Rediscover Orlando: 20 Wonderful Issues to Do in & Round Orlando

Illustration by James Taylor @debutart


Hear Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra at Steinmetz Corridor  

The most recent musical house on the Dr. Phillips Middle for the Performing Arts, Steinmetz Corridor, could to be one of many world’s most acoustically superior theaters—and the right venue to listen to the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra carry out. The Orlando Philharmonic simply wrapped its thirtieth season enjoying classical music and pop tunes  and you may make certain inventive director/conductor Eric Jacobsen has some nice performances deliberate for 2023-2024.

Rendezvous at Loch Haven Cultural Park  

One thing with a artistic spin is at all times taking place at Loch Haven Cultural Park, proving that Orlando is rarely starved for inventive power. Within the 45-acre park surrounded by lakes are a number of cultural organizations. Need theater? Try Orlando Shakespeare Theater and Orlando Repertory Theatre. Extra of a museum buff? Head to Orlando Science Middle, Orlando Museum of Artwork, Orlando Hearth Museum and Mennello Museum of American Artwork. Need to dance? Harriett’s Orlando Ballet Centre gives a wide range of dance lessons. 

Attend the Florida Movie Pageant 

One among Orlando’s coolest venues, Enzian—a single-screen cinema and café—is dwelling base for the Florida Movie Pageant. For 32 years, this moviegoer celebration has turned the highlight on award-winning movies from independently made shorts to worldwide documentaries. Greater than 160 movies and world premieres from some 30-plus nations are proven throughout the 10-day pageant. Hang around at Enzian’s Eden Bar with a cocktail and fellow movie buffs to debate the day’s showings.

Meander Winter Park Sidewalk Artwork Pageant Fairly the celebrated artwork gathering, the Winter Park Sidewalk Artwork Pageant will get higher annually since its debut in 1960. Thought of one of many nation’s prime juried fine-art festivals, the March occasion attracts expertise in some 20 classes, from portray, sculpture and watercolor to digital artwork, graphics, combined media and others. Tents chock-full of art work fill Central Park and Park Avenue; a live performance kicks off the occasion and an official poster marks annually’s pageant.

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Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra at Steinmetz Corridor. Photograph by CHRIS STEPHENSON


Paddle Wekiva, a Nationwide Wild and Scenic River

Whether or not you like a kayak, canoe or paddleboard, the waterways in Central Florida are calling. Paddle the cool inexperienced waters within the shade of granddaddy oaks previous sunbathing turtles, elusive gators and long-legged wading birds. The simplest method to discover the Wekiva River is to launch your watercraft or rental at Wekiwa Springs State Park, or on the neighboring Wekiva Island, a personal river recreation advanced. Katie’s Touchdown inside Decrease Wekiva River Protect State Park additionally has a launch web site.

Observe Manatees at Blue Spring State Park

The sheer variety of manatees that collect at Blue Spring State Park throughout the winter will blow your thoughts. In 2022 the variety of sea cows recorded reached 724! A shady pathway, with viewing decks, travels alongside the spring run. Right here, guests can observe the light giants floating in 72-degree water. When the ocean mammals come as much as breathe, each one to 3 minutes, you may get a glimpse of their rotund grey our bodies, flippers and flat tails. 

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Paddle Wekiva,a Nationwide Wild and Scenic River. Photograph by Roberto Gonzalez


Style the Flavors of Vietnam, MILLS 50

Tucked within the Mills 50 District, surrounding the intersection of Mills Avenue and Colonial Drive, is a cluster of Vietnamese eating places and grocery shops. Strolling the aisles of the no-frills Dong A Grocery store is an journey for the culinary curious, as is popping into Y Nhu Bakery & Café. And the eating places received’t disappoint. Begin on the ever-popular Anh Hong Restaurant, identified for its conventional pho (Vietnamese noodle soup), and work your method to the fashionable Hawkers Asian Avenue Meals, providing Vietnamese and different Asian cuisines.

Pattern the Native Fare, East Finish Market

It’s simple to eat your method by East Finish Market, tucked in Audubon Park Backyard District. The neighborhood meals hub of culinary creativity is the place native meals artisans tempt you with their goodies. Browse two tales of retail house the place you’ll discover craft espresso roaster Lineage and Skyebird Juice Bar. Proceed to Winter Park Biscuit Firm, Dochi Japanese doughnuts, La Femme du Fromage, Hinckley’s Fancy Meats and others. However the sweetest spot is Gideon’s Bakehouse, the place thick chocolate chip cookies and mile-high truffles are inconceivable to withstand.

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Pattern the native fare, east finish market. Photograph by Roberto Gonzalez


Spend Like a Vacationer at Mall at Millenia

Orlando’s upscale designer-store procuring vacation spot—for each locals and vacationers—is surely the Mall at Millenia. One finish is anchored by Macy’s and extra mainstream shops and the opposite finish is dwelling to Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus and the A-list of designer boutiques. Search for massive names like Versace, Dior and Saint Laurent. Shoe-obsessed ladies simply could rejoice to search out Jimmy Choo and Christian Louboutin. And in the case of jewellery to die for, Bulgari, Tiffany & Co. and David Yurman compete in your {dollars}. 

Store the Avenue, Park Avenue

For many who love to buy and store and store, there’s nothing higher than strolling a road tightly filled with shops, every yet one more charming than the opposite. Downtown Winter Park, with its brick-paved streets and flower basket-hanging lampposts has that enchanting attract. Indie shops, fashion-forward boutiques, chocolate outlets, espresso stops and outside cafes all add to the road’s eclectic attraction. Spend a day discovering what’s new on Park Avenue. 

