Where to stay in Orlando without a car: 4 Best areas

Wondering where to stay in Orlando without a car? In this post, I will help you to find the best areas to stay in Orlando without a car along with a helpful map and the best hotels to stay in Orlando without a car for all budget travelers.

Orlando is a city located in the state of Florida, USA. It is known for its numerous tourist attractions, particularly its theme parks and entertainment destinations

At the heart of its fame is Walt Disney World Resort, a sprawling complex encompassing multiple theme parks like Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Animal Kingdom, where you can immerse themselves in a world of fantasy and adventure. 

Beyond Disney, Orlando boasts an array of other world-class attractions, including Universal Orlando Resort, home to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and SeaWorld Orlando, offering marine life encounters and exhilarating rides.

Orlando is also a hub for conventions and conferences, and it has a vibrant downtown area with dining, shopping, and nightlife options. The city’s climate is subtropical, characterized by hot and humid summers, and mild winters.

It is possible to get around Orlando without a car. While Orlando is known for its spread-out layout and car-centric infrastructure, there are alternative transportation methods you can use to get around without relying on a car.

Orlando has a public transportation system called Lynx, which includes buses that operate throughout the city and neighboring areas. While the bus system isn’t as extensive as in some other major cities, it can still be a viable option for getting around if you plan your routes well.

SunRail is a commuter rail system that connects downtown Orlando with several suburban areas. It’s a good option for traveling between certain destinations, especially if they’re along the rail route.

In some areas, especially around downtown Orlando and certain tourist areas, walking can be a convenient way to get around. Just be mindful of the weather, as it can get quite hot and humid, particularly in the summer.

Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft are available in Orlando and can provide a convenient way to get around, especially if you’re looking to travel in a group. Many hotels offer shuttle services, which can be a convenient way to reach popular destinations without a car.

If you stay along International Drive, you can benefit from the I-Ride Trolley system, which passes  International Drive’s top attractions such as SeaWorld Orlando, Pointe Orlando, Universal Orlando Resort, and various themed dinner shows.

The I-Ride Trolley has two lines, the Red Line running on I-Drive stopping at SeaWorld and Aquatica and the Green Line running on the parallel Universal Blvd with passes near the Universal Orlando Resort Area.

The I-Ride Trolley doesn’t take you to Disney World, but if you are solo travelers or couples, you can use the combination of I-Ride Trolley and Lynx bus, which is time consuming. For families with young children, the easiest way is to book a hotel with free shuttle services.

While you’re trying to avoid using a car, it’s worth mentioning that you can always consider renting a car for specific trips or days when public transportation might not be practical.

Where to stay in Orlando without a car?

The best areas to stay in Orlando without a car are International Drive, Lake Buena Vista, and Kissimmee, and Downtown Orlando. Each area has its own advantages.

If you’re primarily interested in theme parks, International Drive, Lake Buena Vista, and or Kissimmee might be your top choices. If you’re looking for a mix of city life and attractions, Downtown Orlando could be a great fit. 

International Drive is the overall best place to stay in Orland without a car for theme parks. You can use a combination of taxi, rideshare service, and I-ride trolley to see major attractions. It is best to book a hotel close to one park, and offer a free shuttle bus to others.

Keep in mind that while public transportation options are available, they might not offer the same flexibility and convenience as having a car, especially if you plan to explore a wide range of attractions beyond your chosen area.

Overviews of best neighborhoods in Orlando without a car

Here is an overview of recommended areas in Orlando without a car:

International Drivea popular tourist area with numerous hotels, restaurants, shops, and attractions. It is close to the famous Universal Orlando and SeaWorld. I-Drive has a trolley system that can help you get around the area, making it relatively convenient for tourists without a car.
Lake Buena Vistais primarily known for its proximity to the Walt Disney World. Many hotels and resorts offer shuttle services to the Disney parks, which can be a great benefit if you’re focused on visiting these parks. While the area might not have as many non-Disney attractions as others, it’s a fantastic choice for families visiting Disney parks.
Kissimmeeis located very close to the Disney parks as well as other attractions. It’s a bit more residential than the other areas and offers a variety of affordable accommodations. While public transportation might not be as robust as in other areas, some hotels offer shuttle services to major attractions.
Downtown Orlandooffers a mix of cultural, dining, and entertainment options. While it’s not as focused on theme parks as the other areas, it provides a more urban atmosphere with restaurants, bars, theaters, and museums. The Lynx system serves downtown and its surrounding areas.

