Orlando, Florida, is one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S., thanks to its status as one of the world's premier leisure destinations. Orlando's cleanliness, friendliness, temperate climate and diverse offerings make it a popular getaway for families, honeymooners, seniors and corporate travelers, many of whom immerse themselves in area theme parks, such as Walt Disney World Resorts, SeaWorld Orlando and Universal Studios Florida.
Disney and friends aside, Orlando has become magical in its own right, with vast cultural offerings, a melting pot of dining establishments, high-end golf courses and some of Florida's most popular freshwater fishing locales. It feels young, both in terms of its energy level and its many new or restored neighborhoods. Downtown Orlando continues to grow in popularity.
The fabulous theme parks at Walt Disney World Resort; Shamu the killer whale and Aquatica water park at SeaWorld Orlando; Universal Studios Florida and thrill rides at Universal's Islands of Adventure, with the Wizarding World of Harry Potter leading the charge; the breathtaking show La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil; a primeval wilderness at The Nature Conservancy's Disney Wilderness Preserve.
Orlando Museum of Art; The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art; Orange County Regional History Center and Heritage Square; Mennello Museum of American Folk Art.
Tamari-roasted duck breast at Hue-A Restaurant downtown; a low-calorie roasted vegetable platter at Seasons 52 on Sand Lake Road's touristy Restaurant Row; a well-aged filet mignon at Capriccio Grill in the Peabody Orlando; creamy cracked-conch chowder at Norman's.
Universal's CityWalk; the Pointe Orlando entertainment and shopping complex near International Drive; martini and rooftop bars on International Drive; Disney's Boardwalk area; lively shopping and alfresco dining found in Winter Park and Winter Park Village; fun, old-fashioned rides in Old Town in Kissimmee.
Taking a leisurely walk (about 1 mi/1.6 km) around Lake Eola Park; strolling the upscale shops along Park Avenue Shopping area in Winter Park; meandering amid the camellias at Harry P. Leu Gardens.
ESPECIALLY FOR KIDS
SeaWorld Orlando; Universal Orlando Resort; Disney's Magic Kingdom and Disney's Animal Kingdom in Walt Disney World Resort; Gatorland; the Orlando Science Center; Legoland.