THE INSIDERâ€™S GUIDE TO CENTRAL FLORIDA
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Publisher Graham Jarrett Editor Jessica Bryce Young
Editorial Staff Writer Monivette Cordeiro Calendar Editor Thaddeus McCollum Music Editor Matthew Moyer Digital Content Editor Colin Wolf Editorial Interns Deanna Ferrante, Rachel LeBar, Nick Wills Advertising Major Accounts Specialist Leslie Egan Senior Multimedia Account Executives Debbie Garcia, Lori Green, Dan Winkler Multimedia Account Executives Scott Navarro, Scott Spar Classified and Legal Rep Jerrica Schwartz Advertising Coordinator Abby Stassen Marketing and Events Events Director Zackary Rowe Events and Promotions Manager Brad Van De Bogert Marketing and Events Coordinator Rachel Hoyle Creative Services Art Director Chris Tobar Rodriguez Production Lead Designer Melissa McHenry Business Operations Manager Hollie Mahadeo Business Assistant Allysha Willison Circulation Circulation Manager Collin Modeste Euclid Media Group Chief Executive Officer Andrew Zelman Chief Operating Officers Chris Keating, Michael Wagner Human Resources Director Lisa Beilstein Digital Operations Coordinator Jaime Monzon euclidmediagroup.com National Advertising: Voice Media Group 1-888-278-9866, voicemediagroup.com Orlando Weekly Inc. 16 W. Pine St. Orlando, Florida 32801 orlandoweekly.com Phone 407-377-0400 Fax 407-377-0420 Orlando Weekly is published every week by Euclid Media Group Orlando Distribution Orlando Weekly is available free of charge, limited to one copy per reader. Copyright notice: The entire contents of Orlando Weekly are copyright 2017 by Euclid Media Group LLC. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission of the publisher is prohibited. Publisher does not assume any liability for unsolicited manuscripts, materials, or other content. Any submission must include a stamped, self-addressed envelope. All editorial, advertising, and business correspondence should be mailed to the address listed above. Subscriptions: Additional copies or back issues may be purchased at the Orlando Weekly offices for $1. Six-month domestic subscriptions may be purchased for $75; one-year subscriptions for $125. Periodical Postage Pending at Orlando, FL POSTMASTER: Send address changes to ORLANDO WEEKLY 16 W. Pine St. Orlando, FL 32801.
Table of Contents
An illustrated timeline of Orlando … 9
LISTINGS Sports and Recreation … 11 Live Music and Clubs … 15 Attractions … 21 Arts and Culture … 23 Film Fests and Series … 29 Comedy Clubs, Nights and Open Mics … 31 Annual Events … 33
NEIGHBORHOODS Downtown … 35 Mills 50 … 39 Thornton Park … 45 College Park … 47 Milk District … 53 SoDo … 55 Winter Park & Maitland … 57 Sanford … 63 Audubon Park … 67 Ivanhoe Village … 69 UCF … 73 International Drive and Theme Parks … 77 Parramore … 81 Conway & Belle Isle … 83 Lake Nona … 85 Sand Lake/Dr. Phillips … 87
DAY TRIPS Winter Garden … 89 Lakeland … 91 DeLand … 93 Apopka … 94
CONTRIBUTORS: Monivette Cordeiro, Deanna Ferrante, Holly V. Kapherr, Seth Kubersky, Faiyaz Kara, Matthew Moyer, Thaddeus McCollum, Abby Stassen, Lindsey Thompson, Jessica Bryce Young PHOTOGRAPHERS: Rob Bartlett, Monivette Cordeiro, Deanna Ferrante, Jeremy Reper, Joey Roulette, Chris Tobar Rodriguez, Lindsey Thompson
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A TIMELINE OF ORLANDO’S GREATEST (AND NOT SO GREAT) HISTORICAL MOMENTS If you’re new to Orlando or are one of the rare people who were actually born in the City Beautiful, then you’ve probably figured out Orlando’s a hard place to define. We’ve been a frontier, a cattle stronghold, a hub of the state’s citrus industry and the tourist capital of the world. Located in the heart of Florida, Orlando has been described as having no culture, but after Pulse, we learned we were compassionate and resilient. Our current Orlando is a diversified community of burgeoning artists, tech developers, low-income workers and others trying to make something more out of this city. Before we move on to the next phase of Orlando, though, it’s good to know where we’ve been. LOS MOSQUITOS
1845: We stop being named after a bloodsucking insect.
Mosquito County, originally called Los Mosquitos by the Spanish colonial settlers, included large swaths of Florida’s eastern coast and central area, including presentday Brevard County. When Florida became a part of the union, the state legislature renamed parts of Mosquito County to Orange County.
1857: Jernigan decides it doesn’t want to be named after a murder suspect. Around 1838, the U.S. Army built Fort Gatlin south of the Orlando’s current boundaries during the Second Seminole War. The community that sprang up around the fort was named after Aaron Jernigan, a white settler who came to the area with his family, slaves and cattle. He became a state legislator and was respected until the 1850s, when he and six other men were charged with the murder of William H. Wright. He escaped jail twice and lived in Texas as a fugitive for almost 25 years before returning to Florida. By then, the town had changed its name to Orlando. While historians don’t know the true origin of the name, there are several theories floating around, including one that says a local judge named the town after the main character in the Shakespeare play As You Like It.
1873: Jacob Summerlin, the “Cattle King of Florida,” buys land in downtown Orlando. A large sinkhole formed on his property, then filled up with storm water and water from an underground aquifer to become a beautiful lake. The locals called it Sandy Beach, though it was later renamed Lake Eola. The first swans were brought to the lake in 1922.
1875: Orlando becomes an incorporated town with 85 residents. During the tail end of the century, the citrus industry began booming in Orlando, though a great freeze in the 1890s devastated the town and the industry as a whole for years.
1921: Braxton Beacham opens the Beacham Theatre in downtown Orlando. It hosted vaudeville acts for some time and then started showing movies. Currently, it’s a nightclub on Orange Avenue.
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1965: Walt Disney unveils plans for a theme park in Central Florida. Six years later, the Magic Kingdom Park opened in Orlando with a parade, forever changing the city into a tourist destination. The first attractions included the Haunted Mansion, the Mad Tea Party and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.
1968: Florida Technical University opens its doors to almost 2,000 students. The school was envisioned as a “space university” for NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral. Their first mascot was the Citronaut, a cross between an orange and an astronaut. A decade later, the school was renamed to its current moniker: the University of Central Florida.
1973: Arthur “Pappy” Kennedy gains a seat on Orlando City Council. He was the first African-American person to do so.
1990: Universal Studios Florida opens in Orlando. From a rough first day in which almost none of the rides actually worked, Universal Orlando persevered and now is one of the top 10 most-attended theme parks in the world.
1993: Lou Pearlman launches his boy-band mogul career in Orlando. Though he had various other business schemes, the pop Svengali remains best known for forming the Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC. Pearlman, who died in prison last year, was convicted of running one of the largest Ponzi schemes of all time.
2003: Buddy Dyer is elected Mayor of Orlando.
And in a special election that he won in December 2016, Dyer became Orlando’s longest-serving mayor after serving in office for nearly 14 years.
2010: Orlando City Soccer Club forms in Orlando.
A new passion for football takes over the City Beautiful, which is now known as the “soccer capital of the South.”
2016: Orlando becomes the site of the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. It’s not a milestone anyone would wish for, but it happened June 12 when a gunman killed 49 people and injured countless others at the gay nightclub Pulse. The world watched as residents stood in line for hours to donate blood, helped their neighbors, lifted each other up and resolved to remain an Orlando United.
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hether you’re the outdoorsy type, looking for the best boating, biking and hiking – or more of an armchair goalie type in search of the best local sports teams to cheer on – Central Florida has you covered.
SPORTS & RECREATION
Sports teams Orlando Magic NBA basketball Season: October-April Amway Center, 400 W. Church St., 800-745-3000, orlandomagic.com
Orlando City Soccer Club Major League Soccer Season: March through October Orlando City Stadium, 655 W. Church St., 407-480-4702, orlandocitysc.com
Orlando City Stadium
Orlando Solar Bears East Coast Hockey League Season: October through April Amway Center, 400 W. Church St., orlandosolarbearshockey.com
Orlando Psycho City Derby Girls Roller Derby League Season: February-November Semoran Skateway, 2670 Cassel Creek Blvd., Casselberry, orlandoderbygirls.com
because it can’t be seen from Colonial Drive. But it boasts two disc golf courses, a BMX track, a fitness center, a dog park, golf areas, softball fields and more, making it an essential location for any outdoors enthusiasts.
Harry P. Leu Gardens 1920 N. Forest Ave., 407-246-2620, leugardens.org
UCF Knights NCAA College Football Season: August through January
These gardens, nestled in Audubon Park, boast a spectacular collection of native and exotic flora, including a rose garden, a butterfly garden and the largest documented camellia collection in Eastern North America.
Lake Eola Park
Orlando Wetlands Park
Bright House Networks Stadium, University of Central Florida, 407-823-1000, ucfathletics.com
512 E. Washington St., cityoforlando.net/ parks/lake-eola-park
25255 Wheeler Road, Christmas, 407-5681706, cityoforlando.net/wetlands
With more than 20 miles of roads and trails threading through mostly undeveloped marshes, Orlando Wetlands Park is the place to go if you’re in the mood to get in touch with nature. Wildlife sightings – including alligators and bears – aren’t uncommon, to say nothing of the prime birdwatching.
1808 E. Central Blvd., cityoforlando.net/ parks/langford-park-center
Bill Frederick Park
The center of downtown Orlando life, Lake Eola Park hosts farmers markets, cultural fairs, entertainment, footraces and much more along with a .9-mile walkway that orbits the signature fountain in the middle of the lake.
Along with neighboring Dickson Azalea Park, Langford Park provides a shaded oasis just outside of downtown. Plenty of bridges, pavilions and walkways sprawl throughout the park.
Barnett Park 4801 W. Colonial Drive, orangecountyfl.net
The crown jewel of Orange County’s parks department can be overlooked
3401 S. Hiawassee Road, 407-246-4486, cityoforlando.net/parks
The biggest park in Metrowest covers 183 acres situated around Turkey Lake, one of the most popular fishing lakes in Florida. The park offers canoeing, kayaking, nature trails, volleyball courts and other amenities, and is one of the only city parks where camping is allowed (with a permit, of course).
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Biking and hiking Cady Way Trail Entrance is 1/4 mile north of State Route 50 on Herndon Avenue
This 6.5-mile paved path, popular with bicyclists and stroller-pushing moms alike, connects Orlando and Winter Park and the Cross Seminole Trail in Seminole County. The trail features water fountains, rest stops and mile markers, as well as a cool 685-footlong suspension bridge that crosses Semoran Boulevard.
Econ Trail Dean Road just north of State Road 50
This ever-expanding trail in East Orlando begins at Jay Blanchard Park and extends all the way to Alafaya Trail. It runs alongside the Little Econlockhatchee River, which offers pretty views and plenty of good spots to fish, canoe or just sit in the grass and enjoy a riverside picnic.
Wekiwa Springs State Park 1800 Wekiwa Circle, Apopka, 407-884-2008, floridastateparks.org/ wekiwasprings
You can canoe or kayak here (rentals are available), but this park also has 13 miles of pristine, wooded hiking, biking and horseback-riding trails. This park is very popular, particularly in summer when visitors like to swim in the clear blue spring, and when the parking lot fills, the park entrance closes. So get there early. CONTINUED ON PAGE 13
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SPORTS & RECREATION
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 11
Lower Wekiva River Preserve State Park 8300 W. State Road 46, Sanford, 407-884-2008, floridastateparks.org/lowerwekiwariver
This section of the park has no amenities, but it does have 18 miles of multiuse trails you can hike or bike.
Rock Springs Run State Reserve 30601 County Road 433, Sorrento, 407-884-2008, floridastateparks.org/ rockspringsrun
The park, located about 10 miles west of I-4 on County Road 433, is really just a giant swatch of underdeveloped land. It features 17 miles of multi-use trails.
West Orange Trail 501 Crown Point Cross Road, Winter Garden
Lake Eola Park
This 22-mile trail stretches through Winter Garden, Apopka and Orlando. It’s open to walkers and bikers, and some parts are open to horses, too. Four trailheads with parking are located at various points along the trail.
Canoeing and kayaking Blue Spring State Park 2100 W. French Ave., Orange City, floridastateparks.org/bluespring
Covering more that 2,600 acres, Blue Spring State Park is a designated Manatee Refuge. It is an excellent place for a swim, paddling or a picnic. During manatee season, mid-November through March, the waterways are closed.
Bioluminescent Bay Mosquito Lagoon, near Titusville
Florida’s Indian River and Mosquito Lagoon come alive with bioluminescence from May through September. The luminescence is caused by dinoflagellates (tiny things you can’t see), which glow neon-blue whenever the water is disturbed. Guides are recommended for this paddling adventure, but they are not necessary. Paddlers should begin their paddle at dusk.
Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge
spectacular. You might see manatees, scrub jays or an alligator if you’re lucky.
colored powder at various stations on the course.
IOA Corporate 5K
Chuluota, dep.state.fl.us/gwt/guide/paddle. htm
The Econ can be easy or difficult, depending on the water levels (high in the summer, low in the spring). Paddlers can glimpse of a diverse array of wildlife along the 19-mile stretch.
Rock Springs Run – Wekiva River Apopka-DeBary, dep.state.fl.us/gwt/guide/ paddle.htm
Put in at King’s Landing near Apopka, if you want to experience the entirety of this 27-mile respite from congestion and travel a designated wild and scenic river right in the heart of the Orlando metro area. Stop at Wekiwa Springs State Park on your way for a swim in the clear blue springs.
April 13, 2017 Lake Eola, Central Boulevard and Eola Drive, corporate5k.com
Insurance Office of America sponsors this event in which businesses and nonprofits form teams, with more than 18,000 runners and walkers from 700 organizations participating.
Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side April 20-23, 2017 Walt Disney World Resort, rundisney.com
A Star Wars-themed weekend of running, with a 5K, 10K and half marathon under the stern supervision of Darth Vader and Imperial stormtroopers.
Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend Nov. 3-5, 2017
5Ks, marathons and fun runs Tough Mudder Oct. 28-29, 2017 Clear Springs Ranch, Ledley Ware Road, Bartow, toughmudder.com
Hard-core obstacle race along a 10- to 12-mile-long course.
Color Vibe 5K
Near Titusville, fws.gov/merrittisland
April 9, 2017
This refuge offers somewhat limited paddling opportunities since paddling is not permitted in refuge impoundments, but what is available can be
Florida Mall, 8001 Orange Blossom Trail, thecolorvibe.com
Run/dance/walk your way through this 5K, in which runners are doused in
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Walt Disney World Resort, rundisney.com
A series of races for runners of all ages, including a 10K through Epcot, and the Wine and Dine half-marathon, which concludes with a finish line party at Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival.
Savage Race Nov. 11-12, 2017 17951 Hamilton Road, Dade City, savagerace.com
This aggressive 6.5-mile race requires participants to conquer 25 insane obstacles with names like the Colon Blow and the Nutt Smasher.
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MUSIC & NIGHTLIFE
n a conversation with Orlando Weekly earlier this year, veteran local musician Eugene Snowden said that Orlando was increasingly gaining a reputation as a music town, a place where musicians can take chances and the audiences will come. The evolution he is suggesting is emblematic of a larger shift within the Orlando club and live music scene; the city is in the middle of a purple patch of creativity and enthusiasm for it. People want to go out and experience culture directly and communally. Be it live music on a local and national scale, scene supporting, checking out a once-in-a-lifetime performance from a big band, listening and dancing along to a DJ taking you on a sonic journey, or just dressing up and going out to a club, Orlando has endless opportunities for nightlife and misadventure.
