Just came back from my 6-day trip to Orlando! This was my second time there and I took a different route than my first time in Florida. My main reason for going to Orlando was for EDC Orlando, even though I only ended up going for only 1 day.
Flight: $99 round trip with Frontier from Los Angeles, California (do not recommend unless you are on a budget)
Hotels: My first 4 nights in Orlando, we stayed at Avanti Resort, which is a Universal Studios partner hotel. It was cheap, under $100 a night. However, the pictures on the site look better than they are in person. It looks like a cheap motel. The plus side is they have hotel shuttles to and from Universal Studios Orlando. There is a $12 (plus tax) daily resort fee that includes parking.
For our last night, we stayed at Caribe Royale. I would recommend staying at this hotel and I wish I had stayed here during my whole trip. This hotel huddles around $100-150 a night with a resort fee of $35/night (plus tax) and a daily $8 fee for parking.
Day 1: Canaveral National Seashore
We landed bright and early at 7 AM on a Thursday morning. Picked up the car rental from Enterprise in Downtown Orlando and we were ready to start our day! (Travel tip: If you have the time, you should schedule to pick up your rental car in the city and not at the airport – you could save at least $100, if not more.)
Since I have the “America The Beautiful” national park pass (highly recommend), I decided to put it to use! I looked up all of the national parks that accept my pass and the only nearby one was Canaveral, so off we went!
The Canaveral National Seashore is just above the John F. Kennedy Space Center. There aren’t many trails to hike but there is history to be learned here. One of the trails is called Turtle Mound, an archaeological excavation, where there is evidence of man more than 14,000 years ago. Alongside these trails is an abundance of lookout points to enjoy the views. Here, you can enjoy the national seashore and wildlife refuge.
Although it was quite beautiful, it was not very big so you could finish exploring within half a day. If you wish to relax along the shore, you could spend a whole day just listening to the waves crashing.
Day 2: Hawkers, EDC Orlando, and EPIC McDonald’s
Hawkers Asian Street Fare is a place I found on during my first trip to Orlando and I fell in love with. I had to go back to try it again. I remembered loving the Pad Thai but when I came back, it wasn’t the same as I remembered it. I did, however, fall in love with the bread from their Roti Canai dish. My friends and I came here for lunch and was able to catch their happy hour.
EDC Orlando was different and unfortunately probably one of my least favorite festivals I’ve gone to. It felt disorganized and pretty empty. I was counting down the hours until I was able to leave and go home to sleep in the hotel. I will give more information about my experience in a later post.
The highlight of my day 2 was going to EPIC MCDONALD’S!! Did you know they serve pizza and pasta there? You can create your own! They have kiosks where you can customize your food any way you like. They even have a lot of items you never see at regular McDonald’s. I was so happy!
Day 3: Disney Springs and Downtown Orlando
Disney Springs is a great way to get a little bit of Disney magic without having to go to the park. Best of all, it’s COMPLETELY FREE! You do not have to pay for parking because there is an abundance of parking structures and lots that you can park in for free. I loved Disney Springs so much, I went back THREE TIMES during my trip. There are a lot of cool things you can see and do, and a lot of treasures you can find while you shop, as well.
My favorite place to go to grab the wine slushy and cute pastries was Amorette’s Patisserie. Here, I got a delicious creme brulee and eclair for $6 a piece. Not bad for a quick, sweet snack.
Day 4: Universal Studios Orlando and Lee & Rock’s Oyster Bar
Universal Studios Orlando was a lot of fun! Bigger and there were more things to do than the one at Universal Studios Hollywood. Although, when we went they closed very early (7 PM!) so I didn’t get to experience all of the rides I wanted to. Overall, well worth spending a whole day there whether you’re a kid or an adult!
That night, since Universal Studios Hollywood closes early, we had dinner at Lee & Rick’s Oyster Bar. Between 3 people, we split 1 dozen clams and a bucket special, which fell below $45 total.
Day 5: Tampa and Clearwater Beach
The day before we need to fly back home, we decided to road trip to the west of Florida. There wasn’t much to see and do in Tampa but drive a little further and you will hit Clearwater Beach, which was beautiful! The sand was white and soft, being there was so peaceful. I definitely recommend visiting if you have the time.
Day 6: Eat and fly back home
Have a mouthful of fun in Orlando, Florida!