Orlando Vacation Ideas

Orlando Vacation Ideas #1: Go for a swim in the cool, crystal clear water of Wekiwa Springs State Park. The water here flows up from deep underground at a constant 72 degrees. This is the perfect temperature to take the edge off the Florida heat.

The spring is the source of the Wekiwa River and it's surrounded by the tropical forest of the Wekiwa River Preserve. Right next to the springs is a small sandy spot where you can slip a canoe or kayak in the water for a run down the Wekiwa River.

You can paddle the river here at a calm leisurely pace. Canoes are available for rent on the spot. The river is narrow, shallow and slow moving. Wekiwa Springs State Park has trails for hiking, bicycling, and horseback riding. Camping is also available.

Orlando Vacation Ideas #2: Stop by the International Trolley & Train Museum for a fascinating look into the world of trains. This is a place that is sure to stir the imagination of kids as well as adults.

Everyone will have fun watching the 14 trains and 3 trolleys that are constantly running across the huge track layout.

There is over 2,000 feet of track that winds around and through snow capped mountains, a 300 square-foot lake, farms and city areas, tunnels, water falls, lots of bridges and a coal mining tow.

The museum has a fun scavenger hunt that makes for a lot of fun as you search the museum for answers to the 20 hunt challenges.

Orlando Vacation Ideas #3: Before Disney and the Florida theme parks, the top tourist attraction was Cypress Gardens. Located about an hour from Orlando towards Tamps, Cypress Gardens is famous for it's lush Botanical Gardens and water ski stunt shows. The gardens feature topiary, oriental gardens and is home to butterflies, blue heron and other wildlife.

A great way to see the gardens is an electric boat tour through the tropical canals. Splash Island Water Park is a new addition which is a water park for the kids. Cypress Gardens has made a number of changes over the years and there very well be more changes coming. So be sure to check out what's new if you decide to visit.

Orlando Vacation Ideas #4: Just north of Orlando, along the St. Johns River, is the Central Florida Zoo. It's an 88-acre zoo located in Sanford, Florida.

A trip here makes a nice vacation outing for the family. You can see over 100 species of animals including many endangered species like hyacinth macaws, Asian elephants and New Guinea crocodile monitors.

Boardwalks and mulched walkways lead around to view the primates, cougars and leopards, venomous snakes, reptiles and other animals. A favorite spot with kids is the Animal Adventure Children's Zoo area. Here they can have fun feeding the llamas, goats and cows. The kids can also cool off and play in the water at the Wharton-Smith Tropical Splash Ground.

Orlando Vacation Ideas #5: Audubon’s Center for Birds of Prey is dedicated to rescuing and birds of prey such as the eagle, owl, hawk and falcon. They have a visitor-friendly rehabilitation center where you can get a behind-the scenes look at the birds and how the center’s staff goes about the work of taking care of these wild creatures.

The center is located in Maitland which is a few miles north of downtown Orlando. Hundreds of birds come through here every year and receive the help they need to recover whatever medical disaster has befallen them. Watch the birds practice their flying skills. Take a self-guided tour of the facility and various visitor exhibits. This is a great way to see these wonderful birds in a way that in not possible in nature. It’s a fun and educational vacation idea.

Orlando is one of the top family vacation ideas in the world. This cannot be debated. With Disney World, Sea World, Universal Studios, outlet shopping, and more, it’s easy to see why Orlando has becoming such a popular tourist city. While families spend a lot of time at the attractions in Orlando, they spend most of their time at the hotel. This makes choosing the right hotel imperative.
Orlando Vacation Ideas #6: The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grand Lakes, is often described as the best place a traveler has ever stayed. What doesn’t seem to add up is the 4-star rating, which is a good yet not spectacular rating. The reason hotels in Orlando don’t rate as high as hotels in many other cities, despite offering so much more, is because expectations are incredibly high.

As far as The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grand Lakes, is concerned, this is a behemoth of a hotel for Orlando. It has 15 floors, 584 rooms, and 500 acres. More importantly, amenities include 8 restaurants, 3 lounges, babysitting services, rooms with balconies, a health club, a golf course, a Jacuzzi, a pool, a gym, a sauna, a solarium, and tennis courts.

Are you out of breath yet? You could experience your Orlando vacation idea without ever having to leave the hotel. The location is also perfect since the hotel is so close to International Drive.

The Ritz-Carlton is beautiful and relaxing while offering a lot of activities and amenities; however, there is one negative, which is service. The issue is that since this hotel creates so much demand, the staff doesn’t do everything in its power to make sure you return. You’re more of a number than an individual.

If this is not important to you, then The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grand Lakes, is the perfect Orlando hotel. If you would prefer a more personalized experience, choose one of the other hotels below.

#7: The Grand Bohemian Hotel Orlando is where you want to stay if you appreciate great food at moderate prices. This hotel offers one of the best American cuisines you will find in Orlando, if not the entire state of Florida.
Grand Bohemian Hotel Orlando
Photo Credit:flickr.com/photos/3ammo

The dress is also casual, which is a huge plus for families. The only negative with the food is a scarcity of vegetables on the menu, but that can be overlooked for one night. Another interesting feature about this hotel is the rare art work that is displayed throughout the hotel. This adds to the allure of the Grand Bohemian Hotel Orlando even though the atmosphere is more laid back than sophisticated.

Popular amenities here include an energized happy hour scene and complimentary valet parking. The location is great since it’s possible to walk to many nearby attractions. This is also a hotel that many professional athletes frequent so you never know when you might run into a famous sports star.

#8: The Monumental Hotel is one of the quietest hotels in Orlando. This is despite the fact that it features a convenience store, a gift shop, a newsstand, a pool, and a fitness center. Needless to say, if you desire a peaceful atmosphere that offers a lot of activities, stay at the Monumental Hotel. Other tremendous benefits here include free cabanas at the pool and the best overall value for any hotel in Orlando. This hotel also has a business center and meeting rooms.
Orlando Vacation Ideas #9: The Holiday Inn in the Walt Disney Resort has an incredibly friendly staff. Every single person on the staff has a smile on their face. If an employee at this establishment were to act rude toward a guest, it’s likely they would be fired. But the service goes beyond just smiles. The Holiday Inn in the Walt Disney Resort offers a free shuttle to all Disney attractions, which is incredibly valuable.

Amenities include a fitness center, a newsstand, a gorgeous and spacious outdoor pool, a whirlpool, a conference center, a banquet hall, business services, meeting facilities, and a small bar. It’s obvious that this hotel has recently undergone a $35 million renovation as everything is spotless and in perfect order. The only negatives here are a parking fee and a breakfast fee.

Orlando Vacation Ideas #10: The Villas at Grand Cypress offers a unique experience. This is apparent since they’re villas opposed to hotel rooms, which leads to superior comfort. Add security gates, a quiet pool, a lake, a bar & grille, barbecue facilities, golf, and expert housekeeping, and you have found heaven in Orlando. This is truly a hidden gem as most travelers don’t even know it exists. It’s also affordable so it should fit into your vacation ideas budget.

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