Category: Florida

Miami Beach, Florida

A- Overview:
Miami Beach is a finger of land separating Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, connected by five causeways to the mainland. At its southern tip is South Beach, known as the Art Deco District, or SoBe. This 10-block stretch of Ocean Drive, which fronts South Beach, is one of the most celebrated ocean fronts in America.

The Art Deco District Welcome Center is located there, along with an eclectic mix of chic restaurants, boutiques, delicatessens, produce markets, outdoor cafes and nightclubs. The palm shaded beach side of Ocean Drive in Miami Beach attracts families to its wide, sandy beach and children’s play area. Volleyball, in-line skating on the winding sidewalk, swimming, sunning and water sports are favorite pastimes. Surfside, Bal Harbour and Sunny Isles make up the northern part of “The Beach.”

The heart of Miami Beach and the Art Deco District, Lincoln Road, is an open-air mall of 175 galleries, shops and restaurants along an eight-block pedestrian promenade with shade trees down the middle. At one time, Lincoln Road was a posh shopping strip equal to Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles. The street was closed to traffic, and in the 1960s, it began to decline.

In step with the South Beach renaissance, Lincoln Road has been transformed into a row of successful art galleries, lively performing-arts showcases and trendy cafes. Visitors can stroll through numerous galleries or admire the Lincoln Theater, home of the New World Symphony. There is also a delightful Sunday flea market and farmers market.

Some of the more popular attractions in the greater Miami area are Viscaya Museum and Gardens, Little Havana, Museum of Science and Space Transit Planetarium, and the Miami Metro Zoo. Biscayne Boulevard is a prime spot for shopping. It features the Bayside Marketplace- a shopping experience in the Tropical style. Shopping is also excellent at the Cocowalk shopping and entertainment complex.

The Greater Miami area has over thirty golf courses. Other recreational opportunities include wind surfing, scuba diving, snorkeling and deep-sea fishing. Perfect weather and flat terrain make Miami Beach popular with bicyclists.

The best time to visit is winter, but in the off-season (after Easter and before October) there is still plenty to do and rates are more reasonable. For sun, sand and tropical beauty, Miami Beach is the place to be.

B- City Information:
Population: 87,933

Elevation: 4 feet above sea level

Land Area: 7.0 square miles

Location: Located in the southeastern section of Florida on the Atlantic Ocean, approximately one hour from Fort Lauderdale

Time Zone: Eastern Time Zone (when it’s noon in Miami Beach, it’s 11am in Chicago and 9am in Los Angeles). Miami Beach observes Daylight Savings Time from April – October.

Weather:

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Average temp. (°F)
68.1
68.5
71.3
74.6
78.4
81.4
83.0
83.1
82.1
78.7
74.5
70.1

High temperature (°F)
73.8
74.2
76.2
79.4
83.0
86.2
87.8
87.9
86.6
83.2
79.0
75.4

Low temperature (°F)
62.3
62.9
66.3
69.7
73.7
76.6
78.2
78.2
77.5
74.3
69.9
64.8

Precipitation (in)
2.4
2.1
2.3
2.9
5.1
7.3
4.1
6.0
6.7
4.8
3.4
2.1

Climate:

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Days with precipitation
7
6
6
6
10
15
16
18
17
14
8
7

Wind speed (mph)
9.5
10.0
10.5
10.5
9.5
8.3
7.9
7.9
8.2
9.2
9.7
9.1

Morning humidity (%)
84
84
82
79
80
84
83
85
87
86
85
84

Afternoon humidity (%)
60
58
56
54
58
65
63
65
67
63
62
60

Sunshine (%)
66
68
74
76
72
68
72
71
70
70
67
63

Days clear of clouds
9
8
9
8
6
3
3
2
2
7
8
9

Partly cloudy days
13
12
14
15
15
14
17
18
15
14
14
13

Cloudy days
9
8
8
7
9
13
11
11
12
10
9
9

Snowfall (in)
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0

Local Seasons:

Miami Beach is a vibrant, energetic city, alive with a Latin beat any day of the year, particularly when the sun sets. Winter tends to be the busiest time of year when people from the north come to experience the beautiful beaches with swaying palm trees and warm ocean breezes. However, at any time of year, the city is alive with tourists from throughout the world. When summer arrives there is an influx of visitors from both South America as well as Europe, making this truly an international destination. Spring and fall tend to be less crowded and are wonderful for enjoying all the city has to offer with a few less people.

How to get there:

By Car:

Miami Beach is easily accessible via Interstate 95 from the north (Fort Lauderdale), Interstate 75 from the west (Fort Myers), the Florida Turnpike from the northwest (Orlando), and U.S. Highway 1 from the south (Key West). Signs are clearly posted.

By Air:

Miami International Airport

4200 NW 21st Street

Miami, FL 33142

Located 15 minutes west of the city

305-876-7000

The airport is served my many of the worldwide airlines as well as certain regional Carriers.

Ground Transportation:

Car Rental:

All of the major car rental companies are located at or near the airport.

Taxis:

Available curbside at the airport

Shuttle:

Super Shuttle is available at the airport

305-871-2000

By Train:

Amtrak

8303 NW 37th Ave
Miami, FL 33147

800-USA-RAIL

By Bus:

Greyhound

4111 NW 27TH ST
Miami, FL 33142

305-871-1810

Closest station to Miami Beach

Getting Around Town:

The easiest way to get around is by either personal or rental car. Rental cars are available throughout the city as well as at the airport. Keep an eye out for signs marked with an orange sun on a blue background. They are designed to assist visitors on the most useful routes to the city’s main attractions.

Public Transportation:

Metro-Dade Transit

305-638-6700

Metro trains run on a single line between the northern suburbs and south Miami. Some key stops are Government Center, Coconut Grove, and the University of Miami. Downtown Miami is also circled by the Metromover, a monorail that gives a good view of the city and provides some basic transportation. Metrobuses cover the entire city.

Call for routes, schedules, and additional information

National Holidays:

New Year’s Day, January 1

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the third Monday in January

President’ Day, the third Monday in February

Memorial Day, the last Monday in May

Independence Day, July 4

Labor Day, the first Monday in September

Thanksgiving Day, the fourth Thursday in November

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, December 24 and 25

New Year’s Eve, December 31

C- Attractions/Things To Do:
Wolfsonian-FIU Museum

1001 Washington Ave.

Miami Beach. FL 33139

305-531-1001

Hours: October-May: Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday 11 am-6 pm, Thursday to 9 pm, Sunday noon-5 pm. Summer hours: Thursday 11 am-9 pm, Friday and Saturday 11 am-6 pm, Sunday noon-5 pm. Closed Wednesday and the following holidays: Thanksgiving Day, Christmas, New Year’s Day, and July Fourth.

Admission Charged
The Wolfsonian-FIU is a museum located in the heart of historic Miami Beach, within easy walking distance of the world-famous Art Deco hotels. The building has been restored and now belongs to the Florida international University. Its fascinating collection of objects from the modern era (1885-1945) includes nearly 70,000 cultural artifacts, but only a segment of those treasures is on display at a given time. Exhibits range from furniture to the evolution of industrial design to World War II print propaganda.

Bass Museum of Art

2121 Park Ave.
Miami Beach, Florida 33139

305-673-7530

Hours: Tuesday–Saturday 10am–5pm, Sunday 1 am–5pm; closed Mondays and holidays.

Admission Charged

A permanent collection of Renaissance masterworks makes up one section of this museum. In another, featured exhibitions showcase the best in historical and contemporary art.

Holocaust Memorial

1933 Meridian Ave.
Miami Beach, Florida 33139

305-538-1663

Hours: Open daily 9am-9pm

Admission Free

The centerpiece of the Holocaust Memorial, Kenneth Treister’s “Sculpture of Love and Anguish” depicts victims of the concentration camps crawling up a 40-foot-tall outstretched hand marked with an Auschwitz number tattoo, stretching up to the sky. The story of the Holocaust is imprinted in marble slabs along the reflecting pool and inside the memorial are photographs and the names of concentration camps and their victims.

Joe’s Stone Crab Restaurant

11 Washington Avenue

Miami Beach, FL 33139

305-673-0365

Hours: Beginning Oct. 19, Tues – Sat 11:30am-2pm; Mon – Thurs 5-10pm; Fri and Sat 5-11pm, Sun 4-10pm

Reservations are not accepted

For close to 100 years, no visit to Miami has been complete without stopping in at Joe’s Stone Crab. From the beginning, it has always been the love of food, family, and friends that has brought in customers and kept them coming.

Art Deco Historic District

1001 Ocean Dr

Miami Beach, FL 33139

305-531-3484
An area of Miami Beach noted for its concentration of over 800 historic Art Deco structures built during the 1920s and 1930s, all located within one square mile. The district features white and pastel colored stucco buildings that have been restored to their former splendor. It will only seem like a million people are on the streets of the Art Deco District, the super-trendy section of South Beach between Sixth and 23rd streets. The district is roughly bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east, Alton Road on the west, 6th Street to the south, and Dade Boulevard (along the Collins Canal) to the north. Walking tours of the district are available.

Sanford L. Ziff Jewish Museum
301 Washington Ave.
Miami Beach, Florida 33139

305-672-5044

Hours: Tues-Sun 10am-5pm; closed Mondays and Jewish holidays

Admission Free for members, Admission Charged for non-members

The museum houses a collections and research center which reflects Florida Jewish history since 1763; and communicates Jewish history, values and issues to Jews and non-Jews alike.

Amsterdam Palace (Versace Mansion)

Located at the northwest corner of Ocean Drive and 11th Street

Miami Beach, FL 33160

If you can get past the fact that the late designer, Gianni Versace was killed on the steps of this palatial estate, you should definitely observe the intricate Italian architecture that makes this house stand out from its streamlined deco neighbors. Built in the 1930s as a replica of Christopher Columbus’s son’s palace in Santo Domingo, the house was originally called Casa Casuarina, but was rechristened the Amsterdam Palace in 1935 when George Amsterdam purchased it.

Shopping

Lincoln Road

Lenox Avenue

Miami Beach, Florida 33139

305-531-3442
A pedestrian walkway with entertainment, shopping and shows, Lincoln Road is a favorite part of South Beach for locals and visitors alike. Second only to Ocean Drive in popularity, Lincoln Road is not as wild as its counterpart by the water and you’ll find a wide range of restaurants and shops.

Collins Avenue

Miami Beach, FL 33139
When Miami Beach was first developing; Collins Avenue was carved out parallel
to the beach. The road meandered north from the southern point through land cleared for oceanfront estates with fine mansions. Today Collins Avenue, also known as State Road A1A is the main artery of Miami Beach stretching almost to the Broward County line. A journey along its dozen miles crosses numbered streets from 1st to 192nd. Shopping becomes the focus at the intersection of Collins Avenue and 8th Street. This is the center of the South Beach designer district, actually two still-evolving retail districts of designer boutiques and interesting, locally-owned shops.

Beaches

Haulover Beach Park

10800 Collins Ave.
Miami Beach, Florida 33154

305-944-3040

Hours: Daily dawn to dusk

Admission Charged
Nestled between the Intercoastal Waterway and Atlantic Ocean; this scenic park boasts white sandy beaches, open ocean surf and sweeping dunes. Sand on the eroded beach hasn’t been replaced, and the narrow strand is perfect for beachgoers who don’t relish a trek across hot sand to get to the water. You can fire up the barbecue grills; get in on a pickup volleyball game, rent kayaks, or bike on one of the trails.

Miami Beach — Central
Collins Avenue from 21st Street to 46th Street
Miami Beach, FL 33139
305-673-7714

Fee Charged for parking
Raised boardwalk over the dunes popular for strolling and jogging. Proximity to sidewalk cafes along Collins Ave. Lifeguard towers, food/drink concessions, beach chair/umbrella rentals.

