More and more, visitors to Central Florida are choosing to stay in Orlando North, Seminole County and make the short drive to the major theme parks. After a long day of rides and lines, they return to Sanford or Lake Mary or any of the other lovely towns in the county, where they can decompress and enjoy a few hours of blissful tranquility.

This approach has another major benefit: It costs way less. Hotel rates in Orlando North are a heckuva lot easier on the wallet than similar accommodations in the heart of Orlando or on theme-park row. Those savings can be put toward other activities, enhancing the overall vacation experience.

The hotel options in Orlando North run the gamut from upscale to budget. The destination features several full-service, award-winning hotels loaded with amenities — most notably the Westin Lake Mary, Orlando North; Orlando Marriott Lake MaryHilton Orlando Altamonte Springs; and Embassy Suites by Hilton Orlando North.

Sanford and Lake Mary feature quaint, walkable downtowns, and all over Orlando North, Seminole County, visitors will find lots of dining and drinking options.

Orlando North also has its share of B&Bs, ranging from quaintly plush to memorably unique. The Higgins House Victorian Bed & Breakfast is right in historic downtown Sanford, just a few blocks from Lake Monroe. Guests can relax in the parlor and listen to an 1895 Edison cylinder phonograph (although the kids probably won’t hear Taylor Swift). For something truly one-of-a-kind, there’s Danville Bed & Breakfast in Geneva. Located adjacent to an airstrip, it’s a replica of a 1940s-flavored small town (named Danville) built inside an airplane hangar — with shops, a pub, a “city hall,” and, of course, lodging.

Orlando North, Seminole County — where the traffic thins out and the hotels have free parking. More than a few of our visitors have awakened from a peaceful night’s slumber and decided to skip the big attractions in favor of floating on a tube down a spring-fed river.