The ultimate Orlando travel guide

Orlando is one of those places that everyone wants to visit. But when should you go, where should you stay, and what should you do when you arrive? Get the answers with our ultimate guide to the world’s most magical destination.

There are so many tips here that we’ve broken our guide down into separate sections. Use the menu below to hop straight to the topic you’re interested in!

When to visit
Where to stay
Recommended resorts
Getting ready for your trip
Visiting the theme parks
Shopping
Other activities
Eating and drinking
Getting around
Tips and inspiration

 

When to visit

Your whole experience of Orlando will be shaped by the time of year that you choose to visit. That said, the weather is almost always good in Florida, with plenty of opportunities for swimming and sunbathing. They don’t call it the Sunshine State for nothing…

when is the best time to visit florida

When is the best time to visit Florida?
A month-by-month guide to Florida’s sunny climate, with handy weather charts to help you plan your vacation.

Avoiding the crowds at Walt Disney World
Use our crowd calendar to avoid long queues and get the best out of your theme park visits.

A guide to Spring Break in Orlando
How to make the most of one of the busiest times of the year.

Celebrating Independence Day in Orlando
Where and how to celebrate the 4th of July, from the theme parks to Downtown Orlando.

Why you should spend Christmas in Orlando
How do you make a trip to Orlando even more magical? By visiting during the holidays!

 

Where to stay

If you’ve never visited Orlando before, it can be tricky to know where to stay. These guides will help you find the perfect resort for your trip, whether you’re planning a golfing vacation or a grand tour of the theme parks.

Orlando vacation home with private pool

A guide to Orlando’s best resorts
Wondering which resort to stay at? This simple guide explains the different options and shows which resorts are nearest to Disney.

Great vacation homes near Universal Studios
Home theaters, themed rooms, and private spas – all within easy reach of Universal Studios.

3D tours of the best Orlando vacation homes
Almost as good as being there!

Why a vacation home is better than a hotel
More space, better facilities, total privacy… need we go on?

Vacation homes with the best themed rooms
Hang out with Nemo, Harry Potter, and other famous characters

5 vacation homes with amazing home theaters
Watching a movie has never been more fun

Luxury villas for couples
Heading to the sun with your partner? This guide offers a few options suitable for your vacation.

Recommended resorts

Looking for the perfect place to stay during your Orlando vacation? Try these exclusive resorts, which are all a quick hop away from the area’s biggest tourist attractions.

Reunion Resort in Orlando

Reunion Resort
Exclusive accommodation within easy reach of Disney

The water park at Reunion
– The pools at Reunion
The spa at Reunion
Golf at Reunion
Reunion resort for kids
Keeping fit at Reunion
Weddings at Reunion
Meetings and events
Things to do nearby

Encore Resort at Reunion
Orlando’s newest and most exciting resort

– Dining at Encore
Things to do nearby
Encore’s water park and pools
Why you should stay at Encore

Formosa Gardens
Right on Disney’s doorstep

Championsgate
Glamorous golf resort with a water park

Windsor Hills Resort
Family friendly community near Disney

 

Recommended vacation homes: Encore Resort at Reunion

 

Getting ready for your trip

These useful guides will help you to hit the ground running when you arrive in Orlando.

Packing for a trip to orlando

Packing for Disney: all you need to know
What to bring with you – and what to leave at home

What to expect on arrival
Check in, kick back and start enjoying your vacation rental

Using our concierge service
Whether you need park tickets or butler service, the Top Villas team can help

How to hire a private chef
Let a professional chef prepare meals in the comfort of your vacation home

Attraction ticket guide
How and when to buy tickets for Orlando’s big attractions

A guide to the FastPass+ system
Beat the queues with Disney’s priority pass

Grocery shopping

Visiting the theme parks

There’s no shortage of family friendly attractions to enjoy in Orlando.

Disney World

Universal Studios
Find out what’s happening beyond the big rides

Busch Gardens
Animals, tree-top trails and some very wild rides

Discovery Cove
Get up close and personal with creatures great and small

SeaWorld
How to get the most out of a trip to SeaWorld

Best rides in Orlando
Thrills, water rides or interactive experiences, this guide shows Orlando’s best

Best water parks in Orlando

High-speed water slides, beaches and waves pools, Orlando’s water parks have it all

Shopping

Shopping in Orlando guide

Orlando shopping guide
The malls that let you shop ’til you drop

Boutique shopping in Orlando
Small independent stores worth checking out

Grocery shopping

There’s plenty of supermarkets and stores to stock up with groceries in Orlando

Other activities

The Holy Land Experience in Orlando, Florida

The Holy Land Experience in Orlando, Florida

10 unusual things to do in Orlando
Escape the tourist trail with these unusual attractions and activities

51 cheap and free things to do
How to see Orlando’s best bits without breaking the bank

The best beaches in Florida
Orlando isn’t known for its beaches, but there are some great ones nearby

Orlando’s top golf courses
Take your pick from more than 200 different golf courses

Couples activities
Fun things for couples to do when visiting Orlando

 

Recommended vacation rentals at Reunion Resort

 

Eating and drinking

With so many cafes, bars and restaurants in the theme parks, plus options downtown and in the resorts, you’re truly spoilt for choice on the dining front.

Character dining at Disney WORLD

Where to dine at the theme parks

Magic Kingdom
Animal Kingdom
Epcot
SeaWorld
Universal’s Islands of Adventure

Other tips for dining in Orlando

Cheap eats in Orlando
Top 5 fine-dining restaurants
Where to eat breakfast in Orlando
Family friendly restaurants in Orlando
Dining at Pointe Orlando

 

Getting around

First time driving in Orlando? Start here.

Tips for driving in Orlando

Driving in Orlando
Taxis, shuttles and other options for getting around

 

Tips and inspiration

See what local experts are saying about Orlando.

An insiders’ guide to Orlando
Orlando’s best Instagrammers
How to spend a weekend in Orlando
What to wear at Walt Disney World

What next?

Browse our full collection of luxury Orlando vacation homes, or contact us today and let one of our vacation home specialists help you to arrange the perfect trip.

 

Cheap eats in Orlando

Eating at Orlando’s theme parks can be pricey, especially if you’re travelling with the kids in tow.

But there are plenty of affordable places to grab a bite to eat in Florida’s entertainment capital, from supermarkets and fast-food joints to diners, resort cafés and simple roadside restaurants.

These are some of the best options for eating on the cheap in Orlando.

buffet-dining-at-disney

At the theme parks

Epcot

You can expect quick service and fast food at the Liberty Inn, which offers everything from classic burgers to gluten-free options.

The Fife & Drum Tavern, a patriotic American restaurant, serves up turkey legs, popcorn and root beer floats. Captain’s Grille, with its nautical setting, provides guests with the chance to try American seafood classics.

You can cool down at the Beaches & Cream Soda Shop, where options include all-American favorites such as sundaes, grilled-cheese sandwiches and flavored sodas.

Animal Kingdom

Smoky scents fill the air at the Flame Tree Barbecue, which offers chicken dinners, jalapeno cornbreads and smokehouse meats.

To cool down, pop along to the Anandapur Ice Cream Truck for a soft-serve waffle cone or frosty float. If you’d prefer a classic American lunch with a twist, try the dinosaur-themed Restaurantosaurus, which serves up black bean burgers, hot dogs and beer.

Magic Kingdom

Treat yourself to a few classic baseball favourites at Casey’s Corner where you can pick from hot dogs, nachos, cotton candy and Cracker Jack. Or, for a real feast, tuck into bottomless platters and milkshakes at the Whispering Canyon Cafe.

Cheap places to eat in Disney World

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

ABC Commissary, a studio-inspired cafe with film posters on the walls and movie trailers on repeat, offers hearty dishes in an Art Deco setting. Try the chicken burgers, BBQ steaks and ice-cold beverages.

Disney Springs

Make a pit stop at the food trucks in Disney Springs. With themed snacks from all across the globe at Fantasy Fare and delicious macaroni cheese at Superstar Catering, there’s always a wide choice available.

 

Recommended places to stay in Orlando

 

Islands of Adventure

The rides at Universal are thrilling and so are the restaurants, too! Captain America’s Diner is where all the famous heroes hang out – expect dishes like chicken fingers and cheeseburgers. Taste the famous ‘Green Egg and Ham’ sandwiches at the Green Eggs and Ham Café or feast on juicy quarter-pounders at The Burger Digs. Don’t forget the Three Broomsticks, a Harry Potter-inspired restaurant providing classic British favorites and the famous ‘butter beer’.

Universal Studios Florida

There’s a fun dining option for everyone at Universal. Woody Woodpecker’s KidZone Dining is perfect for kids and adults alike, serving pizza, pretzels and ice cream. Alternatively, take a trip down to Springfield Dining with the Simpsons. Krusty Burger serves up classic burgers and hot dogs, while Lard Lad donuts delivers on the sweet-treat front.

Where to eat on a budget in Orlando

Shopping malls in and around Orlando

Florida Mall

Central Florida’s largest indoor shopping center offers a vast number of restaurants. Head to Five Guys for burgers and milkshakes, or visit A&W All American Food for more yummy fast food. Sbarro serves up homemade pizzas with a variety of toppings.

Pointe Orlando

This open-air shopping mall has plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from. Try Abode Gila’s, a casual margarita bar serving tacos, wraps and frozen drinks. Hearty meals are served up at The Pub, a British-inspired bar with an American twist.

The Mall at Millennia

Keke’s Breakfast Café was born in Orlando, and the first restaurant opened at The Mall at Millennia. The top-notch breakfasts never fail to deliver – and the huge portions are sure to bring a smile to your face.

Our guide to shopping in Orlando has more tips on eating at the malls.

Where to eat cheaply in Orlando

Fast-food joints and diners

For a quick and easy lunch or dinner, head to one of the many fast-food joints or diners near Orlando. Global franchises like McDonald’s and Subway are easy to track down, while classics like Wendy’s, Taco Bell, Shake Shack and Dairy Queen can be found over on International Drive.