Below is a map of the popular areas in Orlando for car-free travelers. You can scroll down to view the live map.

Map of the best areas to stay in Orlando without a car
Map of the best areas to stay in Orlando without a car

4 Best areas to stay in Orlando without a car:

1. International Drive

International Drive is the best area for you to stay in without a car for families, couples, and solo travelers visiting Orlando primarily for its theme parks and attractions. It offers easy access to Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando, and other nearby attractions.

Often referred to as I-Drive, International Drive is a popular tourist corridor in Orlando, known for its numerous hotels, restaurants, entertainment venues, and shopping outlets. 

International Drive is conveniently located near several major attractions, making it easy to access them without a car. Universal Studios Orlando, SeaWorld, ICON Park, and various smaller attractions are within walking distance or a short drive away.

Staying on International Drive can be more budget-friendly than staying at on-site theme park hotels. There’s a wide range of dining options, from casual eateries to upscale restaurants, as well as plenty of entertainment options like dinner shows, theaters, and nightlife.

International Drive has pedestrian-friendly sidewalks and crosswalks, making it relatively easy to explore on foot.

International Drive is well-served by the I-ride trolley that connects you to major attractions along the road. Additionally, many hotels in the area offer shuttle services to theme parks, which can save you money on transportation.

Take a note that while shuttle services from hotels can be convenient, they might have limited schedules or require reservations, which could restrict your flexibility.

Overall, if you’re primarily interested in visiting the attractions along International Drive and don’t mind using public transportation or shuttle services to get around, International Drive could be a suitable option. 

But, if you plan to explore more of Orlando beyond International Drive or want greater transportation flexibility, you might consider other options, possibly involving car rental, ride-sharing services, or even bicycles if you’re comfortable with that.

Best places to stay in International Drive without a car:

Budget ($): Holiday Inn Orlando International Drive – ICON PARK – Convention Center, an IHG Hotel, 3-star family-friendly hotel, one of the best places to stay in Orlando without a car for theme parks as it offers FREE transfer service to Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, and SeaWorld Orlando. It is directly in front of ICON Park, within a short stroll from Ripley’s Believe It or Not and Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf.

Budget ($): Sonesta ES Suites Orlando International Drive, 3-star family-friendly hotel is opposite ICON Park, which includes the Wheel at ICON Park. It offers Shuttle service (FREE) to attractions, which is great for those traveling without a car. Also within walking distance from  the shops and dining options of Pointe Orlando.

Budget ($): Rosen Inn International Near The Parks, this is a popular 3-star budget-friendly hotel in International Drive, a great base to visit Universal Studios without a car because it offers FREE  free shuttles to this theme park. It also has outdoor pools, a games room and children’s playground. It has on-site ticket sales to theme parks, car rental services.

Budget ($): Hampton Inn & Suites Orlando International Drive North, 3-star hotel, one of the best places to stay in Orlando without a car on a budget for couples and family for the theme parks. It offers complimentary hot breakfast, outdoor swimming pool, and free parking if you drive.

Budget ($): Embassy Suites by Hilton Orlando International Drive ICON Park, 3-star hotel, ideal base for couples and families in Orlando without a car, featuring on-site bar and a gift shop. Good breakfast included.

Luxury ($$$): Hyatt Regency Orlando, great hotel located in the heart of International Drive, featuring 2 resort pools, four full-service restaurants, two bars. It is connected with the Orange County Convention Center via two pedestrian walkway bridges. The I-Ride Trolley stops right on the hotel (stop 21). The Orlando International Airport is a 15 minute drive away.

Mid-range ($$): Rosen Plaza Hotel Orlando Convention Center, 4-star hotel located on  International Drive, and is connected with the West building of the Orange County Convention Center via a sky bridge. It is also within a short walk from Pointe Orlando entertainment and shopping complex. It offers paid airport and theme park transfer service. It has 4 dining options, fitness facilities, and a swimming pool.

Mid-range ($$): Castle Hotel, Autograph Collection by Marriott, 4-star hotel, conveniently located  Universal Blvd, near I-drive, within walking distance to ICON Park and miniature Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf. Short distance from Pointe Orlando, and numerous restaurants and shops. It has a fitness room, luggage storage, and laundry facilities.

Budget ($): TRYP by Wyndham Orlando, great budget-friendly and family-friendly hotel in International Drive, great base for SeaWorld Orlando which is 2.2 km away. It has an outdoor swimming pool, free private parking, a fitness center and a shared lounge. 

