Orlando – So much to see and do
Nature and sports
As well as man-made pleasures, there are plenty of natural pursuits to take advantage of in Orlando. Lake Tohopekaliga is just a short drive from Kissimmee and offers fishing, boating, camping and hiking opportunities. Also close to Kissimmee is the Wide World of Sports Complex at WALT DISNEY WORLD Resort, one of the best sporting venues ever with a baseball stadium, tennis complex, cross country course and 4 dedicated sports fields you can also get close to nature at the Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park and Lakefront Park or feed the crocs at Gatorland!
A short drive away
Orlando is home to an almost infinite number of attractions, however, venture further afield and you’ll find yet more to entertain you. Never more than 90 minutes from a beach, you’ve got both the Atlantic Coast to choose from and the Gulf Coast. On the Atlantic Coast is Daytona, America’s most famous beach and quite rightly so with pure white sands that stretch for miles and surf suited to a whole variety of water sports. On the Gulf Coast is St Pete’s and Clearwater, the former known for its phenomenal sunsets and fine restaurants, the latter for its sparkling white belt of sand and friendly town. All provide the perfect haven for a day or two’s rest from theme park burnout!
History and culture
History is very much in evidence here with a trip to St Augustine – the nation’s oldest city – well worth the effort. Sights to see include the Castillo de San Marcos and Florida’s oldest lighthouse. There’s also the Marineland Oceanarium where you can swim with dolphins. However you choose to spend your time in Orlando, you won’t be disappointed, there’s something for every type of holidaymaker, from families to couples to groups of friends. It’s also a surprisingly romantic place to say ‘I do’ with Virgin Holidays offering several wedding packages in world-class hotels. Once you’ve exchanged vows, prepare for a honeymoon that’s guaranteed to be lots of fun!
Orlando is generally warm and sunny all year round, with the hottest temperatures (around 90°F) in July and August. Watch out for the humidity too, it can get pretty sticky! The coolest time to visit is between December and February where you can expect averages of around 70-73°F. The tropical Floridian climate means that Easter time and the October half term great times to visit without the humidity of the summer months.
How to get there
Award-winning airline Virgin Atlantic operates daily flights from Gatwick or Manchester to Orlando and an additional service from Glasgow. Getting your holiday off to a great start, our in-flight service includes a seat back TV screen for every passenger, up to 20 channels of award-winning entertainment, including blockbuster movies, comedy, drama, sports and music, a FREE amenity kit with socks, eye mask, toothbrush and paste and earplugs are just some of the goodies included and FREE drinks are served throughout your flight. There’s a choice of 3 delicious meals including a vegetarian option and FREE ice-cream during the movie. If you’re travelling with kids, never fear, we’ve got dedicated kids channels to entertain them, favourite kids meals and a Virgin Atlantic K-iD pack stuffed with things to keep and make them the envy of their friends! You can also request Sky Cots for infants up to 12 months and Infant Care Chairs for infants between 6 and 36 months. Seat pitch is between 31 and 33 inches and seats are a comfortable 17-18 inches wide.
Orlando is easy to get around by public transport or hire car. The inexpensive Lynx bus system covers most of the city whilst in downtown Orlando, the FREE Lymmo bus service operates around the city centre. On International Drive there is the I-Ride Trolley – another cheap and very reliable bus service linking all the main hotels and attractions with 1, 3, 5, 7 and 14 day bus passes available. If travelling by hire car, almost all attractions can be reached via I-4 (Interstate 4), whilst Highway 192 is the main route to the south serving the Kissimmee area. Most attractions are well sign posted and easy to find. A top tip though, avoid driving during rush hour in Orlando city centre (7-9am and 4-6pm) – the traffic can get very heavy indeed! If you want to travel outside Orlando, a hire car is essential with wide, mainly straight interstates easy to negotiate.
Anyone for golf?
If you’re a golf enthusiast, you’re in luck, Orlando is packed with a whole range of fantastic championship golf courses! Orange County National has 45 challenging holes set amidst 922 beautiful acres of unspoiled rolling terrain – surely a golfer’s paradise. There is also the opportunity to play a few rounds Disney-style! Disney boasts 4 championship golf courses – Osprey, Ridge, Lake Buena Vista and Palm – all surrounded by stunning countryside and offering the latest in state-of-the-art technology. Palm is perhaps the toughest of the 4 courses with plenty to test both the novice and the pro. As its Disney, there’s also Oak Trail, a 9-hole golf course for all the family!
Virgin Holidays is truly worldwide so as well as USA and Caribbean we offer holidays to Canada, the Far East, South Africa, the Middle East, Indian Ocean, Mauritius, New Zealand and Australia, plus a well-established ski programme, so we can find your ideal destination.
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