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About Orlando

orlando, FL

Though the hip hop music, metal, rock music, reggaeton and Latino music scenes are all active within the city, Orlando is known as "Hollywood East" because of numerous movie studios in the area. But this gorgeous cityscape isn't just known for its entertainment industry, but is a hub for great food, festivals and outdoor activities. It's no wonder hundreds of thousands head there each year to take advantage of all this city has to offer.

 

Popular Attractions

Orlando is a popular tourist destination not only for its amazing beauty and awesome coastal views, but also for its wealth of excellent local attractions. You can look forward to a long list of excellent attractions such as the Safari Wilderness Ranch with its authentic vehicle safari, Camel Expedition, kayak safari, horseback safari and llama trek, as well as optional extras such as: ring-tailed lemur feeding, budgie feeding, and guinea pig colony feeding. You can also look forward to the Sea Life Orlando Aquarium with its state of the art showcases, tunnels and tanks, and a breathtaking array of sea creatures to view and touch; visitors of all ages flock there so be sure to buy tickets early! Adults head out to the Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show every week for some local fun and the Sleuths Mystery Dinner Shows also has an amazing following among both residents and visitors. For outdoor enthusiasts, there's plenty of opportunities for ATV touring, biking, indoor and outdoor skydiving, kayaking, canoeing, boating and excellent fishing and charter tours.

 

For more urban adventures, you can take advantage of spots like the Universal CityWalk, home to excellent dining, music and sightseeing options, and a fun atmosphere that draws thousands of locals and visitors each year. When the sun goes down, Orlando heats up. Adults wanting to let loose can opt for downtown dance clubs, cozy pubs, cigar lounges, comedy clubs, live music and a number of area wineries and breweries. Mango’s Tropical Café Orlando combines lavish dining with vibrant dancers and live music, while ICEBAR Orlando features the largest permanent ice bar in the world. There's also great spots like the Velvet Bar at Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando, Howl At The Moon for world-class live music, Revolution Nightclub and the Church Street District. Visitors with kids have a bevy of evening entertainment options to choose from including dinner shows and interactive entertainment complexes. I-Drive 360 and Pointe Orlando both feature unique restaurants, shopping and live entertainment experiences. 

Major motion picture production was active in the city during the mid-to-late 1990s, and Orlando is now a large production center for television shows, direct-to-video productions and commercial production. The Florida Film Festival which takes place in venues throughout the area is one of the most respected regional film festivals in the country and attracts budding filmmakers from around the world, and Orlando is very popular among independent filmmakers. The Orlando Metropolitan Area is also home to a substantial theater population. Several professional and semi-professional houses and many community theaters include the Central Florida Ballet, Orlando Ballet, Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Orlando Repertory Theatre, Mad Cow Theatre, and IceHouse Theatre in Mount Dora. With that, you can look forward to the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre which hosts national Broadway tours on a regular basis. You can also plan your visit around the Orlando International Fringe Theater Festival, which draws touring companies from around the world, and is hosted in various venues over Orlando's Loch Haven Park every spring. At the festival, there are readings and fully staged productions of new and unknown plays by local artists. Plus, during the spring, there is The Harriett Lake Festival of New Plays, hosted by Orlando Shakespeare Theater, and the Orlando Cabaret Festival showcases local, national, and internationally renowned cabaret artist to Mad Cow Theatre in Downtown Orlando each spring.

  

Outdoor Fun

Orlando residents enjoy outdoor activities year-round; it’s just one of the reasons so many northerners come here to escape the frigid grip of winter. Hiking season never really goes away, it just gets hotter and more humid. When that happens, many of us hit one of the local springs – Rock Springs at beautiful Kelly Park is a nice one for beginners. Beautiful hiking trails and a pale, blue-green fissure that’s crisp, cool and rife for a lazy float downstream. You may even want to hit nearby Mount Dora for a bit of antiquing, as well. Already a fan of the stand-up paddleboard craze? If not, you’re in luck – the pros at Paddleboard Orlando are experts when it comes to beginner training, and their excursions might lead you across one of our lovely urban lakes, through mansion-lined canals or into clear, blue water where the manatees do their underwater grazing.  Whether you dig zip lining in our subtropical canopies  with Florida EcoSafaris or just enjoying the sunset on a vast, idyllic (albeit alligator-infested) lake, Orlando has more than enough outdoor pursuits to satisfy hardcore athletes, average-Joe joggers or folks who just prefer eating their donuts out in the fresh air once in a while.

 

Here are a few favorites among locals and visitors: 

1. Wekiva Island is a "wildlife" oasis of sorts that sits a stone's throw from a commercial stretch of Wekiva Springs Road. Canoes and kayaks are available for rent for you to explore and observe native flora and fauna (birds, gators, deer, otters, you name it) in breathtaking surroundings.

2. Owned by fourth generation citrus farmers, Showcase of Citrus is one of those classic "only in Florida" activities you have to do at least once - or, like the locals, you can come back again and again) This farm is home to 13 varieties of oranges alone, and has an awesome pick 'em yourself arrangement or, if you're feeling lazy, you can grab a bag from the country store and mosey, but you might want to check out the Monster Truck Eco Tour while you're here.

3. The Urban Bike Trail is an easy pedal running from Ivanhoe Village, meandering amid scenery that mixes old-school Florida urban with verdant, park-like settings to Mead Botanical Garden in Winter Park. The path, which is open to walkers and joggers, as well, runs along an old rail route once called the "Dinky Line" and takes riders past urban lakes with wildlife-viewing opportunities with options to stop at one of Loch Haven Park's art- or science venues for a cultural infusion. Great exercise and a whole new way to see the city.

 

Dining

With influences from all over the world and particularly Latin America, Orlando has a rich and diverse culinary landscape. You can take Cuban, Japanese and even Greek flavors when you visit, and the brews and wines are just as international. Popular eateries include: Seito Sushi, Marlow's Tavern, Ceviche Tapas Orlando and Texas de Brazil. There's also Taverna Opa Orlando, The Oceanaire Seafood Room and Adriatico Trattoria Italiana. You won't be disappointed with the city's awesome menu!

 

Campgrounds and Parks

Orlando is a hub for campgrounds, so when you're planning your trip, you won't have to look for too long to find one that fits your preferences. You can look forward to staying at parks like the Fish Haven Park. Open year round, this campground takes travelers right to the oceanside for plenty of opportunities for fishing and boating, and is perfect for sunset viewing and stargazing. Plus, it's close to a wealth of area attractions. Amenities at the park include: full hookups, 30 amp sites, group facilities, laundry facilities, a boat landing and cabin rentals. Don't like the oceanside? The city has dozens of other camping locations, each offering excellent facilities and friendly, knowledgeable staff. The only way to visit Orlando is to camp Orlando!

Hope to see you soon!