Orlando has so much to offer and like millions of residents and visitors, there are so many things that we love! Let’s celebrate our City Beautiful and support our businesses – both large and small! From our unique and diverse neighborhoods to landmarks, theme parks, attractions and our wonderful restaurant scene, we’re excited to explore all that we LOVE in Orlando!
Check back throughout November and December or follow our Facebook page for daily updates!
Day 1 - Lake Eola Park
Swans, a giant fountain and an amphiteater! We are kicking off by showing love to an Orlando icon – Lake Eola Park. If you are a resident, you have likely visited this downtown Orlando landmark many times. If you are an Orlando visitor, it saddens us that most of you have never heard of, much less visited one of our favorite “local” attractions. We love enjoying everything that Lake Eola Park has to offer including the Sunday Farmer’s Market, swan boats, festivals, performances at the amphitheater and best of all, the awesome Lake Eola swans. On weekends, we love grabbing a drink at one of the restaurants or bars located nearby. World of Beer, Relax Grill and 310 Lakeside all offer patios overlooking the lake. Across the street, Eola Wine Company is small and quaint but serves delicious wine, flatbreads and cheeses.
Want more information on Lake Eola?
– Check out the Lake Eola Park Facebook page – @LakeEolaPark
– Visit the City of Orlando website: https://www.orlando.gov/Parks-the-Environment/Directory/Lake-Eola-Park
– As a bonus follow the amazingly cute Lake Eola Swans Instagram at @LakeEolaSwans
Day 2 - Universal CityWalk
As the entertainment hub of Universal Orlando Resort, CityWalk is loaded with great food, fun music and nightlife. If you are a visitor, you will likely hit CityWalk after a day in the parks. As a local, we love visiting for dinner or to chill out with some live music. For restaurants you have an abundance of options to choose from and can find everything from a chocolate-themed restaurant to a Mexican restaurant with a live mariachi band! Nightlife includes a dueling-piano bar at Pat O’Brien’s, reggae music at Bob Marley’s or karaoke with a live band.
As a romantic date night we love VIVO Italian Kitchen, BigFire or one of the most unique spots on CityWalk, CowFish Sushi and Burger Bar.
Day 3 - Downtown Winter Garden
Located west of Orlando, downtown Winter Garden boasts all of the history and charm of small-town old Florida. During the evening, you will see residents and visitors strolling the brick-lined streets or sitting at an outside table at one of the many restaurants. On Saturdays, you can find one of the best Farmer’s Markets in the area as well as live music and bustling activity. The lively Plant Street Market houses Crooked Can Brewery as well as local food stands and an abundance of outdoor seating.
Established in 1903, Downtown Winter Garden is filled with history. The town is home to the Central Florida Railroad Museum as well as shops and restaurants that date back to the 1920’s. Walk into the lobby of the Edgewater Hotel and experience the original wood countertop or the 1926 Otis elevator.
Don’t be surprised if you see an abundance of cyclists, runners and joggers zooming by. The very popular West Orange Trail runs right through downtown!
Our downtown Winter Garden favorites:
Garden Theatre – 1930’s theatre featuring live performances, concerts and movies
Plant Street Market – Local community market, food hall and home to Crooked Can Brewery
The Whole Enchilada – Mexican-style restaurant with two bars and rooftop dining
Day 4 - Epcot Festivals
Admittingly Epcot is our favorite Disney park. There are so many reasons why but one is that there is a different experience every season! Although altered in 2020, the festivals at Epcot deliver everything from art to topiaries to food…lots of food!
The newest, The Festival of the Arts, only started a few years ago but quickly became a favorite amongst guests. This festival provides the opportunity to meet many artists and see their beautiful work first hand. Food and drink offerings are often fun and creative with an artistic flair. The Festival of the Arts begins in January and typically runs until March.
Spring brings us the Flower and Garden Festival with beautiful topiaries and plants. During a normal year, you can also find concerts during the evening. In the early summer and fall, you can find one of Epcot’s longest running and most popular festivals, the International Food & Wine Festival. This year’s festival has been paired down, but the food and drink offerings haven’t disappointed.
The end of November and December bring us Taste of Epcot International Festival of the Holidays where you can holiday-themed food and drink, Santa and themed-calvacades.
Day 5 - Boxi Park in Lake Nona
Ever been served a lobster roll or ice cream straight out of a shipping container? This is one of the things that makes Boxi Park unlike any other venue. Unlike standard food trucks, the outdoor counter-service restaurants at this multi-entertainment venue are housed in shipping containers.
Boxi Park is located in Lake Nona, southeast of downtown Orlando, and features a large outdoor amphitheater with live music, multiple bars, volleyball courts, a playground and Barxi Park for the pups. It is open Thursday and Friday evenings and all day on Saturday and Sunday making it a great spot for hanging with friends or grabbing dinner with the family.
Regardless of the reason for your visit, Boxi Park is one of our favorites local spots and definitely one of the most unique venues in the area!
Read more about Boxi Park here: https://lifeinorlando.com/boxi-park-in-lake-nona-one-of-orlandos-most-unique-venues/