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Planning Your Trip

While Orlando is known as a mecca of theme parks and family-friendly fun, it is also brimming with world-class golf courses, outdoor adventures and plenty of options for relaxing by the pool or recharging at the spa.

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SUMMER ESCAPE

Orlando is home to the best entertainment options that children have ever dreamed of — from amazing theme parks to unbelievable go-cart tracks Here’s what to bring.

 

 

  • If you plan on visiting world-famous theme parks such as Walt Disney World and Universal Studios, make sure to bring comfy tennis shoes and reusable water bottles.
  • Golfers should pack their clubs for a round at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club Orlando, Grande Lakes, which is set on a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary and was designed by two-time British Open Champion Greg Norman.
  • Think about investing in a mosquito-repellent scarf. Companies like Ex Officio and Orvis offer stylish options, which are useful whenever you travel to warm climates.
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WEEKEND GETAWAY

There are more than just theme parks to savor in Orlando. The Florida Everglades are just within reach and can transport you to a place where time seems to stand still.

 

 

  • Bring sturdy sports sandals that wrap around the ankle — the Chaco brand, for example — so you can head out on a guided canoe or kayak eco-adventure along Shingle Creek, a major source of water for Lake Tohopekaliga, part of the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes forming the headwaters to the Florida Everglades.  
  • If you are traveling with children and plan to visit the area’s world-famous theme parks, be sure to bring wet wipes and hand sanitizers to be prepared for sticky, post-ice-cream fingers and busy bathrooms.
  • Download apps that help visitors easily navigate theme parks. The My Disney Experience app provides a map of the park, daily show times, and — most important — information on where Mickey and Goofy might be at any given moment.  
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EVENING CHIC

Gorgeous nights should finish off any beautiful day in Orlando. The incredible dining options are topped only by the entertainment venues — whether that is live jazz, or a cocktail at the Blue Martini lounge. Pack accordingly. 

 

  • Lightweight layers like a light sport coat or cardigan sweater are a smart idea since nights can get a bit chilly in Central Florida.  
  • Wedge and platform sandals can do double duty at the pool during the day, then out on the dance floor after the sun sets.
  • If you’re a man packing a coat or fitted dress shirt for dinners out, know that Floridians love cuff links with personality, e.g., with a favorite sports team or band.  
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Don't Forget:

Hot-ticket theme-park items such as lunch at Cinderella’s Castle in Walt Disney World or the Harry Potter celebration at Universal book up months ahead of time, so be sure to chat with the hotel concierge ahead of your arrival to make special arrangements for your favorite theme-park activities.  


While Orlando is known as a mecca of theme parks and family-friendly fun, it is also brimming with world-class golf courses, outdoor adventures and plenty of options for relaxing by the pool or recharging at the spa.

DINING RESERVATIONS

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Don’t forget to reserve a seat at one of Orlando’s buzziest tables. Highball & Harvest offers modern Southern fare and truly inspired cocktails (a favorite: The Last Wish, which mixes High West campfire whiskey with spiced cola syrup, tobacco bitters and orange essence) with ingredients plucked from nearby Whisper Creek Farm. For another ultra-locavore experience, head to Primo (next door at the JW Marriott hotel), helmed by James Beard award-winning chef Melissa Kelly. The menu harvests the resort’s on-site organic garden and includes family-friendly dishes like margherita pizzas and more adult-friendly fare like slow-braised beef short rib.   

SPA APPOINTMENTS

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Few spas can claim treatments as homegrown as the ones created at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes, from the honey produced by the resident bees to the citrus fruit plucked from local orchards. Reserve the Grand Citrus Escape to harness the antioxidant-rich benefits of these locally sourced ingredients.

 

CHILDREN’S ACTIVITIES

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When your kids are done with the roller coasters and character lunches, sign them up for a day with the Ritz Kids program. The activities are endless but include an obstacle course, karaoke parties, and arts and crafts projects. There is also the Kids Night Out program, an entertaining evening for the little ones that ensures parents can have their own memorable night out, too.  

DAY TRIPS

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Reel in a big one. The ultimate fishing journey is available to any resort guest via a 30-minute flight on the resort’s private floatplane to the upper reaches of the historic St. Johns River, the longest river in Florida. Upon arrival, they will enjoy three hours of guided fishing before being flown back to the resort with fresh catches in tow.

Orlando is known globally for its theme parks, from Disney to Universal Studios, but there’s so much more to see in the Central Florida city and its surrounding area. Explore with day trips to see Kennedy Space Center and historic St. Augustine, or venture into downtown Orlando for a day of shopping and eating in chic Winter Park. Whether you want to enjoy time in the pool or hit the roller coasters, there's something to do to bring out the inner kid in you, no matter what your age.


Day Trips

While there is plenty of fun to be had inside Orlando itself, its neighboring proximity to other Central Florida sites makes it a prime vacation destination. Explore outer space here on Earth at the Kennedy Space Center. Take a trip back in time to historic St. Augustine, or embrace the adventurous side of nature in Kissimmee. From hot air balloons to air boats to spaceships, there’s something to spark your imagination at every turn on these day trips from Orlando.  

 

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Family Vacation Fun

Orlando is one of the top destinations for family vacations for good reason. Not only does the area have some of the biggest theme parks in the U.S., but it also has wild nature to delve into, family-friendly entertainment to enjoy and delicious dining to indulge in. Whether your children are sea-lovers or thrill-seekers, they are sure to have fun from the minute they wake up to the minute they fall asleep (hopefully exhausted with the day’s activities!).  

 

 

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