All-you-can-eat restaurants

Feeling hungry? You might want to stop by one of the many all-you-can-eat restaurants in Orlando. Pick from Disney favorites like the African-style Boma and Tusker House in Animal Kingdom, or hop over to Epcot for a German buffet at Biergarten Restaurant. You can also feast on Brazilian-style cuisine at Texas de Brazil on International Drive. For a healthier option try Sweet Tomatoes, the ultimate salad buffet restaurant at Universal Studios. In South Orlando, El Palacio features a whole range of comforting Latin food, while Woodlands Indian Cuisine is a great option for vegetarians.

Supermarkets

If you really want to keep things cheap, head to Orlando’s supermarkets. These offer essentials like bread, milk and every ingredient for a home-cooked meal. You can stock up on everything you require and prepare the food back at your vacation rental. Find out more information with our guide to grocery shopping in Orlando.

Some of the resorts in Orlando offer cheap eats

Resorts in Orlando that offer cheap eats

Reunion Resort

For a convenient and affordable dining spot, head over to The Cove at Reunion Resort, where options include refreshing smoothies and burgers. If you’d like to sit in the sunshine, The Clubhouse Grille offers indoor and outdoor dining with a varied food selection. The American-style breakfast is a big hit, as are the cocktails.

Formosa Gardens

A luxurious gated community, Formosa Gardens has a shopping village close by – and it’s home to several different restaurant choices, including a sandwich shop. Grab something to go or sit down at Giordano’s Italian Restaurant for a mouth-watering pizza.

Championsgate

Located within easy reach of Disney, Championsgate is home to The Grille Room, where the menu runs from grilled sandwiches to affordable 5-course meals.

The Encore Club

For the best cocktails and hot appetizers, head over to the Shark Lounge at the Encore Club. Casual dining is also available at Finns (you can view the menu here and here). If you’re at the pool, Bis Grill is handy for quick snacks and drinks.

Searching for a vacation home in Orlando? Browse our entire selection of homes here.

 

The best water parks in Orlando

The best way to escape Orlando’s scorching weather is by visiting one of the many water parks. There are more than half a dozen to choose from, and they are home to some of the world’s best water rides. In this ultimate guide, we’ll take you through park by park and show you the best rides each one offers. Just use the menu below to hop straight to each water park.

Orlando’s 4 big water parks

Aquatica
Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon
Disney’s Blizzard Beach
Universal’s Volcano Bay

Resorts in Orlando with water parks

Reunion Resort
Encore Resort at Reunion

Aquatica

With wave pools, beaches and high-speed water slides, this one-of-a-kind water park is home to some of the world’s most thrilling H2O-based attractions. Aquatica is run by Seaworld and it promises unlimited fun in the sun. Take a look at which rides Aquatica has in store…

Ihu’s Breakaway Falls

Ihu’s Breakaway Falls at Aquatica in Orlando

Get ready to brave Orlando’s tallest, steepest, and only multi-drop tower slide of its kind. At nearly 80 ft tall, Ihu’s Breakaway Falls is where you’ll face your biggest fears. Stand in the see-through capsule and wait for the floor to drop out from beneath your feet.

Dolphin Plunge

Dolphin plunge aquatica

The classic family favourite, Dolphin Plunge takes riders down 250 ft of clear tubes, underwater, and through Aquatica’s beautiful Commerson’s dolphin habitat.

Big Surf Shores & Cutback Cove

Guests can catch a wave in the world’s only side-by-side wave pools. Filled with a combined 860,000 gallons of water, these enormous pools deliver very different experiences.

Omaka Rocka

Aquatica Orlando Omaka Rocka

Grab an inflatable and experience weightlessness as you speed down flumes into massive tunnels on Omaka Rocka.

Roa’s Rapids

This adventure river zips guests through 1,500 ft of rapids, past geysers and through waterfalls at an exhilarating speed.

Loggerhead Lane

For fun at a much slower pace, take a trip on this lazy river, passing exotic birds and tanks of colorful fish.

Good to know

There are plenty of places to eat and drink at Aquatica. Try the Waterstone Grill, which serves an assortment of sandwiches and salads, desserts and drinks. Alternatively, head to the Mango Market, a grab-and-go restaurant serving picnic baskets full of tasty lunch items. At Banana Beach, an all-you-can-eat buffet, you’ll find pizzas, hot dogs, pulled pork, baked chicken and yummy desserts.

Aquatica is open all year round. For specific hours of operation and to buy tickets at the best rates, please call our concierge team on 1-866-341-8086 (US) or 0800 43 34567 (UK).

Typhoon Lagoon water park

One of two water parks run by Disney, Typhoon Lagoon is a great place to escape to on a hot and sunny day. The lazy river and water slides provide excitement wherever you look. Here are the best rides to check out when you arrive.

Bay Slides

Side-by-side slides offer gentle thrills and spills for younger visitors (there’s a maximum height limit, which means parents have to wait at the bottom).

Crush ‘n’ Gusher

Crush 'n' Gusher DisneyTyphoon Lagoon

Pair up on this multi-passenger, rollercoaster-style raft ride as you zoom through the 400-ft-long tubes and create a big splash in the water.

Humunga Kowabunga

Humunga Kowabunga at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon water park

Hurtle 214 ft downhill for a 5-story drop in the dark until you reach the big surprise! Tweens, teens, adults and kids will love the thrills and chills this attraction brings.

Castaway Creek

Castaway Creel Disney Typhoon Lagoon

Float away on this blissful lazy river, which takes you on a tour around the entire water park. Paddle along the current as you lay on your rubber ring, drifting under waterfalls, rope bridges and a canopy of tall trees.

Good to know

There’s no shortage of dining options at the waterpark. Try Typhoon Tilly’s, a shipwreck-inspired restaurant serving fried shrimp, fish baskets and BBQ pork sandwiches, or stop off for a spot of ice cream at Happy Landings. It offers root beer floats, sundaes and more. Another option is to drop into Lowtide Lou’s for a selection of wraps, sandwiches and frozen cocktails.

Operating hours are subject to change and vary throughout the year. To find out the opening times take a look at their website.

Blizzard Beach water park

Themed like a wintry ski resort, Blizzard Beach offers beaches, calming rivers, ‘snowy’ slides and brightly colored play areas. Here’s which water rides Disney’s Blizzard Beach features.

Downhill Double Dipper

Ready, steady, go! With these side-by-side slides, you can race against your friends to see who can reach the bottom first. Plummet 50 ft downhill at top speeds and disappear through a black hole.

Runoff Rapids

Choose between 3 different inner-tube slides for an instant water rush. These one-of-a-kind water flumes each offer a different experience to the next.

Chairlift

Ride up to Mount Gushmore on colorful wooden chairlifts with umbrella canopies. The slow-moving lift gives you a scenic view of the park and ends at the Green Slope, a prime location for even more attractions.

Summit Plummet

Blizzard Beach’s most extreme ride, Summit Plummet has a near-vertical drop and is one of the world’s tallest and fastest free-fall body slides. This sheer 120-ft drop is perfect for thrill seekers.

Good to know

Looking for a sweet snack? There’s a kiosk within the water park serving up sundaes, waffle cones and frosty desserts. You can also visit the snowmobile next to the chairlift ride for simple snacks. Another option is to take a snack break with either a hot dog, a beer or a salad at the ‘Avalunch’ stand. You can book tickets to the park and get up-to-date opening hours by contacting our concierge team.

Universal Orlando

Volcano Bay

Volcano Bay in Orlando

Redefining the water park experience, the brand-new Volcano Bay (opening in May 2017) is the best water park in Orlando for adults. It offers attractions to suit every member of the family and is split into four areas, Rainforest Village, River Village, Wave Village and, of course, The Volcano. These are the rides you can look forward to…

Krakatau Aqua Coaster

Krakatau aqua coaster volcanic bay

Experience dark twists and turns in the volcano before plunging through a waterfall on a four-person ‘canoe’.

Waturi Beach

Surf’s up! Head down to the beach for a swim or splash around in the sparkling lagoon, set at the foot of Krakatau volcano.

Honu ika Moana

Honu volcanic bay universal

Prepared to get drenched on these two twisting multi-person slides. Honu reaches new heights whilst ika Moana sprays water directly at guests from the center of the raft.

Taniwha Tubes

These 4 twisting slides are inspired by trees’ twisting roots. Riders can enjoy all 4 twisting tracks, but be prepared to get completely soaked on the way down as tiki statues spray big jets of water!

Resorts in Orlando with water parks

Reunion Resort water park

Reunion Resort water park

Cool down and make a splash in Reunion Resort’s water park – located just 5.5 miles to Walt Disney World. The surrounding tropical gardens and tall palm trees create the best place to relax after a day at the theme parks. Float along the lengthy lazy river or get your heart racing with the 110-foot water slide – there’s entertainment for all ages. Take shade in the lounge areas with a cocktail at hand whilst the younger guests enjoy Reunion’s water fun.

The nearby splash park is the best water park in Orlando for a 5 year old, located next to the Sandy Ridge communal pool. With a swirly slide, playground and water fountains, there’s lots of fun to be had.

Dining

The food and beverage service on site is open Monday through Sunday, 11am- 4.30pm (times may vary).It’s an easy access eatery for snacks and beverages when visiting the water park.

Encore Resort at Reunion water park

Water park at the Encore Club

An aqua paradise isn’t far away if you stay at the Encore Resort at Reunion. With more than 2 million gallons of water, it isn’t just any ordinary water park. Whether looking for thrills or relaxing water fun, there’s plenty to choose from. Drift down the lazy river or be adventurous, trying out the Tsunami and Aqua Drop water slides. For younger kids, there’s even a Surfin’ Safari splash zone to cool down from the Orlando sun.

Dining

If you get hungry when at the water park, nearby is Bis Grill, the best place to refuel with a snack or two.