Miami Beach — North
Collins Avenue from 46th Street to 78th Street
Miami Beach, FL 33139
305-673-7714

Fee Charged for parking
Community center and old-fashioned bandshell in adjoining park at north end. Features a palm-shaded grassy area with proximity to sidewalk cafes and fast-food restaurants. Lifeguard towers, food/drink concessions, beach chair/umbrella rentals, shower facilities.

Miami Beach/South Beach
Gay and lesbian beaches on:
5th Street and Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, FL 33139
12th Street and Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Collins Avenue and 21st Street, Miami Beach, FL 33139
305-673-7714

Fee Charged for parking
Brightly painted, whimsical lifeguard stands. A great place for people-watching while walking, jogging or skating along the concrete promenade bordering the beach

North Shore Open Space
Collins Avenue from 78th to 87th Terrace
Miami Beach, FL 33154
305-993-2032

Fee Charged for parking
Lushly landscaped green park with a boardwalk on the sand. Features picnic tables, restrooms, shower facilities and parking. Located in North Beach, a quieter section of Miami Beach ideal for families.

Oleta State Recreation Area
3400 NE 163rd St.
North Miami Beach, FL 33160
305-919-1846

Fee Charged for parking
Sandy beach on Biscayne Bay in a shady park offering many recreational activities. Popular spot for with boating and kayaking along nearby Snake River.

South Pointe Park
Ocean Drive at 5th Street
Miami Beach, FL 33139
305-673-7714

Fee Charged for parking
Entrance through the park at 1 Washington Ave. Beach located at the southern tip of South Beach. Great place to watch cruise ships sailing out to sea.

Nearby Attractions

Miami Metrozoo
1 Zoo Boulevard
12400 SW 152 Street
Miami, FL 33177 (26 miles SW of Miami Beach)
305- 251-0400

Hours: Open daily, Park Hours are 9:30am – 5:30pm

Admission Charged

The Miami Metrozoo has been a world leader in the “cageless zoo” concept. Children are sure to have a wonderful time in this 300-acre environment, which is surprisingly close to Miami’s urban centers. Climate is a favorable factor: Metrozoo is the only zoo in the continental United States that has a subtropical climate.

Miami Seaquarium
4400 Rickenbacker Causeway
Miami, FL 33149 (11 miles south of Miami Beach)

305-361-5705

Hours: Open daily 9:30am – 6pm

Admission Charged

Come out to Miami Seaquarium for a wonderful day of family fun. There are exciting shows, great exhibits and enjoyable, educational presentations in a beautifully landscaped park overlooking Biscayne Bay.

Parrot Jungle

1111 Parrot Jungle Trail

Miami, FL 33132 (7 miles east of Miami Beach)

305-2-JUNGLE

Hours: Open 10am – 6pm daily

Admission Charged

See Parrots and more. Parrot Jungle Island offers memorable opportunities to feed the birds, fish and flamingos, interact with trainers and animals as they stroll the park, and take pictures with some of the most exotic and rare animals in the world.

D- Family Fun Attractions:
Miami Metrozoo
1 Zoo Boulevard
12400 SW 152 Street
Miami, FL 33177 (26 miles SW of Miami Beach)
305- 251-0400

Hours: Open daily, Park Hours are 9:30am – 5:30pm

Admission Charged

The Miami Metrozoo has been a world leader in the “cageless zoo” concept. Children are sure to have a wonderful time in this 300-acre environment, which is surprisingly close to Miami’s urban centers. Climate is a favorable factor: Metrozoo is the only zoo in the continental United States that has a subtropical climate.

Miami Seaquarium
4400 Rickenbacker Causeway
Miami, FL 33149 (11 miles south of Miami Beach)

305-361-5705

Hours: Open daily 9:30am – 6pm

Admission Charged

Come out to Miami Seaquarium for a wonderful day of family fun. There are exciting shows, great exhibits and enjoyable, educational presentations in a beautifully landscaped park overlooking Biscayne Bay.

Parrot Jungle

1111 Parrot Jungle Trail

Miami, FL 33132 (7 miles east of Miami Beach)

305-2-JUNGLE

Hours: Open 10am – 6pm daily

Admission Charged

See Parrots and more. Parrot Jungle Island offers memorable opportunities to feed the birds, fish and flamingos, interact with trainers and animals as they stroll the park, and take pictures with some of the most exotic and rare animals in the world.

North Shore Open Space
Collins Avenue from 78th to 87th Terrace
Miami Beach, FL 33154
305-993-2032

Fee Charged for parking
Lushly landscaped green park with a boardwalk on the sand. Features picnic tables, restrooms, shower facilities and parking. Located in North Beach, a quieter section of Miami Beach ideal for families.

E- Events & Entertainment:
Events

January

FedEx Orange Bowl Classic

Held in early-January

Pro Player Stadium

305-371-4600

Annual college bowl game featuring an entire weekend of fun and excitement culminating in a classic holiday bowl game.

Indian Arts Festival

Held in early-January

305-223-8380

This Miccosukee Indian festival features arts and crafts plus traditional foods.

Art Deco Weekend

Held in mid-January

Hosted along Ocean Drive in South Beach

305-672-2014

A street festival featuring Art Deco displays and tours of the historic district.

Taste of the Grove

Held in mid-January

Hosted in Coconut Grove

305-284-3603

Each January, area restaurants put on this popular festival w/ a variety of concerts, children’s activities and games. Contests and demonstrations by area chefs ensure that everyone is entertained & enlightened.

February

Coconut Grove Art Festival

Held in mid-February

305-447-0401

Showcases artists from all over the country.

Miami International Boat Show and Sailboat Show

Held in mid-February

Find the watercraft of your dreams at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

Miami Film Festival

Hosted each year at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts

305-377-3456

The Film Society of Miami shows independent foreign and American films.

Home Design and Remodeling Show

Held in early February

Located in the Coconut Grove Convention Center.

One of Florida’s largest collections of the finest in home furniture, accessories, decorating, remodeling, interior design, architecture and many home improvement services.

Doral Open

Doral Golf Resort

305-477-4653

Many say this is the most exciting and fun outing on the PGA Tour. The Doral Ryder Open started in 1962 and continues to draw crowds.

March

Miami Grand Prix

Held in early-March

Hosted at the Homestead Motorsports Complex, approximately one hour from Miami

World famous car race.

Carnival Miami Festival

Held in early March

305-644-8888

A week of Latin celebrations with food, music, dance, parades and fireworks.

Calle Ocho Open House

Held in early March

Culmination of the festival with a big street party on SW 8th Street, in the heart of the Cuban district.

Ericsson Open

Hosted at Crandon Park, Key Biscayne.

A top flight tennis championship with all the top names on the professional tour. It’s a well-organized event and a favorite among tennis fans.

April

South Beach Film Festival

Held in early-April

Hosted at the Colony Theatre

Eclectic films from around the world are presented each year.

Italian Renaissance Festival

Held at Vizcaya

305-579-2708

Relive the Renaissance period at the beautiful Vizcaya.

May

Great Sunrise Balloon Race

Held the second weekend in May

Hosted at the Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport

305-596-9040

A delightful assortment of hot-air balloons graces the sky each year.

Arabian Nights Festival

Held in early May

Hosted in Opa Locka

305-688-4611

A unique festival hosted each year in the Opa-Locka community.

Coconut Grove Bed Race

Held in mid-May

Runs from Peacock Park through the streets of Coconut Grove

A hilarious and quite silly race that is a wonderful fund raiser for charities.

Miami International Home & Garden Show

Held in late May

Located in Miami Beach Convention Center

305-666-5944

June

Miami/Bahamas Goombay Festival

Held in early June

305-372-9966

Celebration of Bahamian heritage in Coconut Grove.

South Florida Boat Show

Held in mid June

Find the perfect watercraft at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

July

America’s Birthday Bash

Held on July 4

Hosted at Bayfront Park

Concert and fireworks display celebrating American independence.

International Mango Festival

Held in early July

Presented by Fairchild Tropical Gardens

305-667-1651

Everglades Music and Crafts Festival

Held in late July

305-223-8380

Native American bands perform, plus crafts and food.

August

Annual Miami Reggae Festival

Held in early August

Hosted at Bayfront Park.

Top reggae bands come from all over for this annual festival.

September

Miami Home Design & Remodeling Show

Held Labor Day weekend

Hosted at the Miami Beach Convention Center

A plethora of products for the home; furniture, accessories, home improvement products, landscaping and services.

Festival Miami

Held in mid September

Hosted at the University of Miami School of Music

305-284-4940

An annual series of concerts.

October

West Indian American Day Carnival Extravaganza

Held in early October

305-435-4845

A Caribbean Mardi Gras.

Caribbean Carnival

Held in early October

305-653-1877

Street Festival complete with costumes, steel bands and parades celebrating the Caribbean. Presented by the Consulate of Trinidad and Tobago.

Hispanic Heritage Festival

Hosted in different locations throughout Miami-Dade County

305-541-5023

This celebration that lasts the whole month commemorates the discovery of the Americas and the role Hispanics have played in the development of the U.S.

Columbus Day Regatta

Held Columbus day weekend

305-573-9592

Hundreds of sailboats from over 15 classes sail from the north end of Biscayne Bay to the southern end and back the following day.

November

Ramble-A Garden Festival

Held in early November

Hosted at Fairchild Tropical Garden

305-667-1651
Annual gardening festival with plants, garden accessories and activities for the whole family.

South Florida Auto Show

Held in early November

Hosted at the Miami Beach Convention Center

The latest car models on display for auto enthusiasts at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

South Miami Art Festival

Held in early November

Hosted along Sunset Drive in South Miami

305-661-1621

Jiffy Lube Miami

Held in mid November

Hosted at the Homestead Motorsports Complex, approximately one hour from Miami

The season-ending NASCAR race.

November Home Show

Held in mid November

Located in Miami

305-666-5944

Harvest Festival

Held in late November

Hosted at the Fair Expo Center

Craft booths, historical re-enactments, musical entertainment, antique automobiles and more.

Puerto Rican Festival

Held in late November

Hosted at Bayfront Park

Celebrates Puerto Rican cultural heritage.

Annual Winter National Thanksgiving Day Parade

Held on Thanksgiving Day

Traveling down 125th Street from NE 6th Avenue to NE 12th Avenue

305-893-6511

Participants include walkers, riders, bikers, clowns, beauty queens, bands & floats.

December

Indoor Flea Market

Held in mid December

Hosted at the Miami Beach Convention Center

Claiming to be the world’s largest, this event features over 1,000 booths filled with merchandise at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

King Mango Strut

Held in late December

Hosted in Coconut Grove

A light-hearted parody of the Orange Bowl parade down the streets of Coconut Grove.

The Nutcracker

Held in late December

Hosted at the Jackie Gleason Theater and other South Florida venues

Performed annually by the Miami City Ballet

Junior Orange Bowl Festival

305-662-1210

The children’s version of the Orange Bowl celebrations. It features arts and crafts shows and sports competitions.

Santa’s Enchanted Forest

Held most of December through early January

Held at Tropical Park

Tropical Park becomes a brightly-lit winter wonderland each season.

Orange Bowl Parade

Held on December 31

Biscayne Boulevard in downtown Miami each year.
A Miami tradition since 1939, this themed parade marches down Biscayne Boulevard in downtown Miami.

Big Orange New Year’s Eve Celebration

Held on December 31.

Hosted at Bayfront Park

Just like the Times Square Ball Drop, but using a really big orange and with much warmer weather.

