Driving Tips for Florida Roads

There is a lot that goes into planning a vacation. And if you choose to visit the greater Orlando area, one of the most important things to consider is your means of transportation. Unlike a trip to New York or Chicago—where subways and taxicabs are everywhere you turn—the preferred way in Orlando to get from here to there is by car. 

This does not mean you have to drive in order to have an amazing vacation in The City Beautiful. You still can. And you will. Whether or not you drive. However, if you do plan to get behind the wheel, here’s a checklist of tips about driving on Florida roads. 

General Tips for All Our Visitors (Domestic and Foreign)

1. Renting Your Car

Car rental is the best bet for short-term visitors. There are many different car rental agencies available at either the Orlando International or the Orlando Sanford airport. In order to rent a car, drivers must be 21 years of age or older (it is important to note that drivers between the ages of 21-25 will have to pay an additional charge to rent a vehicle).

2. Paying Your Tolls

There are a number of toll-roads throughout the State of Florida (including across Central Florida). However, not to worry, because most car rental agencies offer programs that allow their customers to utilize the TOLL-BY-PLATE option (this means that any and all tolls and service fees incurred on Florida’s roadways can be automatically charged to the same credit card used to rent the vehicle).

3. Wearing Your Seat Belts

All drivers and front seat passengers are required by law to always wear seat belts (backseat passengers under the age of 18 must wear them too). It does not matter if you are driving from Tallahassee to Miami or merely backing into a parking space, you must wear your seat belt at all times.

4. Protecting Your Children

All children three years of age and younger must be secured in a car seat. Four- and five-year old children must be secured in either a car seat or a seat belt (it is the driver’s responsibility to secure each child).

5. Parking Your Car

Street and metered parking is available throughout the Orlando area, but make sure you pay attention to any hours of operation. Always park in the same direction as the flow of traffic. Remember that parking facing the opposite direction than the flow of traffic may result in a fine.

6. Turning on Red

It is legal to make a right turn at a red light in Florida. But remember to come to a complete stop before you make the turn. Also, make sure there is not a “no turn on red” sign posted.

7. Paying Attention to Street Signs

The majority of street signs—including speed limit signs—are posted on the right side of the road. Street signs are color coded and generally the shape of a sign signifies its meaning.

8. When to Use Your Headlights

You must drive with your headlights on from dusk until dawn. You must drive with your headlights on during rain and fog.

9. Understanding Florida Weather

Driving in the rain also means low beams on, hazards off. Keep in mind that weather in Florida is highly unpredictable for the majority of the year. For the summer months—July and August in particular—it generally rains everyday between approximately 2 PM-6:30 PM ET.

10. Never Drink and Drive

The State of Florida has strict laws for drunk driving. The law prohibits driving any type of vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or above. If you plan on having alcohol as a part of your vacation festivities, please appoint a member of your group as the designated driver or take advantage of a ride sharing service and leave the rental car back at your vacation resort home.

Tips for Our International Guests

4. More 4-Way Stops, Less Roundabouts

4-Way stops are a lot more popular in the United States than roundabouts. Though the occasional roundabout pops up from time to time in Florida, you will be much more likely to see a 4-Way stop. Remember that rolling stops are illegal and may result in a ticket. A good rule of thumb at a stop sign is to stop and “count to 3” before proceeding through the intersection.

5. Pay Before You Pump

If you want to pay to fill up your rental car at a gas station, more than likely you will have to pre-pay before you pump. This is very common and there is no problem to get your change from the attendant if you overpay (e.g., if you pay for $35 worth of gas but your tank is filled after you pump $30).

1. Driving on the Right

As obvious and surprising as this might sound, this is the most important tip to remember. It is also worth noting that this is not only important while driving, but also when watching for pedestrians at cross streets or when you are, in fact, the pedestrian in question. You might also consider practicing turning your head and looking left then right, instead of the other way around.

2. Do You Have ID?

The only ID you need in order to drive in Florida is your documentation of identification from your native country (i.e. driver’s license). An international driving permit is not necessary.

3. Mile Versus Kilometers

Remember, Americans don’t use the metric system. Therefore, please note that everything is miles and inches, not kilometers and centimeters. 