Searching for a villa near these top Orlando’s theme parks? Browse our entire selection here. For the best prices, check out our last-minute deals.

 

60 things to do in Turks and Caicos

The Turks and Caicos islands may be smaller than their Caribbean neighbours, but there are plenty of opportunities for having fun. Whether you’re planning your first vaction, or you’re a repeat visitor, there’s always something new and exciting to discover.

If you’re looking for the very best things to do in Turks and Caicos, here’s a rundown of must-do activities to try…

Beaches and islands

things to do in turks and caicos

Take a trip to the beach

From the expansive main bays, to the lesser-known cays and coves, the beaches in Turks and Caicos are all equally stunning. Brilliant white sand is the norm and the sea is crystal clear, with intense turquoise hues that have to be seen to be believed. Wherever you are on the islands, a trip to the beach is a must.

Head to a child-friendly cove

With its clear calm shallows and powdery soft sands, this picturesque cove in Providenciales is an excellent place to visit with kids. Sheltered from the southeast trade winds by the small Ocean Point peninsula, the beach is very safe with no underwater currents and only a few conch shells and small rocks  in the sand.

Find the finest beach in the world

Providenciales, or ‘Provo’ as it is also known, offers a fantastic selection of beaches. Grace Bay and Leeward Bay are often voted the finest beaches in the world, yet Sapodilla Bay, Long Bay, Malcolm’s Road Beach and Bight Beach all deserve a visit. Most Turks and Caicos villas are located in Provo, at top spots along the coast.

Visit the Governor’s beach

When the cruise ships aren’t in town, Governor’s Beach in Grand Turk is one of the most idyllic and peaceful beaches on the island. The sand is lined with casuarina trees and the surrounding area is home to a host of attractions such as the old Governor’s residence and the island’s capital Cockburn Town. You can find out more about the cruise ship schedule here.

 Explore rugged bays

If you’re looking for something a little more rugged and remote then head to the North and Middle Caicos beaches. The scenic Mudjin Harbour and Bambarra Beach are the best on Middle Caicos, and the number of visitors is so low you won’t have to share them with hardly anyone. In North Caicos, Hollywood Beach, Whitby Beach and Pumpkin Bluff Beach are the best, with shallower water that makes them perfect for snorkeling.

Snorkeling and Diving

diving in turks and caicos

Learn to scuba dive

Diving is one of the most popular things to do in Turks and Caicos, so it’s no surprise that most dive companies on the islands offer Padi dive courses. You can complete your basic certification at most dive centers, and you can take advanced courses too. Blue Water Divers in Grand Turk lets you do your bookwork online at home, and your water-based training on vacation.

Go diving in West Caicos

The uninhabited island of West Caicos is home to spectacular beaches and unparralled diving. On the west side you’ll find some of the best wall diving in the region, with sheers drops from about 40 feet down to the ocean floor. The north and eastern sides offer excellent diving too, and plenty of shallows for snorkelling.

Go kid-friendly snorkeling

If you’re looking for things to do in Turks and Caicos with kids, why not take the little ones snorkeling? The Coral Gardens snorkeling area, or Bight Reef as it is also known, is the easiest reef to snorkel for kids and beginners. The snorkeling trail is located just off Grace Bay and it is clearly marked with safety ropes. What’s more, the fish are quite tame as they’re used to to humans swimming around them.

Try freediving 

Freediving (diving whilst holding your breath) can be one of the most relaxing ways to discover the underwater world, and with a bit of pratise and training you can reach depths of around 50 feet  or more. It is less cumbersome than regular diving as you don’t need much equipment, and many people who practise the sport say they feel more at one with nature. Dive Provo offers freedive instruction.

Sample snuba diving

Why not explore the pristine coral reef around Turks and Caicos on a snuba diving tour? Yes it’s snuba not scuba, and unlike conventional scuba diving, you’ll be equipped with an air hose attached to your scuba mask, so you can go deeper than regular snorkeling and can see more, too. Snuba diving is suitable for children as young as 8, and is great fun for adults as well.

Snorkel like 007

Power snorkelling is a relatively new way to snorkel, where you hold a special power unit that propels you along effortlessly underwater – like you may have seen in James Bond movies! This one-of-a kind experience is an exciting way to explore the coral reef, and is offered by most water sports providers.

Dive with sharks

You can have an up-close encounter with small passive sharks, as well as turtles, stingrays and other sea life on a deep sea dive. Aqau TCI runs diving excursions for certified divers at top dive spots like Northwest Point, West Caicos, Sandbore Channel and French Cay. A 3-tank dive option is available for those who wish to head to deeper, less visited sites.

Other water sports

water sports in turks and caicos

Go kayaking through mangroves

One of the best ways to explore the shallow waters and winding mangrove channels around the Turks and Caicos is on a kayaking tour. Big Blue Unlimited offers a variety of guided eco tours for both novices and avid kayakers alike.

Kitesurf all year round

The consistent trade winds across the Turks and Caicos islands make them a great destination for kitesurfing all year round. Long Bay Beach on Provo is one of the best places for novices to kite as the water is clean, clear and shallow. While experienced riders should head to the extensive flatwater just off the island.

SUP board through a national reserve

Stand-up paddle boarding, or SUP boarding as it is also known, is a great way to spot local wildlife around the island’s national reserves. And as you’re standing up on your board you can get a much better view of what’s going on underneath and around you. The best places to head for SUP boarding are Grace Bay, and the region’s national parks and nature reserves.

Sail into the sunset

Due to its calm turquoise seas and great year-round weather, sailing is one of the top things to do in Turks and Caicos. Sail Beluga offers private catamaran charters from Providenciales with family, romance and honeymoon packages available.

Design your own excursion

Water sports fans and nature lovers alike will love the customised excursions offered by Silly Creek Water Sports. You can design your very own private excursion with wakeboarding, waterskiing and tubing included. Once you’ve pitted your wits against the water, you can head to the surrounding beaches and cays for rock jumping, wildlife spotting and exploring.

Sail a Hobie Cat

Hobie Cats are a lesser-known type of sailboat, like small easy-to-sail, unsinkable catamarans. It’s easy to learn how to use a Hobie Cat, and most beginners can learn the basics in around an hour. Grace Bay is the main area for Hobie Cat sailing, and Long Bay also offers great conditions.

Go swimming – on horseback!

You can explore the region’s natural beauty on a horseback riding excursion, both on land and in the ocean. You’ll take a leisurely ride along the beach first, then unsaddle your horse and ride bareback into the water for an exhilarating riding experience. Provo Ponies offers a variety of group and private riding packages.

Land sports and activities

things to do in Turks and Caicos

Hire a scooter

Hiring a scooter is a great way to explore the local area and head off the beaten track. Paradise Scooter offers guided island tours around Provo, or if you prefer to head out on your own, you can hire a scooter for around $30 per day. If you’re not quite ready for the thrill of riding a scooter, you can hire an electric bike instead.

Surf on a wave simulator

A ride on the Grand Turk Flowrider is a great way to pack in some adrenaline-fuelled excitement to any afternoon. Located in the huge lagoon pool at the Grand Turk Cruise Center, this self-contained water attraction provides the perfect conditions for surfing and bodyboarding on an artificial wave. When you’re done you can do some duty-free shopping, grab a bite to eat or just relax by the pool.

Quad bike along a cliff top

If you want to head off the beaten track, a quad biking tour is a great way to explore areas that other vehicles can’t reach. Funtastic Tours operates quad bike excursions around Grand Turk, with routes around the town, as well as the surrounding beaches and clifftops.

Go on a dune buggy safari

Guided tours are one of the most popular things to do in Turks and Caicos, and off-road dune buggy rides are definitely a fun adventure option. Similar to quad bikes, you can explore some fantastic locations, although much of the tour takes place on paved roads so it’s a smoother ride.

Tee off on a top golf course

Consistently voted as one of the top 10 golf courses in the Caribbean, Provo Golf Club is home to a fantastic 18-hole championship golf course. Open to residents and visitors alike, the course offers excellent facilities including a full-service pro shop, putting areas, a flood-lit tennis court and a restaurant.

Cycle around Provo

If you want to rent a bike and cycle around the Provo, the Caicos Cyclery in Grace Bay offers great-value bike rental for all the family.

Walk the local dogs

Potcakes are super-cute mixed breed dogs found on most Caribbean islands. There are a number of homeless Potcake dogs at the Potcake Place rescue center, and visitors are welcome to pop in and take one for a walk along the beach. If you really get on, you can even adopt one!

Historic attractions

shutterstock_445039831 (1)

Learn about the bygone salt industry

The remnants of the country’s old salt industry can be seen at the salt evaporation ponds on Grand Turk. Also known as salinas, these huge partially-restored production ponds were once used to produce sea salt – one of the largest exports from the islands in the early 1900s. For those interested in the history, there’s a free exhibit at the Salt House museum on Grand Turk.

Visit the old lighthouse

Built in 1852, the Grand Turk Lighthouse is the region’s most famous landmark. This beautiful structure is located high on a clifftop along the northern coast of Grand Turk, and accessed via a scenic coastal path with stunning views over the sea.

See where Christopher Columbus landed

No Turks and Caicos vacation would be complete without a visit to the region’s capital, Cockburn Town. This charming town is home to some fascinating historic attractions. It’s also thought to be the site where Christopher Columbus first landed on his New World voyage in 1492.

Go to prison!

For anyone interested in the history of Turks and Caicos, Her Majesy’s Prison in Grand Turk offers a fascinating look into the country’s Colonial past. Built in the 1830s to hold just 6 prisoners, the facility was expanded to a capacity of around 50 by the time of its closure in the early 1990s. It’s now one of the island’s top tourist attractions.

Visit a cotton plantation

The Wade’s Green Plantation is the best surviving cotton plantation in the Turks and Caicos, and it is open to the public for daily tours. Located in Kew, in North Caicos, it is has been described as one of the finest examples of Colonial plantation history in existence.