LIVE MUSIC Amway Center 400 W. Church St. 407-440-7900 amwaycenter.com
Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez and Stevie Nicks have all made the Amway a tour stop – this big league arena also is home to the Magic and the Solar Bears, only a few steps from downtown.
The Beacham 46 N. Orange Ave. 407-246-1419 thebeacham.com
The downtown concert venue provides a much-needed home for larger-scale
shows in the center of the city – think Sleep, Run the Jewels or Dinosaur Jr. The open floor provides multiple pathways to edge your way up to the front, though good luck navigating tightly packed crowds.
Backbooth 37 W. Pine St. 407-999-2570 backbooth.com
Backbooth pulls off the deft balancing act of hosting late-night dance affairs like Floorplay and Midnight Mass alongside earlier, all-ages-friendly shows with everyone from Mitski to straight-edge pioneers Judge.
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Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts 1905 Kentucky Ave., Winter Park 407-636-9951 bluebambooartcenter.com
Triple threat performance space/art gallery/recording studio is a welcome new entrant to the live music scene, hosting the full sonic spectrum of jazz, classical and world music, as well as theater and literary events.
CFE Arena 12777 N. Gemini Blvd. 407-823-3070 cfearena.com
The erstwhile UCF Arena has moved well beyond the status of student venue. The complex seats roughly 10,000 and hosts pop, rock and hip-hop, as well as comedy and other events. It’s a welcome connection between UCF and the broader show-going populace of the city. CONTINUED ON PAGE 16
MUSIC & NIGHTLIFE MUSIC & NIGHTLIFE CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15
The Copper Rocket Pub 106 Lake Ave., Maitland 407-636-3171 letsmakeitathing.com
The expanded and renovated Copper Rocket may look and feel new but the commitment to providing a stage for local up-and-comers remains the same; Tears of a Tyrant, Drew Yardis, Gary Lazer Eyes and Melissa Crespo have all graced the stage.
Hard Rock Live 6050 Universal Blvd. 407-351-5483 hardrock.com/live
Venture deep into the heart of Universal’s CityWalk entertainment complex for entertainment that straddles mainstream (the 1975), nostalgic (Bryan Ferry) and outsidethe-lines (Slayer) all at once.
The Haven Lounge 6700 Aloma Ave., Winter Park 407-673-2712 thehavenrocks.com
The musical menu on offer at this roomy Winter Park club is loud, heavy, metal and that’s pretty much it. A perfect landing spot for distortion fanatics that’re a little too big to play the likes of Lou’s. Top-shelf sound and lights, too.
House of Blues 1490 E. Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista 407-934-2583 hob.com
Shows may start on the early side, but that’s really the only overt sign that this concert venue is nestled in the Disney Springs adult playground. Expect to see anything from the Roots to the Flaming Lips. The sightlines and sound system are recommended.
The Plaza Live 425 N. Bumby Ave. 407-228-1220 plazaliveorlando.org
This Milk District mainstay has found a new footing in partnership with the Orlando Philharmonic, hosting shows by the Phil plus a wide-ranging slate of ’80s icons, guitar legends and comics.
Sandwich Bar 2432 E. Robinson St. facebook.com/sandwichbarorlando
Usually known for more DJ-oriented dance nights – house legends and upstarts have held court, along with vaporwave and other outsider sounds – this Milk District venue provides a home for the more adventurous and underground end of the local music spectrum.
The Social 54 N. Orange Ave. 407-246-1419 thesocial.org
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MUSIC & NIGHTLIFE
MUSIC & NIGHTLIFE
Mainstay downtown venue is the very definition of “intimate”; most nights this small room is packed to the gills with the devoted, straining to get as close as possible to their favorite touring artist.
Stardust Video and Coffee 1842 E. Winter Park Road 407-623-3393 stardustie.com
This Audubon Park eatery/bar also plays host to a wide array of leftfield music events – recently taking in everything from hardcore punk to techno-industrial to meditative electronics.
Tanqueray’s Bar 100 S. Orange Ave. 407-649-8540 facebook.com/tanqueraysbar
Premiere smoky downstairs dive whose more open booking policy provides an entrée point for locals to downtown. The likes of the Mellow Relics and Timothy Eerie have held unofficial residencies there.
Timucua White House 2000 S. Summerlin Ave. 407-595-2713 timucua.com
A truly unique live music experience. Tucked away in an unassuming South Orlando neighborhoods, the White House (for it is indeed a house) offers incredible natural acoustics, a near cathedral-like setting and an adventurous event slate.
Uncle Lou’s Entertainment Hall 1016 N. Mills Ave. 407-898-0009
For better or for whatever, there is nowhere else like Uncle Lou’s in the City Beautiful. A close-quarters, gritty staging area for DIY music both local and national, where (almost) anything goes. CONTINUED ON PAGE 18
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ing three bars and seven private cabanas, but the focus in on a dancefloor soundtracked by a rotating cast of local and touring DJs.
MUSIC & NIGHTLIFE
Peek Downtown 50B E. Central Blvd. 407-734-5107
Peek Downtown dispenses with overthe-top glitz and glam to focus on an event slate of deep-cut DJ and dance nights. Techno and house rule the day … or night.
Tier Nightclub 20 E. Central Blvd. 407-222-9732 tiernightclub.com
Two-story, five-bar megaclub downtown that gives you glamorous license to dress up and get wild on any number of DJ/dance nights. Bottle service too, you say?
Vain 22 S. Magnolia Ave. 407-835-3590 vainorlando.com
Vain operates under the maxim that bigger is indeed better, sprawling out over a massive three levels, with a packed calendar of dance events and celebrity guest dates including, recently, Waka Flocka Flame.
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Will’s Pub 1042 N. Mills Ave. willspub.org
The Will’s/Lil’ Indies compound is an essential component of both local scene-building and providing a stage to touring acts of all adventurous stripes. The event calendar reads like a genre collage, and that’s a very good thing.
DRINKING & DANCING CityWalk at Universal 6000 Universal Blvd. 407-363-8000 universalorlando.com
This no-cover complex of bars and clubs tucked away within the Universal Studios sprawl offers plenty of opportunity for a little more grownup-oriented fun outside of the province of Harry Potter at Rising Star, the Groove, the Red Coconut Club and more.
Gilt Nightclub 740 Bennett Road 407-504-7699 giltnightclub.com
The lushly renovated, 10-bar, dualdancefloor nightclub Gilt is a significant upgrade from a previous incarnation as the Roxy, so put on your essential attire and check out DJs from Ookay to DJ Icey.
Independent Bar 70 N. Orange Ave. 407-839-0457 facebook.com/independentbarorlando
Downtown’s I-Bar is the destination of choice for those who want a little something more indie from their nightclub adventures. Do not worry, though, the dancefloor is spacious and multiple bars will melt away hesitations to dance on said floors.
Ono Nightclub 1 S. Orange Ave. 407-701-9859 ononightclub.com
This two-level downtown superclub knows the devil is in the details, boast18 / listings / city guide / orlando weekly
578 N. Orange Ave. 407-872-0066
Under new ownership, and having gotten a dramatic facelift, Venue 578 keeps their booking focused on superstar DJs from around the world, EDM wunderkinds and hip-hop firebrands.
Vinyl Arts Bar 75 E. Colonial Drive facebook.com/vinylartsbar
This newish beer and wine spot in the North Quarter brings classy decor and an all-vinyl DJ regimen to the neighborhoods; event bookings have expanded to include literary readings and art events beside the requisite DJ nights and guest appearances.
Wall Street Plaza 26 Wall St. 407-849-0471 wallstplaza.net
Seven clubs congregate on one entire block of prime downtown real estate given over to the Wall Street complex, a nightly magnet for anybody ready for some drinking and mingling. Weekends are madness.
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rlando is more than just Harry Potter and Mickey Mouse – the region is home to a host of other attractions that have an appeal all their own. From ziplining to gator-wrassling, hang-gliding to horseback-riding, life-size dinosaurs to Bible scenes come to life, these are just a few of our favorite diversions.
Airboat Rides at Midway 28501 E. Colonial Drive, Christmas, 407-568-6790, airboatridesatmidway.com
ATTRACTIONS Holy Land Experience 4655 Vineland Road, 407-872-2272, holylandexperience.com
Stories from the Bible re-enacted in a high-tech mock-up of ancient Jerusalem. You might as well pay a visit, because as an Orange County taxpayer, you’re subsidizing the place.
Jungle Adventures Nature Park 26205 E. Colonial Drive, Christmas, 407-568-2885, jungleadventures.com
You are almost guaranteed to see gators – lots of them – on this popular hour-long airboat tour.
Kind of like Gatorland, but smaller and more intimate, this roadside attraction takes in injured and abandoned wildlife for rehab. Enter through the mouth of the “largest gator in Florida,” a 200-footer that used to double as the home of the park’s original owner. Inside, you’ll see rarities such as a Florida panther and gray wolves.
Bok Tower Gardens 1151 Tower Blvd., Lake Wales, 863-676-1408, boktowergardens.org
A botanical and historical masterpiece designed by Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., crowned with a neo-Gothic/Art Deco 205-foot bell tower.
Monument of States
Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens
300 E. Monument Ave., Kissimmee
3755 NW Highway 17-92, Sanford, 407-323-4450, centralfloridazoo.org
The zoo is home to more than 400 animals – and that’s not counting the Insect Zoo. And thanks to the zoo’s participation in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan, you can sometimes see baby versions of endangered species like the Madagascar red-ruffed lemur or the Thai clouded leopard.
Dinosaur World 5145 Harvey Tew Road, Plant City, 813-717-9865, dinoworld.net
More than 150 life-size outdoor models of dinosaurs rule over a fossil dig, museum and lots of paleontologicalthemed activities.
Forever Florida 4755 N. Kenansville Road, St. Cloud, 407-957-9794, foreverflorida.com
Eco-safaris on a 4,700-acre Florida nature preserve by horseback, openair coach or zipline offer views of a traditional Cracker-style ranch, gators, black bears and other wildlife. Overnight horseback tours available.
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
toric rockets, ride the Shuttle Launch Experience and see the Astronaut Hall of Fame.
Fort Christmas Historical Park and Museum
You really can’t get a feel for how massive a Saturn V rocket is until you take a stroll under one suspended just a few feet above your head, and this is the only place in the world to do that. Take guided tours of launch areas, see his-
Mead Botanical Garden 1300 S. Denning Drive, Winter Park, 407-599-2800, meadgarden.org
A regional history museum housed in a replica of a Seminole War-era log fort. You’ll also find examples of pioneer homes, a Florida Cracker-style cabin, a schoolhouse and a sugar cane mill.
This green oasis features bike paths, boardwalks and picnic areas full of native plants and wildlife. The park also features restored wetlands and riparian forests. This unique ecological oasis is a hidden gem in Winter Park. Open daily 8 a.m. to dusk.
Orlando Science Center
14501 S. Orange Blossom Trail, 407-8555496, gatorland.com
777 E. Princeton St., 407-514-2000, osc.org
1300 Fort Christmas Road, Christmas, 407-254-9310, orangecountyfl.net
Gatorland is a roadside attraction turned eco-preserve. The flesh-eating monsters roam (almost) free, along with many more scary things. Watch them swim, eat, sleep, wrestle and jump. Learn about them. Embrace them. Well, not literally. You know what we mean.
Harry P. Leu Gardens
State Road 405 east of Titusville, 855-433-4210, kennedyspacecenter.com
Local rocks and odd related objects from all 50 states and a number of foreign countries are mounted, labeled and assembled in a tower topped by a concrete globe and American flag. A classic relic of World War II-era boosterism. Free, weird and always open.
1920 N. Forest Ave., 407-246-2620, leugardens.org
Three miles of paved paths wind through gorgeous botanical displays, including the largest formal rose garden in Florida, a bamboo forest and a butterfly garden. You can also visit the historic on-site house museum.
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The newly remodeled KidsTown is catnip to children (of all ages, frankly) with a huge climbing area and a pickable “orange grove,” among other activities. The science center also has Florida’s largest refractor telescope and all sorts of hands-on learning experiences that’ll appeal to kids and adults alike.
Wallaby Ranch 1805 Deen Still Road, Davenport, 863-424-0070, wallaby.com
Even in flat Central Florida, you can hang-glide – no mountain required. Wallaby Ranch’s aerotow system will launch your glider into the air, or for newbies, your tandem flight with an instructor. Prices vary widely based on experience level and equipment rental.
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GALLERIES AND MUSEUMS Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens 633 Osceola Ave., Winter Park, 407-647-6294, polasek.org
The Czech artist’s former residence is now a gallery, surrounded by gorgeous lakeside gardens full of his bronze sculptures.
Anita S. Wooten Gallery Valencia College East Campus, 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail, 407-582-2268, valenciacollege.edu
Valencia students and faculty display their work in this white-box gallery alongside that of visiting and local artists.
Art and History Museums – Maitland
231 W. Packwood Ave., Maitland, 407-539-2181, artandhistory.org
The cultural complex includes the Maitland Art Center (a National Historic Landmark), the Germaine Marvel multi-use space, the Victorian-era Waterhouse Residence, the Telephone Museum and the Carpentry Shop Museum.
Arts on Douglas 123 Douglas St., New Smyrna Beach, 386-428-1133, artsondouglas.net
The exhibition arm of Atlantic Center for the Arts shows cutting-edge visual works in the heart of this charming beach town.
Atlantic Center for the Arts 1414 Art Center Ave., New Smyrna Beach, 386-427-6975, atlanticcenterforthearts.org
The residency program, which draws internationally renowned visual artists, writers and musicians, also offers public exhibits and performances several times per year.
Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum 656 N. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-628-8200, casafeliz.us
Winter Park’s landmark farmhouse, designed by noted architect James Gamble Rogers II in 1932, hosts art, music and talks on historical preservation within its luxurious walls.
The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art
Flying Horse Editions
29 S. Orange Ave., 407-648-7060, cityartsfactory.com
500 W. Livingston St., 407-235-3619, flyinghorse.cah.ucf.edu
This downtown arts space is the center of Orlando’s Third Thursday art strolls. It hosts shows that change monthly, and it’s home to a number of independent galleries and arts spaces.
University of Central Florida’s fine art research facility and nonprofit publisher of limited-edition prints, artist books and multiple-edition art objects.
Cornell Fine Arts Museum
39 S. Magnolia Ave., avalongallery.org
1000 Holt Ave., Winter Park, 407-646-2526, rollins.edu/cfam
Tucked away on the campus of Rollins College, this museum recently received a major gift of contemporary art, the Alfond Collection, from a pair of alumni.
Crealdé School of Art 600 St. Andrews Blvd., Winter Park, 407-671-1886, crealde.org
The school, set in lakeside bungalows with a sculpture garden, is known for creative classes as well as ever-changing gallery shows.
The Falcon 819 E. Washington St., 407-423-3060, facebook.com/thefalconbar
Revolving shows from emerging local artists, specializing in lowbrow, street and graffiti art.
Faith Arts Village Orlando
445 N. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-645-5311, morsemuseum.org
This museum features an astounding collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany, including a wing dedicated to recreating the essence of Laurelton Hall, Tiffany’s Long Island estate.
221 E. Colonial Drive, 407-222-1231, faithartsvillage.com
This ministry of Park Lake Presbyterian Church, housed in an old motel, provides individual artists’ studios and hosts a monthly art market.