Hopefully this little checklist can serve as a helpful guide for what you might encounter as soon as you land, rent, and start your engine. The main thing to remember is to always use the same amount of common sense and street smarts that you always do back home. Orlando is a wonderful city with lots to do and plenty to see. So stay alert and drive safe, because it’s time to jump in the driver’s seat and hit the open road.

Ah, September. The kids are back in school, fall is around the corner, and if you’re in Central Florida, the Halloween season officially kicks off. While most people celebrate Halloween by watching their favorite scary movies or trick-or-treating to score free candy, Orlando has a few unique traditions of their very own to celebrate the spooktacular holiday. SeaWorld has its annual family-fun event, Disney World hosts Mickey’s Not So Scary, but if you’re looking for something far more frightening, head on over to Universal Orlando to face your fears and experience the nation’s premier Halloween event: Halloween Horror Nights.

Experience all the thrills of Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando

Event Information

On select evenings from now through November 4th, Universal Orlando transforms into your worst nightmare. The streets fill with hordes of terrifying creatures, monsters and maniacs while you try to survive the night. Come face to face with some of horror’s scariest icons as you’re put right into some of the most pulse-pounding moments in horror history. This year, nine new bone-chilling and immersive haunted houses come alive to deliver a most sinister night of events. In addition, five creatively themed scare zones, two fearfully entertaining shows, and access to some of the most exhilarating rides make this an event you won’t want to miss.

Face your fears at Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Florida

Attractions

Haunted Houses

The Shining

Backstory: The visually intense psychological thriller is now the most terrifying haunted experience imaginable.

Our take: This beautifully detailed house will be sure to impress even the most horrified guests with the high tech effects to represent some of the most iconic scenes from the 1980 thriller. The twins, the tricycle, and yes, even the “here’s Johnny” scene all make it’s way in this house. Aesthetic aside, however, we’re giving this house a C for screams, opting for more lackluster, effortless scares than anything.

Saw: The Games of Jigsaw

Backstory: The traps are set. All that’s missing is you. The Jigsaw killer has returned to torment you with his twisted take on poetic justice.

Our take: In an attempt to market the new Jigsaw film, out later this year, guests can enter the mind of the puppet master himself as you go back to see the top games from the franchise. Sticking extremely close to the films, this house runs more as a movie replay than a haunted house. In short: it’s gory, just not scary.

American Horror Story: Volume II

Backstory: Experience three horrifying stories in one disturbing house as a deranged cast of characters seek not only your life, but your soul.

Our take: The critically acclaimed television series comes back to Halloween Horror Nights for a second chapter, featuring select characters and scenes from the Asylum, Coven, and Roanoke seasons. In arguably one of the most detailed houses this year, American Horror Story: Volume II takes the cake in perfect storytelling. Don’t worry though, you’ll do more aweing than screaming. That is, as long as you don’t see Papa Legba…

Horrors of Blumhouse

Backstory: From the deranged filmmakers behind Insidious, Sinister and The Purge comes the Horrors of Blumhouse. They’ve all come back to haunt you.

Our take: One word — CREEPY. Though what are you to expect from Insidious demons and Bughuul himself. Admittedly, the house falls short from any kind of real storytelling, and instead focuses on your fear of these monsters. So while it’s scary, it only lasts a couple of minutes at most.

Ash vs. Evil Dead

Backstory: The STARZ original series, Ash vs Evil Dead, expertly blurs the line between horror and comedy in this horrifically hilarious addition to Halloween Horror Nights™.

Our take: Fans, rejoice! Everything you love about the show and movies is in the house. Ash is back and he’s making you wonder one thing: how gore and horror can be so comical? While there are in fact scares in the house, we have to wonder how many people will consider this scary? After all, Ash has a chainsaw for a hand.

Dead Waters

Backstory: Enter a pestilent swamp that oozes evil, the hellish realm of the Voodoo Queen. If you fail to escape, you’re in for a gut-wrenching sacrifice.

Our take: Hands down the most creative design this year. Incredible theming, fantastic storytelling, and more importantly — great scares. One of our favorites of the night, this house was designed to transport you to a new world and scare you. But beware… while you should focus on making the Voodoo Queen doesn’t catch you, we recommend you also make sure you watch your feet and be careful where you stand!