See an ancient shipwreck

The Turks and Caicos National Museum is an essential stop if you want to find out about the history and culture of the islands. Located in Cockburn Town, the museum is home to some fascinating exhibits from the Molasses Reef Wreck (the oldest European shipwreck excavated in the western hemisphere) as well as other cultural artefacts like old Spanish coins and ancient Lucayan Indian relics.

Tours and day trips

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Visit the world’s only conch farm

If you’re looking for unique things to do in Turks and Caicos, how about learning everything you need to know about the Caribbean Queen Conch? The Caicos Conch Farm in Provo is the only conch farm in the world, and it offers daily guided tours. You can even purchase fresh local conch to take away.

Go on a guided tram tour

Sit back, relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of Grand Turk on a tram tour around the island. Island Trams offers a variety of guided tours that take you around Grank Turk’s top tourist attractions. You can learn about the region’s fascinating Colonial history, and stop off along the way for a spot of shopping.

Spot humpback whales

If you’re looking for things to do in Turks and Caicos during the winter months, you should definitely consider a whale watching excursion. Salt Cay and Grand Turk are the best areas to spot humpback whales, with regular sightings during migration season from around January to April. Quite a few local businesses offer whale watching tours, with snokeling and diving included.

Get a bird’s-eye view

A helicopter tour is one of the best ways to get a bird’s-eye view of the Turks and Caicos islands. You can arrange a narrated 4-person tour over Grand Turk and the nearby uninhabited cays with Mountain Air Helicopter.

Try reef fishing

The waters around Providenciales are excellent for a variety of fishing including traditional rod fishing, bottom fishing and deep-sea sport fishing. Reef fishing is a great choice for families as it’s the most likely to result in an easy catch. You can find some amazing bone fishing in the region too, usually in the flats around Provo.

Island hop

Most visitors stay on the main island of Provo, but it’s easy to arrange a boat charter or hop on a ferry to the surrounding islands. There’s the laid-back capital Grand Turk, the tropical island of North Caicos and the larger island of Middle Caicos with its gorgeous beaches and vast underground cave system. East Caicos is swampy but has great views, and South Caicos is the fishing capital.

Natural attractions

things to do in turks and caicos

Swim with stingrays

Gibbs Cay, or Stingray City as it is known locally, is a stunning little island where you can snorkel and swim with hoards of friendly stingrays. Many people are initially wary, however the ones at Gibbs Cay are so used to being fed and stroked by tour guides that they flock to the area and are relatively tame. Many tour companies offer day trips to Gibbs Cay with lunch and snorkeling gear included.

See more iguana than you ever thought possible

Located a short boat ride from Provo, the quaint island sanctuary of Salt Water Cay is home to the endangered Turks and Caicos Rock Iguana. You can also spot a variety of tropical birds as well as stingrays and small sharks.

Visit a national park

There is a vast system of protected national parks and nature reserves in Turks and Caicos, and you’ll find different types of local terrains across them all. The Chalk Sound National Park is a beautiful turquoise lagoon on the southwest tip of Provo, and it is said to be one of the most beautiful national parks in the country.

Explore ancient caves

The Conch Bar Caves in Middle Caicos are the largest and oldest underground caves in the entire Caribbean region. This vast cave system is fascinating to explore with its underground lagoons, and stalactites and stalagmites that jut from above and below. The caves are home to ancient Lucayan Indian artefacts, as well as bats and other wildlife.

Shopping and spas

shopping in turks and caicos

Enjoy some retail therapy

As a relaively small country, the Turks and Caicos doesn’t have the extensive shopping options that other larger tourist detinations offer. There are a small number of upscale shopping malls in Providenciales, as well some gift and souvenir shops. There are some shops in Grand Turk too, mainly at the Grand Turk Cruise Center and at smaller sites like the Salt House Museum and the Turks and Caicos National Museum.

Pick up some duty-free

You can do some great duty-free shopping while you’re in Turks and Caicos. The best selection of duty-free shops can be found in Grace Bay, Providenciales, at the Saltmills Plaza, the Regent Village shopping center and the Ports of Call Plaza. You’ll find great branded items like clothing, watches, jewellery, perfumes and accesories, as well as liquor, cigarettes and cigars.

Relax at a spa

If relaxing on the world’s best beaches isn’t enough, why not head to a luxury spa? There are a number of spas around Grace Bay offering a variety of treatments including body wraps, massages, manicures, and makeup artistry. A few companies also provide a mobile service, so if you’re staying in one of our Turks and Caicos villas, they can come to you.

Buy a sea-salt souvenir

Hundreds of years ago, locally harvested sea salt first put the Turks and Caicos on the map. The salt was cultivated at specially built salinas and was one of the main Caribbean exports. Today it is still harvested on the islands, although on a much smaller scale. Small bags of Turks and Caicos sea salt make great souvenirs – you can buy them at most food stores and supermarkets.

Eating and drinking

dining in turks and caicos

Taste your way around Provo

Providenciales is the undisputed dining capital of the Turks and Caicos, home to a fantastic range of restaurants to suit every taste and budget. The local cuisine mostly revolves around seafood – namely conch – although there are a good selection of restaurants that serve international cuisines like Japanese, Indian, Thai and Italian. The best restaurants in Turks and Caicos are located around the Grace Bay and Turtle Cove area, although there are some hidden gems on all the islands.

Grab a burger in Grand Turk

The dining scene on Grand Turk is very different to that on Provo as the majority of tourists visit for just a few hours straight from the cruise port. Most of the places to eat are casual dining shacks and restaurants serving burgers, pizzas and seafood. As may be expected though, they tend to get quite crowded when the cruise ships stop off.

Sample fresh local fare

North and Middle Caicos don’t have a huge selection of restaurants, but there are some top choices if you fancy sampling fresh local fare. Many of the restaurants combine fresh seafood with locally grown vegetables from the Government farm in North Caicos. Most places are closed on Sunday, although several will open by reservation if you book in advance.

Sample the local rum

Bambarra rum is the islands’ signature rum brand, and it’s a must-try tipple during a Turks and Caicos vacation. You can buy it in any bar or rum shack, or you can stock up on bottles in most supermarkets and liquor stores.

Grab an ice-cold beer

The ale and lager of the Turks Head Brewery in Provo are the only beers brewed in the entire country. The brewery isn’t open to the public, but you can buy the bubbly flavourful Turks Head beer from any bar, restaurant or supermarket. We think it’s best enjoyed ice cold with a slice of lime.

Entertainment and nightlife

turks and caicos vacations

Party at a conch festival

The Turks and Caicos Conch Festival is a celebration of…you guessed it…the conch! The conch is the country’s reigning delicacy, and one of its largest exports. The festival is a family-friendly event with live calypso music, great entertainment and local food and drink – a must-do on any Turks and Caicos vacation list.

Hang out at a fish fry

The nightlife in the Turks and Caicos can’t compete with the revelry of, say, Barbados, but this laid-back island still offers plenty of entertainment. The beach shacks along Blue Hills Beach in Provo are a great place to hang out, as is the Thursday night fish fry in Bight Park. 

Have a flutter at the casino

It was once illegal on the islands, but the casino action has picked up in the Turks and Caicos in recent years. The Casablanca Casino in Provo offers roulette, blackjack and baccarat and is open from lunchtime to 5am.

Kick back at a beachside bar

There are some terrific beachside bars and lounges in Providenciales, so you can kick-back with a cocktail and watch the sun go down. The newest and best can be found along the beachfront at Grace Bay and many have DJ nights, dancing and happy hours.

Drink beer and watch the game

You can watch sports on a big-screen TV, listen to music and dine on local island fare at the Club Sodax sports bar in Provvo. There’s a great Irish pub in Provo too, featuring beer on tap, darts and pool tables… it’s called Danny Buoy’s.

Romance

turks and caicos honeymoon

Get married on the beach

If you’re thinking of getting married in Turks and Caicos, there are endless ways to tie the knot. You can have a service barefoot on the beach, or get hitched on a sailboat – or in one of our luxury Turks and Caicos villas. If you fancy the boat option, Sail Provo can organise a wedding on one of its larger catamarans for up to 100 people. Alternatively, the Top Villas concierge team can help you arrange the wedding of your dreams in one of our Turks and Caicos vacation homes.

Set sail to a deserted cay

If you want to get away from it all, you can rent a boat and set sail to the tiny Leeward Cays between Provo and North Caicos. There’s Parrot Cay and Fort George Cay, where abandoned cannons off the northwest shore make for great snorkeling. Dellis Cay is home to an abandoned resort, and Little Water Cay is a nature reserve for Turks and Caicos rock iguana.

Dine on a tiny island

The tiny island of Salt Cay is home to just 3 restaurants, but the food is great and the atmosphere is cosy and romantic. The restaurants all offer good food at decent prices, especially considering that much of it has to be imported from the larger islands. You’ll find a heavy seafood influence on the menus, as well as the more common meat and vegetable dishes. It’s a good idea to book in advance to let them know you’re coming, and it’s likely it will be just the two of you there.

Have a Turks and Caicos honeymoon

The Turks and Caicos islands may be relatively small in size, but they offer an abundance of once-in-a-lifetime experiences for couples to enjoy together. The country boasts plenty of things to do while retaining an intimate charm unlike many other mainstream honeymoon destinations. You can read our Turks and Caicos honeymoon guide here.

If you’re thinking of booking a Turks and Caicos vacation and you need advice on the best places to stay then contact us today. Additionally, our dedicated concierge team can arrange any added extras you need such as great-value car hire. You can see all of our Turks and Caicos villas here.

 

A Turks and Caicos honeymoon guide

If your idea of wedded bliss is jetting off to an idyllic island paradise, then a Turks and Caicos honeymoon should fit the bill. These lesser-known Caribbean isles offer bags of unspoilt beauty, and more fun activities to tick off your bucket list than you probably realize.

Why Turks and Caicos?

