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The largest cities in Central Florida are Orlando, Kissimmee, Sanford and Daytona Beach. The most popular of these being the Orlando / Kissimmee area. Orlando is the most visited city in all of Florida. The main reason is because there is so much fun to have in this city that you can't possibly do it all! Orlando is home to Walt Disney World including The Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, MGM Studios, Typhoon Lagoon and River Country. You can also visit downtown Disney which has great shopping, animated dining and a great nightlife including Pleasure Island. Outside of the Disney gates you will also find International Drive and other great shopping locations. Filled with outlet and retail stores, hotels and dinner shows, you could have an entire vacation on this one street! You will not want to miss Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure. The two amusement parks bring the magic of movies and special effects to life. Universal Studios is also home to Halloween Horror Nights which brings the magic of Halloween each fall season. If theme parks do not appeal to you, Downtown Orlando and Winter Park are excellent places to see great live entertainment, antique shopping, night life and clubs as well as upscale dining...read more »

Featured Central Florida Destinations:

Sarasota Florida

"By offering a wide variety of enlightening experiences within beautiful surroundings, Sarasota, Florida certainly is a magnet for those seeking the ultimate romantic vacation.

Historians are not quite sure how Sarasota derived its name. One theory is that it was named after the daughter of Hernando De Soto, Sara. (De Soto, along with Ponce de Leon and Panfilo Narvez, were the first explorers to land on the Gulf Coast in search of gold and silver.)

Another maintains that the name may have been derived from the Spanish "sarao sota" translated as "a place of dancing."

I prefer the latter, as the feeling of dancing seems to abound all around you. This is quite noticeable when you consider it to be one huge playground for sunbathing, swimming, shopping, restaurants, abundance of sunshine, unbelievable white beaches and the fantastic cultural scene.

The first inhabitants of Sarasota were the Native Americans, who 3000 years ago lived in the area, when Sarasota Bay was ripe with fish and thick palmetto brush. In fact, most of the land had been covered with cedar forests.

Following the end of the Seminole Wars in the mid 1800s, Sarasota began to modernize. Initially, it was a cattle-ranching area attracting many politically disgruntled Scotsmen.

Seduced by the Florida Mortgage and Investment Company's promotional campaign in Scotland boasting about the abundance of fertile land, splendid citrus groves, cheap land and affordable housing, these newcomers packed up their belongings and boarded steamers to the promised-land."...read more about Sarasota Florida »

Tampa Bay Overview

Florida's Suncoast is where you will find the picturesque beachfront communities of Tampa, Clearwater, and St. Petersburg. It isn't unusual for this trio of pristine coastal real estate to be referred to as one area. In fact, the combination of these municipalities, and their proximity to the bay, is more commonly knows as: "The Tampa Bay Area".

The treasure-trio of Tampa - St. Pete - Clearwater share in having award-winning gemstones like sandy, premier beaches and plenty of water related recreational activities. But each city also has its own eclectic flavor that is reflected throughout the various neighborhoods that exist in these towns, and also via the vibrant residents living there.

Tampa, as previously mentioned, is situated near the western coast of Florida. The city of Tampa is located in Hillsborough County and serves as Hillsborough's county seat. Tampa is bordered by the waters of Old Tampa Bay, and Hillsborough Bay, which converge, forming "Tampa Bay," as it flows towards the Gulf of Mexico. Tampa consists of approximately 112 miles of exquisitely beautiful land and 58 miles of the purest water. ...read more about Tampa Bay, St Pete and Clearwater Florida Areas »



Longboat Key Florida

"Located on a barrier island just off the coast of Sarasota in the Gulf of Mexico is paradise personified, Longboat Key.

This private island is only 7 miles from the Sarasota/Bradenton airport and a 2- hour drive from Orlando.

Eleven miles of sandy white beachfront, overlooking the blue-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico, provides the ideal location rekindling those dormant love passions.

With a population of only 8,000 permanent residents, and the absence of t-shops, noisy traffic, mini-malls, fast food outlets, neon signs and everything else that is horrendous in many beachfront communities, Longboat Key well deserves its renowned reputation as an ideal get-away for families and couples.

The first inhabitants of Long Boat Key are believed to be the Timucan and Caloosa tribes. In 1539 the Spanish explorer Hernando DeSoto landed in the area with his men in their longboats; more dramatically, however, Jean Lafitte from New Orleans, who was called the gentleman pirate, used this area in the 1800's.

In the early 1920's, John Ringling of circus fame purchased considerable acreage on the south end of the island. Ringling constructed a golf course and planted Australian pine trees along Gulf of Mexico Drive. He also began construction of a luxurious hotel, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel on New Pass, which he eventually abandoned, and invested, instead, in The John and Mabel Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota.

Thanks to the Arvida Company that the development of the island, and its transformation into a first class resort destination, was initiated in 1956."...read more about Longboat Key Florida »