The Fallen

Backstory: You’re about to be caught in the crossfire of the eternal war of light versus dark and no one will be saved.

Our take: Overall, an extremely well down house, but we just weren’t impressed with the storyline — or rather, lack of storyline is what was disappointing. The detail of the house and performers were great, but it’s unsure where the war between light and dark was. Though, maybe that’s because we had our eyes covered…

Scarecrow: The Reaping

Backstory: At a long-abandoned Depression-era farm, vengeance takes root, and the only harvest that will be reaped is you.

Our take: We have a name change suggestion: “Total Darkness.” Or perhaps “Blind” seems more fitting. The house is crazy packed with things hanging from the ceiling. So much in fact, we had a hard time navigating throughout the course. And as far as scares go, we think Cillian Murphy’s portrayal of Scarecrow in the Dark Knight Trilogy was far more menacing and terrifying. You’ll leave the house with one thing in mind: NEXT.

The Hive

Backstory: The crumbling house on 19 Hemingway Lane harbors a nest of bloodthirsty vampires. If you awaken them, you will face a savage, bestial hunger.

Our take: The Hive wins the most disappointing house this year. We think Universal Creative got vampires and zombies mixed up. What can only be described as the creatures from the 2007 I Am Legend film, these “vampires” are more sad than they are scary. Thankfully, the house isn’t too long and you won’t waste much time. One visit is all you need, if that.

Halloween Horror Nights 27 Event Map

Scare Zones

THE PURGE

Backstory: The Purge has returned to Halloween Horror Nights™ and overrun New York. No one is safe. Be a part of a proud American tradition. United we purge.

Our take: The Purge as a haunted house? Yawn. The Purge as a scare zone? Yesss. The streets of New York puts you in survival mode as the citizens take on the annual purge. We can’t quite put our finger on it but there’s something about Uncle Sam and a giant teddy bear with knives in their hands chasing you to get the adrenaline going.

TRICK ‘R TREAT

Backstory: Break the rules. Pay the price. That’s the murderous moral of the five twisted stories in Trick ‘r Treat, a darkly hilarious tribute to Halloween.

Our take: WOW! This scare zone will leave you breathless — the scares are great, but the aesthetic is so beautiful. Sam and his friends come to live to make sure you follow all the traditions of All Hallow’s Eve! Simply put: best scare zone this year.

FESTIVAL OF THE DEADLIEST

Backstory: The dead are throwing a hell of a Hollywood party and you’re invited. Your spirit will fuel the frenzy of this ghoulish gathering.

Our take: It’s your standard scare zone: good theming, good performers, good scares.

INVASION!

Backstory: The year is 1955, and a UFO has crashed onto the wharf. Their goal: to conduct experiments upon you to prepare to invade Earth.

Our take: We think Universal Creative might have missed the memo. Aliens aren’t “in” this year, and if they were trying to scare us, the only thing truly frightening was the quality of the costumes. Put E.T. in it, and maybe then it’ll be scarier.

ALTARS OF HORROR

Backstory: Enter the nexus of evil, where all the most fearsome characters and nefarious creatures from each of the Halloween Horror Nights™ haunted houses lie in wait.

Our take: Serving more of a preview of the night as opposed to a proper scare zone, it was neat to see all the horror icons come together in one place. And because it’s the first scare zone guests typically walk through, it sets the mood for the rest of the night —
just don’t expect too many screams.

If you think the event may be too intense for you, have no fear. Halloween Horror Nights offers alternatives: select rides (e.g., Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit, Revenge of the Mummy, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, and others) are operational throughout the evening. And don’t forget the live entertainment– Academy of Villains: Afterlife, a performance troupe brings all new mind-bending dance routines and special acts; Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure, the farewell tour where Bill and Ted have one last chance to make fun of the past year’s pop culture and entertain the masses. Get tickets here.

You won’t want to miss all this excitement this fall! Book now to save up to 20% off your next vacation. Check out our specials page for more information.

Celebrate 4th of July in Orlando, FL by grilling in your very own vacation rental near Disney World

Summer is in the air — feel the Florida sunrays on your skin, smell the chlorine from long pool days (or the salt water from beach days), and taste the delicious flavors of a juicy, freshly grilled cheeseburger or hot dog. Fourth of July in Orlando is a great way to celebrate America’s Independence with family and friends!

