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Plan Your Trip to Orlando: Best of Orlando Tourism

About Orlando
It's easy to see why vacationers flock to Orlando: great resorts, year-round sunshine, and no shortage of things to do. You can go all in on theme parks, hopping between the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Magic Kingdom, or spend a day in Winter Park, a scenic lake town with cute shops and an excellent farmers' market. Stargazers can tour Kennedy Space Center, nature lovers can kayak through Blue Spring State Park, and foodies can indulge at the city’s Michelin-starred restaurants (it’s got a few). Yes, Orlando has a family-friendly rep, but there's also a big nightlife scene, everything from dance clubs to speakeasies. For even more to do, check out our recs below.

Travel Advice

Essential Orlando

How to do Orlando in 3 days

Wildlife adventures, upscale dining, and shows at the theater
Read on

The best hotel pools In Orlando (beyond the theme parks)

Orlando hotels really know how to pump up the good times to 11. Nowhere is this more evident than the incredible hotel pools around the city. My favorites are a vacation in themselves, with over-the-top features that never cease to deliver a “wow” factor. Think: immersive grottos, long lazy rivers, massive slides, surf simulators. Dive into these refreshing spots around Orlando.
  • Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress
    9,433
    There’s a lot to love about the sprawling pool grounds of the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, especially the resort’s unique swim-through grottos. These shaded caves turn an afternoon swim into an adventure; kids love to play hide and seek and imagine pirate chases (while I like to find a cool quiet nook and sip a cocktail). The main pool is a half-acre beauty with two whirlpools, a water slide tower, and a water jet splash zone.
  • Signia by Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek
    8,455
    Dotted by palm trees and lush greenery, this 3-acre lazy river complex is far from your ordinary hotel pool. Grab a tube and do a loop, then splash down the waterslide into the pool (there are two hot tubs, too). Extra bonus: the expansive outdoor area is shared with sister resort the Waldorf Astoria Orlando. The elevated service is evident in the poolside attendants, private cabanas, and even poolside arts and crafts for kids.
  • Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World¬Æ Resort
    3,166
    I love many things about the luxe Four Seasons Orlando, but the resort’s picture-perfect pool grounds rank at the top of my list. There are four pools to meet every mood, including one slide-filled option for families. A Splash Zone keeps the younger set entertained for hours, with columns spouting choreographed fountains of water. And the adults-only Oasis pool is a tranquil retreat with stunning views of the property from the pool’s infinity edge.
  • Holiday Inn Club Vacations at Orange Lake Resort, an IHG Hotel
    9,185
    Skip the pricey waterparks if you’re looking for Orlando’s longest lazy river—instead book a room here. The resort’s River Island is home to the area’s longest water feature, clocking in at 1,200 feet (longer than three football fields!). There are also seven pools and The Hippo, the world’s largest inflatable waterslide. Live music and fun pool games keep the deck hopping during the day; poolside family movies add blockbuster fun in the evenings.
  • The Grove Resort & Water Park Orlando
    3,619
    My favorite thing about The Grove Resort is its Surfari Water Park (also open to the public), which is stacked with tons of water activities. Even though I’m still working on getting up on my feet, I enjoy testing my balance on the FlowRider Surf Simulator. The resort’s main attraction is its impressive zero-entry pool with tropical vibes. You’ll find more thrill at the dual slides and more chill on the lazy river.
  • JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes
    4,014
    I am in awe of the grandeur and scope of Orlando’s new Grande Lakes Waterpark (open to the public). Encompassing the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton, the waterpark opened in 2023 with six zones of water fun. There are three waterslides that reach thrilling speeds, spacious lagoons, and a lazy river that rolls under a canopy of trees and waterfalls. Feeling adventurous? Head to AquaVenture, where a combo rope and sprinklers course offers some rousing splashes.

