Orlando is a sprawling metropolitan metropolis in Central Florida, an hour from the Atlantic Ocean and about two hours from the Gulf Coast. It is best recognized for its world-famous theme parks and resorts like Walt Disney World and Common Orlando, and attracts as many as 70 million visitors yearly. 

Earlier than I moved to Orlando from South Carolina greater than a decade in the past at age 20, I would solely visited twice, each occasions as a vacationer, so my information of town was restricted to the theme parks and close by seashores. However after only a few months of working on the town and mingling with different residents, I found an eccentric, buzzing native tradition that not often makes its technique to the pages of holiday makers’ brochures. 

When family and friends again house ask what I like most about dwelling in Orlando, my reply is town’s range. On this city, you may come throughout almost each nationality, delicacies, and beliefs you may think about. Orlando has residents who hail from everywhere in the world, and can be famously LGBTQ-celebratory, with annual festivities like Come Out With Pride and Gay Days Orlando. It is a city designed, purposely, for everybody.

True to its century-old nickname, the Metropolis Stunning gives many attractive points of interest, from palm tree-lined streets and superbly manicured metropolis parks to downtown’s picturesque Lake Eola. However should you ask a neighborhood — and sure, by now, I contemplate myself one — the true attraction of Orlando lies in its folks.

Alison Datko Orlando Florida restaurants the Hall on the Yard

The creator at one in every of her favourite Orlando eating places, Corridor on the Yard.

Alison Datko

Residents usually confer with Orlando as “an enormous small city.” Regardless of the seasonal influxes and departures of snowbirds and vacationers, town is house to a vibrant, year-round arts scene, quickly burgeoning tech and foodie cultures, and extra invigorating native points of interest.

Within the time I’ve lived right here, I have been fortunate sufficient to expertise new cuisines at a whole bunch of attention-grabbing eating places, forge friendships with artists and musicians, attend meetups with small-business house owners and tech professionals, and cross almost each musical act off my live performance bucket checklist. 

Each time associates or household go to, I get pleasure from developing with personalised suggestions for his or her stays. In a metropolis so massive, to me it looks like you may by no means run out of issues to do.

From hanging pure landscapes to award-winning eateries and rather more, Orlando is crammed with surprises for guests to find. Here is my final information on the most effective issues to do, locations to eat, and every part else you might want to know to plan the proper Orlando trip. 

A resident’s tips on how to get to and around Orlando

Where to spend the night in Orlando — 10 local-favorite accommodations, including boutique hotels and an upscale Disney Resort

15 of the best places to eat in Orlando, from Asian-fusion tacos to vegan-friendly Ethiopian food

10 must-do activities to enjoy in Orlando, from soccer games to museums, and more

What an Orlando local wants tourists to know before the City Beautiful — weather advisories, packing tips, and more

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