But what is there to do in Orlando, FL for the 4th of July? The answer is simple: lots.

Celebrate Fourth of July in Your Vacation Home

  1. BBQ: You simply can’t celebrate 4th of July without a grill. Hamburgers, hotdogs, kebabs, brats, ribs, corn on the cob — anything and everything must be grilled. Most of our vacation rentals come equipped with your own barbeque grill on the patio (if your vacation home is not equipped with one, please contact our Guest Relations team at 1-866-409-8598 to discus rental options). Need some inspiration on what to cook? Our Pinterest board has top delicious recipes you can grill and make for your friends and family.
  2. Pool Day: Florida summers can get real hot, real fast. The best way to cool down? The pool! You and your family can lay out by the pool and soak up all the rays. And if you’re looking for more fun beyond your vacation home, check out your community clubhouse. Many of the communities have beautiful resort amenities located at the clubhouse. Like The Retreat at ChampionsGate, for example, has a lazy river you can relax in while sunbathing on a pool tube!
  3. Movie Day: Since many of our vacation rentals have in-home movie theaters, take advantage of it and have a movie day! Veg out and enjoy snacks all day while watching only the most patriotic films: ‘Independence Day’ (1996), ‘Air Force One’ (1997), ‘The Patriot’ (2000), or even ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’ (2011).

Celebrate Fourth of July in Orlando

  1. Walt Disney World Resort: Catch special fireworks shows at the Magic Kingdom Park and Epcot in celebration of 4th of July! Blazing fireworks ignite and illuminate Cinderella’s Castle (Magic Kingdom) or World Showcase Lagoon (Epcot). You don’t want to miss this one-of-a-kind tribute to the stars and stripes of American heritage.
  2. I-Drive 360: Want to celebrate Independence Day with top names like Justin Bieber, Oprah, Taylor Swift, Ryan Gosling, and even Shrek? Head over to I-Drive 360 and visit Madame Tussauds Orlando to see the most popular celebrity wax figures! Plus, you and your family will be able to partake in a variety of entertainment and activities from 1PM-11PM. Finish your day with a ride on the Official Coca-Cola Orlando Eye and experience a breathtaking view or Orlando at night.
  3. Red, Hot & Boom!: If you’re looking for something FREE to do in Orlando for 4th of July, go to iHeart’s FREE concert and Independence Day celebration at Cranes Roost Park in Altamonte Springs. On July 3rd, 2017 you and your friends can listen to James Arthur, Austin Mahone, Hey Violet, AJR, and Why Don’t We as they perform live on stage!

With so many fun and exciting activities in the area, the question isn’t what’s there to do in Orlando for Fourth of July? It’s actually what should I do first?

DEAL ALERT: From now until July 4th, save 10% on new reservations from 05/26/2017 to 08/16/17. Simply use the coupon code “REDWHITEBOOM” during checkout to redeem offer.* Hurry! You don’t want to miss this!

*Cannot be combined with any other offer nor applied to existing reservations.

When many people think about vacationing in the Orlando area, they believe they can only stay on certain properties to enjoy the full theme park experience. That’s simply not true! We want you to know that you have options and you can save big. We’re redefining vacationing to fit your budget and your schedule. Tropical Escape Vacation Homes provide affordable luxury rentals for any size group looking to experience a new kind of thrilling adventure. But don’t just take our word for it. See the numbers for yourself!

Let’s see the difference in price between three vacation options for the following family – 2 grandparents, 2 parents, and 3 children, staying in Orlando for a week in August before school starts again.

Lodging

While there are certain perks for staying on theme park property (priority access to the parks and attractions; complimentary airport shuttles; and luggage delivery), the price reflects these minor amenities. Our vacation homes rival these hotels in space and luxury by offering you resort-style décor and amenities for a fraction of the price. Many of our homes feature open floor plans, spacious bedrooms to accommodate large groups, multiple bathrooms, full-size washers and dryers, in-home movie theatre and game rooms, private pools, and access to an elite resort clubhouse.

