Where to Stay in Orlando: Best Areas & Accommodations

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Whether you’re visiting one of the theme parks or just want to enjoy the sunshine, finding where to stay in Orlando is easy. That’s because Orlando seems like a big city, but all of the attractions are actually within about 20 minutes of each other. There are a lot of great options for where to stay in Orlando, so your toughest choice will be picking one!

To experience all the best Orlando has to offer, you should give yourself at least 3-5 days. Add some additional days if you want to visit the theme parks! There are plenty of hotels in Orlando near Universal and Walt Disney World to save you time traveling there. If you’re searching for Orlando neighborhoods away from the parks, there are also fantastic options. 

Ultimately, there’s a wide range of neighborhoods in Orlando, all with great things to see and do. Here are some of the top places to stay and their nearby Orlando attractions!

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Orlando Accommodation Quick Guide 

Looking for the best places to stay in Orlando? Here are the top 3 rated based on location, price, and amenities. 

  1. Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort has free shuttles to all the Universal parks and Universal CityWalk. If you’re tired from spending all day at the parks, you can relax by one of the pools. You can also visit the bowling alley or visit one of the bars onsite. This is the perfect hotel if you’re visiting Orlando, mainly for the Universal Orlando attractions. 
  2. Residence Inn by Marriott Orlando Downtown is by far the best option for travelers who want to stay in the heart of the city. All of downtown’s attractions are less than a 5-minute drive away. Disney and Universal’s theme parks are less than 20 minutes away. Overall, this is the perfect centrally located hotel with plenty of bars and nightlife around it.
  3. The Courtyard at Lake Lucerne is a great option if you’re searching for an extended stay in Orlando. It’s a budget-friendly bed & breakfast. The parking and Wi-Fi are both free, making it ideal for business trips and vacation travel. It’s also within walking distance to many places to eat and a short drive from downtown. 

Downtown Orlando 

Downtown Orlando is the best place to stay if you want to be close to the nightlife, theme parks, and most Orlando attractions. It’s an amazing spot for breweries, restaurants, and shopping. 

BudgetDoubleTree by Hilton Orlando Downtown: Cheaper than most downtown Orlando hotels, but still right in the center of all the action. They have a rooftop pool, a large gym, and several added security features to make your stay safe. 

Mid-RangeAloft Orlando Downtown: This chic and colorful hotel is within walking distance to the City Arts Factory. It’s also on the same block as three of the best Mexican restaurants in downtown Orlando. It’s an ideal spot if you want a margarita during happy hour or tacos at any time of the night. 

LuxuryGrand Bohemian Hotel Orlando: One of the best downtown hotels in Orlando. It’s within walking distance of plenty of nightlife. If you feel like staying in for the night, the hotel has a cocktail bar and wine room inside the hotel, plus a rooftop pool and a top-rated spa. If you’re staying during a weekend, make sure to book a reservation for the Sunday jazz brunch.

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Lake Buena Vista (Southwest Orlando)

If you’re looking to mainly take a Disney vacation or want to stay around the Disney World Resort, Lake Buena Vista is the best place to stay. Southwest Orlando also has some of the best hotels in Orlando near Universal.  Lake Buena Vista is close to SeaWorld, Disney Springs, and the premium outlet malls. 

BudgetSpringHill Suites by Marriott Orlando Lake Buena Vista in Marriott Village: Less than 10 miles from all the major theme parks, this hotel by Marriott is amazing. It has a nice outdoor pool, free breakfast, and a free shuttle to any of the theme parks. 

Mid-RangeHyatt Regency Grand Cypress: Perfect destination if you plan to spend time at the parks and then come back to an elegant resort. Featuring acres of lakes, tennis courts, and a lagoon pool, this resort is ideal for people planning to spend most of their vacation outdoors. 

LuxuryMarriott’s Harbour Lake: Just 6 miles from Universal Orlando Resort, this upscale option is great for families and solo adults. The rooms are villa styled with a Caribbean theme. The hotel has an incredible gym and three outdoor pools. 

South Eola 

Some people consider South Eola to be part of downtown, but this niche of Orlando is much quieter. It’s better for travelers who plan to spend their days outdoors and their evenings relaxing at the hotel rather than going out for nightlife. 

It has several craft breweries, art museums, and Lake Eola Park. The park has a great running trail, wildlife, and perfect spots for picnics. 

BudgetThe Eo Inn: One of the top-rated budget hotels in Orlando. It’s also right on the edge of Thornton Park, known for being the city’s art district. Inside a renovated 1920’s building, the Eo Inn has basic but beautiful rooms. 

Mid-RangeEmbassy Suites by Hilton Orlando Downtown: This hotel is located right next to Lake Eola with an amazing pool and fitness center. It’s a great hotel to stay in if you have an event or concert at the Amway Center because it’s just a 10-minute walk. The breakfast is free and cooked to order. This hotel is also located near many restaurants and bars. 

LuxuryAC Hotel by Marriott Orlando Downtown: Situated right on Lake Eola Park, this hotel by Marriott has all the amenities you need. The rooftop has a SkyBar featuring a 360-degree view of Orlando and the city skyline. 

