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Florida Guide > Miscellaneous

Highway 192 – Almost as famous as Disney World?

Long before travellers realised that staying in a villa was absolutely the perfect solution for a family trip to Florida, especially when visiting Walt Disney World, Orlando’s highway 192 was absolutely the place to head for, probably because, as a first time traveller to Florida, it was almost as famous as WDW itself!!

I did in fact stay on the infamous 192 on my first visit to Orlando, and it’s array of lights at night , were, and still are, something to see!! You can drive from the West at Highway 27 along the 192 for about 20 miles to where it meets the Florida Turnpike and seriously, you will not run out of shops, restaurants or attractions for that matter, to visit. All of which are quite varied, though if you try to sample any of these places one after the other, you will naturally start to realise that many of the restaurants are repeated along the way, and some of the wears in the tourist shops are of course quite similar!!

Great places to suit all budgets when it comes to eating out

There are countless restaurants and eateries along the entire length, and you will see everything from the familiar fast food outlets, such as Burger King, MacDonald’s and Pizza Hut to superb diners such as Denny’s, Shoney’s and Ponderosa, offering a good variety of good family meals and deserts at very affordable prices.

The choices really are plentiful, and even my “fussy” eaters can always be satisfied by one of the places you will find along there, this too is where the “all you can eat” buffet style restaurants like Ponderosa come into their own. Aside from these places, the choice just goes even further, to steak restaurants, seafood restaurants (Red Lobster is fabulous), and numerous eateries catering for the more varied cuisines, Chinese, Indian and such like!

A spot of Shopping

Shopping has probably become the next biggest attraction in Orlando after the Theme Parks these days, and the 192 has more than a small selection of shops. As well as the plentiful individual tourist shops to get your cheaper T’s and postcards, there are the usual big stores selling all your favourite sports wear, denim outlets and electronic gear.

However, we must not forget there are also many smaller outlets selling the weird and the wonderful, certainly a bit off the beaten track for example in the Flee market. There are several good malls such as the Osceola Square Mall and the Value Outlet Mall. Both have a variety of outlet stores such as Nike, Adidas and Denim World.

Then of course, not by any means to be forgotten, there is a Wal-Mart super centre (24 hours) which sells just about everything you can think of, and is an experience in my opinion, not to be missed! Be warned, this could take up a large amount of your carefully planned schedule!!!

Attractions

From helicopter rides to bungee / sling shot rides, to a more sedate round of fun mini golf, the list is quite endless.

There are several mini golf courses along the 192. These are usually open till midnight throughout the season and are a great way to spend a couple of hours after a meal.

Old Town is quite an unexpected old fashioned array of shops and restaurants and several fairground rides. It is well worth a visit especially during the evenings when they have their classic car rally’s. The whole place just has a really different feel and offers the opportunity to just stroll around and enjoy a very different kind of entertainment.

Helicopter rides can be taken which include flights over most of the Orlando area. Although there is a no fly zone directly over Disney these days, there are still spectacular views to be had from the helicopter. Also great for getting a birds eye view of some of the rivers and swamp areas that Florida is so famous for. If you hadn’t even considered it, Airboat rides are another enjoyable half day excursion, even these can be rented along the 192 , it is well signposted, but if memory serves, it is by marker 15.

I appreciate I have only given you an outlined and brief introduction to a road that I feel sure, every visitor will probably drive along to get to Walt Disney World and the well known Orlando attractions, but in my opinion it could quite rightly boast it is an attraction in it’s own right, and perfect for the first timer to Orlando area to visit.Give it a go!

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Page added on: 7 January 2006
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