Lending a helping hand to the millions of tourists who flock to the theme park mecca of Walt Disney World and Universal Studios is the town of Davenport. A quiet, local atmosphere is the main advantage to staying in Davenport when visiting the theme parks of Orlando. There are some nice golf courses, like Highlands Reserve, here and a huge range of hotels, shops, and restaurants. All of the Disney parks and Universal attractions are just minutes from Davenport by car, making this a superb base of operations for your fun-time holiday.
Things to see
Lake Kissimmee State Park is right on the edge of Davenport and offers nature walks, boating, fishing, horseback riding, and other outdoor activities.
Many visitors stay in Davenport to be close to its two top-ranked golf courses: Highlands Reserve and Ridgewood Lakes. Both clubs are open to the general public and feature lovely, lush courses.
Davenport is on the doorstep of Walt Disney World, where guests can play in four different theme parks and two modern water parks. The Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios are world-class playgrounds of fun.
SeaWorld is one of the world’s top marine wildlife theme parks. The home of Shamu the whale has all kinds of animal shows, interactive sea attractions, and even a few water rides.
Islands of Adventure is just one of Universal Studios’ incredible water parks. If you like exciting slides, wave pools, and other kinds of crazy water fun then this place will blow your mind.
Hotels in Davenport
Davenport is pretty much a bedroom community for workers in the vast theme parks of Disney and Universal Studios, so its small residential population is almost outnumbered by the tourists who stay here. Most of the accommodation is easily found along the main roads leading to Disney, and consists primarily of mid-range hotels.
There are only a couple of luxury hotels in Davenport, but the more upscale communities of Lake Buena Vista and Kissimmee are just minutes away by car if you prefer a more resort-style stay. Expect some impressive amenities at the nicer hotels, including swimming pools and on-site eateries. Most luxury hotels here also have excellent spa facilities.
Where to stay
The aptly-named Hotel Drive is the best strip in Davenport to find a hotel that suits your budget and needs. This road connects to Highway 27, which leads north to the theme parks and is literally lined with hotels.
Highway 92 is the other main road leading north to Disney from Davenport. It runs right through the heart of town, so there are dozens of mid-range hotels and eateries to choose from along this route.
The more luxurious resorts and spas are found outside of town on their own sprawling properties. Around Lake Davenport is a particularly pretty area to stay if you want nice amenities and space to roam.
How to get to Davenport
Travelers to Davenport can fly into either Tampa or Orlando. Both cities have good airports with lots of connections, though Orlando is home to the larger airport of the two. From Orlando, it’s a 30-mile drive to Davenport, while Tampa is 54 miles to the west of Davenport. Excellent highways make driving here a breeze, so most visitors rent a car at the airport.
Amtrak trains also run near Davenport, with stops in Winter Haven, Kissimmee, and Lake Buena Vista. Car rental offices are located at the train stations. There is no public transportation system in Davenport, so everyone uses a car to get around.