Kissimmee  

Kissimmee is a little further away from downtown Orlando and the parks. Without traffic, it’s only about 30 minutes to the Orlando attractions. Since it’s a little further away from the city, the hotels are often much cheaper. It’s the perfect area for travelers looking for a quiet environment. 

Kissimmee also has some outlets nearby as well as music venues, lake views, and fairgrounds. 

BudgetPalazzo Lakeside Hotel: This boutique hotel is about 12 miles from Walt Disney World. Make sure to ask for a lake view room to enjoy the beautiful scenery from the comfort of your room. Congo River Golf, the outlet mall, and Orange World are all less than 2 miles away. 

Mid-RangeEmbassy Suites by Hilton Orlando: Lake Buena Vista South: This hotel is 10 minutes from Disney World and 20 minutes away from all of Orlando’s best golf courses. Enjoy the room service or eat at the Kyng’s Grille on-site. The hotel also welcomes pets. 

Luxury—Kapp & Kappy B&B: the only bed and breakfast in Kissimmee. The owners are focused on making every guest feel right at home. The home was originally built in 1913, and it’s located in the historic district. Enjoy free breakfast, a wrap-around porch, and a landscape full of wildlife and sculptures. 

Top Things to do in Orlando

  • Head to Universal Orlando Resort if you want to experience the Wizarding World of Harry Potter or see Diagon Alley. Universal also has some extreme roller coasters and other rides that will get your adrenaline going. 
  • Visit the Orlando Museum of Art to see a wide array of art collections that have impacted the Orlando artistic scene. The museum has contemporary art exhibits, African art, and paintings depicting ancient America. 
  • Go to Discover Cove if you want to get outside to spend time with Florida’s marine life. The tickets are all-inclusive, with excursions and unlimited food and drink. You can swim with stingrays, see dolphins, and go snorkeling in the lagoon water. 
  • For a taste of local culture, head to Gatorland. Florida is famous for its gators. Local people even find them in their neighborhood lakes and pools. You can also feed baby alligators and go ziplining. 
  • Don’t forget to visit Walt Disney World Resort or Disney Springs while you’re in Orlando. The city is famous for its endless Disney theme parks, including two water parks that are Mickey Mouse-themed. Disney Springs is perfect if you want a taste of Disney but aren’t quite interested in visiting the theme parks. You can still experience Disney dining and get some souvenirs. 
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Walt Disney World

How to Get to Orlando

Orlando has a large airport (MCO) that serves domestic and international airlines. There is also a smaller airport about 35 minutes north of Orlando (SFB) that sometimes has cheaper flights. If you’re driving, Orlando is also really close to most major interstates.

How to Get Around Orlando

Renting a car is the easiest way to get around Orlando. Public buses are limited in Orlando and not very reliable. Unless you are solely staying at Disney and using the theme park’s buses and shuttles, a rental car is definitely needed in Orlando. There are several car rental companies conveniently located at the Orlando International Airport. 

When to Visit Orlando

Orlando is an amazing place to go during the fall and winter months because it stays warm all year. Try to avoid Orlando during June and July because of the heat and the tourists. Orlando can also be pretty crowded during December and January during the holiday time. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the questions people often ask when planning a trip to Orlando.

Where to stay in Orlando on a budget?

Like most cities, the further away you get from downtown, the cheaper the hotels will be. Kissimmee is the largest neighborhood for budget travelers because it’s on the outskirts of the city. Don’t worry, though—with all of Orlando’s major highways, you can still get to the theme parks and downtown in 30 minutes or less from Kissimmee. 

Places a little further out of the city will also have a larger selection of AirBnBs and guest houses. 

Where to stay in Orlando for the weekend?

Orlando has some pretty diverse neighborhoods. Where you choose to stay should depend on the activities and attractions that most interest you. However, for most travelers, South Eola or downtown Orlando are the best neighborhoods. 

They are close enough to the theme parks to get you there in 20 minutes or less, but also far away enough to give you some peace and quiet. The nightlife and bars are also nicer downtown than they are closer to Disney World and Universal. Lake Eola is also a fantastic area for active travelers who want a place to run or do yoga in their free time. 

Where to stay in Orlando near the airport?

Orlando has a hotel in the airport which will be a little more costly than staying in the surrounding areas. If you are only in Orlando for a night or two and want to stay near the airport, try finding a hotel on the other side of Interstate 528. Crescent Park and South Semoran Boulevard are both nice areas. For this, check out Hampton Inn & Suites Orlando Airport at Gateway Village or Marriott Orlando Airport Lakeside. 

orlando airport

Is Orlando Safe?

Despite being a large city, most visitors say they feel safe in Orlando, even as solo travelers. If you’re exploring or walking downtown at night, it’s best to stay in a group or pairs. Disney Springs, Universal, and Disney World are all very safe places to be. You can walk around even at night as a solo traveler. 

In any big city, you will want to make sure you follow safety precautions. Be aware of your surroundings at night and keep personal belongings close. You don’t need to take any extra precautions beyond that in Orlando, though. 

Enjoy Your Stay in Orlando

With a large selection of neighborhoods and attractions, searching for where to stay in Orlando doesn’t have to be difficult. Just select a neighborhood based on what you’re interested in doing and book your stay! No matter where you stay in Orlando, you can be sure you’ll have an amazing time in the warm Florida sun.

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