Central Florida Vacation Ideas Central Florida - Road Trip Planner

Places to Visit in Orlando, Tampa, Cape Canaveral, Florida

Things to do / Travel Guide

Florida Places to Visit

Central Florida consists of four main areas, the Cape Canaveral area, the greater Orlando area, the Tampa Bay area, and the Sarasota area.

Places to Visit in Orlando, Florida

As the greater Orlando area is quite large, with lots to see and do, it is important to choose a hotel that isn't too far away from the attractions you wish to see and the activities you wish to take part in. Otherwise, you could end up wasting hours of precious vacation time sitting in traffic.

The Orlando area is where most of the big theme parks and tourist attractions are, some on Disney property and some off.
Disney property, located southwest of Orlando, is larger than some cities (like San Francisco) and even a few countries (five of them to be exact). The Disney theme parks, entertainment complexes, and many hotels are located “on-property” and are all served by a well-developed transportation network. Some vacationers make Walt Disney World their only destination. Off Disney property, the area has lots more to offer.

Closer to the city of Orlando are Universal Studios and Sea World. To the south, the town of Kissimmee has a plethora of lodging properties, restaurants, and shopping. Near Kissimmee is Gatorland, where there are enough alligators on display to satisfy any reptile fan. In Orlando itself, you'll find Wet N' Wild, one of the first major water parks in the United States.

There are some additional attractions, including Cypress Gardens and Bok Tower Gardens about an hour south of Orlando.

Cape Canaveral to Orlando Places to See

Located in the east of the region, on the Atlantic Coast, the Cape Canaveral area is where the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) is located, thus the nickname “Space Coast.” Opened to the public in the 1960s, KSC has a large visitor complex and is still a working space launch facility. Just to the north is the Merritt National Wild Refuge. Just to the south is the quaint town of Cocoa as well as Cocoa Beach.

Places to Visit in Tampa

This large metropolitan area on the Gulf Coast is centered around Tampa and St. Petersburg. In Tampa you'll find the Henry B. Plant Museum, the Busch Gardens theme park, the Florida Aquarium, and historic Ybor City, which is Tampa's nightlife district.

Across the bay sit the cities of Clearwater and St. Petersburg. Famous sites in St. Petersburg include the landmark pier, with an eye-popping inverted pyramid building, and the Salvador Dali Museum. To the south lies the unique and scenic Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

South of Tampa Bay on the Gulf Coast is Sarasota, home to many interesting museums, like the Ringling Museum of Art. On the barrier islands to the west of Sarasota are Lido Key and Siesta Key, with their respective Gulf Coast beaches.

Places to Visit in Orlando, Tampa, Cape Canaveral and Central Florida

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Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge - Florida
Swimming with Manatees