When the second Seminole war ended in 1842, American settlers began following
soldiers into Central Florida. Originally named Jernigan after Aaron Jernigan
who came from Georgia and settled here in 1843, the town grew slowly around
an old Army post -- Fort Gatlin -- that had been abandoned in 1849. The
town's name was permanently changed to Orlando in 1857. While different
versions of the origin of the name are told, the official account is credited
to Orlando Reeves, a U.S. soldier who was killed in 1835 by an Indian's
arrow while on sentinel duty at what is now Lake Eola Park in downtown
Orlando. By a vote of 22 men from the 85 residents, the two-square-mile
(5.18-square-kilometer) city was officially incorporated on July 21, 1875.
According to the book Flashback - The Story of Central Florida's Past,
the undeveloped expanse of land east of the Orlando International Airport
still resembles what the first Orlando settlers saw 150 years ago.
More than 1.4 million people now reside in the Greater Orlando area that
consists of Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Lake counties.
Orlando International Airport - The airport is the 15th busiest in the nation
and 22nd busiest in the world with more than 960 commercial operations per
day. More than 44 scheduled airlines and 41 charters provide nonstop service
to 78 U.S. destinations and 35 international cities as well as direct service
to more than 100 cities worldwide. It is easily accessible and within 15
miles (24 kilometers) to major attractions, meeting facilities and downtown
Orlando. Shuttle vans and buses, taxis, limousines and rental cars are readily
Amtrak serves Orlando with four daily trains originating in New York and
Miami with stops in downtown Orlando, Winter Park, Sanford and Kissimmee,
as well as with a triweekly train originating from Los Angeles. Amtrak
also offers its popular Auto Train that features bilevel Superliner sleepers,
a diner and a lounge while transporting passengers and their vehicles.
The Auto Train runs daily between Lorton, Va., and Sanford, Fla., leaving
each town at 4:30 p.m. and arriving at the destination at 9 a.m. the next
morning. The Florida Fun Train connects Orlando to South Florida and combines
entertainment, transportation and fun for all ages.
Major highway networks provide easy access for visitors to reach their
destination and for traveling in and around the Greater Orlando area.
Major highways include Interstate 4, the Florida Turnpike, Highway 528
(Bee Line Expressway), Highway 408 (East-West Expressway) and Highway
417 (Central Florida Greeneway).
Besides taxi and limousine service to anywhere in the Greater Orlando
area, the city's Lynx bus system provides economical public transportation
around Orlando. Bus stops are marked with a "paw" print of a
Lynx cat. The downtown Orlando Lymmo bus system provides free transit
reaching from the Orlando Arena to city hall. The I-Ride trolleys serve
popular International Drive with scheduled stops every 15 minutes.
The Orlando Opera Company, Southern Ballet, Shakespeare Festival, Civic
Theatre of Central Florida, Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, the Bob Carr
Performing Arts Centre and local colleges provide year-round entertainment
that range from Beethoven's 9th and Coronation Scene to a Shakespeare
Festival and Broadway productions.
From rodeo performances and celebrity concerts to ethnic festivals and
specialty shows, Orlando has year-round events to please every penchant
and add more vacation variety.
Orlando's numerous year-round art exhibits and cultural diversity add
an extra dimension to make it the perfect vacation or meeting destination.
From the world's most comprehensive collection of Tiffany stained glass
at the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art and 19th- and 20th-Century
American art at the Orlando Museum of Art to Eatonville, the nation's
oldest incorporated African-American municipality, insightful excursions
await Orlando's visitors. Children of all ages can also embark on an exciting
expedition into the world of science at the Orlando Science Center.
Tee off on one of more than 125 area golf courses within a 45-minute
drive of downtown Orlando. Several are world-acclaimed courses sculpted
by renowned golf course architects such as Joe Lee, Tom Fazio and Robert
Trent Jones as well as golf greats Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary
Orlando serves up more than 800 tennis courts for visitors to raise
a racquet. Many area tennis centers, resorts and hotels rent and sell
equipment and can arrange lessons or matches for the beginner or more
In addition to the National Basketball Association's world-renowned
team, the Orlando Magic, Orlando offers professional AA League baseball
(Orlando Rays); baseball spring training (Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros);
International Hockey League ice hockey (Orlando Solar Bears); roller hockey
(Orlando Jackals); softball (Orlando Wahoos); arena football (Orlando
Predators); and Walt Disney World's Indy Car Speedway.
With more than 39 million square feet (3.5 million square meters) of retail
space and expanding, Orlando is the fastest growing retail market in the