Explore America's Campgrounds
The city of Orlando, Florida, is known around the world for its numerous entertainment options. Whether it be theme parks, dining, shopping or a live show, the area is chock-full of things to ensure you will never be bored. Orlando International Airport is placed in the thick of it all, allowing you to squeeze in some last-minute shopping, culture or fun before you head home -- or as soon as you arrive.
Theme Parks Galore
Orlando is practically synonymous with theme parks. Disney World is only 17 miles from Orlando International Airport, and there are a handful of other parks within a 15-mile radius. Become part of the action on rides at Universal Studios, visit the world of Harry Potter and Jurassic Park at Universal Islands of Adventure, learn more about underwater worlds and watch a live orca show at SeaWorld or zip down water slides and ride the wave pool at Wet 'n Wild water park.
Get Your Culture Fix
Art lovers are a 15-minute drive from the airport to Orlando's Downtown Arts District. The CityArts Factory contains six galleries of local and international works as well as studios within its 20,000-square-foot space. International Drive, 12 miles from MCO, hosts a plethora of entertainment museums, such as Ripley's Believe It Or Not! and WonderWorks, as well as a selection of dinner theaters, including murder mysteries and Medieval Times.
Taste the World
Pointe Orlando on International Drive is a one-stop shop where you can find a multitude of restaurants, from American classics like Ben & Jerry's and Johnny Rockets to international cuisine from Maggiano's Little Italy and Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar. Nearby is the world's largest Entertainment McDonald's and PlayPlace, on Sand Lake Road. Those crazy for craft beers are also close to Eternal Tap on West Church Street, which not only has an impressive list of craft beers, but also has a wide whiskey and infused cocktail selection.
Find New Ways To Look Your Best
Orlando is a premier shopping destination and many people find purse-pleasing deals on high fashion brands at the premium outlets stores on International Drive, just 12 miles from the airport. The shopping area contains 180 stores from Coach to Ralph Lauren. If it's souvenirs you are after, browse the shops at Universal's CityWalk and pick up memorabilia from the Universal Studio store or squeeze a new stuffed friend from the Endangered Species Store.
Katherine Alex Beaven is a writer, photographer and world traveler who has been to all 50 states, visited nearly 40 countries and lived on four continents. Her writing has appeared in "Skratch Magazine" and "On Holiday" as well as on MusicPlusTV.com, GALOmagazine.com, BrooklynExposed.com, BBG.org, Fuel TV and in private tourism blogs and brochures. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology.