Orlando, Florida is one of the biggest tourist destinations in the United States. Home to the happiest place on Earth, some of the biggest events such as the Electric Daisy Carnival, and the beautiful weather! I’m going to give you my tourist guide with a list of places you need to be visiting during your summer vacation!
I-Drive, short for International Drive, is a strip of some of the most popular stops for tourists. Attractions range from the Orlando Eye, the second biggest ferris wheel in the USA, a celebrity favorite: the Sugar Factory, family-friendly museums, and tons of good food! These museums include an optical illusion experience, a Ripley’s Believe-it-or-Not museum, and the wax museum with tons of realistic celebrity wax figures. All of these are great for the family and there’s a lot more where that came from! Another cool feature is the Ice Bar on I-Drive where you’re handed thermal coats and gloves, are able to purchase special cocktails, and see tons of handmade ice sculptures! But that’s not where it ends on I-Drive! Where the Orlando Eye is located, there are tons of great restaurants, but what I find the most interesting is the different trending snack carts around l. There’s a Dragon’s Breathe cart which is cereal and other items that blow smoke when you bite into them, coconut carts that are opened on the spot of purchase and added with a straw for drinking, and spaghettified mango that you can get in different flavors such as dipped in sweetened condensed milk or even with spicy sauce! These are all too good to believe, which makes the perfect stop for any Orlando tourist!
2. Variety of Theme Parks!
Everyone knows about Orlando’s famous theme parks, but I’m going to give you the insider on all these parks for the best experience! The parks range from different prices for a day pass, and SeaWorld is a huge favorite for families because they’re amongst one the cheapest parks you’ll find. This is a great park for little ones and they even have a Halloween event where the kids can trick-or-treat as well as enjoying some fun haunted houses. This can be compared to Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights which I would say is a lot better for teens and adults. The houses are beyond any other haunted houses you can find with some amazing themes like The Purge, Halloween Kills, and The Walking Dead. The only problem with this is that because the houses and themes are so incredible, the wait lines to enter the houses are ridiculously long. it’s definitely recommended to experience this at some point but there are a lot of other holiday themed events that will save you the wait time, which I’ll be talking about in another article in a guide to the best Halloween events you need to visit in Florida! But getting back to your fun-filled Summer, walking in weather that can reach up to 105° can be exhausting so I have some water parks for you! The best one that I will recommend to everyone who ever comes is Volcano Bay. It is a couple years new but has some of the funnest rides such as their huge drop body slide down the volcano, or their gigantic wave pool that gives you all the beach vibes that Florida can offer. It can get really busy here but the great part is that they have a band system where you can check into a ride to save your place in line and enjoy other fun spots while waiting, with your band giving you an alert when you’re ready to ride! An alternative to this park if you want to go for a cheaper option is Aquatica. They’ve been open for a while and have a lot of fun rides like Volcano Bay. It definitely won’t let you down coming here, and any water adventure is entertaining in hot weather! Orlando has amazing different options and tricks for theme parks and water parks which can not be missed!
This place deserved it’s own category as it is a huge must on the list of Orlando visits. Florida is known for having many, many alligators in almost every body of water you can find. Don’t get me wrong, they are scary, especially coming from someone who lived up north for 8 years. But it’s so intriguing to see these animals in nature that you just have to stop by Florida’s Gatorland. There’s not rides like a theme park, but it can be compared more to a zoo. At a low price, you can get into the park which is surrounded in man-mad lakes, filled entirely with gators. I’ve seen so many gators but this place never disappoints because the amount of gators and size of these monsters at Gatorland are crazy! There’s even more than just a lake for gators though, such as a bird encounter, goat exhibit, snakes, spiders, rare albino gators, and more! On top of this, there are crazy gator shows that have you on your toes. Make sure to stop by the gift shop on your way out too! Definitely a must in Orlando!
Now you can’t go to Orlando without stopping by one of the beautiful beaches. But where to first? I’ll give you some options. Daytona Beach is the best for tourist fun with a boardwalk featuring the Slingshot ride, Joe’s Crab Shack, and the ability to drive onto the beach! But because a lot of tourists visits, it will be packed. New Smyrna Beach, the shark bite capitol, is very pretty beach where the locals go, with the ability to park on the beach as well. It’s definitely a less crowded vibe (when it’s not a holiday) and the place to relax. Cocoa Beach is another spot for local’s but isn’t my favorite because there’s not much ability to drive onto the beach, meaning a long walk carrying heavy coolers. A top favorite, beautiful beach farther from Orlando is Clearwater. Just like the name states, it has one of the bluest waters and will make the best Instagram pictures! The vibes make you feel like you’re on an island, making your trip that much better!
Along, with Orlando’s beautiful beaches, they have some amazing springs. There’s a lot of different ones all over Florida to explore, that leave an image, and memory, that’s unforgettable. The reason why a spring is somewhere you need to visit on your Orlando trip is because the fresh, blue water is even better than some beaches (especially ones not in Florida). Some ideas are Kelly Park, Wekiva Springs, King’s Landing, and The Devil’s Den. All of these places can be talked about in a whole different article because of how unique these places are. Locals never get tired of these springs and get together their all the time, even with coworkers! Enjoy activities like tubing, canoeing, kayaking, or just taking a swim with these beautiful surreal experiences.