Theme Park Tickets

Prices listed are for seven 6-day tickets with the option to hop from park-to-park.

Dining Options

Nobody wants to cook every meal on vacation, but the freedom to do is imperative and can only be offered by staying in a vacation home. As opposed to theme park resorts, in which you’re forced to eat every meal in the parks, all our homes come with a full-size kitchen, equipped with the essentials to help you save money on dining. For those with strict dietary needs, children with strong food preferences, or for anyone looking to eat healthier meal options, a vacation home provides you the freedom to cook what you want, when you want – and still have the option to eat in park or at a local hot spot. *Note: price is an estimate on weekly family size spend on grocery items and dining out budget.

Transportation

Aside from airfare, ground transportation is going to be a necessity for having the freedom to vacation on your time, not a theme park’s! The following prices are quoted for a mini-van, seating up 7, for the duration of the week. One priced through the theme park; the other, through our partnered car rental service.

Redefine Your Vacation Infographic

Theme park hotels are charging roughly three times the cost of our vacation homes. You don’t have to sacrifice luxury for affordability. We provide you the vacation you need for the price you want!

As one of the top tourist destinations in the United States, Orlando offers a unique experience to visitors, rivaled by few. From theme parks to shopping centers, guests have a wide range of activities to partake in — yet none are as vast as the dining options found in the area. With thousands of restaurants in just a short distance, it’s challenging to choose the right spot. If you’re looking for the best and extraordinary, however, look no further — here are the top unique dining experiences you can find in Orlando.

Medieval Times

Unique Dining Experiences in Orlando: Medieval Times

Make it a “knight” to remember with the Medieval Times dinner show! The pageantry and thrills of an authentic Medieval tournament come to life inside the walls of the King’s 11th century-style castle. Six armor-clad knights on valiant horses seek the title of champion amidst the clashing of lance and shield. Bring your family to see the heart-pounding combat in action and feast on the royal dinner: garlic bread, tomato bisque soup, oven-roasted chicken, herb-basted potato, sweet buttered corn, pastry of the castle, and select beverages. Vegetarian meals are available upon request.

For more information, visit their website or call them at 866-543-9637.
Address: 4510 W Vine St, Kissimmee, FL 34746

Pirate’s Dinner Adventure: Rise of the Sea Dragon

Behold amazing swordplay, aerial artistry, and acrobatics while enjoying a delicious pirates feast at Pirate’s Dinner Adventure! The action-packed performance is set aboard an 18th century Spanish galleon adrift in a 300,000 gallon lagoon where you and your family watch as the heroic Benjamin tries to rescue Princess Anita from the jaws of an angry Sea Dragon. Known as “The World’s Most Interactive Dinner Show,” you too can participate in the action as one of the guests brought on stage to take part in the fun. Dinner includes garden fresh salad, caribbean soup, chicken and pot roast (or vegetarian pasta), the royal desert, and select beverages.

For more information, visit their website or call them at 407-206-5102.
Address: 6400 Carrier Drive Orlando, FL 32819.

Unique Dining Experiences: Pirate Adventure

Sleuths Mystery Dinner Show

Unique Dining Experiences: Sleuths Mystery Dinner

Step into the world of comedy, mystery, and intrigue where you become the detective. At Sleuths Mystery Dinner Show, you mingle with outrageous guests, watch for anything suspicious, and join in the live interrogation of the suspects so you can solve the crime. The menu includes fresh green salads, assorted crackers with cheese spread, dinner rolls with butter, hors d’ouvres, choice of entree (hen. prime-rib, or four cheese lasagna), mystery desert, and select beverages.

For more information, visit their website or call them at 800-393-1985.
Address: 8267 International Drive, Orlando, Fl 32819

Treasure Tavern

Leave the kids at home and enjoy an evening that is good natured fun with an edge. Treasure Tavern, voted “Best Live Show” by Orlando Sentinel readers, provides a captivating getaway from the ordinary that consists of various acts from around the world that come together to create a night like no other! Menu includes: mushroom and brie soup, spring mix salad, succulent beef tenderloin or savory roasted chicken, vanilla cheesecake, and select beverages. Menu upgrades, vegetarian, and other meal options available upon request.