Go Treasure Searching in Mount Dora

One man’s junk is usually one other man’s treasure, as they are saying. In the event you love the hunt of sifting by merchandise to search out that particular merchandise, from antiques to collectibles to something classic, then it’s best to spend a day at Renninger’s Florida Twin Markets in Mount Dora. Set on 117 acres simply off U.S. Freeway 441, the weekend emporium is dwelling to an antiques heart, flea market, consignment heart and farmers market. 

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Spend like a vacationer at mall at Millenia Mall. Photograph by Roberto Gonzalez


Pedal a Swan Boat on Lake Eola

The gorgeous iconic swans that populate Lake Eola in Downtown Orlando are stated to be the inspiration for the swan-shaped paddleboats that glide throughout the city lake. Among the many must-do issues for all Orlandoans is climbing into an enormous white hen and pedaling across the lake’s fountain on a soothing Sunday afternoon.

Play within the Theme Parks

Love them or hate them, theme parks are a lifestyle in Orlando. And it’s the brand new points of interest inside that maintain us coming again. Right here’s the rundown on the newest and best to not be missed in 2023: Common Orlando Resort’s Illumination’s Villain-Con Minion Blast at Common Studios Florida, SeaWorld Orlando’s Pipeline: The Surf Coaster, Walt Disney World’s TRON Lightcycle/Run coaster in Tomorrowland on the Magic Kingdom and LEGOLAND Florida’s Pirate River Quest.

Escape to a Small City 

As Orlando grows right into a metropolis, it’s comforting to know that small city USA continues to be alive and nicely lower than an hour’s drive away. Head to historic downtown DeLand and stroll its quaint primary road, Woodland Boulevard, admiring the domed Volusia County Courthouse and Nineteenth-century buildings housing classic shops, dwelling furnishing boutiques, ebook shops, chocolate outlets and extra. 

See the Stars on the Amway Middle

Possibly a “star” for you is Paolo Banchero of the Orlando Magic scoring factors within the final two minutes of a recreation on the Amway Middle. For another person it is likely to be big-name nation stars like Luke Bryan, Thomas Rhett or Brooks & Dunn firing up the stage. And for teenagers, it’s little doubt Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus or Disney on Ice turning the world right into a magical venue. The Amway Middle is a contemporary, snug and spacious venue that hosts a few of the largest touring acts within the nation. 

Make the most of UCF  

You don’t must be a pupil on the College of Central Florida (UCF) to reap the advantages of getting one of many nation’s largest universities in your hometown. Theatre UCF produces a full season of latest and traditional performs and musicals introduced on campus at Primary Stage and Black Field theaters. Sports activities fans can catch a ballgame or two on campus—the UCF Knights soccer crew at FBC Mortgage Stadium (aka Bounce Home) or the boys’s and girls’s basketball groups at Addition Monetary Enviornment.

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See the celebs on the Amway Middle. Photograph by Roberto Gonzalez


Roar with the Lions

Since Orlando’s soccer stadium debuted in 2017, enthusiastic crowds dripping in purple have stuffed the seats of Exploria Stadium to look at rousing Main League Soccer video games—and, in fact, cheer on the house crew: Orlando Metropolis SC. Lions followers come early to get the occasion began at Mane Avenue Plaza outdoors Gate B, the place meals vans, DJs, video games and enjoyable add to the soccer expertise. The stadium can also be dwelling to the Orlando Satisfaction ladies’s skilled soccer crew, supported by hometown superfans.

Mud off Your Cowboy Boots

Let your internal cowboy or cowgirl come out on the Silver Spurs Rodeo in Kissimmee. Earlier than Orlando rose up, the world was prime cattle nation and residential to hard-working ranchers, who in 1944 held a rodeo to assist promote warfare bonds. Quickly sufficient got here the Silver Spurs Rodeo Enviornment, which held its first occasion in 1950. Quick ahead to at the moment’s indoor, climate-controlled area with 8,300 seats and 12 luxurious skyboxes and you may see that rodeoing is a way of life in Osceola County. The state’s official rodeo takes place twice a 12 months, in February and June, and is the most important rodeo east of the Mississippi. Group roping, bull using and steer wrestling are all conventional competitions, however there’s additionally a parade and the crowning of Miss Silver Spurs.

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Mud off Your Cowboy Boots. Photograph courtesy of Silver Spurs Rodeo


Watch the Christmas Tree Lighting With the Mayor

A hometown occasion, Orlando’s annual tree lighting celebration in downtown’s Lake Eola Park is a festive method to kick off your vacation season with pleasant Orlandoans. When Mayor Buddy Dyer flicks the change, the illuminated present of lights musically sync with the lake’s fountain, drawing oohs and aahs from the group. On the park’s amphitheater, tune and dance set the temper, plus you possibly can store at a vacation market, meet Santa and Mrs. Claus, and seize a chunk to eat from meals vans.

Cheer on the Citrus Bowl on New 12 months’s Day  

Not each metropolis is fortunate sufficient to host a collegiate bowl recreation. However Orlando has made it a New 12 months’s Day custom since 1947 to welcome prime groups from the Massive Ten and Southeastern conferences. Pep rallies and fan fests add to the thrill earlier than recreation day, when followers pack Tenting World Stadium for some robust soccer motion and wild cheering.