Fantastic location near to Disney, airports, theme parks, shopping and beaches
Local Area Map
Highlands Reserve enjoys an ideal location with quick and easy access to the airports, Walt Disney World, theme parks and shopping. In addition, it is only 75 minutes from the Kennedy Space Centre and Cocoa Beach.
- Easy Access to Airports. Great location for either Orlando International or Sanford Airports.
- Download directions to the villa
Convenient locations for attractions, theme parks, shopping and airports
- Exit airport following signs Greenway (Hwy 417) Kissimmee & Walt Disney World- South Orlando. Hwy 417 (Central Florida Greenway) is a toll road which will cost $5 or $6 and you will take this road until it ends. (About 50 to 55 miles)
- East Lake Mary Boulevard is the name of this exit road from the terminal. Go straight ahead at the traffic signals at the junction with Hwy 427. Shortly afterwards you will go under the Hwy 417 and take a LEFT turn onto the Hwy 417 South.
- Keep heading south all the way. DO NOT be tempted to take any exits to Orlando, as you will stay on the 417 right to the end, when it joins the (Interstate 4 = I 4) near Disney Celebrations.
- The I 4 is not a toll road and you will only be on it for a few miles. Leave at junction 55 and take Hwy 27 going NORTH towards CLEREMONT. (South goes to Haines City)
- Hwy 27 North for approx 3 - 4 miles, Highlands Reserve will be found on your left, when you pass Hampton Lakes on the right, position yourself in the left hand lane, you will see Florida Camp Site on Left, The Ridge on right, now take the next left exit, which is Highlands Reserve, it is near the crest of the hill.
- Proceed down Highlands Boulevard, continue to the bottom of the hill, turn Left into Prestwick, 416 will be found on your left.
Ask for a map from your care hire company and check your route before you set off. 60 minutes from Sanford Airport.
- Exit airport following signs to South exit Kissimmee & Disney World Hwy 417. You will reach the Greenway (Hwy 417) in approx. 3 miles. Turn right onto Greenway heading west towards Disney World.
- You will go through a few tolls ($3 or so) and follow the Hwy 417 to the end as above.
- (go to 4 above in Sandford Directions) Journey times are approximate.
Ask for a map from your care hire company and check your route before you set off. 40 minutes from Orlando Airport.
There are numerous petrol stations nearby, but the closest is next to the Polo Park Subway (1 mile north on US27 by traffic lights on the right). "Don't forget to lift the lever" announced loudly over the intercom !! (We found this out to our embarrassment on our first trip here).
Taxi Shuttle Service
There is no free shuttle service available to the parks from Highlands Reserve, but there is a very friendly and helpful taxi service available locally - call Skips Taxi Service on 1-877-660-0148 and a really nice guy (Jay) with a 15 seater taxi will pick you up from your villa will take you to the shops, theme parks, restaurants, beaches etc…. and pick you up again when you say.
The best local supermarket is Publix located next to Highlands Reserve
Wal-Mart, is a popular superstore (now affiliated with ASDA) located about 2.5 miles north on the US27 (turn right at first traffic lights after you cross over the US192). Excellent value shopping (same principle as ASDA in the UK, but so much bigger).
Pharmacies A Walgreen's 24hr Drive Thru Pharmacy is located on the east bound carriageway of the US192 opposite the Orange Lake Resort -about 4 miles from Highlands Reserve. You will also find another Walgreen's about 1 mile on US27 north of the US192.
In front of Publix supermarket (walking distance from Highlands Reserve) you will find several places to eat including an Applebee's Neighborhood Grill Bar, Bamboo Wok Chinese Takeaway, Mia Pizza Restaurant & Takeaway, Kumo Japanese Restaurant & Takeaway, Kokopelli's Bistro, Sunday's Grill Fish & Chips to name a few...
Fancy going to a good American Bar within “staggering” distance from your villa – then we recommend Linksters Tap Room opposite Applebee’s – open 7 days till 2am (Sundays till midnight) – extensive range of drinks and a pool table and very friendly staff – smoking allowed indoors too if you are discrete !!
There is a loads of shops and restaurants along the US192 (a bit like Blackpool). We found Sizzler is excellent value for breakfast or brunch - arrive at around 10:30am and you can eat breakfast and lunch for less than $5 - no need to worry about eating in Disney !
We can definitely recommend Carrabba's Italian Grill just after the intersection with Black Lake Road on the right (fantastic food at a very reasonable price). You must try their Carrabbarita - it's a Margarita with a generous twist of Amaretto - to die for !!
You will also find a TGI Fridays next door. There are also some excellent takeaways (Chinese, Indian & Pizza) in this area too.
15 miles south of Highlands Reserve on the US27 is Manny’s Chop House on the right – Excellent steaks (try the 24oz T-Bone) at incredibly low prices (4 people can eat with drinks for less than $60) – it’s where the locals go, so very popular. We found that if you call them 40 minutes before you want to go, telling them you are just leaving Universal Studios, they will book you a table, otherwise it can be a long wait !!
If you travel north on the US27 towards Clermont - try Guso's, an independent Italian restaurant with excellent food at local prices -it's on the southbound side at Clermont Terrace (near Harley Davidson dealer).
If you want somewhere very good but a bit of a haul try Le Coq au Vin at 4800 S. Orange Boulevard at Holden Avenue. It’s about 40 minutes drive, but the food is as good as we have ever eaten in the US. Packed with locals and not very expensive and the chocolate soufflés especially recommended !!
Gym / Fitness Centre There is an excellent gym called Anytime Fitness at 532 Cagan Park which is opposite Wal-Mart (north on US27 past the US192) and left at the first set of traffic lights. You can purchase a pass for a day, a week, 2 weeks or even a month.
There is some excellent areas close to Highlands Reserve that a great for Fishing. A good place is at the Tikki Bar on Lake Minneola. They hire pontoon boats for fun or fishing and it's a great informal place for lunch/a few beers and only 20 minutes or so from Highlands Reserve.
To get there, go north on US27, across the US50 past Clermont. at about the 2nd lights after the US50 there is a restaurant on the left, turn left at the lights and at the next little crossroad there is a dirt parking area diagonally across on your far left corner. Park in there & walk to the back of the lot where you will see the lake and the Tikki Bar -It's a great spot for a drink and to watch the sunset !!
DVD's and Video Games can be hired from the video rental shop next to the Publix supermarket on US192. You will need to show your passport or driving licence as well as a credit card to get temporary membership.
Please note that UK purchased DVD's (Region 2) will not work in the USA and vice versa. USA purchased DVD's (Region 1) may work in the UK as long as you have a multi-region or a hacked DVD Player.