For more information, visit their website or call them at 407-206-5102.
Address: 6400 Carrier Drive, Orlando, FL 32819

Unique Dining Experiences: Treasure Tavern

Capone’s Dinner & Show

Unique Dining Experiences: Capone's Dinner and Show

Travel back to the 1930’s and enter Gangland Chicago with Capone’s Dinner! Handsome mobsters and gorgeous dames shine in this unforgettable production with nonstop surprises, a gangster shoot out, and a hilarious ending sure to knock your socks off. Dinner consists of an all-you-can-eat buffet (with numerous Italian and American favorite dishes, a fresh salad bar, meat carving station, dessert, and unlimited beverages (including alcohol).

For more information, visit their website or call them at 407-397-2378.
Address: 4740 W Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy, Kissimmee, FL 34746

Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue

The Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue offers a hilarious, high-spirited hootenanny the whole family can enjoy! Menu includes all-you-care-to-enjoy fired chicken and smoked BBQ pork ribs, tossed green salad, sbaked beans, fresh-baked cornbread, strawberry shortcake, and unlimited select beverages.

For more information, visit their website or call them at 407-939-3463.
Address: 4510 Fort Wilderness Trail, Orlando, FL 32830

Unique Dining Experiences: Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue

 

The holidays may be over, but that doesn’t mean the celebrations must end. 2017 is going to be a banner year for the city of Orlando and THIS is the time you should start planning that Florida vacation you have dreamed about for years! From fabulous weather and exciting Disney events to peaceful evenings spent on the patio of your Tropical Escape Vacation Homes rental watching the sunset, Orlando offers a vacation experience like none other. You resolved to start doing more things for you this year; isn’t it time to start honoring your resolutions?

Festival Fun

No one knows how to throw a party better than we do, and the list of Orlando festivals grows longer every year. Schedule your vacation to coincide with festivals that match your interests, such as Puppy Love Festival in March, Bite30 in June, or even Christmas in the Park in December (it’s never too early to start planning for Christmas 2017!). You can even find something new that catches your eye; Orlando festivals are exciting and unique and occur year-round!

Endless Theme Parks

Yes, everyone has heard of the world-famous mouse house known as Disney World, but were you aware that Mickey isn’t the only game in town? LEGOLAND, Universal Studios (and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter), Aquatica Orlando, and even a theme park dedicated to our favorite reptile, Gatorland, are just a sampling of the theme parks you can play in during your 2017 Orlando vacation.

Did We Mention Our Fabulous Weather?

It may sound like we are bragging (and we are…just a little bit!) but as we write this it is 73 degrees and sunny outside in January! When we look out our windows, we see blue skies, bright sunlight, and palm trees swaying gently in the wind. What do you see when you look out your window? If snow, slush, ice, and gray skies are the picture you get, now is the time to book your Orlando vacation!

Sports Metropolis

We take our sports very seriously down here, and it shows in the wide variety of professional teams that make their home here—including Spring Training teams for baseball! The Grapefruit League makes spring fun, but our fair town offers other sports as well, the most popular local team being the NBA’s Orlando Magic!

Tropical Escape Vacation Homes

A good vacation home can make or break even the best of vacations, and we like to think ours are not just good; they are the best in the state! Book yours today and discover the luxurious side of Central Florida. There’s no better place to begin and end your unforgettable Orlando vacation!

Romantic Vacations in Orlando, Florida—Why Orlando Should Be Your Romantic Destination!

There’s nothing like travel to reignite the spark in your relationship. That being said, don’t travel just anywhere! If you’re looking to kick your romance up a notch, you need to find a place with beautiful weather, enchanting attractions, and plenty of couples-friendly activities. Someplace like, say, Orlando, Florida!

Both day and night, there are plenty of fabulous ways to spend time with your special someone here in Orlando. Plus, when the outing is over, you’ll have a wonderful Tropical Escape vacation home to return to!

Splendid Sightseeing

A promenade is a fantastic way to destress and soak up the beauty of Orlando. Taking in the natural beauty of Florida will really help you and your partner feel removed from all the pressures of home! And, if you’re here for Valentine’s Day, you’ll be amazed at how wonderful a climate can be in February!