Arts and Entertainment

Miami City Ballet
Ophelia & Juan Js Roca Center
2200 Liberty Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33139

305-929-7010

The Miami City Ballet has been recognized as among the largest ballet companies in the United States.

Miami Symphony

10300 S.W. 72nd Street

Miami, FL 33173

305-275-4363

Founded in 1989, The Miami Symphony Orchestra is Dade County’s flagship orchestra. Under the leadership of renowned conductors, the orchestra has come to represent the excitement and cultural vitality of the Miami community.

Florida Opera
Arturo di Filippi Educational Center
1200 Coral Way
Miami, FL 33145
800-741-1010

Hours: Monday through Friday 10am-4pm
Summer hours often exclude Fridays

Ensemble consists of the Young Artist Studio and Resident Artists.

Jackie Gleason Theatre

1700 Washington Drive

Miami Beach, FL 33139

Located adjacent to the Miami Beach Convention Center

Venue for the Miami Ballet, Broadway Series as well as national recognized performers.

Sports

Florida Marlins

Professional Baseball

Games played at Pro Player Stadium

2267 Dan Marino Blvd.

Miami, Florida 33056

305-623-6100

Call for ticket information

Season runs from April – October

Miami Heat

Professional Basketball

Games played at the American Airlines Arena

601 Biscayne Blvd.

Miami, FL 33132

786-777-1000

Call for ticket information

Season runs October – April

Florida Panthers

Professional Hockey

Games played at the Office Depot Center, located in Sunrise, FL, approximately 45 minutes from Miami.

Office Depot Center

One Panther Parkway

Sunrise, FL 33323

954-835-PUCK

Season runs October – April

Kissimmee, Florida

A- Overview:

In Kissimmee, visitors can catch a glimpse of Florida as it was during the past two centuries. The rail station is a “newcomer”, by those standards. It still has the look and feel of a depot of the 1920s. It is well served daily by Amtrak, and is a popular and convenient choice as a point of arrival and departure to the Disney area.

Landscaping and renovations preserve the historic downtown district of this small Florida town. Old Town, just east of I-4 on US 192, features 75 specialty shops as well as restaurants and amusement rides in a turn of the 20th century setting. Hundreds of classic cars cruise the Old Town streets every Friday and Saturday night.

Kissimmee hosts the Houston Astros every March for spring training in the Osceola County Stadium and Sports Complex. The arena in Osceola Heritage Park is the site of the Silver Spurs Rodeo and other sporting events.

Welcome to the most magical place on Earth. When Walt Disney was asked, “when will it be finished”, he replied, “as long as there is imagination ….never”. This true visionary who embraced the childlike qualities in all of us, transformed this once cattle and citrus community into the most visited site on the planet. Best of all, Kissimmee enjoys year round mild weather.

What most visitors planning a Florida vacation think of as Orlando actually includes Kissimmee and Lake Buena Vista as well. If you are one of the lucky millions of people who will visit this fabulous “world”, get ready to have the ride of your life. It has been said that if you were to visit every attraction in the area, by the time you finished, a new one will have been built.

Visitors from around the world flock to this destination to experience the magic that is not only Disney in the form of Animal Kingdom, Epcot, MGM Studios, and the park that started it all–the Magic Kingdom, but Universal Studios and SeaWorld, just to name a few. Of course, Downtown Disney, a host of water parks, and Pleasure Island, golf courses, a racetrack and restaurants are all included.

There is no shortage of things to do in and around Kissimmee. While the Disney World Resort is a must see, Sea World, Wet ‘n Wild, and Universal are within an easy drive. There are also a host of other attractions, fine food, museums, theatre, and virtually anything you can imagine within a 30 minute drive.

Dinner theaters provide a unique form of entertainment. There are a variety of venues including a Pirate adventure, Medieval Times, Arabian Nights, (complete with Lipizzaner horses), a Dixie Stampede, and even a Sleuths’ Mystery. What a great way to relax and unwind after an invigorating day at the parks.

At every Disney attraction, there is an opportunity to see the world through a child’s eyes. That look of amazement each and every time a Disney character makes an appearance or a child takes that exciting ride for their first time, is an experience to remember and to cherish. The wonders of Orlando, Lake Buena Vista, and Kissimmee are magical, and in these enchanting places, everyone gets to be young and carefree.

B- City Information:
Population: 47,814

Elevation: 70 Feet Above Sea Level

Land Area: 16.7 Square Miles

Location: Kissimmee is located in the central part of Florida. It is located 77 miles east of Tampa, 220 Miles northwest of Miami and 162 miles southwest of Jacksonville. Major interstates–I-95, I-75, and I-10–provide access into Florida from the north, with connections directly into the area via I-4, the Florida Turnpike, and US 192. I-75, I-95, and the Florida Turnpike provide quick access from south Florida.

Time Zone: Kissimmee is located in the Eastern Time Zone (when it’s noon in Kissimmee, it’s 11:00am in Chicago and 9:00am in Los Angeles). Kissimmee observes Daylight Savings Time from April – October.

Weather:

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Average temp. (°F)
59.8
61.1
65.4
70.0
75.6
80.3
81.8
82.0
80.4
74.5
67.7
61.7

High temperature (°F)
71.6
73.2
77.5
81.8
86.8
90.2
91.6
91.6
89.7
84.5
78.8
73.1

Low temperature (°F)
47.8
48.8
53.3
58.2
64.4
70.4
71.9
72.3
71.1
64.5
56.7
50.1

Precipitation (in)
2.4
2.7
3.3
2.0
3.8
6.1
6.6
7.3
6.0
3.1
2.4
2.2

Climate:

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Days with precipitation
6
7
7
6
8
14
17
16
14
9
6
6

Wind speed (mph)
9.0
9.6
9.9
9.4
8.8
8.0
7.3
7.2
7.6
8.6
8.6
8.5

Morning humidity (%)
88
88
89
88
88
90
91
93
92
90
90
89

Afternoon humidity (%)
57
53
50
47
49
58
59
60
61
57
56
58

Sunshine (%)
63
65
71
75
75
67
62
61
61
65
64
61

Days clear of clouds
9
9
9
10
9
4
3
3
4
9
10
10

Partly cloudy days
10
9
10
11
14
14
17
17
15
11
10
9

Cloudy days
12
11
12
9
9
12
11
11
12
11
10
12

Snowfall (in)
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0

Local Seasons:

Snow Days – None!!!!

Kissimmee enjoys a year round warm climate. The winter is popular with many tourists as the temperatures average in the low-mid 60’s F, making it the perfect time to enjoy the numerous sites and attractions which make this a number 1 tourist area. In the spring, fall and winter, it is usually less crowded with the exception of spring break and when large convention groups are in town. Summer is the season for Kissimmee as a result of children being off from school. This includes not only visitors from the United States but worldwide as well. Summer can also be very warm and humid, so be sure to dress accordingly. Shorts are acceptable wear at all of the major attractions and most restaurants. It is also the perfect time to enjoy one of the numerous water theme parks. Jump in and cool off, the water’s fine!

How to Get There:

By Air:

Orlando International Airport

407/825-2001

Offers direct or nonstop service from 60 U.S. cities and two dozen international destinations, serving more than 30 million passengers on the average annually. All major car-rental companies are located at or near the airport.

Airport Transportation

Orlando International is 25 miles east of Walt Disney World and 20 miles south of downtown. At rush hour (7-9am and 4-6pm), the drive can be a torturous hour or more; at other times, it’s about 30 to 40 minutes.

Mears Transportation Group

407-423-5566

Has vans that shuttle passengers from the airport (you catch them at ground level) to Disney resorts and official hotels, as well as most other Orlando properties. Their air-conditioned vehicles operate around the clock, departing every 15 to 25 minutes in either direction. Rates vary by destination.

Driving to Walt Disney World

To get from the airport to the attractions, take the North exit out of the airport to Highway 528 West. Follow signs to I-4; it takes about 30 to 40 minutes to get to Walt Disney World if the traffic isn’t too heavy (double or worse in rush hour or when there’s an accident). When you get to I-4, follow the signs west toward the attractions.

An Alternative: Orlando Sanford International Airport

407-585-4000

Is much smaller than the main airport, but it has grown a bit in recent years. The airport has most of the major car rental desks on site. Mears Transportation shuttles also serve it.

Kissimmee Gateway Airport

301 N. Dyer Blvd., Suite 101
Kissimmee, FL 34741
407-847-4600

Located near Orlando, just eight miles from Walt Disney World and ten miles from the Orlando-Orange County Convention center, Kissimmee Gateway Airport (ISM) accommodates general aviation air service 24 hours a day with two paved airport runways, 5,000 and 6,000 feet. The airport is owned and operated by the City of Kissimmee and its air traffic control tower operates from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

By Car:

Driving here is easy, too! Major interstates–I-95, I-75, and I-10–provide access into Florida from the north, with connections directly into the area via I-4, the Florida Turnpike, and US 192. I-75, I-95, and the Florida Turnpike provide quick access from south Florida.

Heavy traffic and numerous crisscrossing highways make driving in the Orlando area challenging. Be sure to arm yourself with a good map and avoid traveling during rush hours—7-9 am and 4-6 pm—particularly on I-4 north from downtown. The area’s most traveled highway, I-4 runs southwest to Tampa and northeast to Daytona Beach. (Official signs say “West” or “East.”) I-4 provides access to almost any part of the city and its suburbs.

By Bus:

Greyhound Bus Terminal
103 East Dakin Avenue
Kissimmee, FL 34741

407-847-3911

By Train:

Amtrak
111 Dakin St.
Kissimmee, FL 34741

407-425-9411or 800-872-7245

Getting Around:

Most of the area’s east-west highways are toll roads: The Bee Line Expressway skirts the airport on the north, and the East-West Expressway (or Highway 408) passes south of downtown. The Bee Line is the best bet for traveling to Port Canaveral, Kennedy Space Center or Cocoa Beach.

Between the airport and attractions, use I-4 and its connection with the Bee Line Expressway to save time and

C- Attractions/Things To Do:
Kissimmee

Arabian Nights Dinner Attraction

6225 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway

Kissimmee, FL 34747
407-239-9223

Open daily, call for show times

Admission Charged

Arabian Nights, voted the #1 dinner show in Orlando, Florida, features a magical tale of romance, adventure and excitement. More than 60 of the world’s most beautiful horses and 30 dazzling performers combine with special effects, thrilling music and incredible stunts to create a unique and spectacular Broadway-style production. Savor a three-course prime rib, grilled chicken breast or vegetable lasagna dinner served with unlimited beer, wine and soft drinks.

Flying Tigers Warbird Restoration Museum

231 N. Hoagland Boulevard

Kissimmee, FL 34741
407-933-1942

Open year round, Monday – Friday. Call for hours of operation

Admission Charged

A working restoration facility and aviation museum that allows visitors to see, smell and touch the history many have only heard about. Tour the restoration projects with knowledgeable guides. Dozens of WWII and vintage airplanes on display; as well as memorabilia, armament displays, and gift shop. Warbird Flights available adjacent to the Museum.

Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament

4510 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway

Kissimmee, FL 34746
407-396-1518

Open year round, call for show times

Admission Charged

Medieval Times is more than a dinner attraction – it’s a window in time where the glory, chivalry, valor and honor of old burst to life in thrilling authentic tournament action. While guests enjoy a medieval banquet six brave knights compete in games of skill astride magnificent Andalusian stallions. Lances splinter against shields of steel, broad swords spark and a champion emerges, to the cheers of the enthusiastic crowd. Voted “Best Dinner Show” by the readers of Florida Living Magazine.

Old Town

5770 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway

Kissimmee, FL 34746
407-396-4888

Open daily 10am-11pm.