Gallery at Avalon Island The historic building recalls Orlando’s past; the sophisticated exhibits within feature local, national and international artists.
Hannibal Square Heritage Center 642 W. New England Ave., Winter Park, 407-539-2680, hannibalsquareheritagecenter.org
Established in 2007, the gallery presents exhibitions and displays archival photos and historical documents related to the African-American experience in the evolving west Winter Park neighborhood.
Henao Contemporary Center 5601 Edgewater Drive, 407-272-0317, henaocenter.com
Roomy new visual arts facility in a lesser-known part of town also hosts music, spoken word, dance and other art events.
The Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida 851 N. Maitland Ave., Maitland, 407-628-0555, holocaustedu.org
The tiny gallery within the Jewish Community Center hosts rotating exhibits that challenge the viewer. CONTINUED ON PAGE 24
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The Mennello Museum of American Art 900 E. Princeton St., 407-246-4278, mennellomuseum.org
Redefine Art Gallery 29 S. Orange Ave., 407-648-7060, redefinegallery.com
A tiny space within CityArts, Redefine is the area’s most reliable purveyor of cutting-edge graffiti and street art.
UCF Art Gallery
Snap Space and Snap Downtown
Parking at UCF can be tough, but the gallery’s faculty and student shows feature innovative modern works.
1013 E. Colonial Drive and 420 E. Church St., 407-286-2185, snaporlando.com
The space is small, but it packs a lot of punch. It’s a showcase for works by folk artist Earl Cunningham and an eclectic mix of traveling exhibitions. The outdoor sculpture garden is one of the best deals in Orlando: beautiful, and free.
Slick photography-centric galleries – one in Mills 50 in the historic Cameo Theatre and one east of downtown in the 420 East building – host the best art parties in town.
Orange County Regional History Center
Daytona State College, 1200 W. International Speedway Blvd., Building 1200, Daytona Beach, 386-506-4475, smponline.org
65 E. Central Blvd., 407-836-8500, thehistorycenter.org
This storehouse of archived wonders fills its exhibition spaces with traveling exhibitions as well as homegrown collections.
Orlando Museum of Art
University of Central Florida, Visual Arts Building, 12400 Aquarius Agora Drive, 407-823-5470, gallery.cah.ucf.edu
Wells’ Built Museum 511 W. South St., 407-245-7535, wellsbuilt.org
Housed in a historic hotel, Wells’ Built is a trove of African-American artifacts.
Southeast Museum of Photography
Yes, it’s way out there in Daytona, but photography lovers know it’s worth the drive to the coast to visit. Just about every angle of photography gets explored in the expansive institution with multiple galleries of national and international works.
2416 N. Mills Ave., 407-896-4231, omart.org
Nestled into Loch Haven Park, the newly reinvigorated OMA shows work by major artists as well as homegrown talent. Do not miss the annual Florida Prize in Contemporary Art show.
well as nationally touring and locally curated exhibitions.
The Terrace Gallery Orlando City Hall, 400 S. Orange Ave., 407-246-4279, cityoforlando.net/arts
This gallery showcases some of the city of Orlando’s public art collection, as
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THEATERS AND PERFORMING ARTS GROUPS The Abbey 100 S. Eola Drive, 407-704-6261, abbeyorlando.com
A small mixed-use room in an ornate setting hosts cabaret, comedy, community theater and concerts, as well as the Orlando Ballet Uncorked series.
Annie Russell Theatre Rollins College, 1000 Holt Ave., Winter Park, 407-646-2145, rollins.edu/annierussell
Red velvet curtains, plush cinema seats
and the ghost of the namesake actress accentuate the dramatic at this student theater known for its productions of challenging works.
Athens Theatre 124 N. Florida Ave., DeLand, 386-736-1500, athensdeland.com
DeLand’s restored historic theater hosts a resident community theater group, youth theater and concerts.
Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts 445 S. Magnolia Ave., 844-513-2014, drphillipscenter.org
Brand-new and beautiful, downtown’s airy glass-and-steel cultural facility offers various multi-use spaces and theaters hosting touring Broadway productions, comics, dance and local theater.
DRIP 8747 International Drive, 347-855-3747, ilovedrip.org
Bach Festival Society 1000 Holt Ave., Winter Park, 407-646-2182, bachfestivalflorida.org
BFS presents an annual season of classical music, performed by the 160 volunteer members as well as visiting artists.
Bob Carr Theater
Touring and local stand-up comedy.
Mad Cow Theatre 54 W. Church St., 407-297-8788, madcowtheatre.com
Footlight Theatre at the Parliament House
445 S. Magnolia Ave., 844-513-2014, orlandoballet.org
The legendary gay resort is home to this small theater, which thrills audiences with drag delights and original comedies, musicals and guest productions.
Breakthrough Theatre of Winter Park
Non-Equity community theater features dance, theater and musical events.
9101 International Drive, 407-480-5233, theimprovorlando.com
The established and well-regarded Mad Cow Theatre features regular stage productions, classes and workshops.
Now operated by the Dr. Phillips Center, this old standby still hosts comedy, concerts and variety shows.
419A W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, 407-920-4034, breakthroughtheatre.com
Dance/performance art troupe is known for flinging colored liquids and powders about the stage and on each other. Good clean (well …) fun.
410 N. Orange Blossom Trail, 407-425-7571, parliamenthouse.com
401 W. Livingston St., 844-513-2014, drphillipscenter.org
160 W. Plant St., Winter Garden, 407-877-4736, gardentheatre.org
The lovingly restored historic theater in quaint downtown Winter Garden hosts theater, film and family shows.
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Orlando Ballet Orlando’s professional ballet company has settled gracefully into its new home at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.
Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra 425 N. Bumby Ave., 407-770-0071, orlandophil.org
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action: pops, film scores, opera and distinguished guest artists.
Orlando Repertory Theatre 1001 E. Princeton St., 407-896-7365, orlandorep.com
Professional family theater productions have become the domain of Orlando Rep.
Orlando Shakespeare Theater Lowndes Shakespeare Center, 812 E. Rollins St., 407-447-1700, orlandoshakes.org
One of the top Shakespeare companies in the country, OST produces a regular season in addition to PlayFest, which showcases new works.
Sleuths Mystery Dinner Shows 8267 International Drive, 407-363-1985, sleuths.com
The best improvisers in town “yes, and” here.
Theatre on the Edge 5542 Hansel Ave., theaterontheedge.org
Repertory theater company makes edgy choices of material and dives deep into the human condition.
Theatre UCF 4000 Central Florida Blvd., 407-823-2862, theatre.ucf.edu
University of Central Florida’s theater undergrads and grad students tackle an ambitious year-round schedule.
has formed her own company, producing an ambitious slate of plays and events.
Center for Contemporary Dance thecenterfordance.org
Home to resident modern dance companies Moore Dance Project, U-Turn Dance Company, Explore Theatre & Dance Co. and Coby Project.
511 Virginia Drive, 407-412-6895, thevenueorlando.com
Central Florida Community Arts
Theater and performance space is the home of Blue Star and her VarieTease troupe, but also hosts plays, concerts, dance performances and cabarets.
The Winter Park Playhouse
This very inclusive musical arts organization believes every artist of every age should have a cultural platform to connect and perform.
711 N. Orange Ave., Winter Park, 407-645-0145, winterparkplayhouse.org
Greater Orlando Actors Theatre
Cabarets, musicals and holiday fare – this little community theater offers a busy theatrical calendar all year round.
A slate of mostly campy musicals still manages to delve into some depth, while remaining good fun.
THEATER GROUPS AND DANCE COMPANIES
Emotions Dance Company
Some vital performing arts groups around town that don’t have a fixed address.
Beth Marshall Presents bethmarshallpresents.wordpress.com
The longtime Fringe Festival producer
A contemporary dance company that seeks to engage social and environmental issues.
Jeremy Seghers facebook.com/whiterabbitorlando
The local producer-director uses immersive staging techniques to create
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some of the most acclaimed theatrical performances of the past few years.
Opera Orlando operaorlando.org
The newly renamed group stages chamber operas and recitals in collaboration with Orlando Philharmonic and other Florida opera groups.
A Victorian steampunk circus troupe offering “macabre and delicious Halloween treats and tricks.”
Playwrights’ Round Table theprt.com
The mission of the group is to find and nurture new playwrights and give a home to new stage works.
Voci Dance facebook.com/vocidance
The modern dance company presents theatrical experiences incorporating elaborate set and costume design.
Wanzie Presents wanzie.com
Local impresario Michael Wanzie presents camp classics and produces his own works around town.
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FILM SERIES Orlando offers plenty of recurring events for lovers of cinema SERIES: Uncomfortable Brunch uncomfortablebrunch.com
than 170 films over its 10day stretch, showcasing some of the best independent features, shorts and documentaries, both new and classic.
The long-running film series at Will’s Pub is in a state of flux right now, as founder Joshua Martin is leaving for colder climes. New head honcho Katy Whitacre promises to continue the legacy of combining delicious Sunday breakfast buffets with gut-punching cinema like Requiem for a Dream or Straw Dogs. Stay tuned to the website for the new location and schedule.
Enzian Theater, 1300 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland, 407-629-1088, enzian.org
More Q Than A
Global Peace Film Festival Sept. 18-24, 2017
The Gallery at Avalon Island, 39 S. Magnolia Ave., facebook. com/thegalleryatavalonisland
Utilizing the upstairs theater at the Gallery at Avalon Island, this film series on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month focuses on a mix of classic films that may not be as well-known as they deserve to be, like I Love You Alice B. Toklas (presented with free brownies for the audience) or Errol Morris’ The Thin Blue Line. Popcorn Flicks in the Park Central Park, Park Avenue and Morse Boulevard, Winter Park, 407-629-0054, enzian.org
Those who miss picnicking on the Enzian’s lawn for their Wednesday Night Pitcher Shows should check out their free monthly offerings in downtown Winter Park every second Thursday.
FESTIVALS: Florida Film Festival April 21-30, 2017 Enzian Theater, 1300 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland; Regal Cinemas Winter Park Village, 510 N. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, 407-629-1088; floridafilmfestival.com
The 26th annual Florida Film Festival screens more
South Asian Film Festival October 2017
This weekend-long annual film festival goes beyond Bollywood to highlight the diversity of the Indian subcontinent and its diaspora.
locations to be announced; peacefilmfest.org
The film fest with a heart of gold, this annual series is dedicated to films that address issues relating to conflicts around the world and the people trying to solve them. Jewish Film Festival November 2017 Enzian Theater, 1300 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland, 407-629-1088, enzian.org
A cinematic exploration of Jewish life, culture and history, the Jewish Film Festival shows films from a variety of countries each year. Brouhaha Film & Video Showcase November 2017 Enzian Theater, 1300 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland, 407-629-1088, enzian.org
This film festival highlights the efforts of student filmmakers from across Florida. Love Your Shorts Film Festival February 2018 Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center, 201 Magnolia Ave., Sanford, loveyourshorts.com
Short films from across the world get a lot of love at this annual Sanford film festival.
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COMEDY CLUBS, NIGHTS AND FESTIVALS
rlando’s comedy scene has experienced tremendous growth within the last four years. Clubs like the Improv and SAK continue to shine, but the city’s independent comedians have created their own shows in bars, coffee houses and music venues to offer something off the beaten path. The introduction of the annual Orlando Indie Comedy Festival in 2014 gave Orlando comedy welldeserved national recognition, and the city continues to foster new talent and attract big names looking for fresh performance spaces.
Orlando Indie Comedy Fest orlandoindiecomedy.com
Every January, this fourday celebration showcases the best up-and-coming comics from across the country. Specialty shows like mixed-format comedy challenge Late Late Breakfast, shame-themed storytelling show We Still Like You and Atlanta favorite Underwear Comedy Party make the trip down every year. Past headliners have included Kyle Kinane, Eddie Pepitone, Sean Patton, Jackie Kashian and “Liberal Redneck” Trae Crowder. A portion of the fest’s proceeds goes to charity – past recipients have included the ACLU and NAMI of Greater Orlando.
stream comedy clubs. Host Heather Shaw calls ’em like she sees ’em, keeping comics on their feet with zingers between sets.
Orlando Improv Pointe Orlando, 9101 International Drive, 407-4805233, theimprovorlando.com
This I-Drive location attracts polished local talent, traveling club comics and big names like Bobcat Goldthwait, Damon Wayans and Margaret Cho.
SAK Comedy Lab 29 S. Orange Ave., 407-6480001, sakcomedylab.com
Located in the heart of downtown Orlando, SAK is a comedy school and club rolled into one that’s churned out the likes of Paula Pell and Wayne Brady. Local SNL hopefuls say “yes, Austin’s Open Mic and” to improv classes, and 9 p.m. Sundays visitors enjoy long-running Austin’s Coffee, 929 W. shows like Gorilla Theatre Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park Orlando’s first open mic (professional improvisers in is still going strong every a family-friendly show) and Sunday evening. Comics Punslingers (a battle for the perform to a packed house, best groan-inducing puns). with overflow audience members often cramming Shit Sandwich into seats onstage. This 9 p.m. first and third scene staple is great way Saturdays to see up-and-comers hone Bull & Bush Pub, 2408 E. their craft or chat with other Robinson St. jokers if you’re giving stand- The City Beautiful’s first indie showcase remains one up a try yourself. of its best. Hosted by Tom and Dan news corresponDrunken Monkey Open dent Ross McCoy and lovMic able beardo Doug McPher8:30 p.m. Fridays son, Shit Sandwich packs Drunken Monkey Coffee Bar, out the Bull & Bush well be444 N. Bumby Ave. A vital stop for newbies and fore the show starts. Lineveterans alike, this Friday- ups include promising new night mic boasts local talent comics cutting their teeth worthy of a booked show- and scene staples returning case. The coffee-shop at- for more laughs. Each show mosphere is a great litmus also features a toast to the test to see if a joke works in late Matt Gersting, who front of a sober audience, as started Shit Sandwich and opposed to the two-drink was integral in kick-starting minimum crowds of main- Orlando’s indie scene. orlando weekly / city guide / listings / 31
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ANNUAL ORLANDO EVENTS APRIL
Orange Ave., orlandoweeklytickets.com Celebrating American Craft Beer Week, this April 1-2, 2017, Lake Eola daylong beer festival on Park, North Eola Drive and the shore of Lake Ivanhoe East Washington Street, spotlights more than 100 fiestainthepark.com varieties of American craft Wander around Lake Eola brews, along with live muand check out food, live sic, games and giveaways. music, and arts and crafts MegaCon from tons of vendors. May 25-28, 2017, Orange Florida Film Festival County Convention Center, April 21-30, 2017, Enzian 9800 International Drive, Theater, 1300 S. Orlando megaconorlando.com Ave., Maitland, The area’s largest con floridafilmfestival.com brings in big names from Whether you’re a fan the worlds of television, of dramas, comedies, film, comics and more for documentaries or shorts, a huge celebration of pop the Florida Film Festival culture. has it all.
Spring Fiesta in the Park
Beacham, 46 N. Orange Ave., orlandoweekly.com Annual party in honor of Orlando Weekly’s Best of Orlando winners. If you snag a ticket to this exclusive party, congratulations: We like you.
SEPTEMBER Halloween Horror Nights
Chow down on some cruelty-free cooking at this event for vegetarians, vegans and open-minded omnivores.
Spooky Empire Oct. 27-29, 2017, Wyndham Orlando Resort, 8001 International Drive, spookyempire.com This convention for horror fans descends on I-Drive every year, bringing actors, musicians, makeup specialists, tattoo artists and more for a ghoulishly fun weekend.