In particular, we recommend letting our relaxing waters calmly carry you away from your troubles and into each other’s arms. All sorts of boating tours are available here in Orlando, including Scenic Boat Tour’s cruise along the waterways of Winter Park. Or, you can take control of your aquatic stroll and rent your own boat! Canoe rentals are available at the charming state park Wekiwa Springs, just north of the city. And if you really want to embrace the image of a romantic couple, then head to Lake Eola for swan boat rentals! (Perhaps the best part? None of these options will run you over $30!)

The Finer Things in Life

If nature isn’t your aphrodisiac, might we suggest wine instead? Winter Park’s Wine Room gives couples the chance to sample over 150 different types of wine, plus some delicious cheese plates to go with them!

Orlando loves art walks, and depending when in the month you’re coming you’re likely to find at least one available during your trip! The array of works on display are great for sparking conversations, and you might find a neat souvenir from one of the vendors.

Disney World

And of course, what discussion of Orlando would be complete without mentioning Disney World? From charming settings such as the Disney Boardwalk to fabulous live shows, and trip to Disney World is a fabulous trip for couples who are young at heart. Spend a day or two at the world’s most famous theme park and feel your youth rekindled, along with your young love!

A Romantic Vacation Awaits!

There’s certain to be something that sparks the interest for both you and your partner here in Orlando. For more ideas, call us at 1-866-409-8598. Our local agents will not only have recommendations of their own, but also be able to help you find the perfect dream home for you and your beloved!

From dive bars to five star restaurants, Orlando offers an extreme variety of dining options. Due to the large amount of natural water from the ocean, inland lakes, and marshes, many of the best dining options also offer a waterfront view. Since the number of restaurants to choose from is vast, we want to take the stress out of dining on vacation and provide you with a list of restaurant with a waterfront view. Here are some of our favorite waterfront restaurants in the Orlando area.

Hillstone

Hillstone is a fine dining establishment in Winter Park that has some of the best waterfront dining Orlando had to offer. The restaurant sits directly off the lake and will leave you and your family simply stuffed with delight. Unlike most fine dining establishments, Hillstone has a very homey feel that will leave you wanting to kick off your shoes, sit back, and relax while you take everything in. Enjoy some of their specialties like the wood fire grilled steak, craft cocktails, or a craft burger.

Norman’s

Norman Van Aken is a culinary superstar and proud adopted Floridian that has built his perfect restaurant in the Ritz-Carlton in Orlando. The restaurant is built around views of the expansive Ritz-Carlton gardens, green golf course, and lake views that will make any meal even better. On top of the view, Aken crafts specials like the Key West Shrimp Ceviche and other tapas sections that will leave you wanting more. This restaurant is a bit pricey, but well worth the trip!

Shake Shack

Winter Park is famous for its outdoor lake views. You can take advantage of these at the Shake Shack while enjoying a great meal. The Shake Shack is known for their tasty burgers, snappy hot dogs, and thick milkshakes, so if you are looking for a classic American meal, Shake Shack has you covered!

Not to be outdone by the great food, their patio area offers a unique experience of its own. The patio is removed from the loud and busy lot out front and gives guests the perfect escape to enjoy the view of the lake. Grab a beer and park yourself outside for a great meal and a great view.

Plan Your Orlando Vacation Today

These are just three of the best restaurants Orlando has to offer; there are many more great places to eat and attractions to see when you visit! Contact our reservation specialists today to book your very own getaway to Orlando, Florida.

Orlando is a really fantastic city. There’s no bigger name in theme parks, and there’s plenty to do besides with all of our shopping, restaurants, and other tourist attractions! But there’s another great part about Orlando: our neighbors! If you’re visiting Orlando and taking a nice relaxing week in one of our fabulous rentals, then try visiting some of these nearby cities. These daytrips from Orlando can add excitement and enrichment to your vacation that so many Orlando tourists too often miss!

Cape Canaveral

Cape Canaveral— the name sounds like “Carnival,” and the city’s just as fun as one! Just take Highway 528 straight east for about 50-65 minutes, and you’re there! We recommend this area if you’re a big fan of the ocean—if you head to the eastern edge of the city, you’ll see there’s no land in sight for hundreds of miles: perfect for that spectacular sunrise!

