Hotel at a Glance: Hawthorn Suites Universal
Hawthorn Suites Universal is located near the Orlando area’s famous theme parks, including SeaWorld Orlando, Universal Orlando Resort, and Legoland Florida. Guests can avoid waiting in line by purchasing tickets at the hotel’s concierge desk. They can then hop on the complimentary shuttle, which stops at several top attractions. A Walt Disney World Good Neighbor® Hotel, the resort offers villa-style accommodations tailored for families.
- Tee off: There are more than 175 courses in the area, many of which are designed by top-rated architects including Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Greg Norman.
- Nifty in-room amenities: One-bedroom suites feature fully equipped kitchens and separate living areas with sleeper sofas.
- Hot tip: You can enjoy complimentary beer and wine at the hotel’s manager’s reception each night of the week.
- Onsite dining: The hotel serves a complimentary hot breakfast with eggs, bacon or sausage, potatoes, fresh fruit, and coffee.
- Go swimming: Soak up the Florida sun at the outdoor pool.
- Off-the-beaten-path attraction: The Mennello Museum of American Art houses the work of Earl Cunningham, who used a colorful, childlike-style to paint coastal landscapes.
Orlando, Florida: World-Famous Theme Parks and Cultural Surprises
Located in the center of Florida, Orlando may be forever associated with the Walt Disney World® Theme Parks, which now are part of the world’s most-visited entertainment resort. It spans roughly 30,000 acres, encompassing four theme parks, two water parks, five golf courses, and the Downtown Disney® Marketplace. There’s no shortage of things to do here: begin your day by boarding a rocket-shaped three-seater that climbs to 180 feet before entering a deep black tunnel and racing past stars, satellites, and constellations. Walk across the park to sample Moroccan cuisine for lunch, or ride a dune buggy through a haunted 18th-century mansion. Before heading back to the hotel, take in the nightly fireworks, laser, and water show. As one of the most popular family destinations in the world, sunny Orlando is home to other theme parks including Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando, and Gatorland.
Those hoping to shake up the typical theme-park-dominated itinerary can head into downtown Orlando's vibrant arts district. The neighborhood boasts venues such as CityArts Factory, a multifaceted patchwork of gallery spaces, and SAK Comedy Lab, which hosts family-friendly improv shows five nights a week.
About a 10-minute drive north, you’ll find eight cultural institutions at Loch Haven Park, including the Orlando Museum of Art, which houses pieces by Georgia O’Keeffe, Robert Rauschenberg, Ansel Adams, and Andy Warhol. The park is also home to the Orlando Shakespeare Theater, the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Orlando Science Center. Visit the science center to take a rover across a simulation of Mars’s red surface, or race on a 70-foot pinewood derby track.
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