Charge for Rides

Come stroll along the brick-lined streets of Old Town Boulevard capturing the imagination and heart of the 50’s and 60’s. This 10 acre open-air shopping, dining, and entertainment attraction features over 75 specialty shops, 8 delicious restaurants, 18 thrilling amusement rides, and The Saturday Nite Car Cruise, America’s largest weekly car cruise showcasing over 300 pre-1973 classic cars cruising down the brick streets of Old Town.

Atlanta Braves

700 Victory Way

Kissimmee, FL 34747
407-939-GAME

Call for schedule

Admission Charged

Major League Baseball Spring Training site. Located at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex.

Houston Astros

1000 Bill Beck Boulevard

Kissimmee, FL 34744
321-697-3200

Call for schedule

Major League Baseball spring training site for the Houston Astros at Osceola County Stadium.

Boggy Creek Airboat Rides East

3702 Big Bass Road

Kissimmee, FL 34744
407-344-9550

Call for additional information

Admission Charged

Florida’s Ultimate Scenic Airboat Ride minutes from Orlando attractions. Learn more about the Headwaters to the Everglades on a safe and modern U.S. Coast Guard approved airboat & Master Captains. Continuous half-hour educational tours viewing area wildlife, including the Florida Alligator. 1 Hour Night Tours available. Parasail, Restaurant & Gift Shop. Closest Airboat Ride from Orlando Attractions.

Lake Buena Vista and Disney

Blizzard Beach

Walt Disney World Resort

Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
407-934-7639

Days of operation and hours vary, call for exact information.

Admission Charged

Ski Disney. Whether it’s bobsledding down the “snowy” slopes of Mt. Gushmore or plunging straight down Summit Plummet at 55 mph, Walt Disney World guests get all the spine-chilling thrills of a northern ski resort! The 66-acre Blizzard Beach water adventure park is all part of a “zany” combination — a water park with the atmosphere and excitement of a major ski resort in the midst of sunny Florida.

Disney – Magic Kingdom

Walt Disney World Resort

Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
407-W-DISNEY

Open daily, call for hours of operation

Admission Charged

A whimsical place where storybook fantasy becomes everyday reality. Journey through seven themed lands incorporating more than forty attractions. NEW: Disney music meets Disney magic in the new 3-D “sym-funny”, Mickey’s PhilharMagic, starring Mickey, Donald and their friends. Gather most evenings for the “Wishes” nighttime spectacular.

Disney – MGM Studios

Walt Disney World Resort

Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
407-824-4321

Open daily, call for hours of operation

Admission Charged

Come take center stage as the star of your own adventure at Disney-MGM Studios. The world of showbiz comes alive, from rock ‘n’ roll fantasy to Broadway-style stage spectaculars; from the silver screen to the TV screen to behind the scenes. That’s entertainment! Attractions include: The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, Fantasmic, Playhouse Disney, and many live, on stage performances.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Walt Disney World Resort

Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
407-934-7639

Open daily, call for hours of operation

Wild adventures, thrilling attractions, dinosaurs, Disney characters, and spectacular shows are a winning combination. Walt Disney World Resort’s fourth and largest theme park is 500 Central Florida acres of vast jungles, lush grasslands and rainforests, plus a savannah and dinosaur dig site. The park is home to more than 1,000 animals representing some 250 species.

Downtown Disney

Walt Disney World Resort

Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
407-939-2648

Call for hours of operation

Admission Charged

The best of big cities with more than 70 shops, restaurants and clubs. Home to Pleasure Island, Cirque du Soleil, House of Blues, Planet Hollywood, World of Disney, Rainforest Cafe and Disney Quest.

Downtown Disney Pleasure Island

Walt Disney World Resort

Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
407-939-2648

Open daily, call for hours of operation

Admission Charged

Visit an island filled shore-to-shore with spectacular clubs, live entertainment, an Island-wide street party and a New Year’s Eve celebration every night. You’ll find something for everyone: smooth jazz, rock ‘n’ roll, R&B, ’70s disco and ’80s favorites, high-tech dance, Top 40 and improv comedy.

Epcot

Walt Disney World Resort

Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
407-824-4321

Open daily, call for hours of operation

Admission Charged

From world travel to wide-eyed excitement, a day at Epcot will set your spirits soaring. At the new Mission: SPACE attraction, you’ll rocket through space on the most thrilling Disney attraction ever! On Test Track, experience high-speed excitement as you run a test car through its paces. Take a trip around the globe in World Showcase and enjoy the wonders of eleven festive nations. At night, cap it all off with the amazing laser and light spectacular, IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.

Richard Petty Driving Experience

Walt Disney World Speedway

Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
407-939-0130

Call for reservations and hours of operation

Admission Charged

Do you have the need for speed? Do you have what it takes? Find out by riding shotgun or driving a 600-horsepower NASCAR style stock car at Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando. It truly is the thrill of a lifetime! The sights, the sounds and the power of these race cars is truly amazing.

Typhoon Lagoon

Walt Disney World Resort

Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
407-934-7396

Open seasonally, call for hours and dates of operation

Admission Charged

Surf Disney! A surfside playground left behind by a “great storm”, Typhoon Lagoon — with its breaking waves and saltwater shark reef — ushers in tropical water adventures for Walt Disney World guests. Located near Downtown Disney West Side, the 56-acre Typhoon Lagoon includes a man-made watershed mountain with eight twisting-and-turning water slides and roaring streams. A two-and-one-half acre wave-making lagoon features surfing-size waves.

Cirque DuSoleil La Nouba

1478 E. Buena Vista Drive

Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
407-939-7600

Hours: 6pm and 9pm shows Tues.-Sat., call for reservations

Admission Charged

Experience La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil, a mesmerizing live production for the whole family that transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary. To see it is unbelievable, to miss it, unthinkable.

Orlando

Blue Water Balloons

566 Buckminster Circle

Orlando, FL 32803
407-894-5040

Call for reservations and additional information

Admission Charged

Sunrise champagne balloon flights over Central Florida. All flights include approximately one-hour flight, traditional champagne celebration picnic with a variety of fruit, pastries, cheese and crackers and of course, champagne with fresh Florida orange juice (non-alcoholic beverages also available). Each passenger receives a souvenir champagne glass and first flight certificate presented by the pilot. All flights are weather permitting. Reservations are required.

Discovery Cove

6000 Discovery Cove Way

Orlando, FL 32821
407-370-1280

Call for reservations, hours, and additional information

Admission Charged

Welcome to a world all its own…Discovery Cove. At this exclusive island oasis you’ll swim with dolphins, snorkel with tropical reef fish, glide with rays and hand-feed exotic birds. Indulge your senses and frolic under majestic waterfalls, float in blue lagoons, relax on sugary white beaches and enjoy a delightful lunch. Attendance is limited at this reservations-only adventure. Discover the feeling of Discovery Cove Orlando.

Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede Dinner & Show

8251 Vineland Ave.

Orlando, FL 32821
407-238-4455

Call for reservations and additional information

One of Orlando’s most exciting dining and entertainment experience. Dixie Stampede features: magnificent horses; American Buffalo; world-famous racing ostriches and racing pigs; music; singing and dancing; a spectacular patriotic finale written by Dolly; and audience participation. A fabulous four-course feast is served during the show. Beginning in November and continuing through December, Dixie Stampede is transformed into a holiday fantasy with twinkling lights, old-fashioned Christmas costumes and holiday music. Elves from the North and South Poles compete in a friendly rivalry while serving up a festive Christmas feast.

Fun Spot Action Park

5551 Del Verde Way

Orlando, FL 32819
407-363-3867

Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged

Family Fun with 4 unique, multi-level Go-Kart tracks, 7 family and thrill ride, 6 Pre-school Rides, and Orlando’s largest arcade with 120+ games. Free Admission. Free Parking. Great for family reunions, because we have something for all ages. Team Building programs. 5 acres of fenced in Fun. Just off International Drive. Exit 75A off I-4. More Tracks, More Rides and More Fun!

Gatorland

14501 S. Orange Blossom Trail

Orlando, FL 32837

407-855-5496

Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged

Explore your wild side at Orlando’s only theme park with bite & attitude! Get up-close and personal with gators & crocs, birds & bears, emu and parrots, turtles and iguanas and much more at the “Alligator Capital of the World”. Stroll through the 10 acre alligator breeding marsh and ride the Gatorland Express train ride. Enjoy the one-of-a-kind reptilian shows and the laid back atmosphere at Gatorland.

Harry P. Leu Gardens

1920 N. Forest Ave.

Orlando, FL 32803
407-246-2620

Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged

Harry P. Leu Gardens is a 50 acre of botanical wonder five minutes from downtown Orlando. Among the largest camellia collection in Eastern North America, you will find the Leu House Museum listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Winding pathways lead you on a sightseeing expedition of a beautiful oasis in the tropical stream garden, rose garden, butterfly garden, palm garden and the New Home Demonstration Garden.

The Holy Land Experience

4655 Vineland Rd.

Orlando, FL 32811
407-872-2272

Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged

Experience an exciting, living, biblical history museum. Walk the Jerusalem Street Market as it appeared 2000 years ago. The Wilderness Tabernacle recreates the one carried for 40 years by the Jewish people. Visit the Garden Tomb to reflect upon the Savior’s crucifixion, burial and resurrection. Enjoy live dramas at the six-story Herodian Temple. Enter an ancient Byzantine Church to visit The Scriptorium and see the world’s largest private collection of ancient biblical artifacts.

The Mennello Museum of American Folk Art

900 E. Princeton Street

Orlando, FL 32803
407-246-4278

Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged

The Mennello Museum of American Folk Art is Florida’s only museum dedicated to preserving and exhibiting works created by American folk artists. The Museum houses paintings by self-taught artist, Earl Cunningham, Sybil Gibson, Elijah Pierce and many others. The Museum also hosts traveling exhibitions and has an outdoor sculpture garden.

Orange County Regional History Center

65 E. Central Blvd.

Orlando, FL 32801
407-836-8500

Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Free

Housed in the restored 1927 Orange County Courthouse, the Orange County Regional History Center combines the charm of Florida’s rich history with the grandeur of the changing metropolis in downtown Orlando. Voted “Best Museum” three years in a row, the History Center has become one of Central Florida’s premiere cultural attractions with interactive children’s programs, evening receptions and events for the entire family.

Orlando Museum of Art

2416 N. Mills Avenue

Orlando, FL 32803
407-896-4231

Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged

Cited by Newsweek as one of the best art museums in the south. The Orlando Museum of Art’s outstanding permanent collections of American art, art of the ancient Americas and African art, world-class temporary exhibitions, interactive gallery activities, educational programs and fascinating Museum Shop appeal to visitors of all ages.

Pirate’s Dinner Adventure

6400 Carrier Drive

Orlando, FL 32819
407-248-0590

Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged

Pirate’s Dinner Adventure is an energetic and adventurous, interactive dinner experience, captivating audiences of all ages. Set sail on the high seas on-board a pirate ship for swashbuckling thrills, combined with the perfect blend of comedy, romance, action and adventure. Enjoy breathtaking feats of aerial agility and spectacular musical talent as you dine on The Port of Call Feast. Pirate’s Dinner Adventure is a bounty of hidden treasure waiting to be explored, truly making it “World’s Most Interactive Dinner Show”.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Orlando Odditorium

8201 International Drive

Orlando, FL 32819
407-345-0501

Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged

If you think the building looks crazy, wait until you see what’s inside! Explore an amazing variety of exhibits, artifacts and displays in 16 galleries that pay tribute to the odd, bizarre and unbelievable. Marvel at the collection of weird and unusual relics and rare treasures. Discover that truth is indeed stranger than fiction! Self-guided, self paced tour.

