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Central Florida is a favorite destination for visitors due to theme parks, NASCAR races, natural springs, golf courses, and the NASA facilities that put a man on the moon.

Regions[edit]

Map of Central Florida

  East Central Florida (Brevard County, Lake County, Greater Orlando, Volusia County)
Ranges from the theme parks in the center of the state to the Atlantic coast.
  West Central Florida (Citrus County, Hernando County, Hillsborough County, Manatee County, Pasco County, Pinellas County, Polk County, Sumter County)
Stretches from the Gulf Coast inland. May also be referred to as the Suncoast or the Tampa Bay area.

The I-4 corridor overlaps the other two regions and links the major population centers of Central Florida, stretching from Daytona Beach on the Atlantic coast, southwest through DeLand, Seminole County, Orlando, Lakeland, and into Tampa.

Understand[edit]

Climate[edit]

Central Florida
Climate chart (explanation)
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Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation+Snow totals in inches
See Tampa's 7 day forecast
Metric conversion
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Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation+Snow totals in mm

Winter temperatures decrease sharply going north as one leaves the semitropical central/southern Florida and enters the temperate regions of North Florida. Temperatures and humidity are generally very pleasant November through May. Though the sea may be too cold for locals to swim December through March, plenty of tourists still take a dip! While summer temperatures can be high and humidity palpable, the beach is still a great bet and many attractions have indoor portions, making a summer visit to Central Florida worthwhile, though afternoon rains can put a quick end to outdoor fun.

Talk[edit]

English is the official language of the state. However, the Spanish language is making inroads throughout the state. Native-born Floridians will usually speak in a southern accent. However, after the migration of millions of Americans from other states to Florida, the southern dialect is becoming diluted with other accents.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Full sized hotel, with all amenities and services, within Orlando International Airport itself.

Be aware that there are more airports throughout Central Florida which may get you closer to your destination; watch for these smaller airports while researching your destination.

By boat[edit]

Coastal cities have excellent year-round marina facilities, often serving large, luxury yachts. Port Canaveral on the Atlantic Coast and Tampa Bay on the Gulf Coast serve as cruise ports.

By train[edit]

  • AMTRAK Silver Star & Silver Meteor (Trains 91-92) and (Trains 97-98) respectively - serve Central Florida, both of which begin in New York and end in Miami. The two routes stop at the following stations in Central Florida: DeLand, Winter Park, Orlando, Kissimmee, Lakeland, Tampa, and Winter Haven.
  • Amtrak Auto Train offers service with its southern terminus in Sanford, about halfway between Daytona Beach and Orlando. The Amtrak Auto Train carries passengers and automobiles between Sanford and Lorton, Virginia, effectively serving as a car-rail link to Florida from the Washington, D.C. Metro Area. You can easily drive your car to your destination in Central Florida after departing from the Auto Train.

By bus[edit]

Central Florida is served by Greyhound Bus Lines, which has scheduled stops in Orlando and other cities. The Greyhound routes connect with other major cities in the United States of America.

By car[edit]

  • I-95 runs north-south along the Atlantic coast throughout the entire Central Florida region. It connects with Jacksonville to the north and Miami to the south.
  • I-75 runs north-south through the middle-west of Central Florida, and connects to Ocala to the north, and Fort Myers in Southwest Florida.

Get around[edit]

By car[edit]

  • Interstate 4 spans nearly the entire Central Florida region, stretching from Daytona Beach, through Orlando, and ending in Tampa.

By train[edit]

  • SunRail - A 61 mi (98 km) commuter rail system connecting the Greater Orlando via Volusia, Seminole, Orange, and Osceola counties using existing Amtrak and CSX freight rail lines. The commuter rail line is roughly parallel to Interstate 4.

See[edit]

Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse in Ponce Inlet

Do[edit]

Eat[edit]

With two coastlines, seafood is extremely popular in Central Florida. Some favorite dishes in the area include:

  • Conch (pronounced "conk") - These chewy clams are served tenderized with lime juice, raw, and chopped in salad. Also chopped, breaded, and fried as conch fritters and in conch chowder (usually red and spicy).
  • Mahi Mahi - A firm, white fleshed fish; delicious when served grilled, blackened or Cajun-style.
  • Grouper - One of the mildest fishes available; served fried, blackened, broiled, or grilled as a main course. Fried grouper sandwiches are also popular.
  • Yellowfin Tuna - A firm, flavorful semi-dark meat fish often served grilled, broiled, or blackened.
  • Florida Lobster - Known as a spiny lobster, the Florida lobster has no claws like Maine lobster. Florida lobster tails are broiled and served with melted butter.

Drink[edit]

All the counties throughout Central Florida are "wet" counties. Alcoholic beverages are sold in both taverns and liquor stores. The Florida State Alcoholic Beverage Control (Police) frequently conduct raids for underage drinking in tourist areas, particularly during Spring Break. There are places in the area for clubbing mainly in Orlando and the beach tourist areas. There are also many biker bars around the area because of periodic motorcycle rallies.

Tropical drinks[edit]

Some tropical drinks that are popular in Central Florida, include:

  • Planters Punch - 1 oz. lemon juice, 1/2 oz. lime juice, 1 oz. passion fruit juice, 1 oz. pineapple juice, 1 1/2 oz. rum. Combine ingredients over shaved ice. Garnish with a sprig of mint.
  • Rum Runner - 1 1/2 oz. rum, 3/4 oz. blackberry brandy, 3/4 oz. creme de banana, splash of grenadine, splash of lime juice.
  • Bahama Mama - 1 oz. orange juice, 1 oz. pineapple juice, 1/2 oz. grenadine, 1/2 oz. rum, 1/2 oz. coconut flavored rum, 1 cup crushed ice. Garnish with a slice of pineapple and a cherry.
  • Piña Colada - 1 shot rum, 2 oz. coconut milk, 3 oz. pineapple juice, 1 cup ice. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Cuba Libre - 2 oz. rum, Coca Cola, lime wedge.

Stay safe[edit]

Central Florida is generally a very safe place to visit. The dangerous parts of town are not places the average tourist would be visiting.

Go next[edit]

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