25 things you must do when coming to Orlando
When visiting Orlando, it’s very easy to get stuck in the tourist trap where you will find you will spend all your time visiting the parks and eating at the very average chain restaurants. Do yourself a favor and go and explore, you will be surprised and just how much Orlando has to offer. There is a reason Orlando is the number one vacation destination in the World and its not just the sun. Here is our guide to some amazing places to visit, eat, drink, and entertain yourself whilst in Orlando.
Downtown Windermere, Orlando
If you only come to Orlando as a tourist and stay in areas such as Kissimmee, you may never even know an area like Windermere exists. Windermere is home to the rich and famous, from some of the world’s most known sports stars to CEOs of some of the largest companies in America. Once you visit Windermere you will soon know why, this beautiful quaint town is nestled amongst one of the best chain of lakes in the states, the Butler Chain of lakes.
Paloma Coffee Company
If you are lucky enough to visit Windermere, do yourself a favor and stop by Panther Coffee. Located in the middle of Main street this stunning boutique coffee shop serves up the best tasting and smoothest coffee in Orlando. Paloma Coffee Company was the brainchild of the Hoyo family, a locally based family who live in Downtown Winderemere, you will often meet the friendly owner Lino Hoyo on your visit here. Panther Coffee Company sources all its items locally and even uses a local pastry chef for all its baked goods meaning that everything is fresh. The Coffee is they use is Panther Coffee a coffee roaster based out of Miami Florida.
Location: 507 Main Street, Windermere, Florida. 34786
Windermere Lake Tour – Orlando Lake Tours
Get yourself out on the lake and go see the amazing houses that line the shores of Lake Butler and beyond, including America’s largest private residence the “Palace of Versailles” owned by Westgate Resorts Ceo David Siegal and wife Jacquie. Orlando lake tour will take you around the lake and inform you of all the famous residents who own a home in Windermere.
Visit orlandolaketours.com or call 407-883-0110 to book your tour today.
Florida Ski School offers you the chance to go Wakeboarding or simply learn how to wakeboard, wake surf, or ski on the world-famous Butler Chain of Lakes in Windermere Orlando. The experienced coaches will get you up on the water in no time or sit back and relax in their Super Air Nautique ski boat.
Location: Daily pickup from Keenes Pointe Boat ramp
Dixie’s cream cafe
A local’s favorite breakfast spot right in the heart of Downtown Windermere serving up your classic southern-style breakfast and lunches all made from scratch.
Location: 434 Main Street Windermere
Yellow Dog Eats
The name should tell you enough. An amazing restaurant that should have its spot on Diners Drive-in and Dives. If you are visiting Orlando then this is one of the places you must visit. Forget chain restaurants, Yellow Dog Eats is located in Downtown Gotha just outside of Windermere in a historic building. Serving up fresh homemade food with their specialty being their home-smoked pulled pork and craft beer. Enjoy the newly renovated outdoor seating area where they have regular live music.
Location: 1236 Hemel Avenue, Gotha, Florida 34786
Looking to buy a house in Windermere? Click here.
Winter Park, Florida
Winter Park, Florida in Orange County is located just north of Downtown Orlando and a 40-minute drive from the tourist area of Disney Kissimmee. Certainly worth the short drive out to experience this amazing small city, especially Park Avenue and the surrounding lakes. Visit during the year and experience the Winter Park Art Festival.
If you want to experience a whole new world from the tourist area of Orlando, then take a visit to Winter Park, specifically Park Avenue. Home to Central Florida’s leading Rollins college. Park Avenue is a bustling cobbled street filled with some of Orlando’s best restaurants, boutique shops, lake tours, and stunning picturesque parks.
Briar Patch Restaurant
Brian Patch is one of Winter Park’s most well-known Breakfast and lunch spots. The restaurant was opened in 1980 and has been perfecting its menu ever since. Located directly on Park Avenue, this incredible restaurant serves its own take on contemporary American Cuisine. The top-selling dishes on the menu are its Raspberry lemon pancakes which taste like no pancake you have ever tasted before and our favorite the California Benedicts.
Location: 252 Park Avenue North Winter Park, Florida. 32789
One of the favorite spots in Winter Park, located just off Park Avenue, New General is a coffee shop, restaurant, and unique gift shop. Known for its delicious specialty coffee’s using locally roasted Lineage coffee beans. New General serves a menu full of healthy options, including breakfast crepes, super grain bowls, parfaits, and juices. All ingredients are of the highest quality and all sourced locally.
Location: 155 E New England Avenue, Winter Park, Florida, 32789
Opening times: Tuesday – Saturday: 7am – 4pm Sunday: 9am – 4pm.
Alfond Inn Sunday brunch
Enjoy a delicious brunch at Alfond Inn, this beautiful boutique hotel in the heart of Winter Park offers a stunning brunch menu at Hamilton’s Kitchen. Brunch is offered from 11 am – 2 pm and features blueberry pancakes, omelets, beef has burritos, seared salmon, shrimp and grits, fish tacos, burgers, and more.