SeaWorld Orlando

7007 SeaWorld Drive

Orlando, FL 32821
407-351-3600

Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged

There’s no place in the world like SeaWorld® Orlando. Where else can you touch and feed dolphins, count the teeth on a shark and come face-to-face with a polar bear. Challenge Kraken®, Orlando’s only floorless coaster. Don’t miss Journey To Atlantis®, a super-charged water coaster of mythic proportions. And, just try to stay dry when the world famous Shamu comes a splashing! At SeaWorld Orlando, it doesn’t get any closer than this!

Sleuths Mystery Dinner Shows

Located on Universal Blvd. – near Universal Studios

Orlando, Florida 32819
407-363-1985

Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged

Enjoy a delicious dinner with unlimited beer, wine, and soft drinks while watching a hilarious whodunit with improvisation and audience participation. Mingle with outrageous characters! Observe anything suspicious! Interrogate the suspects! Solve the crime!

Universal CityWalk

6000 Universal Boulevard

Orlando, FL 32819
407-363-8000

Open daily, 1100: am – 2:00am

Admission Charged

Universal CityWalk® is Orlando’s hottest spot for entertainment — a dazzling 30-acre complex where you can experience the best of the best in live music, casual and fine dining, dancing, shopping, movies and more. No matter what kind of entertainment you’re in the mood for, CityWalk® has it all!

Universal Orlando Resort

1000 Universal Studios Plaza

Orlando, FL 32819
407-363-8000

Open daily, call for hours of operation

Admission Charged

Universal Orlando® Resort – the vacation destination with two theme parks that define state-of-the-art entertainment, and non-stop nightlife. Get inside the action of the movies at Universal Studios Florida® and experience the adventure of a lifetime at Universal’s Islands of Adventure®. Enjoy the dining and nightlife of Universal CityWalk.

Universal’s Islands of Adventure

1000 Universal Studios Plaza

Orlando, FL 32819
407-363-8000

Open daily, call for hours of operation

Admission Charged

Experience innovative thrills and unexpected adventures at Universal’s Islands of Adventure®, where the world’s most cutting-edge rides, attractions and interactive shows challenge every one of your senses. You’ll take an unforgettable journey through five uniquely themed islands where all your favorite stories, myths, legends, children’s books, cartoons and comic book characters come to life before your eyes.

Wet ‘n Wild

6200 International Drive

Orlando, FL 32819
407-351-1800

Open year round, call for hours of operation

Admission Charged

Experience the world-class rides, quality service and more multi-passenger rides than any other water park in Orlando, and you will see why Wet ‘n Wild is consistently voted America’s number one water park. Drift under rope bridges and past breathtaking waterfalls on the all-new Lazy River or get soaked down a ruptured pipeline on The Blast. Open year-round with pools heated seasonally, Wet ‘n Wild is the perfect place for the entire family to relax, have fun, and soak up the warm Florida sun!

WorkSpring Discovery Center

11221 John Wycliffe Boulevard

Orlando, FL 32832
407-852-3626

Open most days, call for exact days and hours of operation

Admission Free

WordSpring Discovery Center offers you an opportunity to see the world and the Word in a whole new way. Immerse yourself in a living cultural adventure as you explore the history of the Bible; the world’s cultures and languages; and the on-going work of Bible translation. Multimedia presentations, interactive computer simulations, audio dramas, and hands-on activities for all ages.

Orlando Magic

8701 Maitland Summit Boulevard

Orlando, FL. 32810
407-89-MAGIC

Call for schedule

Admission Charged

NBA games held at RDV Sportsplex.

Orlando Miracle

600 W. Amelia Street

Orlando, FL 32801
407-916-WNBA

Call for schedule

Admission Charged

WNBA games held at the Orlando Arena.

Orlando Predators

600 W. Amelia Street

Orlando, FL 32801
407-648-4444

Call for schedule

Admission Charged

Arena football held at the Orlando Arena.

D- Family Fun Attractions:
Arabian Nights Dinner Attraction

6225 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway

Kissimmee, FL 34747
407-239-9223

Open daily, call for show times

Admission Charged

Arabian Nights, voted the #1 dinner show in Orlando, Florida, features a magical tale of romance, adventure and excitement. More than 60 of the world’s most beautiful horses and 30 dazzling performers combine with special effects, thrilling music and incredible stunts to create a unique and spectacular Broadway-style production.

Flying Tigers Warbird Restoration Museum

231 N. Hoagland Boulevard

Kissimmee, FL 34741
407-933-1942

Open year round, Monday – Friday. Call for hours of operation

Admission Charged

A working restoration facility and aviation museum that allows visitors to see, smell and touch the history many have only heard about. Tour the restoration projects with knowledgeable guides. Dozens of WWII and vintage airplanes on display; as well as memorabilia, armament displays, and gift shop. Warbird Flights available adjacent to the Museum.

Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament

4510 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway

Kissimmee, FL 34746
407-396-1518

Open year round, call for show times

Admission Charged

Medieval Times is more than a dinner attraction – it’s a window in time where the glory, chivalry, valor and honor of old burst to life in thrilling authentic tournament action. While guests enjoy a medieval banquet six brave knights compete in games of skill astride magnificent Andalusian stallions. Lances splinter against shields of steel, broad swords spark and a champion emerges, to the cheers of the enthusiastic crowd. Voted “Best Dinner Show” by the readers of Florida Living Magazine.

Old Town

5770 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway

Kissimmee, FL 34746
407-396-4888

Open daily 10am-11pm.

Charge for Rides

Come stroll along the brick-lined streets of Old Town Boulevard capturing the imagination and heart of the 50’s and 60’s. This 10 acre open-air shopping, dining, and entertainment attraction features over 75 specialty shops, 8 delicious restaurants, 18 thrilling amusement rides, and The Saturday Nite Car Cruise, America’s largest weekly car cruise showcasing over 300 pre-1973 classic cars cruising down the brick streets of Old Town.

Water Mania

6073 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway

Kissimmee, FL 34747
407-396-2626

Open daily, closed November through February. Call for hours of operation

Admission Charged

Water Mania, Florida’s Water Theme Park where you can enjoy a spectacular wet day of fun at an affordable price. With over 36 fun acres of wild raft rides, stimulating slides, twisting flumes, kiddie pools, volleyball courts and a 3-acre wooded picnic area. Challenge the mystifying heights of the New RainRock Mountain and the waterfall rock climbing wall.

Atlanta Braves

700 Victory Way

Kissimmee, FL 34747
407-939-GAME

Call for schedule

Admission Charged

Major League Baseball Spring Training site. Located at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex.

Lake Buena Vista and Orlando

Discovery Cove

6000 Discovery Cove Way

Orlando, FL 32821
407-370-1280

Call for reservations, hours, and additional information

Admission Charged

Welcome to a world all its own…Discovery Cove. At this exclusive island oasis you’ll swim with dolphins, snorkel with tropical reef fish, glide with rays and hand-feed exotic birds. Indulge your senses and frolic under majestic waterfalls, float in blue lagoons, relax on sugary white beaches and enjoy a delightful lunch. Attendance is limited at this reservations-only adventure. Discover the feeling of Discovery Cove Orlando.

Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede Dinner & Show

8251 Vineland Ave.

Orlando, FL 32821
407-238-4455

Call for reservations and additional information

One of Orlando’s most exciting dining and entertainment experience. Dixie Stampede features: magnificent horses; American Buffalo; world-famous racing ostriches and racing pigs; music; singing and dancing; a spectacular patriotic finale written by Dolly; and audience participation. A fabulous four-course feast is served during the show. Beginning in November and continuing through December, Dixie Stampede is transformed into a holiday fantasy with twinkling lights, old-fashioned Christmas costumes and holiday music. Elves from the North and South Poles compete in a friendly rivalry while serving up a festive Christmas feast.

Fun Spot Action Park

5551 Del Verde Way

Orlando, FL 32819
407-363-3867

Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged

Family Fun with 4 unique, multi-level Go-Kart tracks, 7 family and thrill ride, 6 Pre-school Rides, and Orlando’s largest arcade with 120+ games. Free Admission. Free Parking. Great for family reunions, because we have something for all ages. Team Building programs. 5 acres of fenced in Fun. Just off International Drive. Exit 75A off I-4. More Tracks, More Rides and More Fun!

The Hold Land Experience

4655 Vineland Rd.

Orlando, FL 32811
407-872-2272

Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged

Experience an exciting, living, biblical history museum. Walk the Jerusalem Street Market as it appeared 2000 years ago. The Wilderness Tabernacle recreates the one carried for 40 years by the Jewish people. Visit the Garden Tomb to reflect upon the Savior’s crucifixion, burial and resurrection. Enjoy live dramas at the six-story Herodian Temple. Enter an ancient Byzantine Church to visit The Scriptorium and see the world’s largest private collection of ancient biblical artifacts.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Orlando Odditorium

8201 International Drive

Orlando, FL 32819
407-345-0501

Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged

If you think our building looks crazy, wait until you see what’s inside! Explore an amazing variety of exhibits, artifacts and displays in 16 galleries that pay tribute to the odd, bizarre and unbelievable. Marvel at our collection of weird and unusual relics and rare treasures. Discover that truth is indeed stranger than fiction! Self-guided, self paced tour.

SeaWorld Orlando

7007 SeaWorld Drive

Orlando, FL 32821
407-351-3600

Call for days and hours of operation

Admission Charged

There’s no place in the world like SeaWorld® Orlando. Where else can you touch and feed dolphins, count the teeth on a shark and come face-to-face with a polar bear. Challenge Kraken®, Orlando’s only floorless coaster. Don’t miss Journey To Atlantis, a super-charged water coaster of mythic proportions. Just try to stay dry when the world famous Shamu comes splashing!

Universal Orlando Resort

1000 Universal Studios Plaza

Orlando, FL 32819
407-363-8000

Open daily, call for hours of operation

Admission Charged

Universal Orlando Resort – the vacation destination with two theme parks that define state-of-the-art entertainment, and non-stop nightlife. Get inside the action of the movies at Universal Studios Florida and experience the adventure of a lifetime at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Enjoy the dining and nightlife of Universal CityWalk.

Universal’s Islands of Adventure

1000 Universal Studios Plaza

Orlando, FL 32819
407-363-8000

Open daily, call for hours of operation

Admission Charged

Experience innovative thrills and unexpected adventures at Universal’s Islands of Adventure®, where the world’s most cutting-edge rides, attractions and interactive shows challenge every one of your senses. You’ll take an unforgettable journey through five uniquely themed islands where all your favorite stories, myths, legends, children’s books, cartoons and comic book characters come to life before your eyes.

Wet ‘n Wild

6200 International Drive

Orlando, FL 32819
407-351-1800

Open year round, call for hours of operation

Admission Charged

Experience the world-class rides, quality service and more multi-passenger rides than any other water park in Orlando, and you will see why Wet ‘n Wild is consistently voted America’s number one water park. Drift under rope bridges and past breathtaking waterfalls on the all-new Lazy River or get soaked down a ruptured pipeline on The Blast. Open year-round with pools heated seasonally, Wet ‘n Wild is the perfect place for the entire family to relax, have fun, and soak up the warm Florida sun!

Disney and Lake Buena Vista

Blizzard Beach

Walt Disney World Resort

Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
407-934-7639

Days of operation and hours vary, call for exact information

Admission Charged

Ski Disney. Whether it’s bobsledding down the “snowy” slopes of Mt. Gushmore or plunging straight down Summit Plummet at 55 mph, Walt Disney World guests get all the spine-chilling thrills of a northern ski resort! The 66-acre Blizzard Beach water adventure park is all part of a “zany” combination — a water park with the atmosphere and excitement of a major ski resort in the midst of sunny Florida.

