The heartbeat of Orlando tourism can be found right here on International Drive. I-Drive is a popular hotel district with plenty of shopping, dining and entertainment venues all within walking distance of the hotels. For slightly longer distances, the I-Ride Trolley provides inexpensive and convenient shuttle service up and down International Drive.
One of the main draws to International Drive is the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC)–one of the busiest convention centers in the country. Hotels near the Orange County Convention Center include the Peabody Orlando, the Rosen Plaza Hotel and the Rosen Inn at Pointe Orlando, a major dining, shopping and entertainment center across from the OCCC.
While the larger resorts have restaurants on the property, dinnertime is usually when tourists can be seen milling about the wide variety of casual dining establishments that line I-Drive. For an evening if dining and entertainment right off of International Drive, the Pirates Adventure Theater is an all ages experience with an interactive live performance and a hearty meal.
There are several unique attractions that draw millions of visitors per year. These include Fun Spot, Ripley’s Believe it or Not, Titanic: the Exhibition, and even a McDonald’s with the world’s largest play place. There are several miniature golf courses–including two Congo River locations–situated up and down I-Drive as well. While each of these attractions can take up at least a half a day, for a full day of frolic, visit Orlando’s original water park, Wet n Wild.
Wet n Wild is popular with locals and visitors alike, and a new expanded kids’ area has recently been added to the park, giving more activity options than the wilder slides and bowl rides that usually attract the teenage guests. Other I-Drive favorite destinations are the Premium Outlet Malls on the north end of I-Drive and Vineland Road near International Drive’s south end. Take advantage of the I-Ride Trolleys if you can; parking is also at a premium at both locations.
Staying in a hotel on International Drive’s north end puts visitors in close proximity to Universal Orlando/Islands of Adventure, while hotels south of the convention center are ideally situated by SeaWorld Orlando, Discovery Cove, and the Aquatica water park. Even for travelers venturing out to Disney World, the Disney theme parks are only minutes away by car, and many resorts also offer shuttle service to the House of Mouse.
No matter what brings travelers to International Drive, the choices are endless, with plenty of reasons to come back and try something new. And while locals tend to consider I-Drive to be the tourist part of town, even Orlando residents can find plenty of reasons to come back over and over again enjoy all of these unique and family friendly attractions.
International Drive Area Video