Home of Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort and SeaWorld Orlando, it’s no wonder Orlando is one of the most popular family vacation destinations in the country. In what was once a small town full of citrus groves and cow pastures, the Greater Orlando Metropolitan region is now home to one of the largest clusters of amusement parks, a sprawling suburban landscape, the University of Central Florida, as well as the downtown city of Orlando.
While families are sure to flock to Orlando for a visit to the major parks, there are many other exciting amusement and theme parks to round out any family vacation. Discovery Cove is a unique park that allows only a limited amount of guests per day but offers an unforgettable opportunity to swim with dolphins. To discover yet another native Florida creature, head to Gatorland where the theme is everything reptile and alligator. For those looking to cool down in the heat and humidity, Orlando also has its fair share of water parks including Aquatica and Universal’s Volcano Bay.
Downtown Orlando, located about 20 miles from the theme park haven of Lake Buena Vista, offers an appealing diversion from the parks with vibrant nightlife along Orange Avenue complete with many bars, restaurants, clubs, concert venues and theaters. Cultural attractions like museums, parks and sporting events are also prominent in Orlando, making it the perfect destination for a getaway full of abounding possibilities for entertainment and family-fun activities.