Disney – Magic Kingdom

Walt Disney World Resort

Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
407-W-DISNEY

Open daily, call for hours of operation

Admission Charged

A whimsical place where storybook fantasy becomes everyday reality. Journey through seven themed lands incorporating more than forty attractions. NEW: Disney music meets Disney magic in the new 3-D “sym-funny”, Mickey’s PhilharMagic, starring Mickey, Donald and their friends. Gather most evenings for the “Wishes” nighttime spectacular.

Disney – MGM Studios

Walt Disney World Resort

Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
407-824-4321

Open daily, call for hours of operation

Admission Charged

Come take center stage as the star of your own adventure at Disney-MGM Studios. The world of showbiz comes alive, from rock ‘n’ roll fantasy to Broadway-style stage spectaculars; from the silver screen to the TV screen to behind the scenes. That’s entertainment! Attractions include: The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, Fantasmic, Playhouse Disney, and many live, on stage performances.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Walt Disney World Resort

Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
407-934-7639

Open daily, call for hours of operation

Wild adventures, thrilling attractions, dinosaurs, Disney characters, and spectacular shows are a winning combination. Walt Disney World Resort’s fourth and largest theme park is 500 Central Florida acres of vast jungles, lush grasslands and rainforests, plus a savannah and dinosaur dig site. The park is home to more than 1,000 animals representing some 250 species.

Downtown Disney

Walt Disney World Resort

Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
407-939-2648

Call for hours of operation

Admission Charged

The best of big cities with more than 70 shops, restaurants and clubs. Home to Pleasure Island, Cirque du Soleil, House of Blues, Planet Hollywood, World of Disney, Rainforest Cafe and Disney Quest.

Downtown Disney Pleasure Island

Walt Disney World Resort

Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
407-939-2648

Open daily, call for hours of operation

Admission Charged

Visit an island filled shore-to-shore with spectacular clubs, live entertainment, an Island-wide street party and a New Year’s Eve celebration every night. You’ll find something for everyone: smooth jazz, rock ‘n’ roll, R&B, ’70s disco and ’80s favorites, high-tech dance, Top 40 and improv comedy.

Epcot

Walt Disney World Resort

Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
407-824-4321

Open daily, call for hours of operation

Admission Charged

From world travel to wide-eyed excitement, a day at Epcot will set your spirits soaring. At the new Mission: SPACE attraction, you’ll rocket through space on the most thrilling Disney attraction ever! On Test Track, experience high-speed excitement as you run a test car through its paces. Take a trip around the globe in World Showcase and enjoy the wonders of eleven festive nations. At night, cap it all off with the amazing laser and light spectacular, IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.

Richard Petty Driving Experience

Walt Disney World Speedway

Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
407-939-0130

Call for reservations and hours of operation

Admission Charged

Do you have the need for speed? Do you have what it takes? Find out by riding shotgun or driving a 600-horsepower NASCAR style stock car at Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando. It truly is the thrill of a lifetime! The sights, the sounds and the power of these race cars is truly amazing.

Typhoon Lagoon

Walt Disney World Resort

Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
407-934-7396

Open seasonally, call for hours and dates of operation

Admission Charged

Surf Disney! A surfside playground left behind by a “great storm”, Typhoon Lagoon — with its breaking waves and saltwater shark reef — ushers in tropical water adventures for Walt Disney World guests. Located near Downtown Disney West Side, the 56-acre Typhoon Lagoon includes a man-made watershed mountain with eight twisting-and-turning water slides and roaring streams. A two-and-one-half acre wave-making lagoon features surfing-size waves.

Cirque DuSoleil La Nouba

1478 E. Buena Vista Drive

Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
407-939-7600

Hours: 6pm and 9pm shows Tues.-Sat., call for reservations

Admission Charged

Experience La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil, a mesmerizing live production for the whole family that transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary. To see it is unbelievable, to miss it, unthinkable.

E- Events & Entertainment:
Events

January

January 1-Florida Citrus Bowl

Top college teams from the Southeastern Conference and the Big Ten Conference compete at Citrus Bowl Stadium.

1610 W. Church St.

407-423-2476.

First Thursdays

Themed exhibits by local artists, live music by local bands and DJs, and refreshments at one of the best art museums in the southern U.S. Orlando Museum of Art, 2416 N. Mills Ave. For information,

Call 407-896-4231

Throughout January—Orlando-UCS Shakespeare Festival

Professional actors perform plays by Shakespeare and other playwrights.

Margeson and Goldman Theaters, Lowndes Shakespeare Center, 812 E. Rollins St. and the Lake Eola Amphitheater, downtown.

For information call 407-447-1700 Continues through late April

Throughout January—Dance

The Orlando Ballet (formerly the Southern Ballet Theatre) performs several productions each year at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre, 401 W. Livingston St.

For information, call 407-426-1733

Throughout January—NBA Basketball

The Orlando Magic play regular-season home games at the TD Waterhouse Centre, 600 W. Amelia St.

For information, call 407-916-2400. Season continues through mid April

Throughout January—Opera

The Orlando Opera holds regular concerts at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre, 401 W. Livingston St.

For information, call 407-426-1700, or toll-free 800-336-7372. Continues through mid April

Throughout January—Concert

The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra’s season includes classical and pops concerts and performances by small chamber ensembles and soloists. Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre, 401 W. Livingston St., and Margeson Theater, Symphony Square, 812 E. Rollins St.

For information, call 407-896-6700. Continues through mid May

February

First Thursdays

Themed exhibits by local artists, live music by local bands and DJs, and refreshments at one of the best art museums in the southern U.S. Orlando Museum of Art, 2416 N. Mills Ave.

For information, call 407-896-4231

Throughout February—Orlando-UCF Shakespeare Festival. Professional actors perform plays by Shakespeare and other playwrights. Margeson and Goldman Theaters, Lowndes Shakespeare Center, 812 E. Rollins St. and the Lake Eola Amphitheater, downtown.

For information, call 407-447-1700. Continues through late April

Throughout February—Art Exhibit

Orlando Museum of Art, 2416 N. Mills Ave.

407-896-4231. Continues through June

Throughout February—Dance. The Orlando Ballet (formerly the Southern Ballet Theatre) performs several productions each year at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre, 401 W. Livingston St.

For information, call 407-426-1733. Continues through late May

Throughout February—Concert. The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra’s season includes classical and pops concerts and performances by small chamber ensembles and soloists. Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre, 401 W. Livingston St., and Margeson Theater, Symphony Square, 812 E. Rollins St.

For information, call 407-896-6700. Continues through mid May

Throughout February—Opera. The Orlando Opera holds regular concerts at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre, 401 W. Livingston St.

For information, call 407-426-1700, or toll-free 800-336-7372. Continues through mid April

Throughout February—NBA Basketball. The Orlando Magic play regular-season home games at the TD Waterhouse Centre, 600 W. Amelia St.

For information, call 407-916-2400. Season continues through mid April

March

First Thursdays. Themed exhibits by local artists, live music by local bands and DJs, and refreshments at one of the best art museums in the southern U.S. Orlando Museum of Art, 2416 N. Mills Ave.

For information, call 407-896-4231

Throughout March—Orlando-UCF Shakespeare Festival.

Professional actors perform plays by Shakespeare and other playwrights. Margeson and Goldman Theaters, Lowndes Shakespeare Center, 812 E. Rollins St. and the Lake Eola Amphitheater, downtown.

For information, call 407-447-1700. Continues through late April

Throughout March—Concert. The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra’s season includes classical and pops concerts and performances by small chamber ensembles and soloists. Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre, 401 W. Livingston St., and Margeson Theater, Symphony Square, 812 E. Rollins St.

For information, call 407-896-6700. Continues through mid May

Throughout March—Art Exhibit.

Orlando Museum of Art, 2416 N. Mills Ave.

407-896-4231. Continues through June

Throughout March—Opera. The Orlando Opera holds regular concerts at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre, 401 W. Livingston St.

For information, call 407-426-1700, or toll-free 800-336-7372. Continues through mid April

Throughout March—Dance. The Orlando Ballet (formerly the Southern Ballet Theatre) performs several productions each year at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre, 401 W. Livingston St. For information, call 407-426-1733.

For information, call 407-426-1739, Continues through late May

Throughout March—NBA Basketball

The Orlando Magic play regular-season home games at the TD Waterhouse Centre, 600 W. Amelia St.

For information, call 407-916-2400. Season continues through mid April

April

First Thursdays. Themed exhibits by local artists, live music by local bands and DJs, and refreshments at one of the best art museums in the southern U.S. Orlando Museum of Art, 2416 N. Mills Ave.

For information, call 407-896-4231

NBA Basketball. The Orlando Magic play regular-season home games at the TD Waterhouse Centre, 600 W. Amelia St.

For information, call 407-916-2400. Season concludes mid April

Early-Mid April—Opera. The Orlando Opera holds regular concerts at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre, 401 W. Livingston St.

For information, call 407-426-1700, or toll-free 800-336-7372. Concludes mid April

Throughout April—Art Exhibit.

Orlando Museum of Art, 2416 N. Mills Ave.

407-896-4231. Continues through June

Throughout April—Orlando-UCF Shakespeare Festival

Professional actors perform plays by Shakespeare and other playwrights. Margeson and Goldman Theaters, Lowndes Shakespeare Center, 812 E. Rollins St. and the Lake Eola Amphitheater, downtown.

For information, call 407-447-1700. Concludes late April

Throughout April—Dance. The Orlando Ballet (formerly the Southern Ballet Theatre) performs several productions each year at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre, 401 W. Livingston St.

For information, call 407-426-1733. Continues through late May

Throughout April—Concert. The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra’s season includes classical and pops concerts and performances by small chamber ensembles and soloists. Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre, 401 W. Livingston St., and Margeson Theater, Symphony Square, 812 E. Rollins St.

For information, call 407-896-6700. Continues through mid May

May

Early-Mid May—Concert. The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra’s season includes classical and pops concerts and performances by small chamber ensembles and soloists. Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre, 401 W. Livingston St., and Margeson Theater, Symphony Square, 812 E. Rollins St. For information, call 407-896-6700. Concludes mid May

First Thursdays. Themed exhibits by local artists, live music by local bands and DJs, and refreshments at one of the best art museums in the southern U.S. Orlando Museum of Art, 2416 N. Mills Ave.

For information, call 407-896-4231

Throughout May—Dance. The Orlando Ballet (formerly the Southern Ballet Theatre) performs several productions each year at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre, 401 W. Livingston St.

For information, call 407-426-1733. Concludes late May

Throughout May—Art Exhibit.

Orlando Museum of Art, 2416 N. Mills Ave.

407-896-4231. Continues through June

June

Art Exhibit

Orlando Museum of Art, 2416 N. Mills Ave.

407-896-4231

First Thursdays

Themed exhibits by local artists, live music by local bands and DJs, and refreshments at one of the best art museums in the southern U.S. Orlando Museum of Art, 2416 N. Mills Ave.

For information, call 407-896-4231

July

Independence Day

Lake Eola’s annual Fourth of July celebration includes games, entertainment and, of course, fireworks.

For information, call 407-246-2287 or 407-246-2827.

First Thursdays

Themed exhibits by local artists, live music by local bands and DJs, and refreshments at one of the best art museums in the southern U.S. Orlando Museum of Art, 2416 N. Mills Ave.

For information, call 407-896-4231

August

First Thursdays

Themed exhibits by local artists, live music by local bands and DJs, and refreshments at one of the best art museums in the southern U.S. Orlando Museum of Art, 2416 N. Mills Ave.

For information, call 407-896-4231

Numerous dates in August
Best of Florida Festival

Thousands of brightly hued caladiums and coleus fill the glass atrium at Gaylord Palms & Convention Center during this celebration of Florida flora. Gardening seminars, tours, sand sculptures, food and entertainment.

