Orlando Florida, The City Beautiful
The biggest surprise to many visitors as they first arrive in Orlando, Florida is often the fact that a vast percentage of the area is not land, but water. Within Orlando’s city limits are 104 named lakes. And in the surrounding suburbs that encompass much of Orange County, there are an additional 238 named lakes as well as a whopping 369 lakes as yet unnamed. The hundreds and hundreds of sparkling lakes magnify the remarkably clear blue skies of the city-justifiably known as The City Beautiful. In the US, only the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul have more natural lakes within the urban area than does Orlando.
Central Florida, a Number 1 Vacation Destination
With a population of nearly two million people within the city and the outlying suburban areas, Orlando, is the largest interior city in the state of Florida. In what is commonly referred to as Central Florida, the area includes the high-demand vacation and recreation attractions of Walt Disney World, Sea World, and Universal Studios. A short drive east of the city lies Cape Canaveral, the Kennedy Space Center, and the white sand shoreline of the Atlantic Ocean, Cocoa Beach, and the Kennedy National Seashore.
North of the city limits is the St. Johns River, (properly known as the Saint Johns River) stretching over 300 miles across the state, and flowing-like the Nile-northward. Besides affording an amazing place to fish and boat, the river area and the many tributaries feeding into it, are home to alligators, black bears, manatees, deer, the endangered Florida panther, and a vast population of birds including ibis, egrets, cranes of all manner, ospreys, and bald eagles.
Because Orlando’s population and growth reached explosive proportions with the arrival of the Walt Disney theme parks and attractions, it is often known as, “the City the Mouse Built.” Yet Orlando is far more than theme parks and thrill rides. Each year, Orlando’s Enzian Theater hosts the Florida Film Festival, one of the top 10 art film festivals in the world. The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art is home to the world’s most comprehensive collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany artistry, including Tiffany art glass, lamps, jewelry, paintings, pottery, leaded-glass windows, and the chapel interior that Tiffany designed for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. In the Orlando area there are a number of colleges and universities, including the fast growing University of Central Florida, the classically traditional Rollins College, as well as an emerging technology industry that has helped bring NASA’s space age technology into use in all of our everyday lives.
The Weather’s So Fine in Orlando
Outdoor sports prevail in Orlando, perhaps because the sub-tropical season translates to sunshiny days and lots of warm, pretty weather-as well as a few days that are downright hot! Water sports rank as a favorite among both residents and tourists, including boating, parasailing, canoeing, swimming, skiing, riding the waves on personal watercraft, or just lounging poolside or beneath the palms at the water’s edge. The Central Florida area is the winter home to several Major League Baseball teams, and the year-round home of the NBA’s Orlando Magic and the Orlando Predators Arena Football team.
Orlando is also home to the Walt Disney World Golf Classic, the Arnold Palmer Invitational Golf Tournament, (formerly the Bay Hill Invitational), the LPGA’s Ginn Open, and professional golf’s Father/Son Challenge. More members of the PGA, Champions, Nationwide, and LPGA Tours reside in central Florida than in any other community in the world. The attraction for pro golfers to live in Orlando comes from more than the 176 golf courses in and around the city, or the fact that statistics show an average of 363 days per year that are just perfect for teeing it up and enjoying the game. The Orlando International Airport is an enormous drawing card to professional golfers as well as any business traveler who finds that his or her job includes racking up frequent flyer miles.
Orlando International Airport (OIA) is one of the easiest and most pleasant airports to fly in or out of. Recognizing that OIA serves as a crossroads to the state of Florida, visionary local leaders have ensured that service and facilities keep pace with the millions and millions of national and international passengers who pass thru there each year.
More than 50 million people come to Orlando annually to enjoy the attractions, theme parks and warm weather. Options for entertainment abound once they arrive, as do options for accommodation with hundreds of hotels, vacation rentals and even vacation ownership resorts from which to select. In fact, there are more timeshares here than in any other city, earning Orlando the nickname of “Timeshare Capital of the World.” Not only are new resort properties – each more luxurious than the last – opening regularly from brand names like Marriott and Disney Vacation Club, but affordable resale properties are also always available. The market for vacation resales is booming, and those looking to sell or buy a suite at one of Orlando’s vacation ownership resorts are best served by reputable for-sale-by-owner websites specializing in timeshares or licensed timeshare brokers. Vacationers who simply want to try a rental at one of these resorts, will also be pleasantly surprised at how affordable these suites are and how many wonderful amenities are included.