Budget ($): Holiday Inn Express-International Drive, an IHG Hotel, 3-star kid-friendly hotel, conveniently located on I-Drive, close to a bus stop, great base for families with children of all ages. Children aged 18 years and above are considered adults at this hotel. It has a buffet-style breakfast, an outdoor pool, and an ATM.

Budget ($): Embassy Suites by Hilton Orlando International Drive Convention Center, popular 3-star hotel on International Drive, featuring rooms for couples, families, or group of friends. Conveniently located within walking distance from The Orlando Eye, Madame Tussauds, SEA LIFE Aquarium, and Ripley’s Believe It or Not.

Budget ($): Homewood Suites by Hilton Orlando-Intl Drive/Convention Ctr, 3-star all-suite hotel that has fully equipped kitchenettes. Only a few minutes drive from Lockheed Martin and Pepsi. It has family rooms, an outdoor pool and a FREE daily breakfast buffet.

Budget ($): Courtyard Orlando International Drive/Convention Center, 3-star hotel in the heart of international drive, that has the outdoor pool or on the sun terrace. 

Budget ($): Rosen Centre Hotel Orlando Convention Center, 3-star hotel, located adjacent to the Orange County Convention Center, offering PAID airport and theme park transfer service.

Budget ($): Holiday Inn Express & Suites – Orlando At Seaworld, an IHG Hotel, 3-star hotel, one of the best places to stay in Orlando without a car for SeaWorld Orlando, which is a 7-minutes’ walk away and the hotel offers a FREE shuttle service to SeaWorld. It also has complimentary breakfast and  an outdoor pool.


2. Lake Buena Vista

Lake Buena Vista is one of the better areas to stay in Orlando, especially if you don’t have a car. It’s primarily known for being home to a number of Disney World resorts and attractions, making it convenient for those who want to focus on Disney-related activities. 

Lake Buena Vista is incredibly close to the Disney World theme parks and resorts, with some properties even offering direct transportation to the parks. This is a major advantage for those planning to spend most of their time at Disney attractions.

In addition to Disney World, Lake Buena Vista also offers a range of entertainment options including shopping centers, dining options, and entertainment complexes. Disney Springs, a shopping, dining, and entertainment district, is located in this area.

Many hotels in Lake Buena Vista offer shuttle services to the theme parks, which can be very convenient for guests without a car. Some even offer transportation to and from the airport.

This area is well-equipped to handle tourists, so you’ll find amenities like ticket sales, information centers, and services catering to tourists’ needs.

While there are other attractions in Orlando beyond Disney, staying in Lake Buena Vista might limit your exposure to these options. You’ll likely need to rely on transportation like taxis or rideshares to access non-Disney attractions.

If you’re not renting a car, transportation costs can add up, especially if you’re using rideshare services or taxis to get to places outside the immediate vicinity.

In summary, if your primary focus is on exploring Disney World and you want to minimize the hassle of transportation, Lake Buena Vista can be a great choice. It provides easy access to Disney parks and has a variety of amenities to make your stay comfortable.

Best places to stay in Lake Buena Vista without a car:

Budget ($): Candlewood Suites – Orlando – Lake Buena Vista, an IHG Hotel, 3-star popular hotel, located very close to Walt Disney, featuring an outdoor swimming pool, private parking, a fitness center, and shuttle services.

Budget ($): Sonesta ES Suites Orlando – Lake Buena Vista, 3-star family-friendly hotel, in Lake Buena Vista, a few minutes’ drive from the Walt Disney World Resort and restaurants at the Crossroads shopping center. It features paid shuttle services.

Budget ($): Holiday Inn Resort Orlando – Lake Buena Vista, an IHG Hotel 3-star family-friendly accommodation, in Lake Buena Vista, offering shuttle service to Disney World and Universal Studios. It has a large outdoor pool and a cinema for family-friendly movies.

Luxury ($$$): Waldorf Astoria Orlando, 5-star resort, adjacent to Walt Disney World Resort, offering free shuttle service from/to Disney parks. It participates in the Disney Extra Magic Hours and 60 day Fast Pass+ benefits, which allows you extended admission to select Walt Disney World theme parks.

Mid-range ($$): Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek, 4-star hotel, one of the best places to stay in Orlando without a car for Disney Theme Park as it is located only minutes away from Walt Disney World and it offers daily Disney Theme Park shuttle service.

Mid-range ($$): JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa, 4-star children-friendly hotel located in Lake Buena Vista, offering shuttle service to the Disney World Resort theme parks and Disney Springs.

