Things to do / Travel Guide
Closest Airport to Orlando and Tampa, Florida
The major airports for the Central Florida region are the Orlando International Airport (MCO), Tampa International Airport (TPA), and Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (SRQ), with service to most of the U.S. as well as some foreign destinations. Shuttle services to major hotels are available from both of these airports, as well as van service and car rental agencies. Shuttle service can be reserved for transfers between MCO and TPO (and SRQ), but it is not clear why someone would do that.
Driving Directions – Getting to Orlando and Tampa
The major highways in the region are I-75 (which runs from the Gulf Coast area up into inland Georgia), I-4 (which runs across the state from Tampa to Daytona Beach, via Orlando), I-95 (which runs along the Atlantic Coast to points north and south), and the Florida Turnpike toll road (which takes you north or south from Orlando). So, getting to Orlando is quite simple by car.
Greyhound Bus to Orlando and Tampa, Florida
There is Greyhound bus service to and from the major cities and towns in Central Florida. Amtrak provides daily train service from Tampa and Orlando to major cities along the eastern seaboard, including Washington DC and New York City. There is also a train route that runs across the southern U.S. to Los Angeles, with service three times a week. The trip is by no means a normal commute, taking at least a few days. Greyhound runs a bus from Orlando to Tampa several times a day. The trip takes about 2 hours between downtown Tampa and Orlando. A Tampa to Disneyworld bus is available as well, via Kissimmee.
The bus from Miami to Orlando is on a much higher demand route. There are several competing companies offering service on the Orlando – Miami bus route, making multiple pickup and drop off stops. The bus to Orlando takes 5 to 6 hours. You can actually leave Miami very early in the morning, spend most of the day at Disneyworld or Universal Studios and make it back in time for the late-night South Beach party scene.
Amtrak Train to Orlando and Tampa, Florida
The Silver Service / Palmetto train runs along the east coast from New York to Orlando and continuing on to Tampa. Travel time by train to Orlando is a whopping 24 hours from New York City and about 12 hours from North Carolina. Trains run daily and sleepers are available. Travel time by train to Tampa is two more hours, though there is talk of high speed train service between Tampa and Orlando. Trains from Tampa or Orlando to Miami take about six hours for the trip. Here too, stay tuned for the high speed rail.
The Auto Train gives you the option of bringing your own car to Orlando from Washington DC without having to drive it yourself. Essentially an Amtrak train built for carrying passengers and their cars, the Auto Train runs a nonstop route between Sanford, just outside of Orlando, and the suburbs of Washington DC.
Airports Serving Orlando, Tampa, Cape Canaveral and Central Florida
Orlando International Airport (MCO)
Sarasota-Bradenton Airport (SRQ)
St. Petersburg/Clearwater Intl Airport (PIE)
Tampa International Airport (TPA)