Orlando is nicknamed “The City Beautiful” and its symbol is the fountain at Lake Eola, a local park in Downtown Orlando.  Orlando attracts over 51 million tourists a year in total, of which 3.6 million are international.  The city is also one of the busiest American cities for conferences and conventions. Its airport, the Orlando International Airport (MCO), is the thirteenth busiest airport in the United States, and the 29th busiest in the world.

As a global tourist destination the city is also sometimes nicknamed “The Theme Park Capital of the World”.  The backbone of its tourism industry is The Walt Disney World Resorts, Universal Studios, Sea World, Gatorland and Wet ‘n Wild Water Park.

However Orlando is much more than a tourist destination. In 2009 Orlando ranked as the fourth most popular American city, based on where people want to live, according to a 2009 Pew Research Center study.

The period from 1875 to 1895 is remembered as Orlando’s Golden Era when citrus was King. Then we had some major freezes that forced many owners to give up their independent groves, thus consolidating holdings in the hands of a few “citrus barons” who over time shifted operations farther south.  Then when Disney opened in 1971, Orlando’s direction changed and the really big growth started, going from citrus town to a pretty good size big city.

Today Old Orlando is still the center of downtown with its brick streets and old oak trees; the inner city still has a small town feel.  Of course growth has taken off in all four directions from downtown forming many beautiful bedroom communities.  You can find your own area in any direction by exploring the areas that are most convenient to you based on your traffic patterns.  The farther out you go from the downtown core the more house you get for your money.

If you’re new in town you really need to have someone guide you in learning this city and the surrounding areas.  There are many great areas that you might miss without having someone local to show you the area.

Wikipedia was used as the main source for this information, their original work has been modified and altered. 
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