Where to Stay in Orlando and Experience it Like a Local
The downtown city skyline from Lake Eola Park, Orlando, Central Florida, USA | © Ian Dagnall / Alamy Stock Photo
Theme parks and attractions are not all there is to see in Orlando, Florida. From historic homes to national stadiums, this is our guide on where to stay in Orlando like a local.
Traveling to Orlando usually means staying close to the big attractions like theme parks, but for some it means rubbing shoulders with people who actually live in the city. When it comes to immersing yourself into the City Beautiful – whether it is your first or 100th visit – there’s no better place to stay than in the areas locals call home. Many of these hotels are surrounded by popular restaurants and lively entertainment, letting you see a completely different side to the city.
Dr. Phillips House
4.1/5 (13 Reviews)
Courtesy of Dr. Phillips House / Expedia
Dr. Phillips is a legendary Floridian, known for his incredible citrus fruits business. This was once his home, built in 1893 and now on the National Register of Historic Places. Each room is furnished in a Victorian-era style, making for a cozy space for your stay in the city. The hotel is a short walk away to the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts where you can see a live stage performance, previously including the Broadway hit Hamilton.
4.3/5 (914 Reviews)
Courtesy of Aloft Orlando Downtown / Expedia
Now from $140 per night
Hip hotel Aloft is right in the heart of Downtown Orlando, just across the street from Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Sports fans will be pleased to know that this hotel is walking distance to the Amway Center to watch an Orlando Magic basketball game. Just a short drive from the hotel is the Harry P. Leu Gardens, where you can explore flower-filled trails.
The Delaney Hotel
4.8/5 (211 Reviews)
Courtesy of The Delaney Hotel / Expedia
Now from $156 per night
For a taste of local food, drink and music, this hotel is the place to stay. The on-site restaurant at the Delaney features a variety of local microbrews, some of which might have just been delivered that same day. Opt for the small plates and sharables – do not skip Mama Becky’s meatballs, which come with a spicy arrabbiata sauce and asiago cheese. When night falls, the restaurant brings in local bands to play music while you enjoy your beer and dinner.
4/5 (763 Reviews)
Courtesy of The Eo Inn - Downtown / Expedia
Now from $94 per night
If you’re looking for an extended stay in downtown Orlando, book the EO Inn. Choose from a range of modern rooms and suites, many with large bathrooms and private terraces. Lake Eola Park and the Orlando Museum of Art are both nearby, plus the very popular JINYA Ramen Bar, serving up ramen with fresh seafood and vegetables, is around the corner.
Courtyard by Marriott Orlando Downtown
4.4/5 (938 Reviews)
Courtesy of Courtyard by Marriott Orlando Downtown / Expedia
Now from $152 per night
Art lovers will enjoy staying at this hotel near the Milk District, known for its elaborate street murals, food and live music, which is almost always being played somewhere every night. Exploring this area can also lead you to a few hidden-gem museums including the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, where the world’s largest collection of works by renown glassmaker Louis Comfort Tiffany can be found.
Grand Bohemian Orlando
4.4/5 (968 Reviews)
Courtesy of Grand Bohemian Orlando, Autograph Collection / Expedia
Now from $186 per night
Enter through the striking entrance to find vaulted ceilings, Italian mosaics and a fine art gallery in this lavish hotel. Spending time outside in the Florida sunshine is a huge reason many people travel to Orlando. At this hotel, the outdoor lifestyle is just steps away from your room. A short walk away is Lake Eola, which has a beautiful walking trail around it. Grab a picnic and sit by the water while you watch the white swans paddle past.
Embassy Suites by Hilton Orlando Downtown
Courtesy of Embassy Suites Orlando - Downtown / Expedia
Soccer fans will want to stay at this hotel, thanks to its proximity to Exporia Stadium where Orlando City Soccer Club plays. The hotel is also within walking distance of Lake Eola Park, making a pick-up game of soccer with your traveling companions or a few local soccer fans pretty easy before going to an actual game.
Double Tree by Hilton Hotel Orlando Downtown
4/5 (939 Reviews)
Courtesy of DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando Downtown / Expedia
Now from $121 per night
Lake views are endless at this hotel that’s near Lake Ivanhoe and its surrounding park. The hotel is just a few short minutes from the nightlife of downtown Orlando, and a free shuttle ride away from big venues like the Amway Center and Exploria Stadium. After a game or concert, enjoy the rooftop pool and take in the sights and sounds of downtown Orlando.
These recommendations were updated on November 11, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.