For more information, call 407-586-2000. Continues through early September

September

Best of Florida Festival

Thousands of brightly hued caladiums and coleus fill the glass atrium at Gaylord Palms & Convention Center during this celebration of Florida flora. Gardening seminars, tours, sand sculptures, food and entertainment.

For more information, call 407-586-2000

First Thursdays

Themed exhibits by local artists, live music by local bands and DJs, and refreshments at one of the best art museums in the southern U.S. Orlando Museum of Art, 2416 N. Mills Ave.

For information, call 407-896-4231

Art Exhibit

Orlando Museum of Art, 2416 N. Mills Ave.

Phone 407-896-4231

October

Mid-Late October—Concert. The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra’s season includes classical and pops concerts and performances by small chamber ensembles and soloists. Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre, 401 W. Livingston St., and Margeson Theater, Symphony Square, 812 E. Rollins St.

For information, call 407-896-6700

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Visitors sample tastes from more than 30 countries and regions in 25 marketplaces. Highlights include wine and cooking demonstrations, the Eat to the Beat concert series and interactive exhibits.

Epcot Center, Disney World

407-939-6244

First Thursdays

Themed exhibits by local artists, live music by local bands and DJs, and refreshments at one of the best art museums in the southern U.S.

Orlando Museum of Art, 2416 N. Mills Ave.

For information, call 407-896-4231

Silver Spurs Rodeo

The largest rodeo east of the Mississippi draws top bull riders, cowboys and other entertainment. Silver Spurs Arena, Osceola Heritage Park, 1875 Silver Spurs Lane, Kissimmee (22.5 mi/36 km south of Orlando).

For information, call 407-677-6336.

Golf

Top professional golfers and amateurs compete in the FUNAI Classic at Walt Disney World. Disney’s Magnolia and Palm Courses, Lake Buena Vista (18 mi/29 km south of Orlando).

For information, call 407-824-2250.

Late October—NBA Basketball

The Orlando Magic play regular-season home games at the TD Waterhouse Centre, 600 W. Amelia St.

For information, call 407-916-2400. Season continues through mid April 2005

Early-Late October—Orlando-UCF Shakespeare Festival

Professional actors perform plays by Shakespeare and other playwrights. Margeson and Goldman Theaters, Lowndes Shakespeare Center, 812 E. Rollins St. and the Lake Eola Amphitheater, downtown.

For information, call 407-447-1700. Continues through late April

Early-Late October—Dance

The Orlando Ballet (formerly the Southern Ballet Theatre) performs several productions each year at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre, 401 W. Livingston St.

For information, call 407-426-1733. Continues through late May

November

Early November—Fall Fiesta in the Park

More than 500 booths showcase regional arts and crafts.

Lake Eola Park, North Rosalind Avenue and East Washington Street.

For more information, call 407-246-2827

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Visitors sample tastes from more than 30 countries and regions in 25 marketplaces. Highlights include wine and cooking demonstrations, the Eat to the Beat concert series and interactive exhibits. Epcot Center, Disney World.

407-939-6244

First Thursdays

Themed exhibits by local artists, live music by local bands and DJs, and refreshments at one of the best art museums in the southern U.S. Orlando Museum of Art, 2416 N. Mills Ave.

For information, call 407-896-4231

Veterans Day

Public holiday. Approximately 75 units participate in a parade to honor veterans and active-duty military personnel. Lake Eola Park, Rosalind and Washington streets.

For information, call 407-246-2827

Osceola Art Festival. Kissimmee hosts this annual art festival featuring exhibits by local, student and national artists. Downtown Kissimmee (22.5 mi/36 km south of Orlando).

For more information, call the Osceola Center for the Arts at 407-846-6257.

Mid-Late November—Opera.

The Orlando Opera holds regular concerts at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre, 401 W. Livingston St.

For information, call 407-426-1700, or toll-free 800-336-7372

NBA Basketball

The Orlando Magic play regular-season home games at the TD Waterhouse Centre, 600 W. Amelia St.

For information, call 407-916-2400. Season continues through mid April 2005

December

First Thursdays

Themed exhibits by local artists, live music by local bands and DJs, and refreshments at one of the best art museums in the southern U.S. Orlando Museum of Art, 2416 N. Mills Ave.

For information, call 407-896-4231

Christmas in the Park

The Morse Museum lights up its century-old Tiffany windows to set the stage for a free concert of holiday favorites by the Bach Festival Society choir. Morse Museum of American Art, 445 N. Park Ave., Winter Park.

407-645-5311 or 407-645-5324

Gainesville, Florida

A- Overview:
Home of the “Swamp” and the famous Florida Gators, this Florida city has a life and culture all its own. In Gainesville, as well as the surrounding areas, visitors can explore the beautiful rivers, lakes, cool natural springs and unspoiled wilderness parks of an exquisite sub-tropical region. Easy US Interstate-75 access allows exploration of many of the nearby natural attractions from cycling, canoeing, hiking, camping, bird-watching and fishing to tubing down the famous Suwannee River.

Long before the Spaniards arrived in Florida, Gainesville’s combination of fertile soil, broad prairies, clear lakes and abundant game had attracted a complex Native American Civilization known as the Timucuan. Throughout the sixteenth century Spanish explorers, including Hernando DeSoto, ranged across the region seeking land and treasure. Next, Franciscan priests founded missions, and finally ranchers established a large cattle ranch on Payne’s Prairie. During the early 1700s the English and their indigenous allies destroyed these missions and later the Seminole established settlements around Micanopy.

One of the most significant events in the more recent history of the County occurred in 1905 when Gainesville was chosen as the site for the University of Florida. The University opened a year later with 102 students, fifteen faculty and two unfinished buildings. Twenty years later the student body numbered 2000 who attended classes in thirteen Gothic-style buildings including a library, a gymnasium and an auditorium. By the 1930s, the University had become the focus of the County’s economy, helping it weather both the land boom collapse of the mid-1920s and the long depression of the 1930s. At the turn of the 21st century, the student population had grown to over 44,000, and the upward trend continues today.

In addition to the University, visitors can experience the thrill of drag racing at the Gainesville Raceway. With a quarter-mile drag strip 167 feet above sea level, it’s a thrilling experience. For a little Florida history, take a trip along the Old Florida Heritage Highway. Located along U.S. 441 from Williston Rd. to the Marion County Line, there are 48 miles of U.S.441 just south of Gainesville providing a vista of rural landscape, cattle, state parks and historic towns.

Nearby are a host of once-in-a lifetime adventures. Visitors can canoe down the Santa Fe or Ichetucknee Rivers near High Springs, hike the trails at O’Leno State Park in High Springs, see the sink holes at Peacock Springs near Branford, even canoe down the Suwannee River made famous by composer Stephen Foster, or take a houseboat cruise along the Suwannee River near the west coast of Florida. In addition, just two hours south of Gainesville is Orlando, home of the Walt Disney World Resort and the most popular vacation destination in the world.

Due to its location in sunny central Florida, any time of year is fine for a visit to Gainesville. It is a busy time of year when the University of Florida is in full session (and anytime the Florida Gators are playing a home football game). Winter tends to be even busier as visitors from the north visit Gainesville while also stopping in at other areas in Florida. With the exception of a few summer days, temperatures are quite pleasant. Winter brings a midday high near 70 making it ideal for any of the many outdoor activities available. Spring and fall bring a rise in temperature during the day but evenings are just cool enough for a relaxing dinner at one of the city’s many fine restaurants followed by a stroll through the area or on the University campus. The heat and humidity rise in summer, making it the perfect time of year for a dip in the pool and a cool drink. Whatever the season or whatever the reason for visiting, this true Florida City has something for everyone.

B- City Information:
Population: 95,447

Elevation: 18.3 feet above sea level

Land Area: 48.2 square miles

Location: Located in the north central section of Florida, near Interstate 75

Time Zone: Eastern Time Zone (when it’s noon in Gainesville, it’s 11am in Chicago and 9am in Los Angeles). Gainesville observes Daylight Savings Time from April – October

Weather:

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Average temp. (°F)
54.3
57.0
62.6
67.6
74.3
79.2
80.9
80.4
77.8
70.1
62.8
56.3

High temperature (°F)
66.3
69.4
75.2
80.5
86.6
89.9
90.9
90.1
87.5
81.1
74.5
68.2

Low temperature (°F)
42.3
44.7
49.9
54.6
62.0
68.4
70.8
70.6
68.1
59.1
51.0
44.3

Precipitation (in)
3.6
3.4
4.3
2.9
3.2
6.8
6.2
6.8
4.4
2.5
2.2
2.6

Climate:

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Days with precipitation
9
7
8
6
7
15
16
16
12
7
7
7

Wind speed (mph)
6.9
7.4
7.8
7.2
6.9
6.1
5.6
5.4
5.8
6.3
6.2
6.0

Morning humidity (%)
90
90
91
91
91
88
89
91
96
94
93
91

Afternoon humidity (%)
60
56
53
50
50
56
59
60
64
61
60
61

Sunshine (%)
58
62
68
73
71
66
65
64
59
61
61
55

Local Seasons:

It is a busy time of year when the University of Florida is in full session (and anytime the Florida Gators are playing a home football game). Winter tends to be even busier as visitors from the north visit Gainesville while also visiting other areas in Florida. With the exception of a few summer days, temperatures are quite pleasant. Winter brings a midday high near 70 making it ideal for any of the many outdoor activities available. Spring and fall bring a rise in temperature during the day but evenings are just cool enough for a relaxing dinner at one of the city’s many fine restaurants followed by a stroll through the area or on the University campus. The heat and humidity rise in summer, making it the perfect time of year for a dip in the pool and a cool drink.

How to Get There:

By Air

Gainesville Regional Airport

3880 N.E. 39th Avenue

Gainesville, Florida 32609

352-373-0249

This regional airport is served by some of the nationally recognized connection carriers for the major airlines as well as operating as a general aviation facility for private and corporate aircraft.

Ground Transportation

Many of the major car rental companies as well as taxi and limousine services are available at the airport and at select locations throughout the city.

By Car

Interstate 75 skirts Gainesville on the west, it links with major metropolitan centers such as Atlanta and the Tampa-St. Petersburg area. U.S. Routes 301 and 441 and State Route 26 join Gainesville with other communities in Alachua County and in northern Florida.

By Train

Amtrak

Located on the corner of SE 1st Avenue and 1st Street

800-USA-RAIL

Call for schedule and additional information

This service connects the Gainesville station with Amtrak’s Palatka rail station, meeting southbound trains serving Orlando, West Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, and Miami; and northbound trains to Savannah, Raleigh, Richmond, Washington, Philadelphia, and New York.

By Bus

Greyhound

516 SW 4TH Ave

Gainesville FL 32601

352-376-5252

Call for schedule and additional information

How to Get Around:

With so many things to see and do, both in the city as well as throughout the surrounding area, the best way to get around is by either personal or rental car.

In addition, local area bus service is provided by the Regional Transit System (RTS), which also offers mini-bus transportation for people who are disabled.

352-334-2600. Call for additional information

National Holidays:

New Year’s Day, Jan. 1

Martin Luther King, Jr., Day 3rd Mon. in Jan.

President’s Day, 3rd Mon. in Feb.

Memorial Day, last Mon. in May

Independence Day, July 4

Labor Day, 1st Mon. in Sept.

Thanksgiving Day, 4th Thurs. in Nov.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Dec. 24 and 25

New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31

C- Attractions/Things To Do:
University of Florida Sports – The Gators

Gainesville, FL 32604

800-344-2867

Call for game schedule and additional information

The University offers a host of spectator sports throughout the year, including: Baseball, Basketball (men and women), Cross Country, Football, Golf, Gymnastics, Soccer, Softball, Swimming and Diving (men and women), Tennis (men and women), Track, and Volleyball.