Sept. 15-Nov. 4, 2017, Universal Studios, 6000 Universal Blvd., halloweenhorrornights. com More than a month of special haunted houses and NOVEMBER scare zones. Bring your Orlando Beer Festival heart medication. Nov. 11, 2017, Festival Park, 2911 E. Robinson St., Artlando JUNE Sept. 30, 2017, Loch Haven orlandobeerfestival.com Whiskey Business Bite30 Park, 777 E. Princeton St., A large-scale legitimate April 14, 2017, Cheyenne June 1-30, 2017, multiple craft beer festival that atartlando.com Saloon, 128 W. Church St., locations, bite30.com tracts brewers and guests A day in the park that whiskeybusinessorlando. A monthlong celebration features all kinds of art, from all over Florida. com of the best food in Central from choirs to puppets At this upscale and sophisFlorida Blue Florida Florida, with special prix to painting to dance and ticated event, guests can fixe menus at each partici- everything in between. Classic sample their way across pating restaurant. Nov. 18, 2017, Camping continents to discover the World Stadium, OCTOBER best scotch, bourbon and Bite Night whiskey. Come Out With Pride 1 Citrus Bowl Place, June 26, 2017, Orchid floridaclassic.org 126 W. Church St., Oct. 14, 2017, Lake Eola Annual football game beFlorida Music Festival Garden, Park, 512 E. Washington bitenightorlando.com tween Bethune-Cookman April 20-22, 2017, Bite Night transforms the St., comeoutwithpride.com University and Florida downtown Orlando, Our favorite downtown historic Orchid Garden A&M. multiple venues, parade party celebrates Ballroom into a foodie floridamusicfestival.com the LGBTQ community. wonderland featuring DECEMBER A downtown music festisamples from Orlando’s Big Gay Brunch val geared toward artists Christmas in the Park best-loved chefs and Oct. 14, 2017, The Abbey, looking to break into the December 2017 (date restaurants. 100 S. Eola Drive, industry. TBA), Central Park, Winter biggaybrunchorlando.com Park; morsemuseum.org Gay Days Florida Salsa Festival June 1-4, 2017, multiple Before the big gay parade, The Morse Museum decoApril 30, 2017, downtown come eat and drink with rates Central Park with locations, gaydays.com Orlando, Pine Street Orlando Weekly and check stained glass windows and Organized trips to Walt and Eola Drive, Disney World and Univer- out surprise performances the Bach Festival Choir floridasalsafest.com performs a Christmas sal Orlando resorts during at our big gay brunch. This block party celebraconcert. the day, themed parties Orlando Zombie Ball tion features unlimited every night. October 2017 (date TBA), Grandma Party salsa tasting, salsa music, Venue 578, and a salsa competition Bazaar JULY 578 N. Orange Ave., for pros and amateurs. December 2017 (date Fireworks at the orlandozombieball.com TBA), Stardust Video & Fountain MAY We go all-out for our Coffee, 1842 E. Winter July 4, 2017, Lake Eola annual Halloween party, Orlando Fringe Park Road, facebook.com/ Park, North Eola Drive featuring a high-stakes May 16-29, 2017; Loch Hagrandmaparty and East Robinson Street, costume contest, fantastic ven Park, 777 E. Princeton Handmade crafts from locityoforlando.net holiday photo ops and St.; orlandofringe.org cal artisans and live music Nothing says patriotism plenty of special thrills and from local bands make Thespians from all over the like the choreographed chills. world descend on Loch this our favorite stop for firework and light show at Haven Park for two weeks holiday shopping. Central Florida Veg Lake Eola each year. of performances.
May 20, 2017, Gaston Edwards Park, 1236 N.
Aug. 23, 2017, The
Best of Orlando
Oct. 28, 2017, Festival Park, 2911 E. Robinson St., cfvegfest.org
downtown Eatonville, zorafestival.org Eatonville’s most famous writer gets a festival in her honor every year featuring live music, arts and educational activities.
Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl Jan. 1, 2018, Camping World Stadium, 1 Citrus Bowl Place, buffalowildwingscitrus bowl.com The Citrus Bowl plays host to one of the BCS games every New Year’s Day.
FEBRUARY Lunar New Year Dragon Parade February 2018 (date TBA), Fashion Square Mall, 3201 E. Colonial Drive, central floridadragonparade.org Formerly taking place in Mills 50, this Lunar New Year celebration got so big that it had to move to the Fashion Square Mall in 2015.
Orlando Chili Cook-Off February 2018 (date TBA), Festival Park, 2911 E. Robinson St., orlandochilicookoff.com This event brings the heat with more than 100 different types of chili to sample, the World Chili Eating Championship competition, live music and more.
MARCH Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival March 2018 (dates TBA), Central Park, Winter Park, wpsaf.org Browse through booths from tons of artists and vendors at one of the country’s oldest, largest and most prestigious juried art festivals.
March 2018, multiple locations, art31.org The Art & History Museums – Maitland sponsors this monthlong JANUARY celebration featuring internationally acclaimed Zora! Festival January 2018 (dates TBA), artists every year.
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serves as a centerpiece for the Central Business District, where there’s much more than meets the eye. Beyond businesses and bars – oh, all the bars; so many bars – you’ll find arts, architecture, history, outdoor space, major-league sports and more. Instead of hunting Pokemon with your face in your phone, look up. You’ll be surprised.
The Rusty Spoon
Frosty’s Christmastime Lounge
55 W. Church St., 407-401-8811, therustyspoon.com
50 E. Central Blvd., 407-969-0911, frostys-orlando.com
Chef Kathleen Blake’s gastropub still serves the best heirloom tomato salad to be had in the CBD, despite the growing competition.
Tin & Taco
Every day of the year is Christmas here. Try not to get snowflakes (yes, really) in your alcoholic sno-ball (yes, really) as you bask in the carols, movies and Santa memorabilia.
40 W. Washington St., 407-425-4340, tinandtaco.com
390 N. Orange Ave., 407-930-1700, dovecoteorlando.com
Between the collective talents of executive chef Clay Miller, managing partners James and Julie Petrakis (of Ravenous Pig fame), and Gene Zimmerman (of the Courtesy Bar), DoveCote was a shoo-in for success. The traditional French brasserie is a welcome addition to downtown’s fine dining scene, and does a damn good power lunch, too.
North Quarter Tavern 861 N. Orange Ave., 407-757-0930, northquartertavern.com
Chef-driven pub grub made to enjoy with a beer or three. Don’t miss the charcuterie, made in-house.
Super Rico Colombian Bistro 57 W. Central Blvd., 407-426-7007, superricocolombia.com
Delightful Colombian takes on fast food, like a spicy perro (hot dog), patacones (sort of a plantain-crust pizza), and a burger sandwiched between two arepas.
New downtown spot is serious about their craft beer and “craft soda” (i.e., no Coke, no Pepsi), less serious about taco toppings: plenty of ranch dressing, bacon crumbles and Dorito crumbs to satisfy the drunk munchies.
20 E. Central Blvd., 407-222-9732, tiernightclub.com
Bottle service, laser lights, DJs, hot bodies … get your club on.
Lizzy McCormack’s 55 N. Orange Ave., 407-426-8007, lizzymccormacks.com
This Irish pub is a small island of relaxed drinking in the nightlife madness of downtown.
69 E. Pine St., second floor, 407-613-5007, joysticksorlando.com
Recently opened homage to everything ’80s, Joysticks is lit by psychedelic black lights and the cocktails are inspired by favorite arcade characters. Sit down in front of Ms. PacMan and enjoy her namesake drink, while taking in the synthesized zaps and whizzbangs of fellow gamers.
Don’t let the gigantic beer-can wall confuse you; there’s liquor to be had as well. If you miss Bar-BQ-Bar, this is your new regular.
63 N. Orange Ave., facebook.com/ slyfoxorlando
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Credo at Church Street Exchange 101 S. Garland Ave., 407-519-0643, downtowncredo.com
The Exchange has shed its former life as a mini-mall and now houses some of Orlando’s hottest co-working and tech spaces. In the center of the rococo building is an outpost of Credo, a coffee counter clad in emerald and gold, serving coffee “cocktails” on a pay-what-you-want model.
SHOP CityArts Factory 29 S. Orange Ave., 407-648-7060, cityartsfactory.com
You know what’s great about galleries, as opposed to museums? If you like it, you can buy it right off the wall. CityArts hosts several galleries under one roof, all full of goodies.
GO Walt Disney Amphitheater at Lake Eola 512 E. Washington St., 407-246-4484, cityoforlando.net
Originally painted in rainbow colors in honor of the first Come Out With Pride after Pulse, it looks like the Walt Diseny Amphitheatre is going to stay proud permanently. It’s the site of free performances, ethnic festivals and the prime spot to watch fireworks on the Fourth of July.
Orlando Public Library 101 E. Central Blvd., 407-835-7323, ocls.info
So much to offer: music, art shows, readings, free technology in the Melrose Center, and books, glorious books, all housed in a fabulous Brutalist concrete building. Don’t miss the Friends of the Library bookshop.
SAK Comedy Lab 29 S. Orange Ave., 407-648-0001, sakcomedylab.com
A little laughter is said to take years off your life, and after a show at SAK, you might well walk out dead. Improv reigns supreme here, and students showcase their talent monthly.
Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts 445 S. Magnolia Ave., 407-839-0119, drphillipscenter.org
The fancy-schmancy Dr. Phillips Center is about to get bigger and schmancier: Phase Two construction just got off the ground in early March, and Broadway smash Hamilton is set to showcase the 2018-2019 season.
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Mills 50 may get its name from the intersection of Mills Avenue and Colonial Drive (aka State Road 50), but it’s earned its reputation by appealing to a broad cross-section of musicians, artists, foodies and drinkers of disparate tastes and backgrounds. Whether it’s all the young punks who pack out tiny Uncle Lou’s, or the epicurean yuppies quaffing craft cocktails at the Guesthouse, the thirdshifters hitting Wally’s just as it opens, or just folks who know where to get a good pho, Mills 50 is the go-to neighborhood for a whole swath of different purposes. Even though the northern end has attracted some big-money developers looking to cash in on the cultural cachet of the neighborhood, its distinction as the “intersection of creativity and culture” persists, and it’s often one of the first places Orlandoans will bring out-of-towners who want to learn something about the “real Orlando.”
way, Black Rooster offers a variety of delicious fresh-Mex-style tacos made with high-quality ingredients.
Mamak Asian Street Food 1231 E. Colonial Drive, 407-270-4688, mamakasianorlando.com
Serving tapas-style Asian plates, Mamak is best enjoyed in a group. The roti and fish with black bean sauce are not to be missed, but order extra or risk starting a fight at the table.
EAT Anh Hong 1124 E. Colonial Drive, 407-999-2656, anhhongorlando.com
The banh mí at this popular corner Vietnamese spot are almost as much of an institution as its distinct neon signage.
Chuan Lu Garden 1101 E. Colonial Drive; 407-896-8966; chuanluorlando.com
Frequently topping locals’ lists of favorite Chinese restaurants, Chuan Lu specializes in mouth-numbing Sichuan entrees.
King Bao 710 N. Mills Ave., 407-237-0013, facebook.com/kingbaoorlando
This no-frills fast-casual spot offers up a wide variety of bao – steamed bun sandwiches – for a price that won’t break the bank.
Black Rooster Taqueria 1323 N. Mills Ave., 407-601-0994, blackroostertaqueria.com
A labor of love from chef John Callo-
The Strand 807 N. Mills Ave., 407-920-7744, strandorlando.com
The bright retro atmosphere of the Strand is a perfect accompaniment to the updated takes on American classics that populate the menu.
DRINK St. Matthew’s Tavern 1300 N. Mills Ave., orlandobeergarden.com
With cheap drinks, a diverse crowd and a variety of events, St. Matthew’s Tavern has become one of the best neighborhood hangouts in Mills 50.
BART 1205 N. Mills Ave., 407-796-2522, bartcade.com
Festooned with a rotating selection of classic arcade and pinball machines, BART pairs modern craft beer with retro good times.
The Guesthouse 1321 N. Mills Ave., 407-630-6574
Great lighting, crisp decor and a dedication to the art of craft cocktails makes the Guesthouse one of Mills 50’s best date-night spots.
Will’s Pub/Lil Indies 1042/1036 N. Mills Ave., willspub.org
Mills 50 pioneer Will Walker’s one-two punch in the middle of Mills Avenue combines one of the busiest live music schedules in town with craft beer and cocktails, dance nights, community markets and more, making it basically Orlando’s living room.
Uncle Lou’s Entertainment Hall 1016 N. Mills Ave., 407-898-0009
Not so much an “entertainment hall” as an “entertainment hallway,” Uncle Lou’s is still the best spot in town to catch the bleeding edge of underground music with a tallboy in hand.
Wally’s Mills Avenue Liquor 1001 N. Mills Ave., 407-896-6975, wallysonmills.com
An Orlando landmark since 1954, Wally’s is possibly the best dive bar on the planet. With notoriously heavy pours and an attached package store, each and every visit has the potential to turn into an adventure.
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The District at Mills 50 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 39
SHOP The District at Mills 50 1221 N. Mills Ave., 407-601-3363, facebook.com/districtatmills
This new indoor market offers goods from a variety of local vendors. Everything from vintage clothing, books, coffee, soap, stationery and more line the shelves and walls. Keep an eye out for special events like local author readings as well.
Retromended Vintage 930 N. Mills Ave., 407-674-8190, retromended.com
Stylist and seamstress Brandy Tezakâ€™s Mills 50 space is inviting and warm, full of vintage clothing curated by color, killer accessories, art and workshops.
Dong-A Supermarket 816 N. Mills Ave., 407-898-9227, dongacorporation.com
This sprawling supermarket offers an extensive selection of Asian food and ingredients, from noodles to sauces to rice varietals to fresh seafood and produce.
Avalon 1211 Hillcrest St., 407-895-7439, avalonbeyond.com
Whether youâ€™re looking for incense, essential oils, candles, crystals, herbs or books on spells and charms, Avalon has your New Age-y witchcraft needs covered.
GO The Center 946 N. Mills Ave., 407-228-8272, thecenterorlando.org
Offering free counseling, educational and legal services, and HIV testing to the LGBT community, the Center is one of the oldest organizations of its kind in the country.
Downtown Orlando YMCA 433 N. Mills Ave., 407-896-9220, ymcacentralflorida.com
The flagship outpost of the YMCA in Orlando, the Mills location offers comprehensive fitness equipment and classes, sports leagues, swimming, youth programs and more.
Orlando Urban Trail Near the intersection of Virginia Drive and Brookhaven Drive, cityoforlando.net
The new-ish Orlando Urban Trail cuts through the residential area of Mills 50 to connect bicyclists to downtown, Loch Haven Park and Winter Park.
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A GROOVY LITTLE YOGA & FITNESS STUDIO
Official Provider for Orlando Pride
420 E Church St. Orlando, FL. 32801 YogaMixOrlando.com â€¢ 855-YogaMix
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This neighborhood is where you take visitors who think Orlando lacks allure. Thornton Park’s historic markers, sidewalk terraces and walkable boutiques are the ultimate in adorable. Claim your spot in the sun and spend the day strolling Thornton’s brick-lined byways – we dare you not to be charmed. Just promise not to climb into the fountain.
EAT Baoery Asian Gastropub 617 E. Central Blvd., 407-849-9779, baoery.com
Chef Greg Richie’s sister restos abut each other – Soco is next door – making for a perfect East-meets-West motif. At Baoery, order seconds and thirds of the mac & kim-cheese and the braised pork spareribs. Sake bombs not optional.
