SeaWorld, Discovery Cove, and Aquatica are located close together at the southern end of Orlando’s tourist district. They lie just east of Interstate 4 and just south of State Route 528, the so-called Bee Line Expressway (its official name is the Martin Andersen Beachline Expressway), which connects Orlando International Airport to the Interstate.
Note: Although I-4 runs east-west across the state, it runs almost exactly north-south as it passes SeaWorld.
Another handy geographical referent is International Drive (or I-Drive as it’s known locally), which is the gaudy spine of Orlando’s tourist quarter; Universal Orlando lies at the north end of I-Drive and SeaWorld toward the south end. It runs roughly parallel to I-4.
From International Drive
If you are staying in one of the many hotels in the International Drive area, your obvious approach is down I-Drive, which takes you past the entrance to Aquatica to Central Florida Parkway, where you turn right to reach Discovery Cove (on your left) and SeaWorld (a little farther along on your right).
From the south on I-4
Coming from the south (that is, traveling “east” on I-4), take Exit 71, which leads directly onto Central Florida Parkway heading east. From here, SeaWorld is directly ahead on your left, while Discovery Cove is just a short distance farther on your right. To reach Aquatica, continue to International Drive and turn left; Aquatica will be on your right.
Note: There is no northbound reentry to I-4 at this exit.
From the north on I-4
Visitors approaching from the north (that is, traveling “west” on I-4), can take Exit 72 onto the Bee Line Expressway (State Route 528). This is a toll road, but you will be exiting before the first toll booth. Take the first exit, which loops around to International Drive. Turn left and follow the I-Drive directions above.
From the airport
If you have picked up your rental car at Orlando International Airport, take the north exit from the airport and get on State Route 528, the Bee Line Expressway, going west. You will pay a toll on this route, but it is modest. Get off at Exit 1, just before you reach Interstate 4. Turn left onto International Drive and follow the I-Drive directions from there.
The Tampa Parks
Directions to Busch Gardens Africa and Adventure Island are provided in Chapters Six and Seven, respectively.
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