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Intimate charm

Although small in size, the Turks and Caicos islands offer an abundance of once-in-a-lifetime experiences for couples to enjoy together. Less busy yet more upscale than many of its Caribbean counterparts, the region boasts plenty to do while retaining an intimate charm unlike more mainstream honeymoon destinations.

World-class beaches

This British Overseas Territory actually consists of more than 40 tropical islands, but only 8 of them are inhabited. Providenciales, or ‘Provo’ as it is known locally, is by far the most developed island, and where most visitors stay. You’ll find Grace Bay here – a 12-mile stretch of beach voted as one of the best in the world – as well as a handful of modern conveniences like restaurants, spas and shopping facilities, and a golf course.

Great diving

Along with beaches, the top Turks and Caicos attraction is diving. The entire archipelago sits on a submarine plateau which extends a short distance from the shoreline then plunges 6,000 ft to the ocean floor. You can explore the the shallow reef in around 40 ft of water or take a boat to the plateau precipice for some fantastic wall dives.

Things to do on a Turks and Caicos honeymoon

An abundance of sealife

The region’s other major marine feature is the Columbus Passage, a 22-mile-wide channel that separates the Turks islands from the Caicos islands. This area is a popular highway for migrating turtles, rays, dolphins and humpback whales, so it makes for some exciting boat tours.

Island highlights

If you can tear yourself away from the beaches and sea, the islands have plenty of other attractions. You’ll find the world’s only conch farm on Provo, pink flamingoes on North Caicos, and a massive underground cave system on Middle Caicos. There’s Grand Turk too, the regions’s historic capital, home to old colonial-style buildings, a museum, and the only cruise port in the island chain.

Best time for a honeymoon in Turks & Caicos

Turks and Caicos is at its best in the winter and early spring, when the climate is sunny and dry, with highs reaching the mid 80s. In the summer and fall, daytime temperatures creep up even higher, but these months coincide with hurricane season which runs from June to November. Whatever time of year you choose to visit, a constant trade wind keeps the climate at a comfortable level.

The Turks and Caicos has warm sea too. The water temperature in the summer is in the low 80s, and in winter about the mid 70s. Hoping to go whale watching? You can spot migrating humpback whales around Grand Turk and Salt Cay from late January to early April.

Know before you go

Language: English
Currency: US dollar
Time zone: Atlantic Standard Time
Health requirements: No vaccinations are required
Getting around: Taxis or car hire (drive on the left)
Tipping: Add 15% at restaurants

Getting there

Most visitors fly into Providenciales. From there it’s an easy commuter flight to the other islands. Providenciales International Airport (PLS) is a modern facility and the only one within the islands served by scheduled international carriers, predominantly from North America, Europe and other Caribbean islands.

From London

If you’re travelling to the Turks and Caicos from London, you can fly daily with British Airways or American Airlines to Miami, then change for the short 90-minute flight from Miami to Providenciales.

From the United States

You can get direct flights from the United States to Turks and Caicos with the larger airlines like American Airlines, United, Delta and Jetblue. You can fly direct from New York City in around 4 hours, and LA is around 13 hours away. From Miami the flight time is just 90 minutes.

Romantic things to do

Set sail on a private island getaway

If you’re thinking of things to do during a Turks and Caicos honeymoon, what could be more romantic than chartering a private boat and sailing to a deserted island for the day? Once you’re there you can frolic on pristine beaches, spot pink flamingoes (or maybe even whales), and snorkel hand-in-hand in warm, turquoise waters. Once you’ve worked up a hunger, you can hop back on the boat for a romantic picnic lunch. Boat Rental Turks and Caicos rents boats by the hour at reasonable rates.

How to spend a honeymoon on Turks and Caicos

Take a full moon paddle tour

You can take your newlywed on a kayaking tour into the wilderness of the region’s remote cays, mangroves and tidal creeks. Big Blue Unlimited offers a range of guided eco tours, suitable for novices as well as more avid kayakers. The full moon paddle tour is a great option for couples looking to spend a romantic evening together.

Visit a spa

What better way to kick off married life than with a bit of pampering in a peace-filled luxury spa? The Teona Spa in Provo offers a range of great spa experiences, with 10% off all treatments for new customers. You can opt for a 2-hour couple’s massage that includes a relaxing clay wrap and a 90-minute hot-stone massage.

Get a history lesson

Cockburn Town is the low-key capital of Grand Turk. It’s also home to a fascinating historic section where you can see the architectural remnants of the island’s Colonial past. You can take a tour of Duke and Front streets, where you’ll see vintage buildings behind picket fences, entwined with crimson bougainvillea. While you’re in town you can visit the region’s national museum, as well as other historic sites like the Grand Turk Lighthouse, Her Majesty’s Prison, and the island’s abandoned salt salinas.

Watch the sunset

Turks and Caicos is a fantastic place to watch the sunset, and what better way to watch it than with your significant other by your side? There are a number of great ways to catch the sunset on a Turks and Caicos honeymoon. You can take a romantic sunset cruise, or watch with a cocktail in hand from a beach bar by the sea. For something a little different why not book a sunset horse ride at Grace Bay, one of the world’s finest beaches?

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Where to stay

If you’re looking for top-notch accommodation for your Turks and Caicos honeymoon, the luxury Turks and Caicos villas offered by Top Villas are an excellent choice. Ideal for romance and relaxation, rentals are located in top spots overlooking the ocean, and come equipped with luxury amenities throughout.

You can rent this newly renovated 2-bedroom villa at Sapodilla Bay Beach for very reasonable rates.

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This elegant 3-bedroom villa near Grace Bay is surrounded by the soothing hues of the ocean.

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See all Turks and Caicos villas

 

If you’re thinking of booking a Turks and Caicos honeymoon and you need advice on the best places to stay then contact us today. Additionally, our dedicated concierge team can arrange any added extras you need such as great-value car hire.

 

Grocery shopping in Orlando

If you’re wondering where to head for grocery shopping in Orlando, don’t worry – there are plenty of great stores and supermarkets near Orlando’s best resorts. And if you don’t fancy shopping you’re in luck, as there are some handy grocery delivery services, too. 

This simple guide will help you find the best way to stock up on groceries for your vacation.

Supermarkets in Orlando

Many of the big resorts have stores on site, selling basic items such as milk, bread and tea, but if you want to stock up on other groceries, there are much larger supermarkets nearby.

Most resorts are located around the Interstate 4 and US Highway 192 where you will find a number of Publix, Winn-Dixie and Walmart supermarkets, as well as several smaller shops.

There are also a number of fast-food restaurants, as well as liquor stores and ATM machines. If you head further along Highway 192 you’ll find the W Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway with even more grocery stores, plus a string of well-known restaurant chains like Burger King, Wendy’s, TGI Fridays and an Outback Steakhouse.

Our top picks for stocking up in Orlando

  • Winn-Dixie
    Address: 11957 S Apopka Vineland Rd, Orlando, Fl 32836
    Phone: (407) 465-8600
    Hours: Monday–Sunday, 6am–12am
    Special features: ATM, drug store, deli, bakery, seafood, fresh meats
  • Publix
    Address: 14928 East Orange Lake Boulevard, Kissimmee, FL 34747
    Phone: (407) 239-4989
    Hours: Monday–Sunday, 7am–11pm
    Special features: economically priced groceries, plus beer and wine
  • Walmart Supercenter
    3250 Vineland Road, Kissimmee, FL 34746
    Phone: (407) 397-1125
    Hours: Monday–Sunday, 10am–10pm
    Special features: This store has a great selection of Disney souvenirs
  • Super Target
    Address:4795 West Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway, Kissimmee, FL 34746
    Phone: (407) 594-0029
    Hours: Monday–Saturday, 8am–11pm; Sunday 8am–10pm
    Special features: Drug store, Starbucks, low-priced grocery shopping in Orlando

Grocery delivery services in Orlando

If supermarket shopping isn’t your thing, you may prefer to use a grocery delivery service. Not only does it save time, it’s also a great way to avoid splurging on non-essentials at the supermarket checkout. The best grocery delivery services offer a wide selection of products, as well as fast delivery and low fees.

Grocery shopping in Orlando

Our top picks

  • Orlando Grocery Express
    Orlando Grocery Express is an online grocery delivery service that will deliver your shopping straight to your vacation home. Just visit the website, shop for all the items on your grocery list, then choose a delivery date and time – your fresh groceries will then be delivered to your door. Orlando Grocery Express delivers 7 days a week, and charges a small fee of $14, with free delivery on orders over $200.
  • Garden Grocer
    Garden Grocer works the same as Orlando Grocery Express – just visit the website, select items and place them in an online cart. Items cost a little more than in a typical supermarket, but there are regular special offers as well as further discounted rates if you place your order in advance. Delivery is $14 on orders under $200 and just $2 thereafter. A minimum order amount of $40 applies.
  • We Go Shop
    We Go Shop works in a slightly different way. You select the store you want your groceries from, then just provide your shopping list. An agent will visit the store, do your shopping for you, and then deliver to your vacation home. The service doesn’t mark-up the items so you get your shopping at the cost you would normally pay, although there is a shopping service fee. There is no minimum order value either.
  • Welcome Packs
    If you want groceries on arrival at your vacation home, you can choose from a number of different welcome packs. There’s a basic pack filled with tea and coffee, fruit, pastries, soap and detergent. There’s also a wine and beer pack, and a premium welcome pack filled with a more extensive selection of goods. Welcome packs can ordered through the Top Villas concierge service, and can be tailored to you individual requirements.

Food markets

If you prefer to buy seasonal goods at the peak of freshness, then Orlando’s food markets are an excellent bet. Not only can you get great deals on the freshest goods around, you may even get to meet the people who grow or prepare the food.