While you’re here, there’s plenty to fill up a day! The Brevard Zoo is home to plenty of animals and features its own “Australia Loop.” The planetarium is a great place to go not only to learn about space, but also to enjoy a thrilling lightshow! Perhaps the most fantastic attraction is the Kennedy Space Center. NASA itself hosts this complex of tours, attractions, and memorabilia surrounding America’s proud tradition of space exploration. If you’re planning a trip to Orlando, head to https://www.kennedyspacecenter.com/ and look at the countdown—you may even be able to schedule your visit to coincide with a rocket launch, visible from the center!

Apopka

Maybe you’re more a fan of nature than outer space? While Orlando’s zoo boasts a huge variety of animals, it isn’t quite the same as seeing them in their natural habitat—good thing Orlando’s neighbors have you covered! Apopka stands just 12 miles northwest of Orlando, and beyond it lies Lake Apopka North Shore, home of the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive. The drive is a great place to view all sorts of birds. Plus, the area boasts several trailheads, making it a great pilgrimage for hikers!

Kissimmee

Head straight south to reach the town of Kissimmee. Generally best known for being near Orlando, there’s a few fun things in Kissimmee worth checking out! Capitalizing on the long history of human settlement in the area, Kissimmee Ghost Tours are a great way to get a good scare over the weekend—they’re open on weekends, making them great alternatives to Orlando theme parks’ busiest days. While there, check out the Museum of Military History and learn how the life of a soldier has changed as war has transformed. Freedom isn’t free, but tickets to learn about the struggle for it are $7 or less, making it a nice low-budget addition to a day trip. The last attraction might be unexpected: a rodeo! The Kissimmee Sports Arena Rodeo hosts what they call “The Greatest Show on Dirt.” Check it out if you’re in the mood for a real spectacle!

Reach all these from an Orlando Home!

These attractions are all just a short drive from Orlando, Florida—why not get a great deal on a week-long rental and see them all? Call 1-866-409-8598 and start setting up your ideal Florida vacation!

You’ll never vacation in central Florida the same way again after a stay at ChampionsGate golf resort. Everybody knows about Walt Disney World, but another premier tourist destination in Orlando, full of magic and fun, awaits you.

The Retreat at ChampionsGate

Our home at 1406MVD is a prime example of the luxury that resides at ChampionsGate. This 7-bedroom, 5-bathroom property is a gargantuan living space, fit for sleeping up to 14 guests. The Retreat at ChampionsGate is an ideal home for multiple families that are vacationing in Orlando.

ChampionsGate offers 36 holes of championship golf. The course was designed by golf legend Greg Norman. The resort features a 35,000 square-foot clubhouse, featuring a pro shop, banquet facility and a full-service bar. Additionally, world-famous golf instructor David Leadbetter has chosen ChampionsGate as the headquarters for The Leadbetter Golf Academy.

Home Amenities

You can expect to find just about everything you could possibly need and more from a vacation home at ChampionsGate. The kitchen is fully stocked and finished with dark wood cabinets and granite countertops. State-of-the-art, steel appliances will ensure that your beverages for the golf course or pool will never go warm. Inside the main living room, you’ll find an extra-large leather sectional couch, and plenty of other seating space. The large flat-screened TV is sure to attract everyone after a long day outdoors. You may have to fight for rights to the screen once the kids’ find out there’s a PS4 game console in the home.

The garage at this home was recently converted into a game room, fully equipped with a dartboard, pool table, foosball table, and stainless steel fridge. This should be the first place you check if the boys go missing for a few hours.

Neighborhood Amenities & Nearby Activities

While staying at ChampionsGate, you’ll also have access to the impeccable Oasis Clubhouse. You’ll be able to float around the lazy river that winds around the clubhouse, or you can just relax by the pool and watch the kids play in the waterslides. Feeling like you need to work off some carbs from a vacation of good food and lounging? Don’t fret, the Clubhouse offers a fully equipped fitness center.

You don’t even have to leave ChampionsGate for your shopping and grocery needs. Champions Village is the neighborhood’s retail center, offering a Publix Super Market, McDonalds, Walgreens, PNC Bank and more. See a complete list of retailers and restaurants inside the Village at ChampionsGate.com.