International Drive (locally known simply as ‘I-Drive’) is the epicentre for the world-famous attractions of Orlando, the fabulous, fun-filled ‘theme park capital of the world’. This 11-mile-long highway is home to blockbuster sights from SeaWorld Orlando to Universal Orlando, plus the Orange County Convention Center. It’s got an incredible array of hotels, shops, restaurants, bars and entertainment, all conveniently linked by the I-Ride Trolley Service. Whether you want to swim with dolphins at Discovery Cove, play a round or two of golf, take a helicopter tour for bird’s-eye-views, or swoop down water slides at Universal’s Volcano Bay, you’ll find it all on I-Drive in Orlando.
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International Drive - or ‘I-Drive’ – is where some of the best-known fun-park attractions on earth are located. An 11-mile-long drive through the heart of Orlando, it is home to world-famous theme parks like SeaWorld Orlando and Universal Orlando, water parks like Discovery Cove and Volcano Park, plus the 120-metre-high Orlando Eye Ferris wheel. This is the city’s main shopping and entertainment district, with a truly dazzling array of restaurants, bars, malls and fun things to do. If you’re here on business, you’ll have all these right on the doorstep, as I-Drive is also the site of the Orange County Convention Center. And, of course, all of Orlando’s amazing theme parks from Walt Disney World to the Epcot Center are just a short drive away.
There is a truly dazzling range of places to eat and drink in Orlando, from all the popular American chains to glossy high-end restaurants for a meal to remember. Many of them are concentrated on and around legendary International Drive, including in the attractive Pointe Orlando outdoor shopping mall. Why not try some of the local seafood specialities – maybe some stone crabs or conch fritters? Or go for some of the tasty Cuban cuisine, perhaps ropa vieja, a slow-cooked pork stew, or the classic arroz con frijoles, rice topped with black beans. Kids will enjoy the many classic diners and other family-friendly eateries, many of which have fun themes such as pirate ships.
Orlando is one of the greatest places on earth for a family holiday. The ‘theme park capital of the world’ has got some of the greatest theme parks on earth: your kids can hang out with Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck at Disneyland World, see the amazing dolphin shows at SeaWorld, head into the future at the Epcot Center, or ride the amazing Harry Potter attractions plus thrilling rollercoasters at Universal Studios. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, when it comes to family attractions. Restaurants and cafés are well geared to children, and many of them have been designed specifically to cater to the littlest ones. Best of all, Orlando’s International Drive is right in the heart of the action, so you’ll have all these attractions right on the doorstep.
If you’re looking for action, you’ve come to the right place! Orlando is home to some of the world’s most terrifying rollercoasters, including some of the fastest, longest and tallest on earth. Heaven for adrenaline junkies! You could try ski diving, take a helicopter ride, go horse-riding or drive an hour to the coast to enjoy every imaginable water sport at Daytona Beach. If you’re a nature-lover, you could make an excursion to the Everglades National Park, where you can go hiking or canoeing through one of the world’s most important wetlands, home to manatee, crocodiles and the rare Florida panther.
Orlando may be land-locked, but there’s lots of watery fun to be had. There are fantastic water parks – Universal’s Volcano Park and SeaWorld’s Discover Cove, among them – plus lots of lakes with beaches, boat rides and other aquatic entertainment. If you do want to hit the coast for some sun, sea and sand, then Florida is home to some absolutely stunning beaches. The most accessible from Orlando are Cocoa Beach and Daytona Beach, both about an hour’s drive away. Cocoa Beach is best if you’re looking for a classic, white sand beach experience, while bigger Daytona Beach has funfairs, amusements and theme parks.
International Drive is the main entertainment district in Orlando, so you’ll have a huge choice of places to party once the sun goes down. There’s a phenomenal choice of bars and clubs to suit every possible taste: you can go for cocktails at a swanky hotel bar, shoot some pool at a sports bar, watch some live music, go salsa-dancing, visit an ice bar, or check out a comedy show. And that’s just for starters. Then there are cinemas, bowling alleys, theme parks, magic shows and dinner shows. You definitely won’t be bored on Orlando’s International Drive!
Orlando is a brilliant destination for a romantic holiday with a difference. This amazing city will thrill you both with its theme parks and fun rides, dazzle you with its nightlife and entertainment, and keep you happily occupied with a host of other attractions from helicopter rides to kayaking trips. Truly, if variety is the spice of life, then Orlando has hit the jackpot! If you want a little down time from all the frenetic activity, you could check into a spa for a couple’s massage, head to the beaches by the lakes for a picnic, or even spend the day at the seaside – Cocoa Beach, an hour’s drive away, is a charming town with a fabulous white-sand beach. city that has been catering to tourists for decades,
It’s not all about the theme parks in Orlando. The city boasts an excellent year-round programme of cultural events, from opera and ballet to festivals and theatre. You can find out more about the original inhabitants of this area at the fascinating Shingle Creek Regional Park, where the exhibits document the lives of the Seminole people and their introduction to the first European settlers. History buffs will also enjoy a visit to the Orange County Regional History Center, which has lots of interactive exhibits and is set in a charming century-old building. If you’re an art-lover, check out the Orlando Museum of Art, the Mennello Museum of American Art, and the Cornell Fine Arts Museum, among many other museums and galleries.