Close your eyes and think of Orlando. What immediately comes to mind? We’re willing to bet iconic images of the Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Studios Florida and SeaWorld Orlando. Maybe the Orange County Convention Center or any one of the grand hotels and resorts. While these are all deserving properties, they only tell part of the destination’s story.
You’ll be overwhelmed by the diversity and quality of our dining and entertainment options throughout the region. To put it another way — if you haven’t been to Orlando lately, you just might be surprised at the depth and breadth of our culinary offerings.
When it comes to entertaining, the Convention Area makes a lasting impression. With a massive selection of restaurants and entertainment venues, there’s something here for everyone. So, your friend who loves sports bars is satisfied and so are those seeking a great steak. You can sip crafted cocktails at the one-of-a-kind Rocks lounge at The Peabody Orlando, play to win at Dave & Buster’s, melt the blues away at B.B. King’s Blues Club or even order fresh-caught oysters at The Oceanaire Seafood Room. What’s really great is most of these establishments are within walking distance from each other, which makes it that much easier to have a good time.
Known to locals as “Restaurant Row,” this stretch of Sand Lake Road — about a five-minute drive from the Convention Area — serves up some of the finest fare the destination has to offer at more than two dozen upscale and casual restaurants. There are a number of swanky steakhouses, cocktail lounges, live jazz, and Roy Yamaguchi’s unforgettable Polynesian-fusion menu is on display at his namesake restaurant. Restaurant Row provides the type of night out that will have your foodie friends posting photos of each course.
You’ll find that new-world sophistication meets old-world charm in Winter Park, a picturesque city where arts and culture are part of everyday life. Visit and you’ll soon understand why the area has been dubbed the “Rodeo Drive of the South.” Take Park Avenue, a lush neighborhood that includes chic bistros, fine dining, gastro pubs, trendy wine rooms, museums, art galleries and specialty boutiques. There is also a large concentration of independent restaurants, many proudly serving from locally sourced menus.
Many visitors don’t seem to know there is a thriving downtown — just 20 minutes from the Convention Area — complete with a sizable skyline and a collection of trendy neighborhoods. This vibrant entertainment district offers an impressive range of global and regional dining, as well as high-energy nightclubs, concert venues, roof-top lounges and even Broadway theater. You can also head to the Amway Center — a new, truly state-of-the-art entertainment venue — for an Orlando Magic basketball game or a concert.
This self-contained universe offers an electrifying selection of dining and nightlife experiences courtesy of the CityWalk® entertainment complex and adjacent hotels. You can hold court at Emeril’s Orlando, hang out at the Velvet Bar in the Hard Rock Hotel, get surreal with the Blue Man Group or chill out island-style at Bob Marley – A Tribute to FreedomSM. You’ll wake up the next morning feeling alive and ready to take on the world.
Disney/Lake Buena Vista
Big names provide plenty of star power, with exquisite fine dining, casually elegant eateries and first-class entertainment. Relax under the fireworks or sample the refined menus of Cat Cora, Todd English, Wolfgang Puck and Don Shula. You can even drive the exotic car of your dreams. Just don’t forget to visit the Downtown Disney® Area, where top-name musical acts and one-of-a-kind shows like La Nouba™ by Cirque du Soleil® dazzle and inspire.
To find out more and view maps of each district, visit OrlandoDistricts.com.
[author]Contributed by Visit Orlando. [/author]