Settled midway between the Gulf and Atlantic Coasts, Orlando is known as the Theme Park Capital of the World. And the city certainly lives up to the nickname: Vacationers can choose from over a dozen parks, each offering worlds unto themselves and packed with thrill rides. A flight into Orlando International Airport presents a chance to make lifelong memories at one or more of these unique, fantastical outposts that even reward revisiting.
While theme parks might be the source of the city’s fame, there’s a stunning city and worlds of fun waiting to be explored outside park confines. Bolstered by its large student population and a recent explosion in growth, Orlando is a city on the rise. And travelers’ taste buds will be grateful that it has a food scene to match. Savor standouts from the myriad cuisines on offer here, whether it’s creative tacos or classic Cubanos, down-home southern soul food or, of course, seafood that’s brought in fresh from either nearby coast.
Take your order to go and you’ll find no shortage of lakefronts that are the perfect settings for picnics. Orlando city proper possesses over 100 lakes, from tranquil Lake Killarney in the north all the way down to Lake Conway, a popular watersports spot in the south. Lake Eola, though, is the city’s centerpiece. Local residents (and swans) flock to this photogenic setting right in the heart of downtown Orlando where you can snap a picture of the clear waters with the city’s skyline in view and stroll along the palm tree-lined lakeside trails.
The area around the city also offers a number of places where you can enjoy a ramble in nature without any of the downtown crowds. Only a short drive from the city, Ocala National Forest is an ideal place to enjoy the region’s subtropical climate and glimpse its unique wetlands habitats. Visitors can take their pick of hiking trails that wind by live oak stands as well as swim, snorkel, and dive in the crystal-clear waters of one of the area’s sparkling natural springs.
Natural wonders aren’t the only thing within reach of Orlando: No trip to the area is truly complete without a journey to the nearby Space Coast. Just one small step from Orlando, the Kennedy Space Center and its Visitor Complex provide visitors a singular opportunity to both learn about monumental missions of the past and see what the future of space travel holds. Plan your trip for the right time, and you can even witness the latest rocket launch at Cape Canaveral—an event that you certainly won’t soon forget.
There’s no shortage of ways to make memories when you’re in and around Orlando. Get there stress-free by simply booking a flight into Orlando International Airport on Southwest Airlines. Explore flights to Orlando with Southwest® and start prepping for your next journey today. Enjoy a straightforward process from booking to boarding, and learn more about everything that goes into the Southwest® Experience.
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Things to do in Orlando.
- Madame Tussauds Orlando
- Orlando Museum of Art
- Orlando Science Center
- Lake Eola Park
- Lake Killarney
- Lake Louisa State Park
- Everglades National Park
- Kennedy Space Center
- Ocala National Forest