Grocery shopping Orlando

Our top picks

  • Whole Foods Market
    This eco-minded grocery store sells a wide range of fresh local produce, as well as delicious chef-created foods, baked goods and a wide range of natural and organic grocery items. It offers an online delivery service too so you can get your groceries delivered to your vacation home.
  • Market on South
    Located in Orlando’s Milk District, this bohemian artisan market is home to a grocery store, a restaurant and a bakery. There’s a vegan kitchen there too, serving an array of full plant-based dining and drink options.
  • Lucky’s Market
    Open 7 days a week, Lucky’s Market sells high quality fresh local produce, plus delicious craft sandwiches and homemade pizzas.
  • Orlando Farmer’s Market
    Taking place every Sunday in Lake Eola Park, the Orlando Farmers’ Market is more than just your average farmers’ market. You’ll find a massive selection of seasonal fresh produce, as well as other goods like plants, artwork, handicrafts, jewelry and pottery. There are regular live music events, as well as a beer and wine garden.

If you’re thinking of booking an Orlando vacation and you need advice on the best places to stay then contact the Top Villas travel team today. Additionally, our dedicated concierge team can arrange any added extras you need such as great value car hire and attraction tickets.

 

A guide to the best beaches in Barbados

Boasting around 70 miles of pearly-white sands, Barbados is every beach lover’s dream.

The picture-perfect Caribbean island is home to some of the best beaches in the world, with an array of laid-back options that are as diverse as the island itself.

The renowned Platinum Coast beaches on the west coast are the place to be seen on the island, lined with glitzy resorts, world-class restaurants and top golfing spots. Beaches here boast talcum-fine sand and the calm Caribbean Sea makes them perfect for sunbathing, swimming, water sports and people spotting.

You might be spoilt for choice with where to lay down your towel for the day, so we’ve compiled this guide to the best beaches in Barbados to help you.

A guide to the best beaches in Barbados

 

Sandy Lane Beach, St James

Known as one of the best beaches in the world, Sandy Lane is seriously impressive and offers some of the best areas for swimming on the whole island. Expect to spot a superstar or two as you walk along the pristine sand, which is lapped by the gentle Caribbean Sea.

Hawksbill turtles nest in the Sandy Lane area between July and October. Non-residents can use the Sandy Lane beach restaurant and there are lots of cafes, restaurants and bars in Holetown, just 10 minutes’ walk up the coast. Many luxury beachfront villas can be found in the St James area.

See all villas in Sandy Lane

 

Rockley Beach, Christ Church

Beaches on the south and east coasts are ideal for surfers, with plenty of world-class waves to catch. Rockley, situated in the parish of Christ Church, is one of the longest and widest stretches of beach on the south coast of Barbados.

The Garrison Savannah racetrack and the Barbados Museum lie just west of Accra Beach, and the Rockley Golf Course is located to the north.

Nestled in a stunning bay with powder-white sands and calm azure seas framed by casuarina trees, Rockley Beach (sometimes known as Accra) is popular with locals and tourists alike. Water sports equipment, sun loungers and souvenirs can be purchased from colourful kiosks that line just one end of the bay, ensuring holidaymakers aren’t bothered by beach vendors. Perhaps the best thing about this place is that Bridgetown is just a 10-minute drive away.

See all villas near Rockley Beach

 

Miami Beach, Oistins

Miami Beach in Oistins, Barbados

Located on the south coast of Barbados in the parish of Christ Church, this wide expanse of beach is well worth a visit during your luxury villa break. On the west side of the bay you’ll find calm water that’s ideal for swimming; on the eastern side you can expect occasional sea swells, which makes it perfect for water sports.

Local vendors offer beach chairs, umbrellas and sports equipment for hire as well as drinks and fast food. There are also lots of picnic benches where you can sit and enjoy some shade or refreshment. Miami Beach is located right next door to Oistin’s Fishing Village where you’re sure to spot plenty of fishing boats. Stick around for the famous Friday night fish fry!

See all Christ Church villas

 

Ju Ju’s, St James

This hidden gem on the west coast of Barbados isn’t easy to find but once you arrive, you’ll know it was worth the effort. Located about 2.5km north of Holetown, Ju Ju’s Beach offers sun, sand, surf, snacks, sports and shade.

Known as one of the island’s quieter beaches, Ju Ju’s is ideal for lazy days or a social sundowner with a rum or two at the infamous Ju Ju’s Beach Bar.  Expect to find plenty of water sports action, nesting turtles and beach vendors, who rent out everything from sunloungers and umbrellas to kayaks, jet skis and more. The beach bar serves delicious food and plentiful drinks at reasonable prices – a rarity anywhere along the Platinum Coast.

See all St. James villas

 

Mullins Beach, St. Peter

Mullins Beach, St Peter

Located in the Parish of St Peter, Mullins beach is one of the most popular beaches on the West Coast of Barbados.

With its multiple sea activities such as jet skis, banana boats, giant rubber rings and glass-bottomed boats it is the ideal location for families with children.

Located on the beach is a charming, family friendly beach bar. You’ll also find the popular Mullins restaurant, which offers a relaxing atmosphere and some seriously delicious food. If you don’t fancy leaving the comfort of your beach chair you may prefer to make the most of the waiter service on offer.

See all St Peter villas

 

Maycocks Bay, St. Lucy

Located on the northwest coast in the Parish of St. Lucy, Maycocks Bay offers big waves, making it the ideal place for surfing. This is where the Caribbean sea starts to mix with the Atlantic Ocean, and there are some spectacular cliff top views.

Make time for a walk around the old ruins of Maycocks Fort, which are rumoured to be home to buried treasure!

 

Holetown Beach, St. James

Holetown beach in Barbados

With 8 miles of golden sand, Holetown Beach is always buzzing with activity.

It’s safe for children to swim in the calm sea here and there are areas marked out by buoys – there’s also a lifeguard on duty every day.

If you’re feeling thirsty or hungry there are two beach bars/restaurants at Holetown Beach, Zaccios and Surfside. Try and visit these in the late afternoon to benefit from ‘happy hour’ prices.

See all Barbados villas

 

Crane Beach, St. Philip

Crane Beach in Barbados

Located on the southeast coast of Barbados, this exceptionally beautiful beach is rated as one of the best in the world. Expect to find miles of pink-tinged sands, plus breath-taking views that are backed by coconut trees, soaring cliffs and rich tropical rainforest.

Crane Beach was originally a harbor, with its name derived from a large cliff-top crane once used for loading and unloading ships. The pink sands are exquisite and the powerful waves in the area make Crane Beach perfect for boogie boarding and other water sports. It’s regularly rated as one of the 10 best beaches in the world.

See all Barbados villas

 

Top Villas – A week with The Michalaks

When Youtube’s cutest family decided to stay in a Top Villas vacation home we got pretty excited! Here’s the lowdown on their stay, including a 5-day video diary filmed in and around one of our newest Orlando villas.

Who are The Michalaks?

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Image courtesy of The Michalaks / Facebook

You may have heard of Youtube vloggers the Shaytards and the Saccone-Jolys, but there is one family hailed as the cutest in the vlogging game, and that is The Michalaks.

Known for their beautifully-edited Youtube videos, London-based couple Hannah and Stefan Michalak spend their time travelling with their super-cute son Grayson, making mini movies of their unique experiences as they go.

The average vlogger probably leaves the house with just one handheld camera, but The Michalaks never leave with less than 8! They also pack multiple lenses – and even a drone – to capture amazing aerial shots.

The Michalaks’ unique and creative videos have won them an army of fans, including more than 250,000 followers on Youtube alone.

Where did they stay?

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During their recent Orlando vacation The Michalaks chose to stay in one of our brand-new villas in Orlando.

Take a look around the villa

 

Located in the exclusive Encore Resort at Reunion, the luxury 5-bedroom property offers spacious open-plan living and dining areas, as well as a private swimming pool with a hot tub, a gorgeous sun terrace and luxury fixtures and furnishings throughout.

Encore Resort at Reunion

The resort is just minutes from Disney World, and offers a range of exciting amenities including a water park, sports courts, a fitness center, restaurants, bars and free transfers to the local theme parks.

The Michalaks decided to stay for 5 nights, but vacation homes at Encore are also available for short stays of just 3 nights or more.

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You can win a stay at a vacation home just like the one The Michalaks stayed in by entering our free prize draw.

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If you’re thinking of booking an Orlando vacation and you need advice on the best places to stay then contact us today. Additionally, our dedicated concierge team can arrange any added extras you need such as great value car hire and attraction tickets.

A guide to the best rides in Orlando

As you might expect, the world’s theme park capital has no shortage of incredible rollercoasters, 3D rides and interactive experiences. Use this guide to find Orlando’s best rides and attractions.

Disney’s Magic Kingdom
Disney’s Epcot
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Disney Springs
Universal Studios
Universal’s Island of Adventure
SeaWorld Orlando
Aquatica

Other theme parks in Florida

Busch Gardens
Legoland Florida

 

Disney’s Magic Kingdom

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride at the Magic Kingdom in Orlando

This exciting railroad journey takes guests through the seven dwarfs’ diamond mine on a train designed to look like it’s been hand-carved by the dwarfs themselves. As the train trundles along, expect to see animated dwarfs, bright lights and music from the classic Snow White film.

 

Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid

Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid Disney World

Watch your favourite mermaid tale come to life on this whimsical musical adventure, which takes you on a journey through the waves, playing some of the best songs from The Little Mermaid. Meet some of the characters and enjoy an underwater adventure like no other.

 

Dumbo the Flying Elephant

Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride at the Magic Kingdom

One of the original Disney World rides, Dumbo the Flying Elephant is still a family favourite. Take a journey up into the air aboard Dumbo the elephant, singing along to the carnival songs and flying over Storybook Circus.

 

Splash Mountain

Splash Mountain orlando

Based on the old Disney movie Song of the South, this hair-raising water ride tells the tale of Br’er Rabbit. The ride begins in a loading area where you’ll board an eight-passenger log flume, seated in rows of 2. As the flume departs it slowly ascends a steep chain lift before taking a rollicking ride through the wetlands of old-time Georgia, USA. Be prepared to get soaked during the 9-minute aquatic adventure – the 5-story splashdown reaching speeds of up to 40mph.