Soco 629 E. Central Blvd., 407-849-1800, socothorntonpark.com
Short for “Southern contemporary,” this upscale temple to comfort food is swanky enough for date night but chill enough for happy hour. Vegetarians will swoon over the cauliflower steak entree, and the boiled peanut hummus is a slick twist on the ubiquitous dip.
The Stubborn Mule 100 S. Eola Drive, 407-730-3400, thestubbornmuleorlando.com
New kid on the block serves at least seven variations on the Moscow Mule, its namesake cocktail, but also shines at brunchtime: great service, great patio, great big plates of food.
Graffiti Junktion American Burger Bar 700 E. Washington St., 321-424-5800, graffitijunktion.com
The burger palace just moved in where Wildside used to be, almost doubling their square footage. Happy hour is twice daily, so there’s a good bet you’ll be treated to drink specials no matter when you walk in. Plus, it’s one of the few spots open until 2 a.m.
DRINK Aku Aku Tiki Bar 431 E. Central Blvd., 407-839-0080, akuakutiki.com
Step back in time and don your coconut bra as soon as you walk through the door of Orlando’s only true tiki bar. The bar’s 1960s Gidget-goes-Hawaiian vibe is infectious, and the drinks (some in big goblets, some even on fire) are powerful.
The Falcon Bar & Gallery 819 E. Washington St., 407-423-2788, thefalconbar.com
Take a swan selfie with the mural by Miami artist Evoca1, then head inside for local art and brews. Singles sticking around should take a few minutes to peruse the old-school personal ads on the wall adjacent to the bar. If you’re having a great time here, chances are your match loves the Falcon too.
Benjamin French Bakery Café
716 E. Washington St., 407-797-2253, benjaminfrenchbakery.com
426 E. Central Blvd., 407-730-3836, shoplaurennicole.com
Tasty croissant and baguette sandwiches join the expected, and excellent, parade of French pastries.
This boutique bills itself as “The Shop For Every Girl!”, but we’d say it’s for a certain type of girl – one downing mi-
mosas at brunch in a maxi-dress and a statement necklace, or walking her French bulldog in a romper and giant shades. The kind of girl you see in Thornton Park, in fact.
GO The Abbey 100 S. Eola Drive, 407-704-6261, abbeyorlando.com
A favorite venue for artists from all over, the Abbey’s intimate setting hosts the flowering of a good portion of Orlando’s art scene. Live music, theater, storytelling, dance, spoken word, readings and more take place here, as well as major citywide events like the Big Gay Brunch during Come Out With Pride.
Constitution Green Dog Park 300 S. Summerlin Ave., 407-246-2283, downtownorlando.com/downtown-dogpark
Last October, our city’s pooches got a new place to play: the home of some of Orlando’s oldest residents. The historic oak trees at Constitution Green look over the dog park, where off-leash is allowed, and responsible owners supervise their fur babies.
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embody a strong sense of community and are as fiercely passionate about local businesses as they are about the housing developments newly intruding on their quaint bungalow-lined streets. But even change in the form of a much-contended new apartment complex (with a frankly hideous parking garage) can’t deter from this downtown district’s charming small-time feel. College Park’s walkability and bikeability are its primary assets, rendering the automobile virtually unnecessary when paying a visit to one of the many established shops, juice bars, coffee houses and restaurants along the neighborhood’s primary artery – Edgewater Drive.
2527 Edgewater Drive, 407-412-5409, doghouseorlando.com
2625 Edgewater Drive, 407-540-1100, rusteakwinebar.com
Dogs, tots and beers keep it simple but hearty in this nook of fun food; duck through the doorway to grab a milkshake next door at their sister spot, the Soda Fountain.
It’s no snub on the stellar food menu to point out that this is the best spot for craft cocktails in the ’hood.
EAT K Restaurant 1710 Edgewater Drive, 407-872-2332, krestaurant.net
Kevin Fonzo’s farm-to-table resto still sets the standard in College Park.
The Pie Orlando 2429 Edgewater Drive, 407-757-2426, thepieorlando.com
SHOP Shoppes of College Park
New Moon Market
2308 Edgewater Drive, 407-930-2570, facebook.com/theshoppesofcollegepark
2314 Edgewater Drive, 407-440-8147, newmoonmarket.com
Clothes, jewelry, gifts and baked goods all under one roof.
Eco-friendly juice bar squeezes out a variety of handmade juice blends.
Mr. Man Outfitters for Life
2302 Edgewater Drive, 407-692-3779, facebook.com/mrmanoutfittersforlife
175 E. Par St., 407-421-0681, instagram. com/gratitudecoffee
Gadgets, clothing, and man-centric accessories in a full-service barbershop.
Families flock here for Roman-style pizzas fired in a wood-burning oven.
The mobile coffee truck parked in the lot of Daisy’s Flower on Par Street has legit bean cred.
Outpost Neighborhood Kitchen
The Local Bar & Grill
2603 Edgewater Drive, 407-930-6282, outpostcollegepark.com
3231 Edgewater Drive, 407-900-9005, facebook.com/localbarorlando
A revolving door of chefs notwithstanding, the classic American fare and stiff drinks have remained consistent.
Pleasantly divey casual hang with a few upgrades: good jukebox, great karaoke night, no smoking allowed inside.
Apenberry’s 3443 Edgewater Drive, 407-841-3088, apenberrys.com
Green thumbs head to this neighborhood garden center for all their nursery needs.
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Foundation College Park 2529 Edgewater Drive, 407-502-8627, instagram.com/ foundationcollegepark
A killer selection of LPs and vintage clothing – and they plan to start pressing records for local acts. COLLEGE PARK
Naked Bar Soap Co. 1520 Edgewater Drive, 407-796-2225, nakedbarsoapco.com
Sustainable artisan soaps and body products made in-house pack powerful remedies in pretty, fragrant packages.
GO Dubsdread Golf Course 549 W. Par St., 407-246-2551, historicaldubsdread.com
The oldest public golf course in the Orlando area is also home to a surprisingly good traditional taproom.
Jack Kerouac House 1418 Clouser Ave., kerouacproject.org
Once home to the Beat Generation’s most famous novelist/ poet, the house now serves as a center for a writers-in-residence program. But don’t just knock on the door; check the website for upcoming events or to schedule a tour.
College Park Organic Farmer’s Market
Foundation College Park
710 W. Princeton St., 407-276-0091, groundingroots.com
Put on by the folks who run the Grounding Roots juice bar, this Sunday market offers everything from fresh produce and dairy to organic donuts and bone broth.
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Look around and you’ll realize that the Milk District has changed more rapidly in the past two years than the preceding 10, and it’s not entirely clear what the future holds for this area. In the meantime, though, there is still so much to take in and discover in this deceptively unassuming area abutting the T.G. Lee dairy plant. During the day, there’s good food to be had and shopping to be done, but the pace really picks up at night.
GO The Plaza Live 425 N. Bumby Ave., 407-228-1220, plazaliveorlando.com
Once upon a time it was a movie theater; it’s been reborn several times (and almost became a jazz club once!) but now it’s one of the comfiest music venues in town, host to a truly eclectic mix of live music and comedy – old masters like Richard Thompson and Todd Rundgren; adventurers like Deerhoof and Portugal the Man; motormouths like Henry Rollins and Hannibal Buress; and the smaller, more exploratory programs of the venue’s owner, the Orlando Philharmonic.
EAT Beefy King 424 N. Bumby Ave., 407-894-2241, beefyking.com
Neighborhood mainstay (40 years and counting) plies the hungry customer with a myriad of meats (emphasis on roast beef), sides and milkshakes.
2406 E. Robinson St., 407-896-5626, gringoslocos.com
2414 E. Robinson St., 407-894-6258, sportstownbilliards.com
Late-night spot of choice for those spilling out of the District’s myriad bars; offers up a hearty menu of tacos, burritos, nachos and quesadillas.
Slightly different vibes from other local haunts but hey, different strokes … video games, skee ball, pool tables all augment the beer, wine and liquor ready and waiting for the imbibing.
Pom Pom’s Teahouse and Sandwicheria 67 N. Bumby Ave., 407-894-0865, pompomsteahouse.com
Utterly charming, intimate eatery that stays open far into the night and morning on weekends, for those wanting an adventurous selection of sandwiches and teas both hot and cold.
207 Primrose Drive, 407-757-7191, badasssandwiches.com
2424 E. Robinson St., 407-895-6363, etoileboutique.com
Small but packed vintage shop that offers up retro-style options for all, as well as a unique array of local goods.
Market on South
Barley & Vine Biergarten
2603 E. South St., 407-613-5968, marketonsouth.com
Local food truck takes the plunge with a new brick-and-mortar outlet. Take a seat and try the Minion or the Medusa.
Craft beer offerings par excellence from this bar, which also boasts a comfy, sprawling patio and we swear we heard Jesus and Mary Chain on the stereo once.
Drunken Monkey Coffee Bar
Whiskey Lou’s Lounge
444 N. Bumby Ave., 407-893-4994, drunkenmonkeycoffee.com
121 N. Bumby Ave., 407-896-2593
Delicious and strong array of coffee, along with an excellent, vegetarianfriendly food menu make this comfy spot stand out.
DRINK 2406 E. Washington St., 407-930-0960, barleyandvineorlando.com
Bad As’s Sandwich
Seedy, smoky dive bar lit by lurid neon on the outside, with fantastic wood paneling on the walls inside. Drinks are cheap and strong. These are all compliments.
Dixie Dharma, Humble Bumble and Valhalla Bakery all under one roof for your gastronomic delight – but it’s also well-stocked with a variety of locally produced artisan goods and items.
Retro Records 59 N. Bumby Ave., 407-898-2484, retrorecordsorlando.com
This is prime crate-digging territory for audio obsessives, offering up mountains of new and used vinyl, cassettes, CDs, videos and pop culture ephemera.
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No other part of Orlando changed so much last year as SoDo. South of the 408 and along Orange Avenue and Michigan Street, this nascent area was struck hard after the mass shooting at the gay nightclub Pulse, in which 49 people were killed. Pulse was blocks away from the Orlando Regional Medical Center, the historic anchor of the city’s Downtown South district, and many victims of the massacre were treated here. Visitors from all around the world have flocked to SoDo’s quiet streets to pay homage to the victims at the site, leaving flowers, teddy bears and sometimes, even a mural. Despite the grief, SoDo took this newfound attention in stride, reinforcing ties within the community and cementing its vibrancy. Come for the quaintness, stay to be inspired.
Pulse Nightclub Memorial
Chai Thai Cuisine 2447 S. Orange Ave., 407-841-8981, chaithaicuisine.letseat.at
The small, charming eatery manages to light up both the strip mall and our stomachs. Get adventurous and try the mango sticky rice with coconut cream.
Kimchi’s Korean Grill 419 E. Michigan St., 407-801-5775, kimchiskoreangrillorlando.com
It’s a small spot, but it dishes out tasty Korean food in a hurry.
Numero Uno Cuban Restaurant
Brick & Fire
2499 S. Orange Ave., 866-495-7187, numero-uno-restaurant.com
1621 S. Orange Ave., 407-426-8922, brickandfire.com
Come here to find authentic Cuban food that won’t hurt your wallet. Try the medianoche with a cold Materva.
Definitely not a chain, Brick & Fire serves up pizza and pasta realness to a legion of devoted customers.
Taqueria Ameca 3558 S. Orange Ave., 407-852-0502
This small Mexican restaurant packs a punch with big flavor and little prices.
SHOP Super Target 120 W. Grant St., 407-608-1580, target.com
If you’re a Target freak (and you know who you are), this Target in the SoDo shopping plaza is heaven. It’s open until 11 p.m., has a huge parking garage and the biggest selection of Target merchandise of any other Target in Orlando. There’s also a pretty cool graffiti wall around the back of the shopping plaza that you might want to check out.
Foreign Accents 2301 S. Orange Ave., 407-648-2464, foreignaccentsinc.com
Handmade and imported (much from Mexico and Central America) wooden furniture, as well as home accents in ceramics, glass and wrought iron.
GO Pulse 1912 S. Orange Ave., pulseorlandoclub.com
Sister Honey’s 247 E. Michigan St., 407-730-7315, sisterhoneys.com
Don’t be surprised if you only make “yum” sounds while you’re in here. Try the country apple pie, the orange-Key lime pie or the rum pound cake. They’re all winners.
Pay your respects at this artful, everchanging memorial to the 49 victims who died on June 12. While you’re here, visit the LOVE hands mural dedicated to Pulse by Baltimore artist Michael Owen across the street at the Einstein Bros. Bagels.
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WINTER PARK & MAITLAND
town in Central Florida, Winter Park melds seamlessly with Orlando on one side, Maitland on the other, forming an amalgam of hipster hamlets and affluent areas. Winter Park’s getting her groove back, beyond all the bucks on display along Park Avenue and in Hannibal Square – and Maitland is getting in on the fun, as the 17-92 spine gets more built up every year. Joining the longtime anchor of Winter Park Village, there’s now the Lakeside Crossings restaurant complex across from the Trader Joe’s/Shake Shack shopping center; north of Lee Road the new Whole Foods Market and Nordstrom Rack have moved in across from the Ravaudage. But busy as it all is, there are still pockets of green quietude to be found.
SHOP The New General 155 New England Ave., Winter Park, 321-972-2819, newgeneral.us
Tell that friend of yours who’s always ordering from Brooklyn boutiques to quit trolling Instagram: She can find all the natural-leather clogs, small-batch skincare, handmade ceramics and boho linen clothing she needs here, plus a coffee and toast bar.
Nordstrom Rack 1090 N. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, 407-772-6010, shop.nordstrom.com
You know what Winter Park needed? Another place to buy expensive clothes. In all fairness, Rack, which
The New General
opened on March 9 to lines out the door, is the brand’s budget-friendly arm, the perfect spot to score discounted designer duds for all those summer weddings.
Skycraft Parts & Surplus 2245 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, 407-628-5634, skycraftsurplus.com
Weekend warriors, this is your place for nuts, bolts and all the sheet metal you can shake a PVC pipe at. Since 1974, this spot right off the I-4 Fairbanks exit has peddled yards of electrical wire, hardware and more. You know who also loves this place? Artists looking for a new medium.
Avalon Exchange 745 N. Orange Ave., Winter Park, 407-636-9304, avalonexchange.com
with sleek teak and geometric midcentury decor, this place is part furniture store, part art gallery. Atomic Junkies takes special care to find and restore rare pieces from the bygone designers of a simpler time.
Whole Foods Market 1030 N. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, 407-377-6040, wholefoodsmarket.com
The new “Winter Park North” Whole Foods more than makes up for the parking woes Trader Joe’s shoppers have dealt with for years now. Inside, there’s a micro food hall, including custom wood-fired pizza, sushi counter, mochi freezer and juice bar. Plus, four rows of hot and cold bars for take-away. CONTINUED ON PAGE 59
One of a chainlet of large resale stores somewhat akin to Crossroads or Beacon’s Closet. The selection is vast – this is the kind of place where you leave with a garbage bag full of stuff if you’re not careful. Bring in your oldies for store credit.
Atomic Junkies 1730 Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, 321-439-9578, atomicjunkiesgallery.com
Should you wish to furnish your home
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EAT Luke’s Kitchen + Bar 640 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland, 407-674-2400, facebook.com/eatatlukes
Brandon McGlamery’s bustling new Maitland boîte on the old Steak & Ale site had locals salivating in anticipation, and opening hasn’t stemmed the flow one bit. Like McGlamery’s other offspring, Luma on Park and Prato, Luke’s sources seasonally and responsibly, but the approachable menu of “classic American cuisine” gets imaginative with dishes like snapper ceviche, rotisserie chicken and prime rib.