Florida Museum of History

S.W. 34th St. and Hull Rd
Gainesville, FL 32611
352-846-2000

Mon – Sat 10 am – 5 pm; Sun & state holidays 1 – 5 pm. Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas

Admission Charged

In the Hall of Florida Fossils: Evolution of Life and Land, guests learn about Florida’s fossils and geologic and environmental changes over 65 million years. South Florida People & Environments explain the story of native people in South Florida and their environments. Northwest Florida: Waterways and Wildlife displays a full-sized replica of a North Florida limestone cave. The Butterfly Rainforest houses hundreds of living butterflies, waterfalls and tropical plants.

NHRA/Gainesville Raceway

11211 N. C.R. 225
Gainesville, FL 32609
352-377-0046

Open year round, closed most major holidays. Call for additional information

Admission Charged

Gainesville Raceway home of the Mac Tools NHRA Gatornationals. The quarter-mile drag strip is 167 feet above sea level, runs west to east, VIP tower suites for catered meals, press briefings, or classroom instruction, numerous well-maintained permanent restroom facilities, significant lighted areas, outdoor seating for 32,000, complete perimeter security fencing, corporate hospitality village. In addition to the drag strip a road course/test track and off-road course are available for rental.

Old Florida Heritage Highway

Along U.S. 441 from Williston Rd. to the Marion County Line
Gainesville, FL 32667
850-410-5894

Open year round

Admission Free

48 miles of U.S.441 just south of Gainesville provide a vista of rural landscape, cattle, state parks and historic towns.

Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art

S.W. 34th St. and Hull Rd
Gainesville, FL 32611
352-392-9826

Tues. – Fri. 11 am – 5 pm; Sat. 10 am – 5 pm; Sun. 1 – 5 pm. Closed state holidays and Mondays

Admission Charged

Located on the University of Florida campus in Gainesville, the Harn Museum of Art is one of the largest university art museums in the southeastern United States. Along with important loans from other sources, the museum’s permanent collections feature American, African, pre-Columbian, Asian, and contemporary works of art. The museum offers a broad range of programs from film and lecture series to workshops and performances.

Matheson Museum
513 E. University Avenue
Gainesville, FL 32601
352-378-2280

Open Sunday 1pm – 5pm

Admission Free

The Alachua County Historic Trust: Matheson Museum, Inc. is dedicated to preserving and interpreting the history of Alachua County, Florida. The Museum complex includes 4 sites: the Matheson Museum, housing the exhibit hall and research library, the Matheson House, the Tison Tool Museum, and Sweetwater Park.

The Matheson House

513 E. University Avenue
Gainesville, FL 32601
352-378-2280

The Matheson House is open the first Sunday of each month from 1pm – 4pm for tours.

Admission Charged

The house belonged to Douglas Matheson, an emigrant from South Carolina and a prominent merchant, who bequeathed it to his son Chris, the city’s mayor from 1910 to 1917, a state legislator, and later, a minister. Chris’ wife Sarah deeded the house to the Trust upon her death in 1996. A blend of South Carolina plantation and Classic Revival raised cottage architecture, the Matheson House incorporates Gothic decorative elements in roof finials and an interior stairway. The gambrel roof and ceiling to ground porch columns are uncommon in Florida. Inside, period furniture and personal possessions are a testament to a family’s history, and that of Gainesville itself.

The Tison Tool Museum

513 E. University Avenue
Gainesville, FL 32601
352-378-2280

The Tison Tool Museum is open by appointment only

Admission Charged

The Tison Tool Museum houses the unique tool collection of Gainesville native John Mason Tison, Jr. Built by Tison in 1993 and reconstructed on the Matheson site in 1998, the structure—and the tools it preserves—honor the skill and artistry that created Alachua County’s built environment.

Sweetwater Park

513 E. University Avenue
Gainesville, FL 32601
352-378-2280

Open daily, call for additional information

Admission Free

Located directly behind the Museum, the park is a joint effort of the Matheson Museum and the City of Gainesville. The Park is an outdoor museum in the heart of the city. A Walk Through History, a 12-panel local history exhibition, lines the walkways that meander through the park; the area’s natural history is interpreted in native plant clusters and a formal Southern garden. As a neighborhood and community space, the park offers quiet benches along Sweetwater Branch Creek, the city’s original eastern boundary, and a children’s playground.

Nearby:

European Rally & Performance Driving School

7266 Airport Rd
Starke, FL 32091
352-473-2999

Open year round, Mon – Fri 8:30am – 5:30pm

Admission Charged

The ultimate motor sport experience. Drive real rally cars, on real roads, real fast, just like the professionals. Slide and drift, take jumps, use the E brake for hairpin turns, left foot brake and more. Use our two-wheel drive or powerful all wheel drive cars. One to five day courses available. One and two day Karting courses, also one and three day ATV courses.

Day Trips:

Canoe down the Santa Fe or Ichetucknee Rivers near High Springs.

386-454-2050

Hike the trails at O’Leno State Park in High Springs.

386-454-1857

Explore the sink holes at Peacock Springs near Branford.

386-776-2194

Just two hours south of Gainesville, the Walt Disney World Resort is the most popular vacation destination in the world.

407-WDisney

Visit the Olustee Battlefield State Historic Site near Lake City in the town of Olustee.

386-752-3866

Visit the Florida Sports Hall of Fame in Lake City which showcases world-class sports celebrities whose roots are in Florida.

386-758-1310

Visit the Columbia County Historical Museum in Lake City, located in a historical home styled in the unique Southern Rural Italianate architecture.

386-755-1517

Visit the Stephen Foster State Folk Culture Center in White Springs located on the banks of the Suwannee River. The center features a crafters’ center, the Stephen Foster Museum, a gift shop, and the remains of a sulfur spring house.

904-397-2733

Canoe down the Suwannee River made famous by composer Stephen Foster.

904-428-4171

Take a houseboat cruise along the Suwannee River near the west coast of Florida.

800-458-BOAT

E- Events & Entertainment:
Events & Entertainment

January and February

The Hoggetowne Medieval Faire

Held in late January – early February

Location: Downtown Gainesville

352-334-ARTS

Step back in time, cheer on royal knights as they joust on horseback and charge head-on at a full gallop with only a lance and shield to defend themselves. Watch a chess game played out with human chess pieces on the Living Chessboard. Laugh along with jugglers, magicians and a colorful cast of characters. In the marketplace visitors will find more than 140 skilled artisans selling and demonstrating their time-honored arts and crafts of the Middle Ages. Feel the exhilaration of human powered push rides and live animal rides. Prepare to be tempted by the delicacies of the Food Court, where even a King’s appetite can be pleased. For many years the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire has been one of the most highly anticipated festivals in North Central Florida.

May – September

“Let’s Go Downtown” Plaza Series

Held May – September

Location: Downtown Community Plaza

352-334-5064

From May to September, the Downtown Community Plaza comes alive every Friday night as local talent and other cultural events are showcased under the stars. Hundreds come out to enjoy free live bands, theater groups, dance performances, Movies on the Plaza, and much more. The Plaza is located on the corner of SE 1st St. and E. University Ave. in historic downtown.

September-November

Artsreach

Held mid September – mid November

Location: Varies

352-334-5064

Call for additional information

The Artsreach Program, established in 1984 by the City of Gainesville, proudly welcomes visitors to changing exhibitions by talented local artists at ‘Art in City Hall’, ‘Art in the Alachua County Administration Building’ and ‘Art in the Gainesville-Regional Airport’. Many of the artists represented are ‘local and sometimes national treasures’ that rise to the level of regional, national and international prominence.

November

Downtown Festival and Art Show

Held in early November

Location: Downtown Gainesville

352-334-5064

Call for additional information

Downtown Gainesville hosts one of North Central Florida’s most exciting fall festivals of the arts.
The streets of historic downtown Gainesville come alive as thousands of spectators enjoy over 250 colorful artist’s displays by the region’s finest artists who bring one of a kind paintings, ceramics, jewelry, photography and more. This highly acclaimed event has been rated among the top 200 best shows in the country by Sunshine Artist Magazine, which voted it one of the best in the nation. Enjoy three stages of continuous live music and performances, create art with the kids at the “Imagination Station”, and indulge in food from around the world.

Jazz Festival

Held in early November

Location: Downtown Gainesville

352-334-5064

Call for additional information

As part of the Downtown Festival, the Jazz Festival proudly presents a free concert featuring well-known national artists as well as a host of other activities. With more than 25 local groups and acts on three stages of entertainment, there is an exhilarating flair to two days of continuous music and fun.

December

Downtown Countdown: A New Year’s Celebration

Held in late December

Location: Downtown Gainesville

352- 334-5064

Downtown Gainesville’s New Year’s entertainment is second to none. Ring in the New Year with music, lights, prizes, giveaways, food vendors, and radio station remotes. Nationally and locally known performing artists electrify the night at the Downtown Community Plaza, as the brick-lined streets are energized by thousands celebrating another year.

Entertainment:

Acrosstown Repertory Theatre

619 South Main Street

Gainesville, FL 32601

352-375-1321

Call for performance schedule and additional information

Since its inception in 1980, the Acrosstown Repertory Theatre has provided Gainesville and Alachua County with a unique and innovative cultural experience. There are many opportunities for exploring acting, writing, directing, and production for many diverse sectors of our community, especially for those who otherwise might not enjoy such opportunities. Citizens of all ages, races, and socio-economic backgrounds participate in the theatre’s activities. Professional and novice playwrights, poets, and other creative artists have enjoyed having their works staged.

High Springs Community Theater
130 NE 1st Avenue

High Springs, FL 32643
386-454-3525

Call for performance schedule and additional information

High Springs Community Theater is a private, nonprofit corporation whose mission is to stage high quality amateur theater productions using the donated talents of residents of High Springs and surrounding communities. HSCT produces four main stage productions each year, and a Summer Youth Theater Program.

The Hippodrome State Theatre

25 SE 2nd Place
Gainesville, FL 32601
352-375-4477

Call for performance schedule and additional information

The Hippodrome State Theatre is one of North Florida’s only professional regional theatres. Celebrating its artistic excellence, the Hippodrome is designated as a Cultural Institution and a State Theatre of Florida. A cornerstone of the artistic life of North Florida, the Hippodrome is also a landmark of the downtown Gainesville landscape, occupying a beautifully restored historic building built in 1911.

University of Florida Performing Arts
315 Hull Road

Gainesville, FL 32611
352-392-ARTS (2787)

Call for performance schedule and additional information

A joy of the performing arts is experiencing artists from around the globe and gaining an intimate view of their cultures. Performers hailing from Peru, Hungary, Russia, Italy, the United Kingdom, Africa, New Zealand, Ireland, Germany, Canada, India and the Czech Republic are represented at the University, complementing American artists and companies that grace the stages.

Gainesville Symphony Orchestra

352-336-5448

Call for performance schedule and additional information

Dance Alive

1325 NW Second Street

Gainesville, FL 32601

352-373-1166

Call for performance schedule and additional information

As a regional ballet company, the Dance Alive performances are held at The Phillips Center for Performing Arts at the University of Florida.

Sports:

University of Florida Sports – The Gators

Gainesville, FL 32604

800-344-2867

Call for game schedule and additional information

The University offers a host of spectator sports throughout the year, including: Baseball, Basketball (men and women), Cross Country, Football, Golf, Gymnastics, Soccer, Softball, Swimming and Diving (men and women), Tennis (men and women), Track, and Volleyball.