Mid-range ($$): Signia by Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, 4-star hotel, situated adjacent to Walt Disney World Resort, offering free transportation to and from Disney theme parks.  


3. Kissimmee

Kissimmee is a suitable option for visitors who want to explore the major theme parks in Orlando without a car. It’s especially well-suited for those looking for a more budget-friendly stay, proximity to attractions, and a range of amenities.

Kissimmee is a popular area for tourists visiting Orlando, particularly because it’s located close to many of the major attractions like Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and SeaWorld. 

Kissimmee is very close to the major theme parks, making it convenient for those who want to focus their trip on these attractions.

Staying in Kissimmee can be more budget-friendly compared to staying within the immediate vicinity of the theme parks. Accommodation options might be more affordable, and you could save money on dining by having access to kitchen facilities.

Many hotels in Kissimmee offer shuttle services to the theme parks, which can be a convenient way to get around without a car.

Kissimmee offers a wide range of budget-friendly accommodations, as well as plenty of shopping and dining options, so you won’t have to travel far for meals and essentials.

If you’re interested in exploring other parts of Orlando, such as downtown or areas outside the main tourist corridor, you might find it less convenient from Kissimmee without a car.

Best places to stay in Kissimmee without a car:

Budget ($): Holiday Inn Express & Suites, 3-star hotel located in Kissimmee, 10 minute drive from Walt Disney World. It has scheduled shuttle service to Walt Disney World, Sea World, and Universal Orlando Resort. It features complimentary hot buffet breakfast, and an outdoor pool.  

Budget ($): SpringHill Suites by Marriott Orlando Lake Buena Vista South, 3-star hotel, offers free parking, a daily complimentary buffet breakfast and no resort fees. It is just minutes away from all major attractions including Disney World, SeaWorld and Universal Orlando, offering shuttle services.

Budget ($): Embassy Suites by Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista South, 3-star children-friendly hotel located in a convenient location for Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando Resort. The hotel offers a paid shuttle that goes to the Disney attractions. It has an outside pool, a restaurant, and cooked-to-order breakfast.

Budget ($): Red Lion Hotel Orlando, 3-star hotel, great location near Kissimmee, 8 minutes’ drive from The Walt Disney World Resort, offering shuttle services.

Budget ($): Magic Moment Resort and Kids Club, 3-star hotel, located 13 minutes’ drive from Walt Disney World Resort. Also Short drive from Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores and Old Town/Fun Spot. The resort fee of $24.99 includes daily breakfast and self-parking.


4. Downtown Orlando

Downtown Orlando is a convenient and vibrant area to stay in if you don’t have a car. It is best suited for travelers who are more interested in city experiences, cultural activities, nightlife, and local attractions rather than primarily focusing on visiting the major theme parks.

The downtown area is relatively walkable, with various shops, restaurants, and entertainment options within walking distance. Lake Eola Park is a beautiful spot for a leisurely stroll.

Downtown Orlando offers a variety of entertainment options, including theaters, live music venues, bars, and restaurants. It’s a lively area, especially in the evenings and on weekends.

The Lynx bus system operates in the area, providing access to various parts of the city and beyond. Additionally, there is a free LYMMO bus service that runs through downtown and connects major points of interest.

Like any urban area, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and take standard safety precautions, especially when walking around at night.

Best places to stay in Downtown Orlando without a car:


Summary – Where is the best place to stay in Orlando without a car?

In conclusion, International Drive, Lake Buena Vista, and Kissimmee, and Downtown Orlando are the best places to stay in Orlando without a car. Each of these locales offers unique advantages that cater to different preferences and travel styles.

International Drive is the best area to stay in Orlando without a car for theme parks due to its proximity to major theme parks such as SeaWorld, Universal Orlando, and Disney World. 

Lake Buena Vista is perfect for families visiting Disney, benefiting from shuttle services and a wholesome resort atmosphere. Kissimmee suits budget-conscious travelers, offering affordable accommodations and a more relaxed environment. 

Downtown Orlando appeals to urban explorers looking for cultural experiences, vibrant nightlife, and diverse dining. Each area caters to specific preferences, ensuring that visitors can enjoy their stay without the need for a car while immersing themselves in Orlando’s unique offerings.

You can continue reading about Orlando and other destination in Florida in these articles:

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Your feedback is invaluable and helps me continue to create more quality content.

About Author: Ocean Cameron

I'm Ocean, founder and main editor of travelhotelexpert.com. I’m a passionate traveler who specializes in uncovering the best hotels and locations in every city, especially for first-timers, all without the need for a car.

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