KrungThep Tea Time 1051 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, 321-441-9598, krungthepteatime.com
The inventive menu twists familiar Thai favorites into funhouse versions of themselves: tom yum goong soup becomes a snappy shrimp salad; gra-prow chicken finds itself in a grilled cheese sandwich with mozzarella and basil mayo; and iced teas are unicorn-hued.
WINTER PARK & MAITLAND
Foxtail Coffee Jillycakes 125 N. Orlando Ave., 863-797-4233, jillycakesorlando.com
Jillian Hopke turns out cute cupcakes and fantastic fondant art at her shop on the shores of Lake Killarney. Flavors rotate daily, but a favorite is Cookie Butter, a nod to Trader Joe’s next door.
Buttermilk Bakery 1198 N. Orange Ave., Winter Park, 321-422-4015, buttermilkbakery.com
Consider yourself challenged: Go have one of the gorgeous tartines at this
tiny French-style modern bakery (we’re partial to the mushroom and bechamel) and leave without one of those glistening pastries behind the counter. If you fail, which you probably will, a flaky kouign amann is a transcendent option.
Bulla Gastrobar 110 S. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, 321-214-6120, bullagastrobar.com
Not exactly the ode to molecular gastronomy it promised to be, Bulla still puts out pretty good paella and topnotch tapas. You’ll find Iberian musts
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like jamon Iberico and sangria, plus a lively scene for scoping out the Sunday-morning brunch crowd.
The Ravenous Pig 565 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, 407-628-2333, theravenouspig.com
WINTER PARK & MAITLAND
Recent switcheroos in the Swine Family: Cask & Larder moved restaurant operations to the airport; the RavPig moved into that Fairbanks space (where C&L beer is still brewed), and Swine & Son Provisions next door just added Sunday service. Everything still tastes exquisite.
Hunger Street Tacos 2103 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, 321-444-6270, hungerstreettacos.com
Before Hunger Street Tacos, you could not find a squash blossom quesadilla in Orlando. After Hunger Street Tacos, that, and so much more. Also, it’s the only place in town to find xocoflan, a “magical” chocolate cake topped with flan and caramel.
Hunger Street Tacos
chocolate mint stout, coconut-infused cream ale and their neighborhoodrepping 32789 Pale Ale.
The Geek Easy
1282 N. Orange Ave., Winter Park, 407-951-7931, foxtailcoffee.com
inside A Comic Shop, 114 S. Semoran Blvd., Winter Park, 407-332-9636, mygeekeasy.com
True java aficionados will love the variety of fair-trade, single-origin coffees and variety of brew methods at this chic coffeehouse. If you just like joe, peruse the cute curios and peoplewatch, or grab the beanbags and play a few games of cornhole in the common area outside.
If the idea of a bar inside a comic-book store puzzles you, stop reading. If it sounds like the best thing ever, you’re in for a lot of joy along with your Polyjuice Potion, Green Goblin cocktail and “I Am Groot!” veggie burger.
The Wine Barn 959 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, 407-599-9463, thewinebarn.net
The Bear & Peacock 1288 N. Orange Ave., 407-801-2714, wpdistilling.com
Winter Park Distilling has been around for while, but their “brewstillery” is brand new. It’s steps from Foxtail, so after you’ve hopped yourself up on caffeine, bring things down a notch with a tour and tasting of the beers and spirits made here, including Dog Island rums and Bear Gully whiskeys.
Deadly Sins Brewing 750 Jackson Ave., Winter Park, 407-9008726, deadlysins.fillthetaproom.com
Nestled into a former industrial space, the taproom retains a workmanlike atmosphere, with large roll-up doors open to the air during business hours. Devoted to providing variety, Deadly Sins offers styles of their own brew including Mango Habanero IPA,
Slake and bake at this misleadingly named wine shop (it’s no barnyard), where you can sample bottles chosen from the enormous selection, or sit down for a wood-fired pizza.
The Porch 643 N. Orange Ave., Winter Park, 407-571-9101, theporchwinterpark.com
Sports bar with way-better-thanaverage food on the menu is a perfect place to catch the game, or just a hangover from the bottomless mimosas at brunch.
GO Blue Bamboo 1905 Kentucky Ave., Winter Park, 407-636-9951, bluebambooartcenter.com
Recently emerging as one of Central
Florida’s premiere venues, this performing arts space is a sought-after spot to hear and see live music. It is all at once experimental music venue, recording studio, theater and art gallery. Grab a glass of pinot and settle in for a set.
Enzian Theater 1300 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland, 407-629-1088, enzian.org
Our only arthouse cinema is home to the Florida Film Festival along with countless other mini-festivals and special screenings, as well as the magnificently pleasant Eden Bar.
The Alfond Inn 300 E. New England Ave., Winter Park, 407-998-8090, thealfondinn.com
Winter Park’s newest boutique hotel also functions as an art gallery, hosting oft-changing selections from Rollins College’s Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art. Have a drink in the lobby, tea in the salon, or a salad at inhouse restaurant Hamilton’s Kitchen; for those in the know, it’s Winter Park’s living room.
Central Park West Morse Boulevard and Park Avenue, Winter Park
The green heart of Winter Park is an 11acre park with fountains, a rose garden, public art installations, and seasonal events and festivals. No dogs allowed!
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Seminole County officials adopted the term to attract tourists, but Sanford is lovely all on its own. This historic city has a charm that doesn’t wear off as time goes by and we’re grateful for it. Around the downtown area, find historic architecture, galleries, eclectic businesses and a long riverwalk. Greater Sanford is a nature lover’s dream; the city is bordered by lakes, the St. Johns River and wildlife preserves. You can take the afternoon SunRail to get to Sanford, but be warned: That might not give you enough time to explore all the gems here.
Fuel BBQ 120 S. Park Ave., Sanford, 407-328-4848, fuelbbq.com
EAT The Tennessee Truffle 125 W. First St., Sanford, 407-942-3977, facebook.com/thetennesseetruffle
This breakfast-and-lunch restaurant gives Southern staples a new twist and introduces Sanford to the delicious secrets of pickled ramps.
The Smiling Bison 107 S. Magnolia Ave., Sanford, 407-915-6086, smilingbison.com/sanford
Served straight up on a metal tray, this restaurant’s food is a no-frills barbecue get-down right next door to the Alley, a live blues venue owned by the same folks.
Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Café 205 E. First St., Sanford, 407-321-2204, willowtreecafe.com
Come for the German food and beer, stay for the gemütlichkeit atmosphere, complete with oompah music.
Chef Josh Oakley’s gastropub gets raves for good reason, with beerfriendly but upscale dishes like the duck-lover’s pizza and the shaved-beef sandwich on a smoked salt-caraway roll. Ask for mushroom ketchup on your fries.
2545 S. French Ave., Sanford, 407-952-3329, jimotti.com
This self-described Japanese-style tapas restaurant run by a former Morimoto Asia head sushi chef is a culinary adventure, located in an unlikely neighborhood. Brave it.
214 E. First St., Sanford, 407-205-9569, wondermade.com
brew several beers in-house, including the Weekender, a malted white ale with fresh lemon juice.
Palate Coffee 105 W. Second St., Sanford, 321-363-0661, sanfordcoffee.com
Espresso drinks, frappes and coldbrew served in a chic setting that will make you want to linger.
The Imperial at Washburn Imports 116 E. First St., Sanford, 407-732-6956, facebook.com/theimperialsanford
Where else can you fill up on wines, craft beers and cocktails while perusing exotic imported furniture? Except for the Imperial in Orlando, of course.
Marshmallow lovers, meet your match. This unique café puts the dessert on a stick, in a s’more or in a cup of hot Lineage coffee.
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Sanford Brewing Company 400 S. Sanford Ave., Sanford, 407-732-6419, sanfordbrewing.com
This combination gastropub/brewery/taproom is part of Sanford’s burgeoning craft beer scene. They
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SHOP Jeanine Taylor Folk Art 211 E. First St., Sanford, 407-323-2774, jtfolkart.com
This gallery celebrates and brings to light the work of Florida folk artists and other artists from the South, including Ruby C. Williams, Alyne Harris and Mary Proctor.
Maya Books and Music 201 E. First St., Sanford, 407-321-6504
One of the last independent book stores around, this place is any reader’s dream nook. Make some time to dig into all the riches collected here.
Rabbitfoot Record Store Café 307 E. Second St., Sanford, 321-926-3154, rabbitfoot.rocks
A combination of good coffee, live music and plenty of vinyl make this Sanford spot a place you just can’t miss.
The Tennessee Truffle
GO Goldsboro Museum 1211 Historical Goldsboro Blvd., Sanford, 407-585-0692, goldsboromuseum.com
Born out of the struggle after Sanford forcibly incorporated the all-black town of Goldsboro into its borders, this museum highlights the singular history of the lost town and celebrates its heritage.
St. Johns Rivership Co. 433 N. Palmetto Ave., Sanford, 321-441-3030, stjohnsrivershipco.com
There are a lot of ways to observe the beauty of the winding St. Johns River, but not a lot of people can say they traveled the river on an authentic sternwheeler named Barbara-Lee.
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This leafy, bike-friendly district of mid-century bungalows and streets named after birds continues its upward rise – if you don’t already own here, buying is tough; but visiting is easy, and just gets better month by month. 2017 will bring two major new restaurants to the neighborhood – Bem Bom on Corrine and Kadence – joining and bolstering the already burgeoning food and drink scene. Shopping has also expanded recently, to the point that one-time newbies Park Ave CDs and East End Market now feel like legacy acts. And the neighborhood pioneer, Stardust Video & Coffee, rocks on, finding relevance with yet another new generation.
Stardust Video & Coffee
Eat (salads, sandwiches, waffles, tots), drink (coffee, beer, cocktails), shop (used books) and play (bands, art shows, weekly farmers market, annual crafts market) here. Not so much with the video rentals anymore, though.
1842 E. Winter Park Road, stardustie.com
3201 Corrine Drive, 407-960-1228, domufl.com
The ramen addiction is real at this new full-service noodle house inside East End Market. Make reservations or get comfy in the bar while you wait.
Farm & Haus 3201 Corrine Drive, 321-430-6627, farmandhaus.com
Formerly meal delivery only, the Farm & Hausers now sell healthy breakfasts and lunches from their counter.
P Is for Pie Bake Shop 2806 Corrine Drive, 407-745-4743, crazyforpies.com
Piecrust nirvana: hand pies, pie pops and full-size pies – not just sweet but also deliciously savory.
Gideon’s Bakehouse 3201 Corrine Drive, gideonsbakehouse.com
Over-the-top soft “cookies” are like a half-pound of cookie dough solidly bedazzled with chips. Cake slices also offered. Get there before closing time; they sell out most days.
Redlight Redlight 2810 Corrine Drive, 407-893-9832, redlightredlightbeerparlour.com
2912 Corrine Drive, 407-894-8941, facebook.com/dearprudenceshoporlando
Rompers, sundresses, tops and jewelry for when you need something real cute, real fast.
Winter Park Cycles
One of the few bars around where you can still smoke inside, if that’s your thing – with a nice patio, if it’s not; also home to a truly great (if tobaccotonsiled) karaoke scene.
Hard-to-find bikes and accessories, sold by committed cyclists who know whereof they speak.
SHOP The Lovely Boutique Market 2906 Corrine Drive, 407-270-7729, thelovelyboutiquemarket.com
The multi-stall market has found its feet and is now a serious vintage destination.
Freehand Goods 3201 Corrine Drive, 855-409-3441, freehandgoods.com
In a town now studded with craft-beer bars and taprooms, Redlight was one of the first to show us the way, and is still one of the best.
Dear Prudence Shop
3001 Corrine Drive, 407-644-2844, bigdaddysorlando.com
Leather goods include belts, wallets and watchbands; plus find T-shirts and a line of men’s grooming goods – all handmade locally.
fishing specialist shop – rods, reels, hats, knives, fly-tying materials or even lessons.
2814 Corrine Drive, 407-896-8220, orlandooutfitters.com
Delight the sportsperson in your life with just about anything from this fly-
3014 Corrine Drive, 407-894-3531, winterparkcycles.com
GO Audubon Park Community Market Monday nights, 1842 E. Winter Park Road, audubonmarket.com
Farmers market specializing in locally grown food takes over the Stardust lot every Monday night.
Grandma Party Bazaar December, 1842 E. Winter Park Road, facebook.com/grandmaparty
The ’dust hosts this annual holiday market that’s just a little weirder than all the others.
Bastille Day July, audubonparkgardens.com
An annual event produced by the Audubon Park Garden District that celebrates all thing French: wine, cheese, striped shirts, baguette fencing and Marie Antoinette impersonators.
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Rock & Roll Heaven
The Ivanhood is growing more each year, though so far (so good), the area has maintained its quirky and human-scale charm. All the new bars and restaurants are fitting in well with the overall eclectic vibe of this artsy, walkable neighborhood – as is the presence of Orlando’s first medical marijuana dispensary. North Orange Avenue and Virginia (between Orange and Mills) are where the action really is, but promising new businesses are regularly popping up further down Orange and up Virginia Drive. There’s truly something for everyone here.
802 Virginia Drive, 407-412-6979, santiagosbodega.com
516 Virginia Drive, 407-898-5892, thehideawaybar.net
The expansive tapas menu and full bar make this restaurant a crucial and buzzing nightspot, but there’s also lunch and brunch for those who aren’t nocturnal animals.
Unpretentious neighborhood bar where locals of all stripes come to drink, eat and play pool at reasonable prices.
Trevi Pasta Express
1915 N. Orange Ave., 407-270-4685, theivanhoeorlando.com
1811 N. Orange Ave., 407-897-5672, facebook.com/081italiantakeout
Ivanhoe Craft Bar & Packy
Little sister to the original Trevi Pasta serves the same high-quality, freshmade pastas, sauces and gelatos.
Unholy union between the Savoy and Ivanhoe Spirits birthed a package store that’s also an intimate little craft cocktail bar with quality drinks on order.
Better Than Sex
1414 N. Orange Ave., mesa21.com
724 Virginia Drive, 407-872-0844
After so … much … waiting, March 2017 finally marked the reanimation of this spot on the shores of Lake Ivanhoe, serving upscale Mexican fare on one of the best patios in Orlando.
Dark, spacious dive bar with a creative cocktail menu; pool tables and outdoor patio area add the final touches.
The Hammered Lamb
Sister to a Brooklyn boutique, Horizons offers a well-curated selection of new and ’90s vintage clothing, shoes and jewelry.
1905 N. Orange Ave., 407-761-8949, betterthansexorlando.com
Decadent, grown-up desserts and drinks are the order of the day (along with a metric ton of double entendre) at this nightspot.
Nova 1409 N. Orange Ave., 407-745-4080, novaorlandorestaurant.com
1235 N. Orange Ave., 407-704-3200, thehammeredlamb.com
Newer neighborhood spot serves up creative, locally sourced American cuisine and adult beverages in elegant environs.
Frequently raucous – though spacious – indoor/outdoor full bar (with food as desired) that also promises ping-pong, trivia and live music.
SHOP 1817 N Orange Ave., horizonsvintage.com
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Washburn Imports 1800 N. Orange Ave., 407-228-4403, washburnimports.com
Unique furniture from around the world makes this spot a delightful browse; then head around the back to the Imperial for craft beer and wine.
