Discovery Cove
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Exploring the magical city of Orlando


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3 minutes

Millions of tourists visit Orlando, Florida, each year to experience its world-class theme parks and entertainment options. This summer, thousands of physicians, scientists, and health care professionals will gather in Orlando to attend the 84th Scientific Sessions from June 21-24.

Located at the Orange County Convention Center, the 84th Scientific Sessions is nestled in the heart of Orlando’s International Drive Entertainment District ⎯ also called the “I-Drive.” There, you’ll find yourself near some of Orlando’s top attractions and experiences. Below are some of the more popular activities and attractions located near the convention center, as well as some that are a little farther away.


Theme parks and attractions

Orlando is famous for its impressive theme parks and attractions. Perhaps the most widely known are Walt Disney World and Universal Studios Florida, but Orlando has several other theme parks that are well worth visiting. A few are highlighted below, and Visit Orlando details even more.

  • ICON Park is located just over a mile from the convention center and has several points of interest on site, such as SEA LIFE Orlando and Madame Tussauds Orlando, as well as an assortment of dining options and a 400-foot observation wheel.
  • Aquatica Orlando provides the perfect relief from Florida’s summertime heat and humidity. This fun-packed water park features a variety of water slides, wave pools, and lazy rivers to cool off.
  • Gatorland is a 110-acre theme park and wildlife preserve that is home to thousands of alligators and crocodiles, as well as goats, parrots, capybaras, and more. The park has several interactive exhibits and adventurous experiences such as zip-lining over alligators and embarking on off-road swamp tours.
  • Discovery Cove offers visitors one-of-a-kind interactions with animals that include exotic birds, tropical fish, playful otters, and majestic flamingos. On top of that, your visit includes amenities like unlimited food and beverages, snorkeling gear, and endless relaxation in its tropical pool and lazy river.
Shingle Creek Golf Club
Shingle Creek Golf Club

Golf courses

There are over 150 golf courses located throughout Orlando, as well as a variety of miniature golf courses and a Topgolf one mile from the convention center. Several of Orlando’s premier golf courses have been designed by golf legends such as Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus.

Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill & Club, Shingle Creek Golf Club, and Grand Cypress Golf are among Orlando’s professionally designed golf courses, which are conveniently within 10 miles of the convention center. You can discover even more of Orlando’s premier golf courses on the Visit Orlando website.

Water sports and tours

While the closest beach is about 60 miles outside of Orlando, you can still enjoy a variety of water sports and activities. There are more than 100 lakes in Orlando and several natural springs located within an hour of the city, all of which present excellent opportunities for activities like paddleboarding, kayaking, and snorkeling, as well as:

  • Airboat tours
  • Jet ski rentals
  • Bioluminescent tours
  • Sailing lessons and tours
  • Scenic boat tours and cruises
Prato restaurant
Prato restaurant

Shopping and dining

With immaculate malls, designer outlets, and local boutiques, Orlando’s impressive shopping scene has something for all tastes and budgets. Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets and Orlando International Premium Outlets are located within miles of the convention center and can easily be reached via the I-Ride Trolley. The Mall at Millenia and The Florida Mall feature an assortment of the most sought-after brands and luxury retailers, as well as exquisite dining options. You can also venture out to Orlando’s neighboring Winter Park, which is about 20 miles north of the convention center. The community’s upscale Park Avenue delivers a five-star shopping experience. The chic shopping district has over 60 high-end retailers, gourmet food stores, and world-class dining options that are sure to satisfy any palate.

Register Today for the 84th Scientific Sessions

Join us in Orlando for the 84th Scientific Sessions, June 21-24. Full in-person registration includes access to all of the valuable onsite content during the meeting and on-demand access to the virtual program June 25-Aug. 26. For those unable to join us in-person, we are planning a virtual program to allow as many people as possible to participate and learn about the latest advances in diabetes research, prevention, and care.