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A 3-Step Guide To Experience Orlando Like a Local

Whether you're just visiting or on a staycation, one Owner shares her favorite things to do to enjoy all that The City Beautiful offers

Kassi P.

“Our vacation is booked!”

“Where are you going?”

“Orlando.”

“Wait, you’re staying in the city where you live? Why would you do that?”

As an Orlando local, it’s no secret that we're surrounded by a wide variety of attractions. It's precisely the reason why we welcome 75 million visitors in a typical year. 75. Million. And sometimes, especially us locals, forget about all of the incredible things we can do right in our backyard.

That’s why an Orlando staycation, most recently at Parc Soleil® by Hilton Grand Vacations, has become one of our more popular decisions when booking a weekend getaway.

For us, the beauty of a staycation is we can spend less on travel and still get away from the busy day-to-day routine.

It allows us to really enjoy all the city offers. 

So whether you're a local planning a staycation or one of the tens of millions of travelers making the trek to the Sunshine State, I'm sharing my guide to making the most of your time in O-Town. 

Step 1: Enjoy hotel restaurants

One of our favorite things to do is “wine and dine.” There is no better time to try new places than while on vacation. As a top travel destination, Orlando has an array of options for dining choices, especially hotel and resort dining. Many of them are award-winning locations.

Our recent favorite is Bull and Bear, located at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando. The experience was unlike anything I’ve been to; table-side preparation, exceptional service and mouthwatering food. Truly a triple threat dining experience.

To this day, some of our favorite meals have been at local hotels in the Central Florida area. We’ve found that it’s the perfect opportunity to dress up and celebrate a wonderful night together.

Step 2: Visit popular attractions

It seems like a no-brainer, right? However, as locals, we sometimes try to avoid some of the more “tourist” locations – especially during peak travel seasons. In Central Florida, our most popular attractions are the theme parks.

Even as a young couple without kids, we love the parks.

There’s always something special about it, like stepping back in time and being a kid again. But even if theme parks aren’t for you, or you're traveling to the area on a budget, there are so many great things to do in Orlando. From shopping at Disney Springs™ to karaoke at Rising Star at CityWalk™, or even a bit of athletic and competitive fun at Top Golf Orlando. 

Step 3: Go off the beaten path

While I'm more of an urban traveler, you’d be surprised by how much nature is around you in any city. Sometimes connecting with nature is exactly the kind of experience you need for a quick getaway to relax and explore. Central Florida has a few beautiful natural springs located just outside Orlando.

One of our favorites is Wekiva Island, where you can take a dip in the river or even rent a canoe and leisurely row down to Wekiva Springs. It’s the perfect way to disconnect, and escape the hustle and bustle to explore the natural beauty in the city.

Read 7 Things to Do in Orlando Without Kids for more things to do in Orlando. 

Kassi

Kassi P.

Returning Explorer,  Kassi, discovered quickly that an on-the-go lifestyle is a perfect fit for her outgoing and adventurous personality. Kassi’s home resort is in Orlando, Florida at Hilton Grand Vacations Club at Tuscany Village, but she also calls New York City her second home away from home. As an urban traveler, Kassi loves to vacation internationally, especially in more unique or undiscovered destinations. She enjoys traveling to Europe, and appreciates having a glass of wine over conversations with locals so she can learn new cultures and lifestyles. Her favorite travel app is WhatsApp, so she can keep in touch with friends and family back home while she’s traveling the world. Kassi’s suitcase is packed light, but you can always find a blanket in her carry-on to keep cozy on chilly, overseas flights. Kassi looks forward to continuing to share her experiences as a new Owner exploring the globe with HGV.

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