Homegrown Co-op 2310 N. Orange Ave., 407-895-5559, homegrowncoop.org
This rare area co-op is open to the public, for those desiring local organic produce, meat, dairy and sundry artisanal goods.
Rock & Roll Heaven 1814 N. Orange Ave., 407-896-1952, rock-n-rollheaven.com
Perennial favorite spot for music obsessives; it takes multiple visits to even begin fully grasping the amount of LPs, 45s, tapes, CDs, books, magazines and toys held within.
GO Mennello Museum of American Art 900 E. Princeton Street, 407-246-4278, mennellomuseum.org
About to enter its second decade, the Mennello houses a permanent collection of Florida folk artist Earl Cunningham’s work and also hosts rotating shows of work by contemporary American artists. Bask in the lovely Sculpture Garden while you’re there.
The Venue 511 Virginia Drive, 407-412-6895, thevenueorlando.com
The order of the day at the Venue is artful eclecticism; check out everything from burlesque to dance productions to theater to a Chakra Khan performance.
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The University of Central Florida is home to thousands of Knights, but you don’t have to be a student to enjoy everything this college kingdom has to offer. The nation’s second-largest university has a sprawling domain of student housing and shopping plazas, complete with coffee shops where you’re sure to find desperate souls hunched over laptops frantically finishing term papers as well as cheap-beer strongholds offering de-stressing activities of the party type. If you want to experience the true nature of UCF, though, swing around during game day – the football team might not always win, but nothing can crush these students’ fighting spirit.
Ice & Bites Café
CaddyShanks 4100 N. Alafaya Trail, 407-730-3015, caddyshanks.com
Brush up on your backswing while you enjoy your brew at this interactive sports bar.
EAT Lazy Moon
11551 University Blvd., 407-658-2396, lazymoonpizza.com
Knight Library 11448 University Blvd., 407-704-7477, knightlibrary.com
Students spend a lot of time in the library, but they won’t be hitting the books here. With different events and drink specials every night, there’s never a quiet moment.
Knights Pub 3910 N. Alafaya Trail, 407-720-8713, facebook.com/theknightspuborlando
Owned by UCF alumni, this popular bar is a staple for students on game day and practically every other night of the week.
The Public House 12046 Collegiate Way, 407-658-0888, publichousefl.com
This laid-back local haunt is popular with both students and their professors after a hard day of classes.
The mothership location of UCF’s most popular pizza joint, where all it takes is one giant slice of pie to fill anyone (really: anyone) up.
Pop Parlour 4214 E. Plaza Drive, 321-348-7677, thepopparlour.com
Locally sourced popsicles in a variety of unique flavors are the perfect way to fight the Florida heat while exploring campus.
minimalist coffee shop whips up madscientist-worthy brews that’ll put that mocha frappuccino to shame.
Valkyrie Doughnuts 12226 Corporate Blvd., facebook.com/ valkyriedoughnuts
Circle gets the square: These four-cornered, dairy- and egg-free treats are already massively popular, but don’t miss the gelato and sweet nut milks as well.
Omelet Bar 11250 Strategy Blvd., 407-704-1597, facebook.com/omeletbaruCF
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Sus-Hi Eatstation 4498 N. Alafaya Trail, 407-826-1682, sushieatstation.com
Like the name suggests, you’ll find rice bowls, wraps and, yes, sushi rolls at this funky dojo-themed eatery.
Vespr 626 N. Alafaya Trail, 407-476-3093, thevespr.com
Forget the campus Starbucks: This
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Ice & Bites Café 3402 Technological Ave., 407-208-1340, facebook.com/ icenbitescafe
These “kawaii” desserts, from taiyaki to bubble tea, are sure to satisfy any sweet tooth.
GO Reflecting Pond 4000 Central Florida Blvd., 407-823-2000, ucf.edu
During Homecoming, thousands of students race into the water of UCF’s central landmark. On a typical day, you’ll probably find a few dozen students relaxing on the grassy knoll that surrounds this fountain.
UCF Arboretum 4312 Scorpius St., 407-823-3583, arboretum.ucf.edu
It might seem strange to find so much natural beauty at the heart of campus, but the arboretum makes it a mission to protect these landscapes.
Lucky’s Market 11750 E. Colonial Drive, 321-354-1435, luckysmarket.com
This market’s mission is to get an entire generation eating a little healthier, and with natural, organic options lining the shelves, it’s becoming a student favorite.
Firkin & Kegler Family Entertainment Center 12850 Waterford Lakes Parkway, 407-373-7444, fkorlando.com
This one-stop shop for late-night fun features 32 bowling lanes, a dance floor, an arcade and a full bar.
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D DIS NEY
IV E, U NI VER
We’ve all heard the conventional wisdom about our city’s world-famous attractions: Nobody goes there because it’s too crowded. Certainly, there are longtime Orlando residents who only venture into the tourism district in search of a paycheck, or when family visits from out of state. But ignoring all that Orlando’s theme parks and their surrounding strips offer would be as senseless a New Yorker refusing to patronize Broadway, or a New Orleans native never setting foot in the French Quarter. Learn to navigate the hellish traffic (Palm Parkway and Universal Boulevard are your best bets for avoiding gridlock on I-4 and I-Drive), take advantage of discounts for residents, and you too can enjoy what millions of visitors travel from around the globe to see, for a fraction of what they’re spending per day.
may change when Kissimmee opens its new Mine Blower woodie this summer.
GO Walt Disney World Lake Buena Vista, 407-939-5277, disneyworld.disney.go.com
Mickey radically revamped the parkgoing experience with FastPass+; book reservations 30 days in advance or you’ll wait hours for popular rides. Disney debuts Pandora, the long-awaited Avatar land, at Animal Kingdom in May, and Magic Kingdom’s fireworks are getting a major makeover, while Epcot now hosts seasonal food and booze festivals year-round; skip Hollywood Studios until the Star Wars land opens in 2019 and visit the refreshed Disney Springs shopping district instead.
Universal Orlando Resort 6000 Universal Blvd., 407-363-8000, universalorlando.com
Orlando’s No. 2 theme park destination continues to expand at a rapid rate; Islands of Adventure (home to the recent Kong ride and revamped Hulk coaster) and Universal Studios Florida (site of Jimmy Fallon’s new simulator), will be joined in May by Volcano Bay, billed as Universal’s first “water theme park.” Universal’s most popular attraction is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but beware: You can’t ride the
Hogwarts Express train without paying extra for a park-hopper pass.
8375 International Drive, 407-601-7907, i-drive360.com
7007 Sea World Drive, 407-545-5550, seaworldparks.com
Despite animal rights controversy and declining attendance, SeaWorld still offers quality live entertainment and killer roller coasters at a lower cost than the other big resorts; their new Mako coaster delivers extreme seat-raising airtime, and their new seasonal festivals are a better value than Epcot’s. If you’ve got the dough, don’t overlook the all-inclusive Discovery Cove, where you can swim with dolphins and fish, or just drink like one.
It’s hard to miss International Drive’s newest entertainment complex, thanks to the huge honkin’ observation wheel – dubbed the Coca Cola Orlando Eye – that serves as I-Drive 360’s centerpiece. If dangling in a glass capsule 400 feet high doesn’t appeal, a Madame Tussauds wax museum and SeaLife aquarium occupy the wheel’s base, with a skeleton museum and several restaurants (unrelated, we hope) adjoining.
Fun Spot America
Sleuths Mystery Dinner Shows
5700 Fun Spot Way, 407-363-3867; also 2850 Florida Plaza Blvd., Kissimmee, 407-397-2509; fun-spot.com
8267 International Drive, 407-363-1985, sleuths.com
Closer to a cleaned-up carnival than a true theme park, the two Fun Spots – one near Universal, the other next to Old Town – feature a mix of thrill rides, kiddie rides and multi-level outdoor go-kart tracks for half the daily price of the major attractions. Orlando’s location is currently superior, thanks to a great wooden coaster and the area’s first Virtual Reality coaster, but that
Lots of legitimate local actors work at the attractions, but many of Orlando’s very best stride the boards at Sleuths, which has been serving up slyly silly whodunits alongside surprisingly good prime rib for over 25 years. If you’re apprehensive about interacting, fear not; the beer and wine is bottomless.
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Nile Ethiopian Restaurant 7048 International Drive, 407-354-0026, nile07.com
Ethiopian food is fantastic, and this cozy restaurant in the heart of the tourist strip is the best (only?) place it town to try it. Order a combo platter (meat or veggie) and scoop it with spongy injera bread instead of utensils. First-timers may want to go easy on the kitfo, a spicy steak tartare.
argument for uninhibited slurping, and has become a destination restaurant for anime fans and cosplayers.
Orlando Premium Outlets
Tourists throng to the two Orlando Premium Outlet Malls in search of bargains on big brand names, but read the price tags carefully; unless it’s truly a closeout item, it may cost the same as at the Mall at Millenia.
8255 International Drive, 407-363-7200, hanamizuki.us
If you want sushi rolls stuffed with cream cheese and hamburger, go to Cowfish at Universal’s CityWalk; Hanamizuki upholds the traditions of authentic Japanese cuisine, from tempura and tataki to donburi and ishiyaki. Their unctuous tonkotsu ramen is only available at lunch and on Mondays.
SHOP Gods and Monsters 5421 International Drive, 407-270-6273, godmonsters.com
Soupa Saiyan 5689 Vineland Road, 407-930-3396, facebook.com/soupasaiyan1
This Dragon Ball Z-themed noodle house near Universal makes an animated
This massive comics and collectibles shop survived the untimely demise of Artegon Marketplace and moved across the street into Orlando Crossings strip mall. It doesn’t have quite the cavernous space for events anymore, but you’ll still find plenty of four-color fantasies to fill your longboxes. Visit their neighbor R&R Records for vintage vinyl.
4951 International Drive, 407-352-9600; also 8200 Vineland Ave., 407-238-7787; premiumoutlets.com
DRINK Player 1 Video Game Bar 8562 Palm Parkway, 407-504-7521, player1orlando.com
This arcade’s cozy confines offer up late-’80s/early-’90s nostalgia alongside the latest and greatest in modern gaming, all washed down with A-list craft bottles and drafts.
Tin Roof 8371 International Drive, 407-270-7926, tinrooforlando.com
Located in the shadow of the Orlando Eye, this bar offers a simulacrum of a legit live music venue with a great bar staff, a decent drinks selection and good food. A solid option in the tourist district.
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GET YOUR GLOW ON FRIDAY AND SATURDAY NIGHTS! CHECK OUR WEBSITE FOR UPDATES! | FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK!
ARTEGON MARKETPLACE, 5250 INTERNATIONAL DR, ORLANDO, FL 32819 PHONE: 407.326.0482 | SKYZONE.COM/ORLANDO 80 / neighborhoods / city guide / orlando weekly
The neighborhood just west of downtown has had more than its share of trouble over the years, but a slow flowering of business and art may turn it around yet. Local African-American history and culture is preserved at the Wells’ Built Museum, while the West Art District is a joyous explosion of brand-new culture and history yet in the making.
West Art District
Stonewall Bar Orlando 741 W. Church St., 407-373-0888, stonewallorlando.com
EAT Chef Eddie’s 595 W. Church St., 407-826-1731, chefeddies.com
Just steps away from Amway Center, find some of the best comfort fare in the city. Smothered pork chops, saucy oxtails, chicken and waffles, chunky mashed potatoes, jalapeño crackling muffins – all will elicit superlatives.
Goff’s Drive In 212 S. Orange Blossom Trail, 407-286-3421
Goff’s has been in the same freestanding cement-block building on OBT between Church and Jackson streets since 1948, serving real-deal soft-serve, dipped cones, milkshakes and sundaes.
A gay bar in the heart of Parramore may seem incongruous, but they’ve fit comfortably in this live-and-let-live neighborhood for over a decade.
SHOP Re-Runz Record Store 642 W. Church St., 321-239-6325, rerunzrecords.com
New and used vinyl, CDs and music memorabilia. Dig here for funk, soul, R&B and jazz, and pine for the vintage posters on the walls.
Palmer Feed Store 912 W. Church St., 407-841-8924, palmerfeedstore.com
It’s a real live old-fashioned feed store where you can buy live chicks and ducklings, animal feed, seeds, hay bales, and penny candy.
DRINK Broken Cauldron 1012 W. Church St., 407-986-1012, brokencauldrontaproom.com
Pleasantly industrial space is home to two unique breweries – Broken Strings and Black Cauldron – that set up shop together in mid-2016 with an eye toward the opening of Orlando City Stadium.
sion of ever-changing murals, street art and graffiti, painted by artists from around the world alongside kids from the neighborhood.
Orlando City Stadium 655 W. Church St., 407-480-4702, orlandocitysc.com
The Orlando City Soccer Club cut the ribbon on its new stadium, which seats 25,500 fans, in February 2017.
Wells’ Built Museum of AfricanAmerican History & Culture 511 W. South St., 407-245-7535, wellsbuiltmuseumofafrican americanhistoryandculture.org
In the 1920s, the former hotel and casino built by Dr. William Wells hosted entertainers on the Chitlin’ Circuit; now it houses memorabilia of Orlando’s African-American community.
GO West Art District 1011 W. Central Blvd., westartdistrict.com
A former auto-parts machining factory is now a 50,000-square-foot explo-
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CONWAY AND BELLE ISLE
This easygoing neighborhood southeast of downtown has been quietly residential for years, with nearby ’hood Belle Isle as a slightly scruffier and more industrial neighbor. But its long-appreciated small local businesses are gaining wider acclaim (ZaZa, Mediterranean Blue, Johnny’s); its craft-beer scene rivals the one that’s popped up on Virginia Drive; and the newer, higher-profile spots opening apace (ahem, Pizza Bruno) couldn’t be hotter. Conway may be one of the last areas in Orlando you can afford to buy a house, and it’s one of the few where the shopkeepers still know their regulars by name. We’re calling it: Conway is the new College Park.
alike, partly for its amazing pastitsio and partly because the owners are just about the nicest people ever.
La Fiesta Mexican Grill 3000 Curry Ford Road, 407-985-4340, facebook.com/lafiestagrillandcatering
Aside from its kickass home-style Mexican food, we hear the happy hour is lit at this eatery.
EAT Pizza Bruno 3990 Curry Ford Road, pizzabrunofl.com
Guarantee: You have never tasted better Neapolitan-style pizza or garlickier knots. Bruno Zacchini and his crew make their own salumi, ferment their own dough, serve weekend brunch, and somehow still manage to have fun.
ZaZa New Cuban Diner 3500 Curry Ford Road, 407-228-0060, zazacubandiner.com
Breakfast is one of the best things at this restaurant that’s expanding across Central Florida. Try the quesitos or the “Carlitos Way” egg platter if you don’t believe us.
Ocean Sun Brewing 3030 Curry Ford Road, 407-745-5551, oceansunbrewing.com
A friendly, accessible taproom and brewery that “brews for pint holders, not stakeholders.”
Rogue Pub 3076 Curry Ford Road, 407-985-3778, roguepuborlando.com
Chill craft beer and wine bar in the Crystal Lake Village center is an ideal spot to meet pals and sink a drink.
Johnny’s Fillin’ Station and Johnny’s Other Side
2631 S. Fern Creek Ave., 407-894-6900, johnnysfillinstation.com
This adjoining family-owned bars have pool tables, darts, a game room and some truly great burgers.
Belle Isle Yacht Pub
Fort Gatlin Recreation Complex 2009 Lake Margaret Drive, 407-254-9820, orangecountyfl.net
Come here to enjoy the family swimming pool or the 10 tennis courts.
