All the major car rental agencies are available in Orlando. Rent a car or use your own, the trip from Orlando to Tampa by car is a straight shot on beautiful I-4. Just about 85 miles, this trip is quick and easy.
Leaving Orlando one will discover routes to all the various theme parks. The roadways are well marked, but one needs to pay close attention or they may find themselves in line at a park they didn’t intend to see. The major, renowned theme parks such as Disney, SeaWorld, Legoland, and Universal are quite evident but there are other great attractions as well. For history buffs there is the Titanic Exhibition featuring actual artifacts from the ship. For the adventure seeker Discovery Cove offers swimming with dolphins and snorkeling. For the shoppers in one’s group there is the Orlando Vineland Premium Outlet featuring over 160 upscale outlet shops. Hours are M-S from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Orlando is also home to many, many resorts and luxury hotels. One can easily find lodging; many hotels offer packages that include tickets to a number of the local theme parks.
Next read: Best Time to Visit Orlando, Florida & Other Travel Tips
Near the intersection of I-4 and Hwy. 192 are three golf courses: Waldorf Astoria Golf Club, Falcon’s Fire Golf Course and Celebration Golf Course.
· Waldorf Astoria Golf Club: This course was designed by Rees Jones. The par-72 course has a rating of 74.6 and a slope of 139. Rates for 18 holes start at $60.
· Falcon’s Fire Golf Course: Also designed by Rees Jones along with Greg Muirhead, this course was named the Best Public Golf Course in Orland for 2015. The par-72 course has a rating of 73.2 and a slope of 135. Rates start at $35.
· Celebration Golf Course: This course was designed in tandem by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. and his son of the same name. The par-72 course has a rating of 74.5 and a slope of 140. Rates start at $29.
As one nears Lakeland one will find the Fantasy of Flight Museum; exit onto Hwy. 559. The museum features historic military and commercial aircraft. Admission is $12/adult and $8/children.
Next up is Dinosaur World; an outdoor park featuring over 200 life sized dinosaur replicas. Exit on to North Branch Forbes Road. Tickets start at $16.95/adult and $11.95/children; military and senior discounts are available. Hours are daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is no food service at the park, so plan ahead.
Now entering Tampa, there is a diverse list of things to see and do. Tampa is home to eight beaches where one can have some fun in the sand and surf. Also available are fishing tours, boat trips, theme parks, zoos, shopping, golf and so much more.
Tampa is of city of culture and history. These features are evidenced in the variety of cuisine available in this cosmopolitan beach city. Featuring seafood, farm to table, authentic Spanish dishes and fine dining get out enjoy the flavors of Tampa.
Fresh produce is available almost year round; orange groves, strawberry fields, tomato patches and more. Enjoy a day at the farm and pick your own fruit and vegetables. There are several U-Pick Farms near both Orlando and Tampa. Photo: icholakov/Fotolia
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