Location: 300 East New England Avenue, Winter Park FL 32789
Take a walk towards the North of Winter Park and you will come across the beautiful historic building that is Casa Feliz, built-in 1931 this Spanish styled residence has been renovated and is now used as a wedding venue and museum. Simply have a walk around and through the arches to really appreciate this historic estate.
Location: 656 N. Park Ave, Winter Park, Florida 32790
Opening hours: Tuesday and Thursday: 10 am – 12 noon. Sunday: 12 noon – 3pm.
Winter Park Scenic Boat tour
Walking around Winter Park is often impressive enough on its own, but you truly have not seen Winter Park until you get out on the stunning chain of lakes. Learn the history of Winter Park on board an 18 seater pontoon boat. Located on Lake Osceola, less than 10 minutes from Downtown Orlando, the scenic boat tour offers an hour-long guided tour of 3 the 7 lakes in Winter Park and 2 canals. Cash is the only method of payment and tickets are just $14 per adult and $7 per child.
Location: 312 East Morse Boulevard, Winter Park, Florida 32789
Rollins Lake walk
South of Park Avenue you will come across Rollins College, keep walking down towards the lake and you will come across a gravel footpath that meanders around Lake Virginia.
East End Market
Another personal favorite hangout spot, East End Market is a neighborhood market and food hall located in Audubon Park Garden District of Orlando, close to Downtown and Winter Park. This incredible indoor marketplace offers some fine foods and crafts designed by some of Orlando’s top food entrepreneurs, makers, artisans, and chefs. Come and enjoy good coffee, craft beer, Artisan cheeses, plants, flowers, and unique gifts.
Lineage coffee – East End Market
Lineage Coffee Roasting is a local Orlando based coffee with stores in East End Market and Mills 50, they also supply the coffee to many restaurants including New General – Winter Park.
Gideon’s Bakehouse – East End Market
Possibly the best cookies in the world. Get here early to avoid the queue and make sure your favorite cookie is still in stock. There is a strict limit of 6 cookies per person unless you have pre-ordered. The Top seller being the over the top “Classic Chocolate Chip Cookie” this monster of a cookie has a gooey center and fully loaded with chocolate chips.
Winter Garden is a very laid back historical town on the edge of Lake Apopka, this charming town has cobbled streets, craft shops, great restaurants, and many bars. It’s a fun place with something for all the family.
Farmers Market – Saturday
Take a drive out to Winter Garden on a Saturday to experience the sprawling Farmers Market. Local merchants all come together to sell local fruit and veg, freshly baked bread, crafts, food trucks, and live entertainment.
Plant Street Market
A favorite hangout spot for the residence of Winter Garden and surrounding towns. This large indoor market place offers everything you could imagine for a good time, from freshly roasted coffee to wood-fired pizzas, gourmet chocolates, the best Mac and cheese in town and even a local butchers. Enjoy the outside patio seating. Plant Street market is also home to the Crooked Can Brewery.
If you are a beer drinker, you may have seen the local brewers beer in many of the more popular Orlando restaurants. Now is your chance to come and drink a fresh pint directly from the brewer itself. Delicious on tap drafts of difference strength beers, ciders, and wines. All located inside the Plant Street market.
The food here is ok, but what is really great is the upstairs rooftop bar and lounge. Simply walk straight through and up the stairs to be welcomed by a grass roof and a large Mexican bar. Order bar snacks or nachos whilst you relax with your Margaritas!
West Orange Trail
The West Orange Trail is a dedicated bike, walking and running trail that stretches from Apopka all the way through Winter Garden and ends at Clermont. Eventually, this trail will join others to stretch from Florida’s East to West coast. Bring your own bike or hire one from the rental stations in Winter Garden or Killarney Station. For you, cycling fans, head toward Clermont, and stop at Energy Labs where you can catch a breather and a coffee at the same time.
Looking to buy a house in Winter Garden? Click here.
Located just minutes from Disney and the main vacation rental communities in Kissimmee is the Disney designed master community that is Celebration. Simply take a drive around and explore the amazing houses that line this idyllic neighborhood. Then park your car on Market Street and have a walk around the town, enjoy the bars and restaurants or grab an ice cream from Kilwins and take a stroll around the lakes, you are almost guaranteed to see some baby alligators on your walk. After your walk goes and grabs a drink on the lakefront patio at the Bohemian hotel.
Looking to buy a home in Celebration? Click here.
Coffee – Craft and common
Craft and Common is a delightful shop renowned for its specialty coffee, craft beer, and wine. Located in Downtown Orlando, this little gem offers something for everyone. Grab a drink and snack on the great bar menu that they have to offer.
Location: 47th E. Robinson Street, Suite 100 Orlando, Fl 32801
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