 

The Barnstormer

The Barnstormer disney world

This exciting ride is great for young kids, who get the chance to fly above Storybook Circus with Goofy and his stunt aeroplanes. The Great Goofini’s daredevil act begins in the grand circus marquee, swooping through the sky with gentle bends and dips.

 

Recommended places to stay in Orlando

 

Disney’s Epcot

Frozen Ever After

The Frozen Ever After ride at Disney in Orlando

Located in the Norway Pavilion at Epcot’s World Showcase, the ‘Frozen Ever After’ Ride is inspired by the movie spectacular, Frozen. This attraction tells the tale of Arendelle, taking you through the enchanted kingdom on a winter adventure. Explore the movie’s main highlights and meet the two princesses for the ultimate Frozen experience.

 

Mission: Space

Experience an out-of-this-world space launch on this shuttle simulator. Slingshot around the moon and dodge meteors, getting a taste for life as an astronaut along the way. From the Planetary Plaza and the Simulation Lab to the shuttle itself, every stage of this ride is jam-packed with entertainment for all ages.

 

Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros

Explore Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion with a gentle boat ride along the river. With cultural sights and 3 feathered amigos at every turn, learn about Mexican culture through videos, projections and live-action footage.

 

Test Track

test track epcot orlando

This interactive driving experience begins with designing your dream vehicle. When it’s ready, buckle up in a 6-passenger ‘simulation car’ and put your new creation to the test. Cruise and steer along with this speedy Disney ride.

 

Spaceship Earth


Take a tour through time and explore the history of communication, from the Stone Age to modern-day computing with this ultimate learning experience.

 

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain

Legend of the Forbidden Mountain ride at the Animal Kingdom in Orlando

An expedition with a twist, this rollercoaster ride ventures to the Himalayas, taking in a series of spectacular peaks from the er… comfort… of a rickety wooden train. Glide through hidden tunnels, descend down the dips and be prepared for an unexpected encounter. This family friendly ride is full of thrills.

 

Kilimanjaro Safaris

Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Less of a ride and more of an experience, the Kilimanjaro Safaris attraction lets you venture through an African-inspired landscape, passing real elephants and crocodiles along the way. The whole ‘expedition’ lasts for 18 fun-packed minutes.

 

Dinosaur

Dinosaur disney animal kingdom

Enter prehistoric times with a tour aboard the thrilling Time Rover and save the dinosaurs from extinction. Race through the darkened forest with sharp turns and mystical creatures everywhere you look.

 

Kali River Rapids

Kali River Rapids at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Strap yourself in and gently glide across the river with water splashing in all directions. The gushing waterfalls, sharp turns and dramatic slopes make this river raft ride one for all the family.

 

Primeval Whirl

primeval whirl disney animal kingdom

A spinning rollercoaster made up of exhilarating curves and drops, this surprisingly exhilarating ride transports you back to prehistoric times with a fun modern twist.

 

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster

Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith" at Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park

Fans of rollercoasters and rock music love this A-list theme park ride which blasts guests from 0–60 mph in just 2.8 seconds. Expect plenty of twists, turns and drops on the super-speed concert quest as you race through the Hollywood hills. Boarding a VIP ‘stretch limo’, grab the chance to shine like a superstar while passing illuminated landmarks.

 

Toy Story Midway Mania

Toy Story Midway Mania at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Inspired by the legendary Disney-Pixar film, this shoot-em-up carnival-style ride takes you on a lively 4D journey through ‘Andy’s Bedroom’ where you’ll ‘shrink’ to the size of a toy, grab your spring-action shooter and take aim at an array of interesting virtual targets. Join all your favorite Toy Story characters as you hop on board a swivelling carnival car and shoot your way through six animated games.

 

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror


Board the ‘fright elevator’ and join the lost souls of Hollywood’s Golden Age as you plunge into pitch black at the once-glamorous Hollywood Tower Hotel. Expect a series of random drops, side-to-side motions and lifts during the ride – you’ll never know which direction you’re heading.

 

Star Tours

Star Tours at Hollywood Studios

Explore a galaxy far, far away on an electrifying tour aboard Starspeeder 1000. The simulator ride features digital 3D video, audio-animatronics characters, special effects and music, immersing you in an intergalactic adventure.

 

For the First Time in Forever

For the First Time in Forever disney hollywood studios

Relive the magic of Disney’s movie spectacular Frozen in the For the First Time in Forever sing-along show. Watch classic moments, stories and sing-along tracks for an afternoon of family fun.


Disney Springs

DisneyQuest Indoor Interactive Theme Park


With 5 floors of gaming entertainment, there’s plenty of activities from classic arcades, virtual interactive fun to the Animation Academy. Experience the Pirate action on Battle for Bucaneer Gold or grab your paddle and take a 4D adventure on the Virtual Jungle Cruise. Cyber Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear’s Astroblaster and Aladdin’s Magic Carpet Ride also feature.

 

Universal Studios

Transformers: The Ride 3D

Transformers 3D ride at Universal Orlando

Experience Transformers first hand with this 3D simulator ride. For the main event you’ll be in the heart of the action as you’re loaded into Evac the Autobot and drive towards the others. Optimus Prime and Megatron fight it out in front of your eyes as you and Evac weave through the cityscape avoiding Decepticons whilst being sprayed by burst water mains and engulfed in smoke. You’ll be thrown across the city and land with a thud as the action shakes and jolts riders.

 

The Simpsons Ride

The Simpsons Ride universal orlando

Set around Krusty the Clown’s theme park Krustyland, this simulator ride flies through the air, causing havoc along the way. With the ride divided into 3 sections, you’ll be able to watch the animated series before the ride even begins.

 

Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem

Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem Universal Orlando

The journey begins at Gru’s home where you’ll be recruited as one of his minions, a part of the next mischievous scheme. The minion training doesn’t go to plan and you’ll get launched on a trip through Gru’s super villain laboratory. Hold on tight as the adventure begins in this 3D simulator ride with the Minions.

 

Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts

Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts universal orlando

This 3D ride takes you on a journey to Gringotts bank, under the fire-breathing dragon at the end of Diagon Alley. Step right into the middle of the action, fighting off the malicious villains before you return safely to Diagon Alley.

 

Revenge of the Mummy

Revenge of the Mummy

Plunge into total darkness and tackle the army warrior of mummies as you soar through this spine-tingling ride. The rollercoaster features scenes from the Mummy movies, placing you right in the action.

 

Recommended places to stay in Orlando

 

Universal’s Islands of Adventure

The Incredible Hulk Coaster

The Incredible Hulk Coaster universal orlando

Launching guests from 0–40 mph in 2 seconds flat, this ride isn’t for the faint hearted. Enter Dr Bruce Banner’s lab and become part of his secret experiment while queuing for the ride. As you board, be prepared to turn upside down, experiencing some serious G-force and furious speeds of up to 67 mph.

 

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is one of the best rides in Orlando

Explore the corridors of Hogwarts then soar above the castle grounds with Harry Potter and friends on this wizard-themed adventure. Come face to face with magical creatures like dementors, fly over the Quidditch pitch, pass the ‘whomping willows’ and enter the world of Harry Potter like you’ve never seen it before.

 

The Dragon Challenge

The Dragon Challenge is a Harry Potter-themed ride at Universal Studios in Orlando

These two different rollercoasters are designed to represent two ‘dragons’, the aggressive Chinese Fireball and these Ferocious Hungarian Horntail. Be prepared for twists, turns and loops across the sky on intertwining coasters.

 

Flight of the Hippogriff

Flight of the Hippogriff at Universal Studios in Orlando

The family friendly coaster takes you on an adventure with Hagrid as he teaches you how to approach a Hippogriff, a mystical creature with the head of an eagle and the body of a horse. Soar and spiral through the landscape, passing Hagrid’s hut along the way.

 

The Amazing Adventures of Spider Man

The Amazing Adventures of Spider Man

Put on your 3D glasses and get ready for the crystal-clear graphics on this thrilling simulator ride. Glide through the friendly neighbourhood with Spiderman, marveling at the sights as you go. With the audio, lighting and graphic so vivid, this groundbreaking ride should really be high on your theme park bucket list.

 

SeaWorld Orlando

Mako Coaster

The Mako coaster at SeaWorld in Orlando

The tallest, quickest and longest ride in Orlando is inspired by the high speeds of the ocean’s fastest sharks. Standing at impressive 200 ft tall and reaching speeds of up to 73 mph, this 4,760 ft-long rollercoaster is only recommended for serious adrenaline junkies.

 

Kraken rollercoaster

kraken rollercoater seaworld orlando

Named after the fictional sea monster kept caged by Poseidon, this furiously fast floor-less coaster offers an unearthly experience with speeds of up to 65 mph and 4000 ft of eel-like twists, turns and loops.

 

Aquatica

Dolphin Plunge

Dolphin plunge aquatica

Aquatica’s most popular ride lets you glide through 250 feet of clear tubes underwater, giving you a glimpse of black-and-white Commerson’s dolphins along the way. If you’re lucky, you’ll see them swimming alongside as you pass by.

 

Omaka Rocka

The Omaka Rocka ride at Aquatica in Orlando

Putting a new spin on water park fun, Omaka Rocka offers different thrill-level slides for everyone.

 

Taumata Racer

Aquatica Orlando Taumata Racer

For those who prefer life in the fast lane, Aquatica’s biggest thrill ride launches 8 riders down a steep hill, head first.

 

Other theme parks in Florida

Busch Gardens

Cobra’s Curse


This spin coaster is the only one of its kind in the world, featuring a vertical lift and taking riders on a whirlwind adventure. Explorers will come face-to-face with an 80 ft snake icon, trek over the park’s Serengeti Plain and discover the mysteries of an Egyptian archeological excavation.

