Providing a great base for your holiday, International Drive is in the heart of Orlando’s downtown area and is the perfect place to stay if you want to be close to the action of each theme park, as well as Florida’s other attractions. ‘I –Drive’ as it’s known to locals, is a buzzing area full of great restaurants, larger-than-life attractions, great shops and luxurious hotels. It’s a great choice if you’d like to sample a little of everything that Orlando has to offer, and it has all the other attractions you’d expect from a 5 star holiday destination.
Things to do
Explore the ‘Odditorium’
Enjoy exploring some astounding facts, bizarre finds and impressive illusions at ‘Ripley’s Believe it or Not’. Housed in a strikingly bizarre building which seems to be sinking into the pavement, this amazing ‘Odditorium’ is a place to explore the weird, the wacky and the wonderful. A little further along the strip, you’ll also find the Wonder Works entertainment centre. In another quirky upside down building, this is the place for you to try the things you’ve always wondered about - lie on a bed of nails, step into an anti gravity chamber, explore a bubble lab, and enjoy lots of other interactive exhibits.
In the mood for food
With an incredible 150 restaurants in the area, you’ll never go hungry on International Drive holidays. Choose from the classic diners of the USA to entertaining teppanyaki grills and everything in between. You’ll find every world cuisine on offer, from sushi to souvlaki and from fast food to fine dining. There are some excellent theme restaurants to keep the kids entertained, or why not get a babysitter and head out for a night on the town. Just make sure you don’t miss the prime American steaks and fresh Florida seafood whilst you’re there!
Bargain hunting galore
Perfect for bargain hunters, International Drive is located close to some of Florida’s best shopping areas. Try The Mall at Millenia for upscale designer boutiques, or grab a bargain at a trip to the largest outlet mall in the region. Orlando Premium Outlets offers over 180 of the world’s most famous brands, including Nike, Victoria’s Secret and Calvin Klein. Just make sure you bring along an empty suitcase or two to take home all your purchases!
Where to Stay
With so much on offer in International Drive, the only thing you’ll need to decide upfront is whether you want to be close to the bright lights, or whether you’d prefer a secluded retreat for your luxury holiday. There are a great selection of resorts at the slightly quieter section of International Drive, close to SeaWorld and the Aquatica Waterparks, where you’ll find excellent kids facilities and plenty of peace and quiet. There is also a great choice between standard hotel rooms or a hotel apartment with villas - such as the Sheraton Vistana Villages resort. At Renaissance Orlando at Seaworld you’ll find the convenience of a spacious apartment with a fully equipped kitchen, but there are also a number of on-site restaurants if you don’t fancy cooking.
Flight time from London: Approximately 9 hours.
Arrival Airport: Orlando International Airport.
Entry details for British passport holders: The US Visa Waiver Programme (VWP) allows visits to the US for up to 90 days. All travellers must provide details online at least 72 hours prior to travel. This is known as an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA), and is mandatory to be able to enter the U.S. Charges will apply. While under the VWP, you may visit Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean and reenter the U.S. Your passport must be valid for the duration of your stay. Before you depart, check the latest travel advice at www.fco.gov.uk.
Time difference: GMT -8 hours
Currency: American Dollar.
Here to help:
If you have prebooked a private or shared transfer or hired a car, all details will be in your travel documentation. You'll receive a call from the local representatives' office who will provide you with full contact details should you need assistance whilst in resort.
Best time to go:
There’s a great range of indoor and outdoor activities on offer in International Drive, although the balmy Florida weather means that whenever you decide to visit, the weather is likely to be pleasant and sunny. The hurricane season runs from June to November but it’s more likely to be a short thunderstorm rather than anything else. Summers here can be very hot and humid, but you’re less likely to feel it when relaxing by the pool.