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A 3-Step Guide To Experience Orlando Like a Local

One Hilton Grand Vacations Owner shares her favorite things to do in the The City Beautiful

Kassi P.

“Our vacation is booked!”

“Where are you going?”


“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. 

Hilton Grand Vacations Owner, Kassi P.

Kassi P.

Kassi is a three-time Explorer and Owner since 2018, when she and her husband, then in their late 20's, decided vacation ownership was the next step in building a life filled with travel. As Orlando locals, they enjoy staycations and exploring The City Beautiful, but have never actually stayed at their home resort, Hilton Grand Vacations at Tuscany Village.  

When she's not using her ClubPoints in Florida, this urban traveler has a love of international travel and a sweet spot for her second home — New York City, which is where she got engaged while staying at West 57th Street by Hilton Club. When asked about her long run in the Explorer program, Kassi says, "It's my goal to inspire someone to create new memories, get out and travel and make the most out of vacation ownership."

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