Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

July 03 2016

8 Reasons Why You Can Skip Renting A Car In This Top Meetings Destination

Jeanna Hofmeister

The two-mile strip known as International Drive, or I-Drive by locals, in Orlando’s Convention District makes for a fun and entertaining excursion sure to enhance your attendee’s experience. But despite the fact that it’s called a drive, it’s really better to take it all in on a stroll. While many visitors to the city might be focused on the renowned nearby theme parks, convention and meeting attendees don’t have to stray far from their hotels to discover some great Orlando fun in their free time. The Convention District offers so many interesting options within a compact resort- like area, that after days of sitting in sessions and lectures, a leisurely walk and good times are a welcome reprieve.

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I-Drive is the epicenter of new ideas and imaginative designs for Orlando’s future. Over the next two years, a Skyplex entertainment complex with the world’s tallest rollercoaster, an indoor sky diving facility, and new shopping, dining and entertainment attractions are all slated to open. But if you’re game to get out and explore on foot, here are eight awesome things you can experience right now.

What’s better than a perfectly prepared steak? A perfectly prepared steak accompanied by a great glass of wine. With more than 1,200 labels on the wine list at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, there’s bound to be an irresistible pour for everyone at your table. You may be surprised to learn that Orlando was named one of “10 Best Wine Destinations in 2015” by Wine Enthusiasts magazine.

If you crave the live music scene, you’ll find it at the new Lafayette’s Music Room in the heart of the Pointe Orlando and Tin Roof, a Live Music Joint at the new I-Drive 360. From rock to jazz to old school covers and more, Orlando’s most popular bands and solo acts hit on nearly every music genre, seven nights a week.

Experience close encounters of the celebrity kind at Madame Tussaud’s Orlando, where more than 40 of your favorite Hollywood celebs (their wax versions, anyway) stand red-carpet ready to pose with you for pictures.

People love the flavor and philosophy of farm-to-table foods, so the Orange County Convention Center team got serious about growing their own. So serious, in fact, that a hydroponic structure with 2,000 square feet of mist and air-fed growing space, has been installed in the Westwood Lobby to produce herbs, edible flowers, and vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, and squash to incorporate into their meals.

Five locked secret rooms, five mind-bending scenarios and only one hour to escape – America’s Escape Game makes for a great off-site activity, where teams from two to 10 people find clues and solve puzzles to make their great escape.

When it comes to cool attractions, I-Drive is home to two sub-freezing cocktail lounges. ICEBAR Orlando is the largest permanent ice bar in the world, made from more than 70 tons of hand-carved ice.  Minus 5° Ice Experience features an evolving collection of ice sculptures, themed rooms and more. Don’t worry about the cold – both will outfit you with warm parkas and gloves so you can enjoy bar hopping to a whole new degree.

To find your bearings in the Convention District and enjoy breathtaking views of Central Florida, take a 20-minute ride on the Orlando Eye. Soaring some 400 feet into the sky, riders can see Orlando’s famous landmarks and even all the way to Cape Canaveral on a clear day from the iconic observation wheel. In case an adult beverage is required before making the sky-high ascent, visitors can bolster their courage with a flight of beer or wine in the Eye Glow Lounge before boarding. 

The largest nightlife destination in Orlando, Mango’s Tropical Café is 55,000 sq. ft. of epic food and entertainment. Guests can bust a move on Orlando’s biggest dance floor, or simply sit back and enjoy live music and the famous Mango’s Dancers. The supper-club vibe is enhanced by an amazing collection of original artworks including paintings, murals, mosaics, and sculptures by world-renowned artists.  Many private rooms make for a unique off-site event experience.
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When it comes to convenience, Orlando is second to none. With 5,202 rooms connected to the Orange County Convention Center between four convention hotels, Orlando offers more connected rooms than any destination in the US. But what makes the Convention District even more appealing is the fact that it’s located in the midst of an incredibly -vibrant retail, dining and entertainment environment that sets the stage for unforgettable pre- and post-convention stays.

Brought to you by Visit Orlando
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