“Must See” in Orlando FL

In the process of getting ready for our road trip coming this June 2014, I discovered some applications to help me learn about the cities we are going to be visiting (DC and NY). I shared them with you in my last post (http://writingnewstories.com/2014/05/28/research-research-and-more-research/). I talked to you about City Walks, which hopefully will be very helpful for what we need in this trip. One thing I notice about this app is that comes for many cities in and out of US. I was curious about the kind of information and suggestion that this application might have for the city of Orlando, where I live.

Everybody knows how touristic is Orlando! I am almost certain that half of the people that comes to central Florida is to go to the amusement parks and the other half of the tourist to visit the beach during the winter season, it’s a lot warmer here in Florida. So, I wanted to know the suggestions besides the amusement parks. For my surprise Disney World is not even mention, neither Sea World. I don’t understand why, but I am sure that neither of those parks need promotion.

One of the places that this app for Orlando mention as a “Must See” is Lake Eola Park and it is one of my favorite places in Downtown Orlando as well.

I understand that people when planning their vacation to Orlando, might not even think of passing by here with so much to do and so many parks in the itinerary. But going to a place without visiting the downtown of the city, is like leaving incomplete! Why coming here, why passing by?

Well, in any vacation (specially if you are visiting all the parks!) you need to whine down, to rest of the rush of visiting everything, you need a day to take it slow and easy… Also it will be good for you to know how people live in Orlando. Not everything is a Cinderella Castle around here and you wont see Mickey Mouse running around the city. Come a take a walk through Downtown Orlando, take a look to the normal side of the city!

You can start your walk at Church Street

During the day you will see cars around, at night the street is close to traffic and only pedestrian are allowed. You can enjoy the nice buildings of this small downtown, but still give you that sense of being in the city.



You will find in here, like in any other city, the bars, the restaurants, old and antique look buildings,the main library, museums and much more.

Because the downtown is not that big, you will be able to find Lake Eola Park without a problem, there are signs everywhere or you can ask, its easy to find. Around the lake you will find inspiring sculptures (http://writingnewstories.com/2013/11/20/eight-unique-sculptures-for-the-city-of-orlando/ ) and lost of friendly squirrels and birds, but the must important to mention are the swans. We have a community of swans living in the park, there are very well take care and protected.







Around the lake there is a walking or jogging trail, there are restrooms, restaurants, a playground for the little ones, sculptures, paddle boats and more. But the best thing that you can find in here is a time for you to relax in the middle of your vacations.

Until then…

xamlinnette 🙂



















Research, Research and more Research

I am at the second stage of my road trip planning. In my last post about this subject (Planning Road Trip 2014 – How you Plan a Road Trip), I mention my intentions of researching or knowing some apps that could help me to plan our itinerary. All the applications that I will be mentioning or using I found them at the apple store because I will be using my I pad. I am pretty sure that most of the apps also come for android users.

I love the fact of being able to have a device that you can carry around and it is multi-usable. I love the fact that you can have all the maps, attraction lists, metro maps and information, in other words your everything with you at all times y one same place! Amazing!

Ok, so I first started with Washington DC. I went to the App Store, look through the options. First I started exploring the free applications that have information about the city, maps and attractions. I got CityBot DC and City Walks for Washington DC. I found out later that this two apps comes for many major cities in US, including NY City. After playing with this applications for a while, my conclusion was:

CityBot – Gives you good information but constructing an itinerary is a little hard, at least was for me. I decided to used it as reference for prices of places and for research of places.
City Walks DC – I liked this application very much, but I have to confess that I upgraded for $4.99. At the beginning was a little hard to used but that is when I realized that if I wanted to used it the way I wanted, I had to upgraded. I didn’t fight it much. It really is a great tool to move around and have a step by step itinerary in a place that you never been. The app comes with some standard tours that covers pretty much everything that we or any other tourist will like to see from DC.


You can also make your own itinerary from scratch or use the standard tours that they suggested mixing them in a way that works for you. That is what I did, I created my own tours based on the ones that they suggest but accommodating it to our needs. It also will give a map, for you to arrange your tour and stops in the order that is more convenient for you. Here is one of the tours that I made for Saturday May 14.

Here is another App, this one I found for free (MX for Metro in DC). I think this one is great, comes with a metro map of the city and you can enter the metro station from where your departing and where you want to go, it will show you which metro to take and the time of your ride. For anyone that it’s not familiar with the metro system in DC its a good start. I eventually will let you know if it really works.



For New York I used the same applications for the City of NY. For the metro system in NY, I will be using the App NY Subway. This one is a little bit more confusing but basically works the same way as the DC one. Of course, the metro system in NY is a lot more complicated than in DC. Here is a pic so you can have an idea.


I got you a closer look, in this map you can touch one of the stations (round/square numbers or letters) and it will open asking if this is where you want to come from or go to. Then you pick up the other end of your trip and it will trace your route, giving you the information of how many stations you will pass and the time of your ride. I think it will be very helpful too.


Well this is all I found out on my research, I hope this will be helpful for you and me. 🙂

Now I am working on my options for coming back home and a plan B if we decided not to go up to the Niagara Falls.

Until then,

xamlinnette 🙂