Orlando Beyond Disney: Top Activities and Attractions for a Memorable Vacation

Exploring the Hidden Gems of Orlando, Florida: Winter Park, Downtown Orlando, and Lake Nona

Orlando, Florida is known for its amusement parks, theme parks, and countless other attractions that draw tourists from all over the world. However, beyond the obvious tourist hotspots, there are several hidden gems that are waiting to be discovered. If you’re looking to explore Orlando in a different way, then you must visit Winter Park, Downtown Orlando, and Lake Nona. Each of these areas offers something unique and exciting, from picturesque neighborhoods to trendy bars and restaurants. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at these three hidden gems of Orlando.

Winter Park: A Charming Neighborhood Worth Exploring

Winter Park is one of the most picturesque neighborhoods in Orlando. This area is known for its tree-lined streets, quaint buildings, and gorgeous parks. It’s the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and take a leisurely stroll. If you’re looking to explore Winter Park, then the best way to do so is by taking the “Taste of Winter Park” tour. This tour will take you on a culinary journey through the neighborhood, introducing you to some of the area’s best local businesses. You’ll get to sample delicious sweets, savor wines, and try other delicacies that are unique to the area.

The “Taste of Winter Park” tour is not just about food, it’s also about discovering the neighborhood and learning about its history. During the tour, you’ll get to visit some of the most iconic landmarks in the area, including the Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens and the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art. Both of these museums house impressive collections of art and sculpture, and are definitely worth a visit.

For a unique perspective of Winter Park, take a scenic boat tour around the area’s many lakes. Winter Park is known for its interconnected waterways, and exploring the area by boat is a must-do activity. During the boat tour, you’ll get to see some of the most beautiful homes and estates in the area, as well as the stunning wildlife that call the lakes home.

See also  Top 10 Family-Friendly Resorts in Orlando FL | Best Hotels 2023

Downtown Orlando: A Vibrant and Transforming Area

Downtown Orlando is one of the most vibrant and transforming areas of the city. This area has undergone a major transformation in the last few years, and now offers a plethora of restaurants, bars, and entertainment options. A walk around downtown Orlando is a must-do activity, especially in the evening when the area comes alive. The central hub of downtown Orlando is Lake Eola, a picturesque lake surrounded by a walking path, swan boats, and a fountain. The lake is the perfect spot for a picnic or a leisurely stroll.

If you’re looking to explore Downtown Orlando, then you should definitely check out some of the area’s most iconic landmarks. The Orange County Regional History Center is a must-visit attraction, which showcases the rich history and culture of the area. The center houses an impressive collection of artifacts and exhibits that tell the story of Orlando’s past.

Downtown Orlando is also known for its amazing culinary scene, and there are several restaurants that are worth a visit. Reyes Mezcaleria is one of the hottest spots in downtown Orlando. This trendy restaurant serves delicious Mexican cuisine and has an impressive selection of Mezcal, a distilled alcoholic beverage made from the agave plant. For something more upscale, visit The Stubborn Mule. This restaurant offers a variety of American cuisine with a twist and has a great selection of craft cocktails.

If you’re looking for something to do after dinner, then head over to Wall Street Plaza. This pedestrian-friendly area is known for its vibrant nightlife and has several bars and clubs that are open late into the night. It’s the perfect place to soak up the atmosphere of downtown Orlando and meet new people.

Lake Nona: A New and Trendy Area

Lake Nona is one of the newest and trendiest areas in Orlando. This area is known for its upscale neighborhoods, trendy bars, and world-class restaurants. If you’re looking to explore Lake Nona, then head over to Lake Nona Wave Hotel, which houses one of the trendiest bars in the area. This bar offers a stunning view of the lake and has an impressive selection of craft cocktails and wines.

See also  First Class Flight & Full Meals: WDW Day 1 in Orlando!

After drinks, why not enjoy dinner at Bacan, a restaurant that serves delicious South American cuisine. Bacan is highly recommended by the Michelin Guide and is one of the most popular restaurants in the area. The restaurant offers a variety of dishes, including ceviche, empanadas, and grilled meats. The menu is designed to be shared, which makes it perfect for a night out with friends.

If you’re looking to explore the area during the day, then visit the Lake Nona Town Center. This area has several outdoor shops and cafes, as well as a weekly farmers’ market. The market offers an array of fresh produce, crafts, and local products.


Orlando, Florida is a city that has numerous attractions and places to visit, but these three hidden gems – Winter Park, Downtown Orlando, and Lake Nona – give visitors a chance to experience the city in a different way. Each of these areas offers a unique blend of culture, entertainment, and cuisine that is unlike anything you’ll find in the theme parks. Whether you’re looking to explore a picturesque neighborhood, enjoy a night out on the town, or discover a trendy new area, Orlando has something for everyone. So, get out of the theme parks and start exploring the hidden gems of Orlando today!