its top-notch theme parks, captivating attractions, and enlightening venues. From the magical world of Disney to the exhilarating Universal Orlando Resort, every aspect is designed for unforgettable experiences for all ages. Embrace Orlando as the ultimate dream destination for family adventures.

Cheers to Orlando: A Guide to the City’s Finest Bars


ICEBAR Orlando

With a temperature of 22°F, enjoy ice-crafted cocktails in the world's largest permanent ice bar at ICEBAR Orlando.


The Courtesy Bar

This hip cocktail bar serves up handcrafted cocktails using the finest ingredients, making it a must-visit for those seeking a high-end drinking experience.


Mathers Social Gathering

Mathers Social Gathering is a stylish bar with a speakeasy vibe that specializes in innovative cocktails.


Redlight Redlight

Redlight Redlight is a must-visit for beer enthusiasts, offering an impressive list of craft beers from around the world.


Player 1 Video Game Bar

Player 1 Video Game Bar is a haven for gamers, blending nostalgia with modern gaming and a diverse craft beer menu, all in a lively social setting.


EVE Orlando

This dynamic venue includes a luxurious lounge, vibrant nightclub, serene balcony, and enthralling DJ sets for an all-encompassing experience.

Orlando: The Ultimate Destination for Shopaholics

Do you need a break from the crowds at the theme parks? If so, dive into Orlando's rich shopping scene. From luxurious designer stores to bargain-filled outlets, Orlando has something to delight every shopper. Swap those mouse ears for a shopping bag and explore a different kind of magic – retail therapy, Orlando-style.

Day Tripping: Meet Some Exciting and Underrated Destinations Around Orlando

Orlando is a bustling city filled with more attractions than anyone can cover in a week’s vacation; however, venturing beyond its borders unveils Central Florida's diverse charm. From the region's crystalline natural springs and historically significant landmarks to sites dedicated to preserving local habitats, each destination offers unique insights. Embark on this exploration and enrich your Florida vacation.

What to pack for Orlando

Orlando is a city known for its hot climate, exciting theme parks, challenging golf courses, and scenic nature hikes. Let's dive into how to optimally prepare for a memorable adventure under the Florida sun, balancing comfort, convenience, and readiness for all that Orlando has to offer.