7521 S. Orange Ave., 407-850-3491
A compact, cozy spot to get a decent beer or three, watch the game, or maybe take in a band on the tiny stage.
The Gnarly Barley 7431 S. Orange Ave., 407-854-4999, thegnarlybarley.com
435 E. Michigan St., 407-422-2583, mediterraneanblue.net
This Greek restaurant is beloved by Conway residents and “outsiders”
Close to Belle Isle, this craft beer and bites hangout has all the makings for a perfect night out. (That back deck!)
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Ocean Sun Brewing
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Code Wall Between the Eagle Creek golf course, Medical City, the U.S. Tennis Association headquarters and Orlando City Soccer’s soonto-appear new training facility, Lake Nona is shaping up to be quite the upscale, busy district. The Lake Nona Institute’s Life Project is a long-term study tracking the wellness effects of making exercise and healthy foods readily available to residents, which accounts for the fact that they are a Juice Bike Share hub and already have a well-established farmers market, as well as a “resort-style” fitness and aquatic center. For now, though, if you don’t live there, it’s a haven for restaurants worth spending the gas money to visit.
DRINK Nona Tap Room
EAT Canvas Restaurant & Market 13615 Sachs Ave., 407-313-7800, canvaslakenona.com
Scones, cupcakes and bar cookies adorn the bakery case at Canvas, tucked away in the Laureate Park neighborhood. Through the glass doors, though, you won’t find a prettier view from the dining room, so get there early, or brunch on flaky biscuits and eggs Benny.
Chroma Modern Bar + Kitchen 6967 Lake Nona Blvd., 407-955-4340, chromalakenona.com.
Canvas’ new small-plates sister spot, Chroma, is sexier, sleeker and a tad smaller but the food is just as solid. Don’t miss the roasted bone marrow and seared foie gras.
9145 Narcoossee Road, 407-440-4594, nonataproom.com
Pig Floyd’s Urban Barbakoa
If your brewpub of choice is out of your favorite suds, the list of more than 100 beers at Nona Tap Room should have something to spark your interest. Bites go with brews, of course, and the pressed meatball panini has such a loyal following that when management took it off the menu, customers clamored for its return.
March 2017 saw the opening of the second location of Mills 50’s favorite Latin-BBQ fusion joint. Owner Thomas Ward has commandeered the former Unionburger space to give his urban “barbakoa” a new neighborhood to enchant. With butter chicken tacos this addictive, it’s a good thing hospitals are close.
Nona Blue 9685 Lake Nona Village Place, 407-313-0027, nonablue.com
The first upscale dining spot in the area has held onto its crowd, and has improved year after year. It’s a favorite for Eagle Creek golfers after they’ve finished a round, and the menu is full of crowd-pleasers like meatloaf sliders and eight different burger combos.
GO Code Wall Lake Nona Town Center
Don’t call it a parking garage. Designed by artist Jefre Manuel, this 264-footlong wall of binary code is swathed in colorful light projections and anchored by the Beacon, an interactive six-story installation that comes alive at night.
9680 N. Narcoossee Road, pigfloyds.com
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n e i ! h s n u S
Olmsted Gardens • Singing Tower • Café & Shop Historic Mansion • Preserve Trails • Children’s Garden
www.boktowergardens.org 1151 Tower Blvd., Lake Wales, Flor ida 863.676.1408
Perfect place to spread your wings
2.7-acre children’s garden now open
use coupon code
get $2 OFF combo admission
ALL SUMMER LONG valid through Labor Day
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SAND LAKE / DR.PHILLIPS
Bartaco Long considered a desirable place to live for its proximity to theme parks, major shopping malls and downtown, the sprawling “neighborhood” with its exclusive communities of Bay Hill, Windermere and Isleworth is home to many of the city’s upwardly mobile. Naturally, many of the businesses cater to Dr. Phillips’ well-heeled residents, including the ever-growing string of higher-end boîtes and steakhouses along West Sand Lake Road. Rapid growth has created traffic woes along the main strip, so if you’re looking to satisfy those bougie appetites, this is the area to be, but screw your patience to the sticking place.
Dragonfly Robata Grill & Sushi 7972 Via Dellagio Way, 407-370-3359, dragonflyrestaurants.com
They come for meats perfectly blistered over binchotan charcoal and artfully rolled sushi.
Le Café de Paris 5170 Dr. Phillips Blvd., 407-293-2326, shopcafeparis.com
A recent renovation means more space in which to enjoy French pastries, sandwiches, quiches and soups.
DRINK Vineyard Wine Bar & Healthy Bistro 4848 S. Apopka-Vineland Road, 407-9099522, thevineyardwinebarorlando.com
More than 300 wines can be enjoyed with a healthy selection of small plates.
SHOP Filthy Rich 7600 Dr. Phillips Blvd., 407-745-4007, facebook.com/filthyrichdrphillips
Where ladies go to accessorize like the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
PGA Tour Superstore 7603 Turkey Lake Road, 407-581-7540, pgatoursuperstore.com
A golfer’s paradise situated in the Bay Hill Plaza.
GO Arnold Palmer Invitational 9000 Bay Hill Blvd., 407-876-2888, arnoldpalmerinvitational.com
Mid-March tournament at the Bay Hill Club & Lodge is a highlight on the PGA Tour calendar.
Rocco’s Tacos Tequila Bar
7600 Dr. Phillips Blvd., 407-801-8226, bartaco.com
Chill taquería inspired by the beach culture of Brazil, Uruguay and Southern California.
7468 W. Sand Lake Road, 407-226-0550, roccostacos.com
Nearly 400 types of tequila keeps this joint raucous most nights.
Slate 8323 W. Sand Lake Road, 407-500-7528, slateorlando.com
Handsome resto serves up safe, seasonal, well-executed fare.
7563 W. Sand Lake Road, 407-930-6517, downatthewhiskey.com
For those given to pairing gourmet burgers with whiskey-forward craft cocktails.
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quick trip west on the 408 expressway is all it takes to be transported to a historic downtown swaying with live oaks and Spanish moss. This town of just 34,000 has some Orlandoans giving up city life for small-town swagger, and Winter Garden residents are all too happy to show them the ropes. This is a spot where creative minds meet and big ideas flourish.
Plant Street Market 426 W. Plant St., Winter Garden, 786-671-1748, plantstmarket.com Literally, there’s a butcher, a baker and a candlestick maker all in one spot. Among the 20 vendors, you’ll find wood-fired pizzas from Michael’s Ali, farm-to-table cuisine at Five Thymes Five, expertly rolled sushi at Jodo, artisan chocolates from David Ramirez Chocolates, and craft coffee at Axum Coffee – all within steps of each other, so you can get all your shopping done and have lunch at the same time. The market is open seven days a week, and gets five-deep on weekends.
Crooked Can Brewing
Chef’s Table at the Edgewater
426 W. Plant St., Winter Garden, 407-395-9520, crookedcan.com It’s a classic case of chicken or egg – which came first, the brewery or the market? In this case, the creator and owner of Crooked Can Brewing wanted his brewpub to be the centerpiece for a market where food artisans could come together and share their talents. Grab a stool at the bar or a table outside and taste award-winning craft brews like Cloud Chaser wheat beer, Highstepper American IPA and Workaholic pale ale. Each bartender is cicerone-certified (like a sommelier for beer), so even if you’re not a hophead, it’s likely they’ll find you something to sip. And yes, that silo outside is actually full of grain.
99 W. Plant St., Winter Garden, 407-230-4837, chefstableattheedgewater.com Feeling more “dinner” than “show”? At the Chef’s Table in the historic Edgewater Hotel, Kevin and Laurie Tarter offer an exquisite tasting menu (reservations required) or casual-but-upscale bites in their Tasting Room.
Garden Theatre 160 W. Plant St., Winter Garden, 407-877-4736, gardentheatre.org After your day of shopping and sipping, get out of the heat and into the Garden Theatre for a film, a concert or a live staging of one of theater’s best-loved shows. This year’s season includes Into the Woods, Jesus Christ Superstar and Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple.
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Plant Street Market
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ou might have a vague impression of Lakeland, just over an hour southwest of Orlando, as some backward, back-woods, Steel Magnolias-esque citrus town – and you wouldn’t be completely wrong. But beyond the rows of pomelos, honeybells, kumquats and tangelos, you’ll find mind-blowing architecture old and new, third-wave coffee and a budding new stop on the food-lover’s pilgrimage trail.
The Poor Porker
Florida Southern College 111 Lake Hollingsworth Drive, Lakeland, 863-680-4111, flsouthern.edu You might not know it, but the largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture in the state is here. In 2012, Florida Southern College was designated a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service. Take a walking tour of the grounds and visit the university’s collection of photographs and furniture designed by the illustrious architect.
Florida Polytechnic University 4700 Research Way, Lakeland, 863-583-9050, floridapolytechnic.org Ready for more amazing architecture? While Florida Southern was built by a master of the early 20th century, Florida Poly showcases the dramatic, futuristic work of Santiago Calatrava, an architect of the late 20th who will no doubt also make his mark on the 21st.
1037 S. Florida Ave., Lakeland, concordcoffeeco.com Craft coffee has come to this part of Central Florida, too: If you’re obsessed with Foxtail Coffee in Winter Park or Lineage at East End Market, you’ll fall for Concord Coffee’s minimalist milieu, where they serve espresso, pour-overs and siphon brews. They’re open Monday through Saturday, so plan accordingly.
The Poor Porker 801 E. Main St., Lakeland, 863-937-6915, thepoorporker.com An indoor-outdoor space where getting down with your bad self is highly encouraged. The Porker serves beignets and coffee alongside a tipi (get in! hang out!) and other mid-century furnishings for sale. Food trucks make regular appearances, and you’ll certainly want to take home some craft brew from the Corner Store, or home accessories and locally made clothing from BearCat and Big 6 Trading Post.
and a quiche of the day. With tablecloths in tiny floral prints and a room full of collectible plates, you’ll feel like you’re having lunch at MeeMaw’s house.
Nineteen 61 1212 S. Florida Ave., Lakeland, 863-688-1961, nineteen61.com Chef Marcos Fernandez’s upscaled Latin cuisine (Spanish charcuterie, a “poutine” of braised short rib, seco gravy and goat cheese over papas fritas, scallops and linguiça over boniato mash) proves he’s serious about starting a food revolution in Lakeland.
Lavender N’ Lace Tea Room 430 N. Lake Shore Way, Lake Alfred, 863-956-3998, lavendernlacetearoom.com Less hipster, more Driving Miss Daisy. There are 19 different teas on the menu, alongside cafe classics like chicken salad croissants
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t’s a college town – home to Stetson University – with a historic downtown bustling with people of all ages. You may feel as though you’ve stepped into Stars Hollow when you realize how tight-knit the community is, but don’t worry, they like strangers too. So feel free to wander among the restored old buildings repurposed into shops, restaurants, brewpubs, wine bars and artisanal food purveyors. If you overindulge, you can always book a room at the Artisan Downtown boutique hotel – unless it’s Game Day or Parents’ Weekend at the college.
South of NY Market
Trilogy Coffee Roasting Co.
136 W. Georgia Ave., DeLand, 386-624-6057, trilogycoffee.com Enjoy your caffeine fix in DeLand’s newest coffeehouse in a clean, neutral aesthetic with pops of greenery. You’ll also find goods by local businesses for sale in the café.
100 block of South Woodland Boulevard, DeLand, facebook.com/delandwings Painted by a local DeLand artist, these wings are appropriately found in Artisan Alley. With almost 2,700 #DelandWings posts on Instagram, you won’t be able to resist adding your own.
Cress Restaurant 103 W. Indiana Ave., DeLand, 386-734-3740, cressrestaurant.com Also known as “the reason a lot of Orlandoans drive to DeLand.” Hari and Jeneffer Pulapaka serve pristine prix-fixe tasting menus with perfectly paired wines, and use only local and sustainable ingredients.
South of NY Market 100 S. Woodland Blvd., DeLand, 386-279-7630, facebook.com/southofnewyorkmarket Finally, someone combined shopping with wine. Shop or grab a spot at the bar in this vintage market that mixes modern elements with retro style all the way down to their penny-tiled floors.
112 W. Georgia Ave., DeLand, 386-736-0008, cafedavincideland.com The character-rich live music venue offers indoor and outdoor stages, plus a charming – and huge – courtyard bar area. Booking is eclectic; keep an eye on their calendar.
Persimmon Hollow Brewing Co. 111 W. Georgia Ave., DeLand, 386-873-7350, persimmonhollowbrewing.com It would be harder to think of reasons not to drink at Persimmon Hollow than to list all the reasons you should – but the pros include the historic building, the stellar beers brewed in-house, and the close proximity to Neighbors Artisan Taqueria.
Neighbors Artisan Taqueria 112 W. Georgia Ave., DeLand, 386-279-0394, neighborsdeland.com Snuggled into an elbow of the Café DaVinci courtyard, Neighbors serves up tacos from tame to adventurous plus house-made guac, queso and salsa.
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hirty minutes from downtown Orlando, Apopka gets a bad rep as a place where nothing happens. But perhaps that’s where the trick is. Time has seemingly stood still at several nature hangouts surrounding this small city, making it one of the best spots in the county to reconnect with our wild side. Apopka is home to two crystalclear springs, several nature trails and multiple camping sites. If the outdoors life isn’t your thing, there are enough other quirky spots in the “Indoor Foliage Capital of the World” to make a day trip worth your time.
2542 Peterson Road, Apopka, 407-886-1833 Dive into a quirky greenhouse of colorful succulents and cacti. The only problem here (aside from an occasional cactus pinch) is you might take too many plants home.
Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive
Wekiwa Springs State Park
1800 Wekiwa Circle, Apopka, floridastateparks.org Part of the headwaters of the Wekiva River, this clearwater spring is immensely popular with residents and tourists alike for its snorkeling and kayaking opportunities. Make sure to get there early in the day – it’s hard to snag a spot after noon and the park frequently closes when it reaches capacity.
Rock Springs Run at Kelly Park
400 E. Kelly Park Road, Apopka, 407-254-1902, ocfl.net The locals like to keep a secret of this bubbly spring where you can hang out in the water, rent floats and tube down the spring run. Like Wekiwa, this place fills up quickly during the summer, so plan accordingly.
2803 Lust Road, Apopka, 386-329-4404, sjrwmd.com By the shores of the recovering Lake Apopka, this 11-mile one-way drive allows you to see animals up close in their natural environments from the comfort of your car. Visitors have spotted 362 species of birds, alligators, otters, bobcats and coyotes.
This award-winning barbecue spot stands out not only for its delectable meat but also for its wide variety of sauces.
Aunt Gingibread’s Bakery
409 S. Park Ave., Apopka, 321-231-9378, facebook.com/auntgingibreadsbakery Family-owned and hidden off the main drag of Park Avenue, Aunt Gingibread’s sells homemade tarts, cupcakes and other sweets; treat yourself to some sugar after that long hard day of swimming in the springs.
Trader Maes Furniture and Décor
2001 Rock Springs Road, Apopka, 407-703-7869, facebook.com/tradermaes It may look like just a bunch of storage units put together, but inside, Trader Maes boasts 100 small shops with everything from chic bed furniture to antique perfume bottles. Don’t be surprised if you stay here for a while exploring all the trinkets each room has to offer.
Porkie’s Original BBQ
256 E. Main St., Apopka, 407-880-3351, porkiesapopka.com A restaurant can’t go wrong with the tagline, “You can smell our butts a mile away.”
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Aunt Gingibread’s Bakery
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