Orlando is the number one tourist destination in the world today with current figures estimating that over 45 million tourists visit every year. There are hundreds of attractions and places of interest to visit ranging from the high-octane rides found at the theme parks to the peace and tranquillity of an afternoon on the beach, it can all be found in or around the Orlando area.
Many of the better-known attractions and theme parks are located to the south of Orlando. They include Universal Studios Florida, Universal's Islands of Adventure, and Universal's Volcano Bay water theme park - Disney World Parks and Disney Springs - Island H2O Water Park (located on the 192). Also in the area is the International Drive, which is home to over 150 restaurants and an abundance of attractions including Wonderworks, Riley's believe it or not and Pirates Dinner Adventure.
A little further a field to the North East on the Atlantic coast you'll find miles of glorious golden beaches at Daytona and Cocoa, as well as the Daytona International Speedway where many high profile races are held including NASCAR, and you may even be lucky enough to experience a shuttle taking off from the Kennedy Space Center.
An hour's drive to the west of Orlando will bring you to the Gulf Coast and the fantastic Busch Gardens theme park in Tampa. If you continue further down the Gulf coast you will pass through a number of picturesque towns such as Clearwater, St Petersburg, Fort Myers, Naples and Marco Island, all of which have beautiful beaches and are well worth a visit. Special mention must go to the white sand beaches at St Petersburg and Clearwater which were ranked number one and four respectively in a recent national survey.
A lot of tourists come to Orlando to experience the theme parks and sit around the pool, but there is so much more on offer. You can take a helicopter or balloon ride, ride an airboat through the swamps, have a picnic or try out some water sports in one of the many state parks, go horse riding, visit the museums, catch a game at one of the many pro sports teams in the area, or even go swimming with the dolphins at the excellent Discovery Cove. No matter how many times you visit or how long you stay there is always something new and exciting to experience
After the theme parks the second biggest lure Orlando has for many is its rich Golfing environment. With its good all-year-round weather and a huge choice of full-size courses (upwards of 125 courses within an hours drive of the theme parks) the majority of which are open to the public, Orlando is literally a Golfers paradise.
The nightlife in Orlando offers many different options. There are hundreds of well-priced restaurants serving dishes from all around the world to be found and many locations have live music so you can dance the night away. Especially popular are the varies dinner shows such as Medieval Times and Pirates Dinner Party, which mix a full three or four course meals with a live action show, a sure winner for all the family.
Disney Springs, Universal City Walk and Kissimmee Old Town are well worth a visit with restaurants, bars, live shows & shops, including the world's largest Disney Store and Lego store at Disney Springs.
Finally, you can't talk about Orlando without mentioning shopping! Home to a large number of retail outlets including Disney Springs, The Florida Mall, Orlando Outlet MarketPlace, Thornton Park and The Mall at Millenia to name but a few!