Orlando vs. Miami: Comparing The 2 Popular Florida Crowd-Pullers - Updated 2021

Orlando vs. Miami: Comparing the 2 popular Florida crowd-pullers

Orlando and Miami — Florida’s two most popular cities — have their own unique characteristics. For families with kids, the fantastic theme park experience in Orlando would be great for everyone to enjoy. If you are someone who prefers the beaches and nightclubs, perhaps Miami will suit you better. No matter where you decide to go, both these cities promise you a fun-filled holiday. Visit the Disneyland and try the authentic American staple foods in Orlando or bask in the glorious sun on a beach and go club hopping in Miami. Still, if you are contemplating as to where to go, then here’s a detailed comparison of the two popular Florida crowd-pullers — Orlando and Miami.

Introduction to Orlando and Miami

Orlando, Florida, USA
Source: Photo by Flickr user Domenico Convertini used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Orlando, known as “the theme park capital of the world”, is home to Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando Resort. These famous theme parks need no additional introduction. If you’re travelling with children, they’ll definitely scream for Disneyland. But there are also many attractions beyond theme parks. Renowned restaurants, outlet shopping centres and art museums sprinkle through the area. There are also many concerts and performing arts events worth checking out.

Miami, on the other hand, is well known for its vibrant nightlife and charming arts scene. It is a little less family friendly without the theme parks. The party begins after the sun sets. Dance halls, disco lights and rooftop bars light up the city’s night scene. Get ready to indulge in one of the most amazing nightlife experiences of your life. Aside from the exciting nightlife, Miami is also a huge outdoor playground in the day. The sunny beaches, art-deco buildings relaxing parks are great places to hang out.

the day we said goodbye | miami | florida.
Source: Photo by Flickr user alyssa BLACK. used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Accommodation in Orlando and Miami

Being the land of theme parks, Orlando boasts many excellent theme park resorts. They have everything covered from luxurious spas to themed hotel rooms. If you like a family-friendly environment, Orlando will not disappoint.

Miami is the place to go to for intimate boutique hotels, beach hotels and luxury suites. Loews Miami Beach Hotel, The Leslie Hotel and Kimpton Surfcomber Hotel are just some of the many places that offer splendid ocean views. If you love waking up to the soothing sound of waves, Miami is definitely where you want to be.

Entertainment in Orlando and Miami

One day is never enough in Walt Disney World. Wait, there’s also Universal Studios, zoos and The Shakespeare Theatre you need to visit. For golfers, you’ll be delighted to know that there are over 150 golf courses you can visit. There are also plenty of outdoor activities to keep you occupied. Go for a zip-line adventure at Orlando Tree Trek Adventure Park or book a skydiving experience with iFly. These are just some of the many exciting adventures in Orlando.

Miami offers a different kind of entertainment — beaches, museums, art galleries and of course, nightclubs. You can go on an art deco walking tour along the South Beach, check out Wynwood Walls Street Art and go sunbathing in Miami Beach. There are also natural attractions such as Everglades National Park and Zoo Miami. At night, go partying at different nightclubs. From Latin dance halls, cocktail lounges to mega clubs, you’ll enjoy every bit of your clubbing moments in Miami.

Nightlife in Orlando and Miami

Orlando has its share of nightlife entertainment too despite being a family-friendly destination. Listen to live music at Hard Rock Live, dine with burlesque dancers at The Edison or visit lounges like Minu5 Ice Bar. Drinking, dancing and live music, there are many ways to spend your nights in Orlando.

If you prefer to dance and drink like there’s no tomorrow, Miami is where you’d want to be. There are many clubbing hotspots which you will love. For epic parties, you have to visit LIV. With VIP tables, DJs such as David Guetta and impressive light shows, this nightclub will impress you. Miami is a nightlife haven for party animals.

Beaches or pools?

Orlando offers some of the most exquisite pools in the world. The Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress Resorts offers a lagoon-style pool where you can swim under rock caves. Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort feature a pool with waterfalls and waterslide. Swimming pools will no longer be the same after you visit Orlando.

If you’re a beach person, then Miami will suit you better. Whether you want to party, swim or simply soak up the sun, you will find a beach that suits your needs. Haulover Beach is great for surfers, the uncrowded Sunny Isles Beach is excellent for some quiet time and Crandon Park offers kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding lessons.

Latin or American Food?

Miami is nicknamed the “Capital of Latin America” and you’ll have no trouble finding excellent Latin food, especially Cuban cuisines. Step into any restaurant and you’re likely to find food that is influenced by Latin America. Versailles serves some of the best Cuban food in town.

For an American food experience, Orlando would be a better place. Five Guys Burgers, Cork & Fork American Restaurant and Yard House are some places you can visit to have some mouthwatering food.

Family-friendly or Adults-Only?

By now, you would already know that Orlando is a family-friendly destination. The resorts and theme parks are something you wouldn’t find in Miami. Bring the kids to the zoo or watch a movie at the theatres. Be a kid yourself and enjoy the theme park experience! Pamper yourself with a luxurious spa treatment and some retail therapy.

Miami is more for adults who don’t want to be near the Disney vibe. Visit fantastic museums, spend a relaxing day at the beach and go on a nightclub tour when the sun sets. Indulge in cocktails and dance under the glittering disco lights.

Visit Orlando if you love theme parks, visit Miami if you want a vibrant nightlife

Orlando and Miami each have their own unique characteristics. It all depends on what you’re looking for and with whom you’ll be travelling with! For families with kids, the fantastic theme park experience in Orlando would be great for everyone to enjoy. Have fun at the rides, jump into the beautiful pools and meet your favourite Disney characters. If you’re someone who prefers the beaches and nightclubs, perhaps Miami will suit you better. Dance away like there’s no tomorrow!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Winnie has been building castles in the sky. Besides that, she is a cinema fan and enjoys reading a good book that can trigger her thoughts. Exploring spaces, finding great food and unique spots...Read more

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