 

Falcon’s Fury

Falcons Fury busch gardens

The first drop tower of its kind in the world, this ride mimics dive speeds of the earth’s fastest animals. Standing at 335 ft, the ride sends guests plunging 60 mph straight down and at its highest point riders pivot 90 degrees in midair to a face-down dive position. Designers have compared it to skydiving, who used special sequencing technology so that passengers can’t anticipate when they will drop each time.

 

SheiKra


The ‘floorless’ cars on SheiKra give riders an unobstructed view of the ground, which rushes past at speeds of up to 70 mph. It passes through two loops, a vertical drop, an underground tunnel and a water feature finale, all within a half-mile of steel track.

 

Kumba

 

Kumba rollercoaster ride in Orlando, Florida

After the blood-curdling thrill of an initial 135 ft drop, rider plunge into a diving loop, experiencing a full 3 seconds of absolute weightlessness whilst spiralling 360 degrees. Following that, riders tear through one of the world’s largest vertical loops.

 

Montu

Busch gardens ride in Orlando

Named after the Egyptian God of War, this ride lets you experience thrills like never before. With its epic loops, zer- gravity rolls, 150 ft heights and furious speeds of up to 60 mph, riders are thrust in all directions.

 

Sand Serpent


Families love the curves, drops and corkscrews of Sand Serpent, a five-story “wild mouse” style coaster. With a top speed of just 22 mph and a low height requirement, it’s perfect for young thrill seekers.

 

LegoLand Florida

Lego City Driving School – Lego City

legoland driving school florida

Children aged 6–13 have the chance to earn their own Legoland driving license, using electric cars to navigate their way around a realistic course featuring traffic lights and roundabouts. Take to the road and become a newly passed driver at LegoLand.

 

Mia’s Riding Adventure


Mia’s Riding Adventure is a simple ride that lets young adventurers saddle up on ‘horses’ before being spun around and tilted from side to side.

 

Coastersaurus


Take a tour around a prehistoric jungle of life-sized, animated dinosaurs (made from Lego, of course) whilst the wooden rollercoaster curves and dips, creating thrills for all ages.

 

Looking for a villa near Orlando’s theme parks? Browse our entire range here. For great prices, check out our last-minute deals.

 

Ideas for the February half-term holidays

It’s not too late to book a half-term family holiday, whether you want to chill on the beach in Thailand, go skiing in the French Alps or rent a villa near Disney World in Orlando. 

If you need a little inspiration before you book, here’s a rundown of ideas for the February half-term holidays…

Koh Samui, Thailand

What’s the weather like in Koh Samui in February?

If you’re heading to Koh Samui in February you’re guaranteed lots of sunshine and hardly any rain. In fact, Koh Samui sees less rainfall in February than in any other month of the year. Daily temperatures can reach up to 86F.

Flight times from London to Koh Samui

You can fly from London to Koh Samui (via Bangkok) in around 13 hours.

Thailand is a good place to visit for February half term

Things to do

Think white sandy beaches, boutique spas and idyllic islands. You can sample traditional Thai cuisine and see the world from a new perspective on an elephant trek. Little ones will love the Coco Splash Water Park, as well as zip-lining over Samui’s rich rainforest. Other kid-friendly attractions include football golf, where you steer a football around a golf course – using your feet, of course – as well as go-karting, kayaking, crazy golf, kids’ playgrounds and beaches galore.

Where to stay in Koh Samui in February

This luxury Koh Samui vacation home is still available for the February half-term holidays.

Koh Samui villa

Offering 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and a private swimming pool, this pretty villa is located in the Bangrak area, close to the beach, and within easy reach of the popular Fisherman’s Village area.

See all Koh Samui villas

 

Orlando

What’s the weather like in Orlando in February?

The weather in Orlando during February half-term holiday is perfect for little ones. Daytime temperatures begin to creep upwards as spring arrives, and you can expect it to reach a comfortable 73F during the day – warm enough to enjoy Orlando’s water parks. It’s also a good time to visit the theme parks as they aren’t as crowded as in the peak summer months (see our handy crowd calendar for more information). February is a great time for golf too, as you won’t have to endure the stifling heat experienced later in the year.

Flight times from London to Orlando

The average flight time from London to Orlando is around 9 hours.

Places to visit for February half term

Things to do in Orlando during February half term

There’s so much to do in Orlando you’ll find it tricky deciding where to start!

If you’re visiting Orlando for the February half-term holiday, you’ll be in time for the Mardi Gras festival at Universal Studios and the Princess Half Marathon Weekend at Disney World. Kids will love the never-ending theme parks, as well as other highlights like Aquatica and Gatorland. There’s also an array of fantastic shopping and entertainment districts too, like i-Drive 360, Universal Citywalk and Disney Springs.

If you need any more inspiration, there are themed dinners, wacky museums, indoor play zones and animal parks. There’s indoor skydiving too, so your little ones can actually fly – we’re not kidding.

If you stay in one of our luxury villas in Orlando, you’ll have some of Florida’s best golf courses on your doorstep, plus fantastic resort amenities like water parks, swimming pools, restaurants, sports facilities and kiddie play zones.

Where to stay in Orlando during February half term

This expansive Orlando villa is available at discounted rates for February half-term.

reunion resort vacation homes

It offers 7 bedrooms, a cinema, a game room and a large private swimming pool – there’s also a Harry Potter-themed bedroom that little ones will love. The beautiful home is located in the exclusive Reunion Resort community, just 5.5 miles from Disney World.

See all Orlando villas

 

Chamonix, France

What’s the weather like in Chamonix in February?

If you’re heading to Chamonix in February, you can expect lots of snow and some seriously good conditions for skiing and snowboarding.

Flight times from London

You can fly from London to Geneva, Switzerland in 1 hour, 30 minutes. From Geneva, you can drive to Chamonix in around an hour.

Holiday ideas for February half-term

Things to do

Chamonix is one of the highest and most famous ski resorts in France. It’s also home to Mont Blanc, the highest mountain range in Europe. It boasts stunning surroundings and a whole host of family-friendly attractions that make it perfect for the February half-term holidays.

The half-term week is pretty busy on the slopes, but you shouldn’t let that put you off. You can avoid the waiting times by pre-ordering your lift passes. You can also book skiing lessons so you won’t have to queue for the lifts. Dining in-chalet is a great way to avoid the busy restaurants, or you could even take a packed lunch out onto the slopes.

It’s not all about just skiing either. Chamonix is a great place for non-ski activities like husky dog rides, hiking and snowshoeing. You can chill out at a spa, or visit the surrounding towns with their great shops and buzzing après ski.

Where to stay

This luxury chalet in Chamonix offers breathtaking views of the Chamonix Valley and the Mont Blanc mountain range.

Chamonix villas

There are 6 bedrooms, as well as first-class facilities including a movie theater, a game room, a sauna, a gym and a hot tub.

See this villa

 

Turks and Caicos

What’s the weather like in February?

Like much of the Caribbean, the Turks and Caicos islands have become a year-round holiday destination. The high season runs from around mid-December to mid-April, so if you visit for the February half-term holiday, you’re guaranteed great weather. Average daytime temperatures will be around 80-84F, with a constant trade wind that keeps the climate feeling comfortable.

Flight times from London to Turks and Caicos

Around 10 hours.

February half-term holidays in Turks and Caicos

Things to do in Turks and Caicos in February

There’s the main tourist centre of Providenciales, as well as the quieter islands of Middle and North Caicos, and the historic capital island of Grand Turk. Each area offers its own unique character and charm, but all offer plenty of things to do.

Providenciales, or Provo as it is known locally, is the best known of the islands with a wide range of hotels, restaurants and attractions. In Grand Turk you’ll get a glimpse into Caribbean history, with the area’s Bermudian architecture and traditional laid-back vibe. You’ll find some of the best diving there, too.

Middle and North Caicos are great if you’re looking to find the best of the local environment. There are secluded bays to explore, as well as lush green woodlands and the biggest cave network in the Caribbean.

South Caicos is the centre for fishing, with lobster and conch exported from the islands. You’ll find the historic Cockburn Harbour here too, as well as secluded beaches with gorgeous views over the turquoise sea.

Most of the islands are only around 10–25 minutes by air from Provo, and most of them can be reached by boat.

Where to stay in Turks and Caicos

This elegant oceanfront villa in Providenciales is ideal for a family holiday in Turks and Caicos.

Turks and Caicos villas

There are 3 en-suite bedrooms, as well as spacious indoor/outdoor living areas and a large infinity pool. The property is conveniently located close to Leeward Marina, and just a short drive from the famous Grace Bay Beach area.

See all Turks and Caicos villas

 

Miami

What’s the weather like in February?

Hailed as a place where the sun shines all year round, Miami is a top choice for the February half-term holidays. Similar to Orlando, temperatures in Miami are starting to heat up for the spring, so you can expect daily temperatures of around 76F.

Flight time from London

Flights from London to Miami International take around 9 hours.

half-term holidays in Miami

Things to do

If you’re visiting Miami for February half term, there are endless kid-friendly things to experience. There are sunny palm-fringed beaches where little ones can splash around and build sandcastles. There’s also the colourful art deco architecture, which is sure to wow visitors of all ages.

For day trips head to South Beach, a great place for swimming and water sports, as well as roller skating along the famous boardwalk. Or head to Miami Zoo, the only zoo in the US located in a subtropical climate. Another great place is Jungle Island, where you can spot exotic birds and a variety of wild animals.

It’s not just the kids that will love Miami, either. For golfers, it’s paradise. The city is also home to world-class spas, great shops and an excellent range of restaurants, bars and nightclubs.

Where to stay in Miami

Set in a peaceful gated community in Palm Beach, this huge 5-bedroom villa is the perfect place for a family getaway.

Miami for February half-term holiday

Fringed by immaculately manicured gardens and right by the waterfront, it features a swimming pool and a hot tub, plus a movie theater and a private boat dock.

See all Miami villas

 

If you’re booking a trip for the February half-term holidays, you can call the Top Villas travel team for any help or advice you need. Additionally, the concierge service can arrange any added holiday extras such as great value car hire and attraction tickets.