Central Florida’s exceptional native landscapes, lakes and access to Florida’s Everglades make it a nature lover’s paradise. But without a doubt, many families come here to experience the amazing theme park attractions. From the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando, to Universal’s Volcano Bay and Universal’s Islands of Adventure – plus the Kennedy Space Center Visitor’s Complex on the coast – the number of parks in Orlando is mind-boggling. Here’s where to stay nearby, all bookable with Culture Trip.
Right on the grounds of Universal Studios, this Pacific-themed resort is truly a slice of paradise – yet also close to the action of the popular theme park. The Royal Pacific Resort has an enormous lagoon fringed by sand and an array of palm trees is dotted around. Enjoy a mai tai in a private cabana by the lagoon-style pool, or relax in the Orchid Lounge with its own reflection pool. The tropical ambience carries through into the hotel and accommodation with orchids and teak furniture – but for the kids, there’s also a Jurassic World room.
This futuristic hotel is within minutes of theme parks, including Universal’s Volcano Bay and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and offers a free shuttle service to take you there. It’s also minutes from all the eateries, shopping and attractions of International Drive. The outdoor pool, fitness center and arcade/game room will keep you and the family active, while the clean, modern and stylish accommodation provides a relaxing retreat after a long day at the parks.
This fun rock’n’roll, ’50s- and ’60s-inspired hotel offers everything a family could want, including being a short walk from Universal Studios Florida and Universal CityWalk. The decor is a throwback to the hit series Happy Days. The ten-pin bowling alley is always a hit, but there are also two oversized swimming pools with a lazy river and waterslide to enjoy as well. But it’s probably the spacious, vibrantly colored rooms and suites that are the highlight – especially as suites include a handy kitchenette.
Hard Rock Hotels, much like the Hard Rock Cafes, feature memorabilia from the world of music – and it’s not limited to world-famous guitars. This well-known brand is also synonymous with good food and excellent accommodation. The convenience of being on the Universal Studios property can’t be overstated, particularly when you’re minutes away from all the attractions at Universal CityWalk, including Hard Rock Live. This property has a resort-style swimming pool with underwater speakers, as well as a Body Rock Fitness Center and Rock Om In-Room Yoga.
This luxury resort, on the gorgeous Grande Lake, is perfect for outdoor and sporty types. Access to a fabulous pool at the JW Marriott – just next door – is included, along with the championship-level, Greg Norman-designed golf course. Let Florida Master Naturalists take you on a private guided ecotour of Shingle Creek, the headwaters to the Florida Everglades. Alternatively, set off on the Hidden Lakes mountain bike trail on Scott bikes. For families, and the young-at-heart, a scheduled shuttle travels to Universal Studios, Orlando, Universal Islands of Adventure and other area theme parks.
There are a great many amenities that go along with a stay at this conveniently located property. Of course, its access to all Central Florida’s theme parks – such as Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal CityWalk – is, without a doubt, its top USP. A tasty complimentary breakfast is offered daily, and there is an attractive outdoor pool for guests to use. Great eateries are within walking distance, and Orlando’s Premium Outlets is nearby for brilliant shopping opportunities.
This exceptional luxury property is set on 62 acres, with astonishing views over the lake from virtually every room. It also has a choice of five of the best resort pools in Central Florida. Family fun doesn’t need to be just about theme parks – as here you’ll find a mini-golf course, two lazy rivers and two kid’s splash pools, plus pampering at Blue Harmony Spa. Enjoy a great selection of food and drink while lounging at the Back Bay Bar and Grill with views over the water.
This resort property’s lush and subtropical landscape is innately relaxing and calming – particularly when coupled with gorgeous Florida sunshine. Keen golfer? Built around the contours of the Bonnet Creek nature preserve, the Waldorf Astoria Golf Club is an award-winning course, nominated by Golf Magazine as one of the top courses you can play. Guests of the Waldorf Astoria can use the lazy river pool next door at the Signia by Hilton Orlando Hotel. It offers a zero-entry, lagoon-style pool that kids absolutely love.
Still unsure? See the best apartments in the area, or explore hotels fit for the whole family and book your stay with Culture Trip. If you need more ideas on what to do while in Orlando, there’s plenty of outside spaces with zoos, parks and gardens, as well as activities that will keep children entertained for hours.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.