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Orlando is located in central Florida and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Originally named Jernigan after the first permanent settler in the area, there’s no official documentation that details how Orlando got its current name, though, some believe it was named after the character in Shakespeare’s “As You Like It”.
The city of Orlando has earned the nickname “the City Beautiful” and is one of the most-visited cities in the world due to its major events, tourism, and convention traffic. The two biggest and most well-known tourist attractions in the Orlando area are the Universal Orlando Resort and the Walt Disney World Resort.
While it’s most known for its theme parks, the rest of the city doesn’t slouch when it comes to things to do. World-class shopping, dining, and entertainment can be found in Orlando with something for everyone of every taste.
The Orlando International Airport services Orlando proper. It’s located 6 miles southeast of downtown Orlando and hosts flights both international and domestic.
If driving, interstate highway 4 is Orlando’s main interstate highway. It begins in Tampa, runs northeast across the center of the state, cuts through Orlando proper, and ends in Daytona Beach. Driving in Orlando is relatively stress-free. The streets are wide and well-maintained, and the traffic isn’t overly bad considering how many cars use the road on a given day.
If you’d prefer to travel by rail, the Orlando Amtrak Station is close to downtown Orlando. Trains on the Silver Star and Silver Meteor routes stop at Orlando with connections to cities including Miami, Tampa, Washington D.C., Jacksonville, and New York City. The Florida SunRail operates out of the same station as well.
Walt Disney World Resort: The crown jewel of Orlando, this resort is probably the number one tourist attraction in Orlando. The sprawling resort has four theme parks, a shopping and dining district, two water parks, over 20 on-site hotels, and an RV park. You haven’t truly experienced the magic of Disney until you’ve been to Walt Disney World.
Universal Orlando Resort: Universal Orlando Resort houses The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, a magical experience that lets you step into the world of witches and wizards. Outside of the Harry Potter-themed areas, you’ll find a range of other Universal-themed rides and attractions including a new Jurassic World Velicicoaster.
Discovery Cove: Discovery Cove is an all-inclusive water park where you can have close encounters with sharks, dolphins, and tropical fish. There are only a certain amount of people let in per day which makes the experience less stressful for all involved.
Orlando has some of the best parking rules in the country. Parking meters are in effect Monday through Saturday, from 8 am to 6 pm. An exception to the rule is the Creative Village where rules are in effect until 9 pm. Most metered spots are free of charge on Sundays and specific holidays.
Orlando has standardized its garage parking as well. The event rate at all downtown parking lots and garages is $10 apart from the GEICO parking garage which is $20.