With its temperate climate, proximity to beaches, and family-friendly theme parks, it's no surprise that Orlando, Florida attracts more than 75 million visitors a year, making it the most-visited destination in the United States.
Orlando is approximately 439 miles (705 kilometers) from one of the Southeast's other top destinations: Atlanta, Georgia. There are a variety of transportation options for traveling from one city to the other, depending on your budget and preference.
Flying is the quickest route, with several nonstop flights from Atlanta to Orlando offered daily. But the flight time doesn't account for traffic in either city, parking, security, possible weather delays, or navigating Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (the world's busiest).
Greyhound offers bus service to Orlando from Atlanta, with one-way fares as low as $29. Driving a car is a slightly faster option than taking the bus, but parking costs can be high, especially inside resorts or at major tourist attractions.
Here's everything you need to know to help you decide whether to travel to Orlando by car, bus, or plane.
|How to Get From Atlanta to Orlando|
|Flight||1 hour, 30 minutes||from $69||Arriving on a time crunch|
|Bus||8 hours||from $25||Traveling on a budget|
|Car||6 hours, 9 minutes||439 miles (705 kilometers)||Exploring the local area|
What Is the Cheapest Way to Get From Atlanta to Orlando?
Taking the bus is not only the cheapest way to get to Orlando from Atlanta, it's also less stressful than driving. Greyhound offers an express, overnight route once a day, with one-way fares starting around $29. Most of the buses are outfitted with free Wi-Fi, personal chargers, and other amenities to keep you occupied during the 8 hour trip. Trips begin at 232 Forsyth Street in downtown Atlanta and terminate at the Orlando Bus Station.
Note there is a second Greyhound route to Orlando, but it takes almost 12 hours due to several stops and a transfer in Tallahassee, Florida.
What Is the Fastest Way to Get From Atlanta to Orlando?
Flying from Atlanta to Orlando is the fastest way to travel between the two cities, with non-stop flights offered several times a day via Delta Airlines and Spirit Airlines. Fares are as low as $69 one way (and just over $132 round trip), making it a fairly economical choice as well.
Those flying into the city will land at Orlando International Airport (MCO). This is the city's only commercial airport, which is located approximately 6 miles southeast of downtown Orlando.
While the flight from Atlanta to Orlando is fairly fast and inexpensive, when factoring in parking, security, and the cost of travel to and from the airport, it may not be the fastest or cheapest method of travel. However, it is one to consider if you don't want to bother with parking or driving a car in Orlando.
How Long Does It Take to Drive?
Driving from Atlanta to Orlando is a fairly easy and budget-friendly option, especially when traveling with children or a group. The most direct route is via I-75 S and takes a little over 6 hours to drive. Be aware that leaving Atlanta during the morning or evening rush hour will extend the trip by 30 to 60 minutes, as will traveling into Orlando during rush hour or at the height of tourist season. That said, plan for the drive to take 7 or even 8 hours.
Break up the long drive with a stop in Macon, Georgia, 85 miles south of Atlanta. The city's many points of interest include the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park, the Museum for Arts & Sciences, Tattnall Square Park, and the Allman Brothers Band Museum at The Big House. The route also runs through Valdosta, Georgia as well as Gainesville and Ocala, Florida—these are the best options for grabbing a bite of something other than fast food along the way.
Can I Use Public Transportation to Travel From the Airport?
Local buses servicing downtown Orlando, International Drive, SeaWorld, and the Orange County Convention Center pick up passengers on the B-Side of the Terminal on the Ground Transportation Level (Level 1). Several local resorts and hotels offer shuttles to and from the airport as well.
If you decide to get a rental car, the trip downtown takes approximately 25 minutes via FL-436 and FL-408 W, but plan on 30 to 45 minutes if arriving during rush hour or during peak tourist season. Note that the route does include toll roads.
What's the Best Way to Get Around Orlando?
After arriving in Orlando, those staying in the International Drive Resort Area will want to take advantage of the hop-on, hop-off I-Ride Trolley. The trolley serves several of the area's top attractions, including SeaWorld, the Orlando Official Visitor Center, and the Orlando Premium Outlets. The fare is $2 per adult passenger ($1 for children ages 3 – 9 and $0.25 for seniors ages 65 and over). Trollies run daily every 20 minutes from 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. For more information, visit the I-Ride Trolley website.
Lyft and Uber are also easily accessed throughout the city. For those renting a car (or driving your own), parking can be expensive, but it is readily available at most resorts, hotels, and attractions.
What Is There to Do in Orlando?
It's not a trip to Orlando without a visit to one of the area's many theme parks, like Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort, and SeaWorld. Additional points of interest in the city include the Harry P. Leu Gardens; the Orlando Eye observation wheel; the Orlando Museum of Art; and the Kissimmee Lakefront Park, a scenic waterfront park with walking baths, playgrounds, and airboat rides.