Explore Orlando by interest

Beyond the parks

Family fun beyond the themed rides

Geek out with others fans

Must-sees for pop-culture nerds

Thrills and chills

Theme parks that should top your bucket list

Orlando on a dime

Cheap eats and wallet-friendly activities

Feeling fancy-ish

Go-all-out experiences you won’t forget

More great cities for family-friendly theme parks

Orlando Travel Guide

Travelers' pro tips for experiencing Orlando

RaptorAdventures
If you plan to visit Disney, make advanced dining reservations and reserve fast passes online before arrival.
Lucille94
Go on Disney's site and familiarize yourself with the park layouts. You don't have to memorize them, but just having a general idea of how they flow and where things are is very helpful in my opinion!
Sasha138
There's more to Orlando than just amusement parks. Silver Springs has the clearest waters you've ever seen. Visit Church Street Station for some culture and don't forget to see the muscle cars at Old Town Kissimmee. Use the buses, you'll see a lot more than you bargained for and it only costs a dollar.

In the words of those who've been there before ...

TheFloridaAdvisor
One of the great things about Orlando is that there are so many things to do, see, and experience without the negative vibe many big cities seem to give off.
Sasha138
Orlando, one big onion of entertainment, get peeling and only tears of joy will be traveling down your cheeks.
RaptorAdventures
Orlando is every traveler's dream. There is so much to do.

What is the best way to get there?

Flying:

Orlando is served by two international airports: Orlando International Airport (MCO) is the city’s primary airport while the Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) serves as a secondary airport for the region.

Bus:

Greyhound offers intercity bus service from Orlando to multiple locations across the country.

Driving:

Travelers driving to Orlando usually come via Interstate 4, the city’s primary interstate highway.

Train:

Amtrak's Silver Meteor and Silver Star lines operate services between New York City and Miami.

Do I need a visa?

If you are traveling from an international destination use the U.S State Department’s Visa Wizard to determine if you need a visa.

When is the best time to visit?

Spring (March to May) or fall (September to November): To avoid high temperatures and summer crowds, visit Orlando in the spring, when visitors seeking something other than theme parks can catch the annual Florida Film Festival in April. Average daytime temperatures in spring reach highs of 84 Fahrenheit (29 Celsius) and lows of 62 Fahrenheit (17 Celsius).

Mid-September through November brings milder weather and the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. If visiting during the fall, consider trip insurance as this is when Florida’s hurricane season hits. Average daytime temperatures in fall reach highs of 84 Fahrenheit (29 Celsius) and lows of 66 Fahrenheit (19 Celsius).

Train

SunRail is Greater Orlando’s commuter train. It runs north-south and operates Monday to Friday. It doesn’t stop at or near any theme parks.

More information on schedules and fares here.

Bus

Lynx serves the greater Orlando area in Orange, Seminole, and Osceola counties, with limited service to Polk County. The bus system also runs the zero-fare LYMMO Bus in Downtown Orlando.

More information on schedules, routes, and fares here.

I-Ride Trolley

I-Ride Trolleys serve the International Drive Resort Area, operating daily from 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Rideshare

Uber and Lyft are available in Orlando on your smartphone.

On the ground
What is the timezone?
Eastern Daylight Time
What are the voltage/plug types?
The standard voltage in the United States is 120 V and the standard frequency is 60 Hz. The plug has two flat parallel pins.
What is the currency?
The U.S. Dollar
Are ATMs readily accessible?
Yes
Are credit cards widely accepted?
Yes
Is it easy to find a bank?
Yes
How much do I tip?
Bartender
$1 a drink or $2 for a more labor-intensive cocktail
Restaurant
15-20%
Buffet
$1-$2 per person
Dealer
$1-$5 per session or 2-5% of your winnings
Bellman
$1 to 3 per bag
Housekeeper
$2-$3 per night
Taxis/rideshare
15-20%
Shuttle driver
$1-$2 per person
Tour guide
10-20%

Are there local customs I should know?

Drinking
The federal legal age for buying and drinking alcohol is 21 years old.
Walking
Walk to the right of the sidewalk and step off to the side of the sidewalk if you want to stop to check your phone, look up directions, or want to take in a view.
Public transport
Allow others to disembark before boarding, don’t take up more than one seat and stand to offer seating to pregnant women or someone with a disability.
Spitting
Spitting is considered rude in any public setting.

Find more information about local customs and etiquette in the United States generally here.

Frequently Asked Questions about Orlando


Some of the most popular restaurants in Orlando include:



If you're a more budget-conscious traveler, then you may want to consider traveling to Orlando between September and November, when hotel prices are generally the lowest. Peak hotel prices generally start between June and August.